Why do many newbies ??

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Zulu, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Zulu

    Zulu Member

    Messages:
    973
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Have a passion to start with a Top Bar Hive??

    So many I have met this year, plus a fair number who join here , ask about Top Bar Hives.

    Are we keepers not doing a good job to educate about why the Langstroth is so well accepted, or is it as emotional as - the TBH are better looking ??

    What say you??
     
  2. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "keepers"? keepers of what?

    TBHs are unconventional enuf to attract people who don't wish to follow the established path. Ever hear of Anarchy Apiaries from Eastern Upstate NY? Sam Comfort builds TBHs from scrap and slabwood lumber for next to nothing. So, they can be cheap. Even if, quite often, TBHs that I see on Forums are fancy peices of cabinetry work.
     

  3. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

    Messages:
    1,146
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    When I started I was a little overwhelmed with the terminology: supers, bodies, inner covers, plastic foundation, wax foundation, frames, different sizes, telescoping covers, etc. :confused: It was only after a few books and several catalogs that I felt confident enough to start ordering suuplies.

    I think Top Bar Hves are the first choice because they sound so good. It's the "natural" way to keep bees, inexpensive, simple equipment, you just set up a box and, with little intervention from the beek, the bees do the rest. You don't bother the bees and the bees are "happier".

    That's where forums are quite helpful. You get the straight story from someone who's actually experiencing whatever setup they're using.

    Walt
     
  4. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So then, why aren't skeps or log gums back in fashion? Seems more "natural" and like even less work.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Because it is harder to manipulate a skep or gum. At least with a TBH you can remove parts and pull out the combs (more like pull out all of the cross comb)
    I just don't understand the "more natural" thing, it is just a box with bugs in it.
     
  6. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You aren't looking at it thru the correct lenses.
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Get me into the right groove then.

    Do I need to think like (and I hate to say it) a tree hugger :lol: maybe a beetree hugger :confused: :lol:
     
  8. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I really think its an indication people are getting a little more educated on bees before they get them. I know when I first started to want bees I didnt even know the little white boxes was langstroth. Knew what a skep was but not the top bar hives. With top bars not being a mainstream item or something that most would associate with bees leads me to people are doing a little research before diving in. Or at least thats my story
     
  9. Fuzzystuff

    Fuzzystuff New Member

    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm keeping 2 warre hives and converting the rest to langs. TBH's are fragile and can be more intrusive then one thinks when you're cutting away comb from the sides of the box etc. My 2 cents, not worth much.
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I figure it's simply because it is a whole lot cheaper to get started. I have to admit that the thought of working a hive that doesn't seem to require a lot of bending over has it's attraction, but other than that, I'm not sure why more folks are looking at them.
    Perhaps it is just good marketing, who doesn't want things to be more (?) natural?
     
  11. rail

    rail New Member

    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wanted to start with a Warre' (vertical top bar hive) and could not find anyone close that had experience. I chose the 8 frame Langstroth with foundationless deep frames.

    One of the features of the Warre' I like is the same size boxes and brood chamber size!

    I hope to transition to the modified Warre' after learning with the Langstroth. Does anyone on the forum currently use Warre' hives that could offer advice?
     
  12. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think a lot of new beekeepers are folks who are interested in organic gardening, helping the environment, getting in touch with nature, have read about how bees are struggling, etc. They are interested in keeping bees in a way that is more 'natural', and they've read that TBHs are more 'natural' and less disruptive to the bees. This may or may not be true, doesn't really matter to me. For many of these people getting honey is not the main goal- it's helping bees and feeling closer to nature. Skeps would not be an option because to get any honey you need to basically destroy the colony's home.
    And yes, TBH are WAY less expensive to get started with- for young people 'getting back to the land' on small budgets.
    Call them tree huggers or bee huggers or whatever you want... they are good people with good intentions, wanting to learn about bees and willing to work at it.
    I learned about both before making a decision, I chose to start with Langs and then someone GAVE me an active Lang hive so that clinched the deal for me. I like Langs and will stay with them, but if I had lots of space I would try out a TBH too, for fun!
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    mark writes:
    So then, why aren't skeps or log gums back in fashion?

    tecumseh:
    bee trees have not seem to have fallen from fashion either?

    according to the state apiarist here TBH are quite legal, but skeps and log gums are not.
     
  14. darrenct83

    darrenct83 New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I started with a TBH because it making frames sounded like a lot of work compared to making top bars. I still shudder to think of how much work making frames must be. I cut two hives worth of top bars in about fifteen minutes on my table saw. Additionally I liked the way the TBH was accessed more. Moving around big langstroth boxes to get to all the frames didn't seem like that much fun for my backyard hive.
     
  15. charmd2

    charmd2 New Member

    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    They like top bars because a few of the forums promote them. Anyone can build one they look neat. If you live in town you can hide them better than white langstroth boxes. As far as I am concerned that is the best reason to run one.

    I really discourage people who ask me about them at least as a primary hive. I have one. I also have a warre. Neither one has been super productive for me. But I use them to show others the differences.
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Charla writes:
    If you live in town you can hide them better than white langstroth boxes. As far as I am concerned that is the best reason to run one.

    tecumseh:
    perhaps you are on to something here.

    we had a couple (they admitted they had very little bee keeping experience) who showed and sold top bar hives at our last bee club meeting. they offered these in 3 and 4 foot models for about $250 each. not so surprising for our club they even sold a couple.

    for myself (a self confessed old school beekeeper) I like to promote anything that will encourage folks to keep bees in a box.. of whatever shape or size or color.
     
  17. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is what I see so often. That TBH beekeepers just want to have bees. I know that this isn't true across the board, but for many that I have seen, that's all they want and all they want to know. Where can I get bees and what can I keep them in?

    $250.00? Seems pricey. Must have been a pretty fancy box. Kinda contrary to the inexpensivness of the whole idea. Whatever floats your boat. Or your TBH.

    I wonder if there aren't some romantic notions or ideals at play here in the psychi (sp?) of folks who want TBHs. "Oh, look. The Kenyans and the Tanzanians are using this unuaual looking hive and they live closer to the land than I do, so they must know something that I don't and that those Langstroth useras don't, so I'm going to do what they do, because I think they may be on to something. Plus, you don't hear anything about CCD in Africa." Kinda like when I was a kid it was neat to Romanticize the life of American Indians, when I knew none and didn't know their reality.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  18. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My 2 cents.
    Skeps, gums, etc. Illegal in Fl. Must have removable frames.
    TBH's. Apiary inspector's will not touch. Too easy to damage comb and get blamed for it.
    Also, I have not found where TBH's were originally claimed to be better than Langs. Only that they could be built with only a hammer and saw or hatchet which is all some had to work with. It was an alternative to annually killing the hive to rob it as was being done with the log hives.
     
  19. Buzzen

    Buzzen Member

    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Im a new beek and I originally built a TBH to start keeping bees. Several things apealed to me with the TBH. First- cost of the hive (cheap),most inexpensive way to get started. Second-I could look through the inspection window to see how they were progressing. No suit needed, no opening the hive to pull frames. Less disturbance. Third-they are less noticable in the back yard,as someone already stated.Fourth-I could build the whole thing myself.
    I ended up getting 2 langs because I knew it would be easier to get help with questions I had, since they are much more popular. I am still going to use the TBH in the future because I think they are cool. I also like the langs, I don't regret starting with them. Basically I just like having bees, and thats what its all about.
     
  20. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Amen.
    And if you keep Africanized bees, they don't all come at you at once :chased:.