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Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

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  • husztek
    Karon, Yes. And you are right. They are harder to build and to maintain. My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style. The quick reason. They are
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 15 5:01 PM
      Karon,

      Yes. And you are right.
      They are harder to build and to maintain.
      My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

      The quick reason.
      They are designed for the tropics.

      And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
      Good luck.

      Thanks,

      Bill

      ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

       

      Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

       

      Karon Adams

      Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

      You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

      www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

      www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

       




      Bill Husztek
      Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
      7558 Marshall Drive
      Annandale, VA 22003
      703-573-8842
    • karon
      Ok, so, if I may pray your indulgence, what makes them better for the tropics? I live in the Deep South. Not quite tropic but, basically, we don’t have much
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 15 5:14 PM

        Ok, so, if I may pray your indulgence, what makes them better for the tropics? I live in the Deep South. Not quite tropic but, basically, we don’t have much in the way of winter. The bees, here fly nearly year round with, perhaps a few days or weeks in January and February that might be too cool.

         

        Karon Adams

        Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

        You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

        www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

        www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

         

        From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
        Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
        To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
        Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

         

         

        Karon,

        Yes. And you are right.
        They are harder to build and to maintain.
        My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

        The quick reason.
        They are designed for the tropics.

        And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
        Good luck.

        Thanks,

        Bill


        ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

         

         

        Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

         

        Karon Adams

        Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

        You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

        www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

        www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

         



        Bill Husztek
        Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
        7558 Marshall Drive
        Annandale, VA 22003
        703-573-8842

      • husztek
        Karon, Could you send the info on that you tube video? Thanks, Bill ... I was watching some youtube videos on top bars, today. One guy has a nifty trick for
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 15 5:38 PM
          Karon,

          Could you send the info on that you tube video?

          Thanks,

          Bill

          ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 16:03:27 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

           

          I was watching some youtube videos on top bars, today. One guy has a nifty trick for replacing broken comb on top bars. You folks may have seen it, before, but it involves the plastic hair clips zip tied to the underside of the top bar. Once the comb has healed, you excise the plastic hair clip. VERY cool.

           

          But, you are right, I can see how the comb would break FAST!

           

          Karon Adams

          Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

          You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

          www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

          www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

           

          From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Thomas Janstrom
          Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 6:49 PM
          To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

           

           

          Hi Karon,

          I started with topbars, not too hard, trick is to remember you need to inspect them in a certain way, the comb can't be held horizontal. Other than that I think its pretty much the same (establishing langs to take my coming spring swarms, as it's winter here in Australia) as lang keeping until harvest that is ;-)

          Thomas.
          Precision faceter.
           
          On 16/06/2013 4:23 AM, karon wrote:

           

          Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

           

          Karon Adams

          Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

          You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

          www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

          www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

           

           




          Bill Husztek
          Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
          7558 Marshall Drive
          Annandale, VA 22003
          703-573-8842
        • husztek
          Karon, I live in Northern Virginia. Just outside of D.C. Here the climate is mild but vicious cold and tempermental. My KTBH survived through February to
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 15 5:51 PM
            Karon,

            I live in Northern Virginia.
            Just outside of D.C.
            Here the climate is mild but vicious cold and tempermental.

            My KTBH survived through February to starve out in March.
            It was a May swarm, and fat as a tick. I never harvest a first year hive, so it was unbothered except for one episode in June when I explored it at the height of the day's heat, to show a class how a top bar works.
            Even gentle movement in 80+ deg heat was too much for the comb to take, and several beautiful slabs collapsed and formed a whole new layer of comb on the hive floor.

            Even with an outer peaked cover and an inner Masonite slab lying directly on top of the bars to cover them, they simply ran out of fuel to heat the hive. I got beautiful slabs of  clean drawn wax. But there was not one smidgeon of honey left. Of course I found the last stand clustered about the queen in the center of the hive all dead.

