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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering:
In a lang, the cluster start in the bottom hive and work their way verticaly to the top in their movement for food, generally not to the far outside frames.

In a top bar, the bees must go horizontialy to get their stored honey, they have to cross a empty frame or two ?
Don't this break up the winter cluster ?

I don't have a top bar, and really don't want one, just a cold damp morning and the mind is wandering. :confused:

Murrell
 

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Top bar was originally made for third world countries located not too far from the equator. The farther you go north or south from there, the harder time a top bar has making it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Iddee
Since their has been some " discussion " about top bar hives on the forums lately,
that subject of wintering just popped into my mind.

I don't know of anyone local that has any, course you never know whats under a rock
till you turn it over.

Murrell
 

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That was always my take on the top bar hives, made for third world countries. Does not take much to make one on the cheap.
 

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In a TBH you have a solid 'following board', which you move horizontally depending on how big the brood nest and honey combs are. The triangular board is like a movable wall inside the hive, which expands or contracts the bee colony's area as needed. In effect, it prevents empty air space around the bees- the empty space will be on the far side of the follower board.
There are no 'frames', so any empty bars can simply be moved to the other side of the following board if the bees aren't using them. Combs with honey or pollen will be directly next to the brood nest on both sides- there is no 'empty frame' for bees to cross as the cluster moves to the honey.
Sam Comfort here near me in NY has a bout 300 TBHs that he keeps here. He is overwintering them. I think people with lots of TBH experience up north here have figured out lots of little techniques for working with TBH and overwintering them. I don't have any experience running TBH myself, but I talk with Sam regularly and attend his bee club meetings. Almost everyone in his club has 1 or 2 TBHs, and they overwinter them.

Clusters in Langs move into an upper box during the winter (seeking the honey stores), but the cluster does also move from side to side in the Lang box, getting to the honey in the combs on the side frames too.
 

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Ummm....'following board'...I guess I should make one of them. The plans I got off the net didnt include that. My TBH is open end to end. Its working good now but I do want to overwinter them. Thanks for the info
 
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