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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I just joined am interested in learning all I can before I get any bees. I am reading about the top bar hives and wondering if that is a good place to start. I live in the country and have a few chickens. I am retired and have become posessed with the idea of getting some bees. Any advice is welcome. Thanks
 

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Well welcome to the forum we are glad to have you. We are the biggest little bee keeping forum on the world wide web. Im looking forward to you being an active part of our forum. You couldnt have found a nicer group of knowlegeble bee people anywhere else. Sounds like you kind of got a direction you want to go. I would suggest reading up on the different types of hive then pick the one that best suits the direction you want to go. All hives have there advantages as well as disadvantages over each other. I just notice you are from northeast Kansas I grew up in Ottawa. We have a few members on the forum from up your way around Olathe also there is a couple good clubs up your way the north East kansas Beekeepers Association and the kansas Honey Producers association. Once again welcome and looking forward to having you around.

:hi:
 

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Welcome.
You have come to the right spot for asking questions about bees. We are a friendly sort here and many of the beeks have plenty of experience that they are willing to share.
TBH's are an inexpensive way to start beekeeping but they can have their limitations in my opinion.
Besides finding this site :D the next best thing you can do is to find a mentor (local beekeeper who would be willing to assist you on your journey).
Failing that, ask away here! :mrgreen:
 

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Howdy and a warm welcome to the forum farmgirl47,I went down the same path you're about to start on,and it worked great for me.I studied various books and explored all the pros and cons of different hive designs,and went with what I think the best was which is the Langstroth design(10 frame).Two months before I got bees,I built my first hive using that design,and it turned out great and I'm terrible working with wood.One word of warning though,once you start it's like the old saying goes"like getting sand in your shoes"it will always be with you :mrgreen: .
 

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Helllo! I have a top bar hive. I have a modified warre barr hive. I run approximately 12- 15 langs. The ONLY reason I have a top bar or a warre is to demonstrate to others. I detest the top bar. I know my opinion only. It seems to have a larger loss percentage than my other hives. I haven't got it to over winter yet and I have tried three swarms and a package in it.

I suppose if you were meticulous about opening it weekly and cutting out cross comb it would be ok. I am not. By the time I notice it is all burred up I have a mess.
 

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Welcome. I would recommend starting with 2 ten frame Langstroth hives. It is easier to maneuver, easier to find help from a local beekeeper, and easier to get a good price out of if you decide to sell and do something different.

Also, having 2 gives you something to compare. A new beekeeper doesn't know what to look for, or whether what they are seeing is good or bad. with 2, when one looks much better than the other, they know something is wrong.
If one goes queenless, or having trouble, the other one can be used to boost it, or even save it. With only one, the loss is 100%.
 

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Great point about two Iddee. If you go top bar use two. I may have been able to forstall some of my issues if I had had two. Interchangable frames would have helped outm. :)
 

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Welcome to the forum :wave:

I have never had a TBH and not a fan of them, but not trying to hold you back from making your own decision.

I like the 10 frame Lang hives with wood frames and wax foundation, hard to go too bad wrong here.
The equipment is easy to get, interchangeable, and easily bought or sold.

Good luck with what ever you decide to get and hope to see you around!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to all for the welcome. My plan is to spend the next several months learning all I can before I make my leap to beekeeper. I will ask questions when I don't understand a concept, and am glad to have such a suport group as this to turn to.
 

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Join a local club or find a beekeeper near by and see if you can tag along to get your hands dirty, nothing better.
 

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Welcome. I've only been a beekeeper since April but this site has been a tremendous help to me. I don't have a TBH but a friend does. He started his two TBH's about a month before I did and has had a lot more problems than I have with mine.

I don't know but it just seems the TBH is not user friendly, especially beginner user.

But good luck and enjoy.
 

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Wecome Farmgirl47, I don't think you would want to get bees in August unless they were established hives. The time frame would press a new beekeeper to get them ready for winter and may discourage you in your new venture. Like said above, read books, ask questions on the fourm, and find a bee club in your area, obtain your equipment and be ready to get your bees in the spring. Jack
 

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Farmgirl47:
Welcome to your new world. You're in the same spot I was in this time last year. I was disappointed that most folks were saying it was not a really good idea to try to start fresh this late in the year, so I didn't. I found several (didn't know there were that many so close) beeks in my area that were more than happy to let me "tag along" during a hive inspection. I spent the rest of last year and the first few months of this year reading, purchasing equipment, reading, going to meetings, reading, talking to other beeks, reading, perusing the internet, reading, looking at catalogs, and reading.
Did I mention reading?
I obtained all the equipment, and installed 2 packages in early April of this year, and the girls are going like gangbusters. I obtained the beginning beekeepers kit (all you need but the bees) from Mann Lake, and added more woodenware during the time I was reading, so when the new season rolled around, I was ready. There are several very good beekeeping supply companies around (Google beekeeping supplies) but I'm finding that once you decide which manufacturer to buy from-stick with it. Slight variances in wood thickness can contribute to small annoyances like frames not fitting in correctly.
Also-if you can find a beek supply store within reasonable driving distance-purchase your woodenware there-you can save shipping costs.
Like you, I found that top bar hives don't seem to be all too popular-so I went with 10 frame langs. You may want to look at the 8 frame langs, a filled honey super is HEAVY.
Again, welcome. Bees are addicting. I know-I'm addicted. Good luck.
 

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I would sign on to everything that gunsmith has said, especially...read...read..read and read.
This friendly forum is a teriffic reading source.
Welcome to you both!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi, and thanks everyone, for the welcome. I have found the local beekeeping association meeting place and dates. I have talked with members and was invited to tag along, am really looking forward to it. Soooo, I am on my way! I also am reading the recommended books. Can't wait for next spring.
 

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Farmgirl, you are going about all this in the right way. You will have the basic knowledge once you get your bees next Spring so that they will be much more likely to thrive- you'll be bypassing so many mistakes that beginners often make that are not good for their bees. Good for you!
 
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