            The problem for this climate is that they have to heat horizontally.
            In a KTBH that is just too much caloric drain for them to keep up with
            Think of a candle flame into which you insert just the tip of a sharp knife.
            The flame succumbs to the caloric drain of the knife tip.
            You will end up with a smoking wick.

            If you are south of North Carolina, you may not have this problem, and a KTBH would be just fine.

            Thanks,

            Bill

            ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:14:50 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

             

            Ok, so, if I may pray your indulgence, what makes them better for the tropics? I live in the Deep South. Not quite tropic but, basically, we don’t have much in the way of winter. The bees, here fly nearly year round with, perhaps a few days or weeks in January and February that might be too cool.

             

            Karon Adams

            Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

            You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

            www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

            www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

             

            From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
            Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
            To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

             

             

            Karon,

            Yes. And you are right.
            They are harder to build and to maintain.
            My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

            The quick reason.
            They are designed for the tropics.

            And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
            Good luck.

            Thanks,

            Bill


            ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

             

             

            Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

             

            Karon Adams

            Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

            You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

            www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

            www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

             



            Bill Husztek
            Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
            7558 Marshall Drive
            Annandale, VA 22003
            703-573-8842




            Bill Husztek
            Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
            7558 Marshall Drive
            Annandale, VA 22003
            703-573-8842
          • roger g
            I have 4 topbars and 20 langs. I enjoy the topbars,bees seem more docil. I usually like to open them when i do bee tours at the winery. I don t think their
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 15 6:05 PM
              I have 4 topbars and 20 langs. I enjoy the topbars,bees seem more docil. I usually like to open them when i do bee tours at the winery. I don't think their anymore work. Harvest is crush & stain. roger NJ

              --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, "karon" <karon@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I
              > have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a
              > little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience
              > with them? From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My
              > husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to
              > populate them with swarms.
              >
              >
              >
              > Karon Adams
              >
              > Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)
              >
              > You can send a Rosary to a soldier!
              >
              > www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary
              >
              > www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com
              >
            • Thomas Janstrom
              The bees have trouble following the their stores in KTB as in winter they tend (broad brush strokes) to follow the heat up to follow their winter stores. In a
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 15 6:42 PM
                The bees have trouble following the their stores in KTB as in winter they tend (broad brush strokes) to follow the heat up to follow their winter stores. In a TBH (as classically design with central side entrance) the need to follow their stores would by necessity split the cluster into two. This is because the brood chamber would be nearest the opening and stores at either end. This can be remedied with manipulation to move stores, but the over wintering numbers I've read about aren't good.

                I'm in a similar climate zone to you Karon so I'd say try it, but be prepared to convert them into langs if things don't go well. (One of mine is a TBH/Lang hibrid, custom lang style super on the TBH brood chamber)

                Cheers, Thomas.
                Precision Faceter.

                PS. For faceting a steady hand is not king, a good eye is ;-)

                On 16/06/2013 10:14 AM, karon wrote:
                 

                Ok, so, if I may pray your indulgence, what makes them better for the tropics? I live in the Deep South. Not quite tropic but, basically, we don’t have much in the way of winter. The bees, here fly nearly year round with, perhaps a few days or weeks in January and February that might be too cool.

                 

                Karon Adams

                Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                 

                From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
                To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                 

                 

                Karon,

                Yes. And you are right.
                They are harder to build and to maintain.
                My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

                The quick reason.
                They are designed for the tropics.

                And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
                Good luck.

                Thanks,

                Bill


                ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                 

                 

                Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

                 

                Karon Adams

                Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                 



                Bill Husztek
                Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                7558 Marshall Drive
                Annandale, VA 22003
                703-573-8842


              • garden@trybalrevival.com
                I have both - started with a couple Langstroths and added a top bar. I love my top bar hives. Honey is not my highest priority - I m more int it for the bees,
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 15 7:30 PM
                  I have both - started with a couple Langstroths and added a top bar.  I love my top bar hives. Honey is not my highest priority - I'm more int it for the bees, although I get enough honey for myself and to share (and lots of wax). I prefer the more natural, hands-off approach to the top bar -- the bees know what to do, you are just providing them with the space to do it. 

