Ok, flame away!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bheckel169, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Bheckel169

    Bheckel169 New Member

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    I'm brand new to this forum and I certainly don't want to offend but after learning about top bar hives that have clearly been around much longer than Langstroth hives, the only conclusion I can come up with is that beekeepers who own Langstroth hives are either commercial beekeepers or beekeepers who just want a lot of honey.
    So, why does anyone aside from the aforementioned types want to have Langstroth hives?
    I've read enough to know that the negatives attributed to top bar hives are based on either, the uninformed or who, out of habit, simply don't want to know what may be an alternative type of bee hive.
    I don't really care whether I've created a hornet's nest. I've simply done my homework and I just don't understand why anyone other than a commercial beekeeper would not want to look at a top bar hive. Flame away!
    Bruce
     
  2. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    This makes at least the third board you have posted this on.

    Also read your posting on getting 27 out of 50 on the bee test,and just starting to learn about bees about 30 days ago, lets see you say you have watched 2 dvds on beekeeping and are half way thru reading Bee Keeping For Dummies.
    I'm impressed !

    Oh well tell us more later.
    Have a nice Holiday
    Murrell
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    No need for flames, at least not from me that is. I have never kept a KTBH and probably never will, but I did buy several warre type hives from a fella one time. The bad thing with what I had bought was that the top bars were all stapled down to the body, what a learning experience (said in another way "nightmare"). Now down to the nitty gritty...........IN MY OPINION...........I consider myself just a backyard beek and the biggest difference I can tell you about would be extracting honey and being able to save the comb for reuse. The comb is really where the bees get a good head start on honey production and also making splits or capturing swarms. Just think of the time and energy that is consumed in drawing out a frame of comb. If you are just keeping bees to say you have bees, for pollination purposes only, or just to have a jar or two of honey then KTBH might just be for you. If you did a bunch of looking there are many many kinds of hive set ups and the individual beek will need to figure out what suits his taste the best, many have several different hive set ups.

    Good luck with your bees come spring no matter what type of box you decide for them to reside in.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    horse and wagon=TBH
    Automobile=langstroth

    oil lamps and candles=TBH
    Electricity=Langstroth

    Loincloth=TBH
    Sewn clothing=Langstroth

    It just depends on whether you want to live in the ice age or modern day times.
     
  5. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

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    I agree with G3, there's no need for flames. What I don't understand, Bruce, is why you would jump to conclusions (you said: the only conclusion I can come up with is that beekeepers who own Langstroth hives are either commercial beekeepers or beekeepers who just want a lot of honey.) your first time on our forum, say that you don't want to offend anybody, then ask every body to "flame away" :confused:
    After all what's wrong with having alot of honey?
     
  6. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    especially if it is purple, right Babty Beek? :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     
  7. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I have Langstroth hives. I gather just enough honey to give away as gifts.

    Why do I have Langstroth?
    1) Equipment is readily available. I could make a TBH, sure, if I had the time. Put it on the list with the 10,000 other things I will get to "someday"!
    2) The first hive I bought was already in Langstroth equipment.
    3) The second colony I found abandoned had moved into old rotten Langstroth equipment of its own accord.
    . 3a) I have no idea how one would tie cut-out comb into a top bar frame.
    4) Not sure how to put a TBH frame in an extractor, and I hate the waste (and extra labor for the bees) of crush and strain.

    As for what type of equipment, I say, "Who cares?" You could keep bees in an old tire, for all I care, and we'd still have something in common. Unless you are in the business of selling KTBH's.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    nice post Hobie.

    although I am pretty old school in my approach to bees I do like to encourage folks in the bee club to try ALL the alternatives (perhaps I will toss out Hobie old tire hive at the nest meet up).
     