                  There are a lot of different variations on the top bar hive, and many have been modified for more northern climates (I'm in Michigan). I can recommend the design from Stellar Apiaries: http://www.stellerapiaries.com/  

                  I think there may be an advantage to starting with Langstroth because it requires/expects more hands-on work from the beekeeper and it will help to build your skills and confidence in working with and around bees.  

                  Dale
                  Trybal Revival Gardens
                  "growing vegetables, fruit, flowers,and friendships"











                • karon
                  I’m in Tennessee so, I don’t think that will be a problem for me. I can see how that could be a huge problem in your area. Anywhere that has tough winters.
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 16 5:26 AM

                    I’m in Tennessee so, I don’t think that will be a problem for me. I can see how that could be a huge problem in your area. Anywhere that has tough winters. And, to me, a tough winter is one that has freezing temps during the day for any length of time.

                     

                    Luckily, I live in Chattanooga TN. That is Southeast TN, just on the TN GA border.  The winter, here is usually about 2 days of temps below 40 degrees. It really is a rare day, here when the daytime temp remains below freezing. We actually don’t have a lot of night time temps that fall too far. We always watch because a night time temp below freezing can mean a few ice patches on the road. We are blessed with mild winters.

                     

                    So, that does not look like a problem with KTBH. The other thing is, around here there is almost ALWAYS something blooming. Even in ‘winter’. I am sure there will be times when I face die off and starvation but, in my area, luckily, it probably won’t be because of weather.

                     

                    Sounds like Langs are definitely the best bet for northern climes. Certainly easier to keep them worm, especially from a calorie stand point. I don’t think we consider such things this way, very often. We are always thinking of calories from a standpoint of weight on ourselves, we don’t think of it as a unit of heat and energy until we do something like keeping bees.

                     

                    Are you thinking about trying another TBH? Or have you decided not to pursue it? you might consider, in the winter, moving the following board over and placing a syrup feeder inside the hive. That way, they’ll have plenty of syrup to keep themselves warm without having to brave the weather.

                     

                    Karon Adams

                    Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                    You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                    www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                    www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                     

                    From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                    Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:52 PM
                    To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                     

                     

                    Karon,

                    I live in Northern Virginia.
                    Just outside of D.C.
                    Here the climate is mild but vicious cold and tempermental.

                    My KTBH survived through February to starve out in March.
                    It was a May swarm, and fat as a tick. I never harvest a first year hive, so it was unbothered except for one episode in June when I explored it at the height of the day's heat, to show a class how a top bar works.
                    Even gentle movement in 80+ deg heat was too much for the comb to take, and several beautiful slabs collapsed and formed a whole new layer of comb on the hive floor.

                    Even with an outer peaked cover and an inner Masonite slab lying directly on top of the bars to cover them, they simply ran out of fuel to heat the hive. I got beautiful slabs of  clean drawn wax. But there was not one smidgeon of honey left. Of course I found the last stand clustered about the queen in the center of the hive all dead.

                    The problem for this climate is that they have to heat horizontally.
                    In a KTBH that is just too much caloric drain for them to keep up with
                    Think of a candle flame into which you insert just the tip of a sharp knife.
                    The flame succumbs to the caloric drain of the knife tip.
                    You will end up with a smoking wick.

                    If you are south of North Carolina, you may not have this problem, and a KTBH would be just fine.

                    Thanks,

                    Bill


                    ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:14:50 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                     

                     

                    Ok, so, if I may pray your indulgence, what makes them better for the tropics? I live in the Deep South. Not quite tropic but, basically, we don’t have much in the way of winter. The bees, here fly nearly year round with, perhaps a few days or weeks in January and February that might be too cool.

                     

                    Karon Adams

                    Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                    You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                    www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                    www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                     

                    From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                    Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
                    To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                    Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                     

                     

                    Karon,

                    Yes. And you are right.
                    They are harder to build and to maintain.
                    My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

                    The quick reason.
                    They are designed for the tropics.

                    And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
                    Good luck.

                    Thanks,

                    Bill


                    ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                     

                     

                    Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

                     

                    Karon Adams

                    Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                    You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                    www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                    www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                     




                    Bill Husztek
                    Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                    7558 Marshall Drive
                    Annandale, VA 22003
                    703-573-8842



                    Bill Husztek
                    Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                    7558 Marshall Drive
                    Annandale, VA 22003
                    703-573-8842

                  • husztek
                    Karon, I repopulated the dead out, with a package in April. I think that they have swarmed at least once, which I was able to collect in my nextdoor neighbor s
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 16 3:11 PM
                      Karon,

                      I repopulated the dead out, with a package in April.
                      I think that they have swarmed at least once, which I was able to collect in my nextdoor neighbor's yard last month.

                      One of the several serious problems with the KTBH is the fixed size of the unit.
                      Another is the weight and complicated equipment factor.
                      And third, the standard hives insult my sense of visual elegance. To my eye, a KTBH looks like nothing so much as a set of carpenter's saw horses lost in the back yard. Awkward at best.

                      In my own Mk-1 and Mk-2 designs, I tried to deal with the weight issue by truncating them to a 3 foot length in the hopes that one person might be able to lift and move the unit as needed.(That may have caused my starving out last March.)
                      I dumped out the; to my eye; ridiculous legs as not necessary since I provide a each of my hives a stand created from a cut round of a dead tree which has been cut up for firewood or disposal.

                      These log stands are inherently stable if the ends are cut square, they have their own mass and don't easily capsize. And they look more natural to my eye. As far as their rotting out, that is a natural process, and takes a solid chunk of oak about ten years, a pine round about six.

                      My Mk-1 took the original spirit of the design, using locally free available materials, in this case some junk boards left over at a farm lumber mill, there are always piles of these around any saw mill. I didn't try to smooth or mill them. Just cut to the length I thought I could handle, nailed it together with what I had around.

                      The top.

                      I think flat tops are really blah, so I went with a peaked roof. This is more complex to build than the original flat design, but to my eye an essential for it to be in one of my yards. So, directly on top of the top bars I found an old slab of Masonite, which I rough cut for an inner cover this I spray painted on the upper side for weather-proofing.

                      The peaked top, I telescoped over the whole to weather proof it a little. The center peak is not perfect, one rough board edged to the other in an over lap which when they warp, (they will) allows a narrow gap between them. This is not important, not much weather can get through it, and the inner cover more than protects against that. I may choose to seal this opening this coming Fall with some roofing tin to cut out any weather reaching the interior in winter. It may make a difference.

                      What follows is derived from my experiences with the KTBH and the Warre, and my own variation of the Warre which I call my Hungarian Gypsy Hex Hive. (This latter is in its first year, and the problems with it are much more interesting "challenging.") Some how I have convinced at least a couple other beekeepers to attempt it and we are tackling its problems as schedules permit. Both its Mk-1 and 2 are currently in service.

                      The hardest part was the bars.

                      Other beekeepers like cutting ice cream sticks and gluing them in grooves, or creating a upside down triangular bar. But I'm lazy on this point. If you are going to have more than one or two hives, you'll soon find yourself using my method.

                      On the Mk-1 I ended with 19", by 1.5", by whatever the thickness of the sawn lumber was.
                      (One caveat here is that in retrospect, you need to make sure the top bars are the same length as Langstroths. That way you can use a Lang body to set them in during inspections of the hive.)

                      These I grooved by running them over a barely exposed table saw blade (watch the fingers on this maneuver!!), and tried a variety of ideas. One was to fix using a stapler a length of jute packaging twine that had been shoved to the back of a junk drawer in a tight line in the under center of the bar. This idea I later refined by soaking some of the twine in melted beeswax then mounting it. Then I realized I could just pour the melted wax sans twine in the groove. Very quickly I saw came to the conclusion that my grooving the bars was a  concession to my eye, not the bees' needs.
                      That understood, I developed my hand eye coordination and now just dribble a line of wax on the bar's under surface in a more or less straight line in the bar's center.