  9. Bheckel169

    Bheckel169 New Member

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    27 out of 50 wasn't bad on the test. I'd only starting to read some articles on beekeeping. Since that time, I have tried to increase my knowledge by studying everything I can get my hands on. My comments though, to start my post were probably a poor choice of words. With a couple of exceptions I found this board much more receptive to my post and understood it for what it was meant to convey; that is, the differences between the two types of hives and their purpose.
    I've met with two clubs, at least a dozen beekeepers with some significant experience. Talked or emailed dozens of beekeepers and continue communicating with them, yes watched 4 dvds, read all of the Dummies book and subscribe to 2 magazines and an agricultural extension newsletter. I certainly don't have all the answers but I'm trying to get a reasonable understanding of what I want to accomplish and why I want to be a beekeeper. I didn't mean to suggest there was something wrong with gathering a lot of honey. I was just saying that the Lang will usually produce more and certainly that's why commercial beekeepers use that system.
    I think the Wipedia description below is why for my purposes the TBH makes sense for me...

    "Unlike the Langstroth stacked box hive, there is no heavy lifting involved (unless the entire hive is to be relocated). Inspection of the combs can be carried out with far less disturbance to the bees than is the case with Langstroth hives, since only a small amount of the hive is exposed at any one time. Many modern hive designs incorporate a viewing glass window in the side of the hive with a removable wooden cover allowing for complete inspection without disturbance of the hive. This promotes more frequent inspection by the beginner as the bees are less prone to become defensive."

    Reduced storage requirements
    "Since no seasonal storage of honey collection boxes ("supers") is needed, nor is a centrifugal extractor used, the storage requirements are also greatly reduced. Hobby beekeepers using specifically designed top-bar hives have been able to successfully keep bees without any medications, important since the medications are dangerous to humans and their time of use must be carefully managed to minimise contamination of hive products."

    I might add I have since talked with a number of beekeepers in the northern part of the U.S. and they don't seem to have a wintering problem. There had been some suggestion that they did.
    Bruce
     
  10. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I think the reason Langstroth is used goes beyond the basic materialistic desire for honey.

    The boxes are tidy and easy to put on pallets. (They also fit in my car, in a pinch)
    The frames are more tolerant of extraction loads.
    It is relatively easy to "force" separation of brood and honey.
    Most state Depts of Agriculture promote them.

    As for the comment about medications, I do not think that has anything to do with the style of hive. There are many beekeepers with Langstroth equipment who do not treat. I believe the association there is that beekeepers who chose the TBH style are more likely to be beekeepers who do not treat. Having researched an alternative and more "natural" hive style, it follows that they would employ other "natural" methods. It has nothing to do with any "health" aspect of the design.

    That would be like saying: "I do not use pesticides in my garden. My gardens are raised beds. Therefore raised bed gardens do not need pesticides." Not so.

    I have not heard any data regarding wintering. I tend to think that the wintering success has more to do with the abundance of the previous year, the amount of honey stolen, and the weather, and less to do with what shape box, tree, wall, or tire they live in.
     
  11. Charles

    Charles New Member

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    Welcome to the board Bheckel169, I think the type of hive you choose really is dependent on what you plan to get out of your bees. There are people on both sides that have very legitimate reasons for the type of hive they use. I think the question here is what do you plan on doing with your bees?

    Have you seen this:

    http://www.beesbuzzing.com/beginner-bee ... t-for-you/
     
  12. Jacobs

    Jacobs New Member

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    Don't forget to plan for expansion. Part of swarm control and keeping a hive strong is providing additional room by adding additional supers. If the bees get too crowded in the spring, they may swarm. With Langstroth equipment, you can add a box and add more frames, and even arrange frames to give more room in the brood area. I don't know whether anyone is succesfully making "supers" for top bar hives or how they would work. I am in the city and not much of a climber so I want to do what I can to avoid a cloud of bees going into my neighbors' yards about 50 feet up. With a top bar hive that thrives, my understanding is that you run a greater risk of swarms.

    If you are into your winter reading, I recommend the 3rd edition of Langstroth's A Practical Treatise on the Hive and the Honey Bee. This edition was printed between 1859 and the mid 1870's, and is available in full view (the entire book) for free reading/download from google. The language is somewhat flowery typical of much Civil War era writing, but the information really is practical, and the vast majority of it remains very relevant and useful.
     