                      During all this the bees have proved very cooperative, and duly build wax where I dribble wax.
                      But the fixed size limitation is really a difficult issue.

                      But the weight issue of the Mk-1, see photo, (it was weighty).
                      I can and could lift and move it by myself even with bees, but just barely.
                      I complained to the sawyer, and he came back with some really delightful slabs of clear cedar heartwood wood sawn to a thickness of 1/2 ".
                      Mk-2 any one?

                      Again I went with the three foot, sans legs, 19" wide design.
                      This time the joinery was more difficult, a farm nail through fine cedar is how you split your board.
                      By the time I was able to actually get the construction started, it was winter, so the Mk-2 is sitting weathering out while the Mk-1 goes through its second season with bees in it. I Plasticoted the exterior to try to preserve the well known red color of the cedar, but it probably won't last.
                      It is definitely lighter for me to move about.

                      I may still enhive a split into Mk-2 before June is over in preparation for the Fall nectar flow. Because I don't think it will work up here, I moved the hive down to my North Carolina farm where it is sitting empty.

                      Now regards the fixed size limitation.
                      I'm toying with adding a story to the hive.
                      But this Mk-3 will really challenge the KTBH system.
                      And if it is to be workable for my purposes at all, it has to provide far more insulative properties than the Mks 1 and 2 have done.
                      But the whole idea is one problem after another.
                      Something for next winter when I'm sitting on my boat in the Gulf of Mexico baiting a fish hook.

                      Meanwhile, the Warre is booming just a little ways from the KTBH. We will see how they winter.

                      Attached photo is Mk-1 in February when it still had last year's bees in it.

                      I hope this helps.

                      Thanks,

                      Bill

                      ---- On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 05:26:32 -0700 karon <karon@...> wrote ----

                       

                      I’m in Tennessee so, I don’t think that will be a problem for me. I can see how that could be a huge problem in your area. Anywhere that has tough winters. And, to me, a tough winter is one that has freezing temps during the day for any length of time.

                       

                      Luckily, I live in Chattanooga TN. That is Southeast TN, just on the TN GA border.  The winter, here is usually about 2 days of temps below 40 degrees. It really is a rare day, here when the daytime temp remains below freezing. We actually don’t have a lot of night time temps that fall too far. We always watch because a night time temp below freezing can mean a few ice patches on the road. We are blessed with mild winters.

                       

                      So, that does not look like a problem with KTBH. The other thing is, around here there is almost ALWAYS something blooming. Even in ‘winter’. I am sure there will be times when I face die off and starvation but, in my area, luckily, it probably won’t be because of weather.

                       

                      Sounds like Langs are definitely the best bet for northern climes. Certainly easier to keep them worm, especially from a calorie stand point. I don’t think we consider such things this way, very often. We are always thinking of calories from a standpoint of weight on ourselves, we don’t think of it as a unit of heat and energy until we do something like keeping bees.

                       

                      Are you thinking about trying another TBH? Or have you decided not to pursue it? you might consider, in the winter, moving the following board over and placing a syrup feeder inside the hive. That way, they’ll have plenty of syrup to keep themselves warm without having to brave the weather.

                       

                      Karon Adams

                      Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                      You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                      www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                      www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                       

                      From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                      Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:52 PM
                      To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                       

                       

                      Karon,

                      I live in Northern Virginia.
                      Just outside of D.C.
                      Here the climate is mild but vicious cold and tempermental.

                      My KTBH survived through February to starve out in March.
                      It was a May swarm, and fat as a tick. I never harvest a first year hive, so it was unbothered except for one episode in June when I explored it at the height of the day's heat, to show a class how a top bar works.
                      Even gentle movement in 80+ deg heat was too much for the comb to take, and several beautiful slabs collapsed and formed a whole new layer of comb on the hive floor.

                      Even with an outer peaked cover and an inner Masonite slab lying directly on top of the bars to cover them, they simply ran out of fuel to heat the hive. I got beautiful slabs of  clean drawn wax. But there was not one smidgeon of honey left. Of course I found the last stand clustered about the queen in the center of the hive all dead.

                      The problem for this climate is that they have to heat horizontally.
                      In a KTBH that is just too much caloric drain for them to keep up with
                      Think of a candle flame into which you insert just the tip of a sharp knife.
                      The flame succumbs to the caloric drain of the knife tip.
                      You will end up with a smoking wick.

                      If you are south of North Carolina, you may not have this problem, and a KTBH would be just fine.

                      Thanks,

                      Bill


                      ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:14:50 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                       

                       

                      Ok, so, if I may pray your indulgence, what makes them better for the tropics? I live in the Deep South. Not quite tropic but, basically, we don’t have much in the way of winter. The bees, here fly nearly year round with, perhaps a few days or weeks in January and February that might be too cool.

                       

                      Karon Adams

                      Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                      You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                      www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                      www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                       

                      From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                      Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
                      To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                      Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                       

                       

                      Karon,

                      Yes. And you are right.
                      They are harder to build and to maintain.
                      My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

                      The quick reason.
                      They are designed for the tropics.

                      And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
                      Good luck.

                      Thanks,

                      Bill


                      ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                       

                       

                      Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

                       

                      Karon Adams

                      Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                      You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                      www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                      www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                       




                      Bill Husztek
                      Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                      7558 Marshall Drive
                      Annandale, VA 22003
                      703-573-8842



                      Bill Husztek
                      Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                      7558 Marshall Drive
                      Annandale, VA 22003
                      703-573-8842




                      Bill Husztek
                      Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                      7558 Marshall Drive
                      Annandale, VA 22003
                      703-573-8842
                    • karon
                      Thanks, that is lovely! I like the Wiemeriener, too! Not sure if I spelled that right I just took a look at mine. We built two KTBH hives, today. I
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 16 4:09 PM

                        Thanks, that is lovely! I like the Wiemeriener, too! Not sure if I spelled that right<G>  I just took a look at mine. We built two KTBH hives, today. I didn’t go with strict plans, I wanted to do the whole thing by eye, just to prove I could. And I think they came out fairly nicely.

                         

                        I understand the weight issue. I don’t intend to move my hives, once established. I have a permanent shoulder injury and persistent anemia so weight and strength issues are certainly a consideration for me. That is one of the reasons I like the 8 frame Langs. I like the idea of the NTBH because I will be able to inspect the hive a frame at a time while never needing to lift a full hive body. When I harvest, I’ll have a helper or two to help carry the honey across the yard.

                         

                        Saw horse legs don’t really sound terrific, either, though, in a way, some folks find them ‘country charming’. I don’t know. My yard is pretty rough for the area but I do that on purpose. I am not at all what anyone would call ‘landscaped’. I let  lot of things grow as they will. The beehives are all set on cinder blocks. I like them because they give me a really stable support.  The intent with the top bar is to have two sets of cinderblock stacks, one at each end.

                         

                        Height is also an issue, especially for inspecting.  I’m only 5’2” so, a Langstroth with several supers would be unwieldy for me.  I was late putting in my hives and some folks who were ahead of me by about a month are already putting on 4th and 5th supers. Another reason why I like the top bars.

                         

                        Overall, I have read some good and some bad with these. I definitely would not consider using them for commercial pollination or even commercial honey production since it would require so much energy to remake the wax. But, it will be an interesting education, to operate them. I like the cost effectiveness and the short person friendliness<G>  We’ll see how they do. I have them finished, now. I hope to set them in the yard in the next few days and put in some swarm attractant. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attract a wild hive or collect a swarm. I have friends in the police and fire department and they know I am interested in bringing in a swarm if one shows up.