  13. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Well as a regular to this forum I take that has a real compliment. :thumbsup: welcome to the nicest bee forum i have found and lord knows there are a few out there. And I mean way out there. I like to think of this forum as one where ignorance is not acceptable or criticised as there isnt a beekeeper out there that doesnt have some ignorance and some good ideas i dont care how long they have had bees we all fall into that group. we educated ourselves and each other in a way that makes you feel good about asking learning and sharing and its kept on a rated g kid friendly environment. got a few kids that are regulars here. So with that said the rat will get off the soap box and just ask that we see you come around and share learn and help educate often. I hope you can lower the top bar to accept a few of us lang people we to old to jump high enough to get over the top bar :Dancing:
    :D :D
     
  14. Bheckel169

    Bheckel169 New Member

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    Unfortunately, I'm afraid some others thought I was trolling and trying to illicit some extreme comments. I wasn't. I just found where I was comfortable by posting on a few sites. I know I have a huge learning curve and am very receptive to learn from all the experienced beekeepers out there. In fact, before it got a little hot out there in some circles :D , I thought seriously about putting a lang in and a TBH and seeing how things went. I thought I'd get the best of both worlds out of the experience. What I haven't decided to do is use a foundation on the Lang. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated.
    Bruce
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Your first hive should be a lang with foundation, started with a nuc rather than a package. Then branch out from there. A success before a failure makes the failure go down much easier. A failure before a success many times means giving up when the other way around would make for a lifetime hobby.
     
  16. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Very well put Iddee. Jack
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the rat writes:
    I like to think of this forum as one where ignorance is not acceptable or criticised as there isnt a beekeeper out there that doesnt have some ignorance and some good ideas i dont care how long they have had bees we all fall into that group. we educated ourselves and each other in a way that makes you feel good about asking learning and sharing and its kept on a rated g kid friendly environment.

    tecumseh:
    my sentiments exactly.

    bhecklel writes:
    I thought seriously about putting a lang in and a TBH and seeing how things went.

    tecumseh:
    I had two customers do this. they bought a newly established hive in a shallow and converted to a tbh.

    Years ago I read about a fellow (former Peace Corp) that did this the other way around. He started his tbh in what appeared to be 1/2 of a plastic drum and then converted this to a lang.

    and good luck....
     
  18. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Never got the top bar bug and probably never will, you can do more with a lang. than with the top bar hive so why start with a problem.I always thought that top bar hives were for people to cheap to buy foundation.(That should make the flame hotter.) :mrgreen: Jack
     
  19. Bheckel169

    Bheckel169 New Member

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    I don't think I'll jump into that pit again, but if you've seen the costs of some of these new TBH's they are not cheap. The reason I'm interested in TBH is the perceived ease of access, the perceived less disruption of the bee hive in general, the idea that the bees can build at their own speed in their own way without as much human involvement. There also appears to be by those involved in this type of beekeeping an attempt to keep the pesticides and medication down to a minimum if used at all. They seem to be successful from what I can see, but I'd like to look more long term and with an eye to my own experience to see if that is an honest reality or a hoped for conclusion.
    I'm also interested on feedback regarding foundation wax . I've read several discussions regarding the recycled wax retaining pesticides in them and thus affecting the bees health. Any articles to the contrary would be appreciated.
    Bruce
     
  20. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    A lot of chemical that will get in your hive, you will not need to have put there, the bees fly a radius I believe of up to some 36,000 acres, and will bring home lots of goodies all by them self.

    They have done research in the Brazil tropics were no pesticides have even been heard of, several were found in signifiant amounts.

    The research papers are avialible on the net.

    Believe it or not, there are natural sources of pesticides, I grow a couple in my herb & flower garden.

    I believe its best not to get too concerned, just go to Lowe's, or Home Depo and look at all the pesticides your neighbors are drenching your 36,000 acres with, "Heart Attack City" !

    [​IMG]

    Murrell