                         

                        I was very happy when I went in, today. Both queens laying like mad. The queen in Venice is so prolific, there was not a single cell that I could find that wasn’t full. 2-3 frames that were hatching, today and everywhere else, brood, including a couple of frames of fresh eggs. I had a large cloud of new hatches on orientation flights, today. A nice site.

                         

                        What kind of entrance do yours have? It looks like there are holes on the end but they might be for ventilation. I wondered. I have placed 3 drilled holes in the center of the hive and two holes on each end so that I can open then as needed in the summer. The bottom of the hive is hardware cloth stapled to the bottom. That way I can have it completely open on the bottom but still secure or I can put a bottom wood plank under it for weather needs in winter.  Also, of course, allowing mites, beetles and trash to fall out.  I think that will be a definite plus down here. When I went in, today, both supers were so warm that the wax in the foundation was soft enough to pull apart. I just had to take it out of several frames, just leaving the thin strip across the top of the frame. I hope that a top bar hive will help keep this temp excess to a minimum.

                         

                        Karon Adams

                        Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                        You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                        www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                        www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                         

                        From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                        Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2013 6:12 PM
                        To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                        Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                         

                         

                        Karon,

                        I repopulated the dead out, with a package in April.
                        I think that they have swarmed at least once, which I was able to collect in my nextdoor neighbor's yard last month.

                        One of the several serious problems with the KTBH is the fixed size of the unit.
                        Another is the weight and complicated equipment factor.
                        And third, the standard hives insult my sense of visual elegance. To my eye, a KTBH looks like nothing so much as a set of carpenter's saw horses lost in the back yard. Awkward at best.

                        In my own Mk-1 and Mk-2 designs, I tried to deal with the weight issue by truncating them to a 3 foot length in the hopes that one person might be able to lift and move the unit as needed.(That may have caused my starving out last March.)
                        I dumped out the; to my eye; ridiculous legs as not necessary since I provide a each of my hives a stand created from a cut round of a dead tree which has been cut up for firewood or disposal.

                        These log stands are inherently stable if the ends are cut square, they have their own mass and don't easily capsize. And they look more natural to my eye. As far as their rotting out, that is a natural process, and takes a solid chunk of oak about ten years, a pine round about six.

                        My Mk-1 took the original spirit of the design, using locally free available materials, in this case some junk boards left over at a farm lumber mill, there are always piles of these around any saw mill. I didn't try to smooth or mill them. Just cut to the length I thought I could handle, nailed it together with what I had around.

                        The top.

                        I think flat tops are really blah, so I went with a peaked roof. This is more complex to build than the original flat design, but to my eye an essential for it to be in one of my yards. So, directly on top of the top bars I found an old slab of Masonite, which I rough cut for an inner cover this I spray painted on the upper side for weather-proofing.

                        The peaked top, I telescoped over the whole to weather proof it a little. The center peak is not perfect, one rough board edged to the other in an over lap which when they warp, (they will) allows a narrow gap between them. This is not important, not much weather can get through it, and the inner cover more than protects against that. I may choose to seal this opening this coming Fall with some roofing tin to cut out any weather reaching the interior in winter. It may make a difference.

                        What follows is derived from my experiences with the KTBH and the Warre, and my own variation of the Warre which I call my Hungarian Gypsy Hex Hive. (This latter is in its first year, and the problems with it are much more interesting "challenging.") Some how I have convinced at least a couple other beekeepers to attempt it and we are tackling its problems as schedules permit. Both its Mk-1 and 2 are currently in service.

                        The hardest part was the bars.

                        Other beekeepers like cutting ice cream sticks and gluing them in grooves, or creating a upside down triangular bar. But I'm lazy on this point. If you are going to have more than one or two hives, you'll soon find yourself using my method.

                        On the Mk-1 I ended with 19", by 1.5", by whatever the thickness of the sawn lumber was.
                        (One caveat here is that in retrospect, you need to make sure the top bars are the same length as Langstroths. That way you can use a Lang body to set them in during inspections of the hive.)

                        These I grooved by running them over a barely exposed table saw blade (watch the fingers on this maneuver!!), and tried a variety of ideas. One was to fix using a stapler a length of jute packaging twine that had been shoved to the back of a junk drawer in a tight line in the under center of the bar. This idea I later refined by soaking some of the twine in melted beeswax then mounting it. Then I realized I could just pour the melted wax sans twine in the groove. Very quickly I saw came to the conclusion that my grooving the bars was a  concession to my eye, not the bees' needs.
                        That understood, I developed my hand eye coordination and now just dribble a line of wax on the bar's under surface in a more or less straight line in the bar's center.

                        During all this the bees have proved very cooperative, and duly build wax where I dribble wax.
                        But the fixed size limitation is really a difficult issue.

                        But the weight issue of the Mk-1, see photo, (it was weighty).
                        I can and could lift and move it by myself even with bees, but just barely.
                        I complained to the sawyer, and he came back with some really delightful slabs of clear cedar heartwood wood sawn to a thickness of 1/2 ".
                        Mk-2 any one?

                        Again I went with the three foot, sans legs, 19" wide design.
                        This time the joinery was more difficult, a farm nail through fine cedar is how you split your board.
                        By the time I was able to actually get the construction started, it was winter, so the Mk-2 is sitting weathering out while the Mk-1 goes through its second season with bees in it. I Plasticoted the exterior to try to preserve the well known red color of the cedar, but it probably won't last.
                        It is definitely lighter for me to move about.

                        I may still enhive a split into Mk-2 before June is over in preparation for the Fall nectar flow. Because I don't think it will work up here, I moved the hive down to my North Carolina farm where it is sitting empty.

                        Now regards the fixed size limitation.
                        I'm toying with adding a story to the hive.
                        But this Mk-3 will really challenge the KTBH system.
                        And if it is to be workable for my purposes at all, it has to provide far more insulative properties than the Mks 1 and 2 have done.
                        But the whole idea is one problem after another.
                        Something for next winter when I'm sitting on my boat in the Gulf of Mexico baiting a fish hook.

                        Meanwhile, the Warre is booming just a little ways from the KTBH. We will see how they winter.

                        Attached photo is Mk-1 in February when it still had last year's bees in it.

                        I hope this helps.

                        Thanks,

                        Bill


                        ---- On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 05:26:32 -0700 karon <karon@...> wrote ----

                         

                         

                        I’m in Tennessee so, I don’t think that will be a problem for me. I can see how that could be a huge problem in your area. Anywhere that has tough winters. And, to me, a tough winter is one that has freezing temps during the day for any length of time.

                         

                        Luckily, I live in Chattanooga TN. That is Southeast TN, just on the TN GA border.  The winter, here is usually about 2 days of temps below 40 degrees. It really is a rare day, here when the daytime temp remains below freezing. We actually don’t have a lot of night time temps that fall too far. We always watch because a night time temp below freezing can mean a few ice patches on the road. We are blessed with mild winters.

                         

                        So, that does not look like a problem with KTBH. The other thing is, around here there is almost ALWAYS something blooming. Even in ‘winter’. I am sure there will be times when I face die off and starvation but, in my area, luckily, it probably won’t be because of weather.

                         

                        Sounds like Langs are definitely the best bet for northern climes. Certainly easier to keep them worm, especially from a calorie stand point. I don’t think we consider such things this way, very often. We are always thinking of calories from a standpoint of weight on ourselves, we don’t think of it as a unit of heat and energy until we do something like keeping bees.

                         

                        Are you thinking about trying another TBH? Or have you decided not to pursue it? you might consider, in the winter, moving the following board over and placing a syrup feeder inside the hive. That way, they’ll have plenty of syrup to keep themselves warm without having to brave the weather.

                         

                        Karon Adams

                        Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                        You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                        www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                        www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                         

                        From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                        Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:52 PM
                        To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                         

                         

                        Karon,

                        I live in Northern Virginia.
                        Just outside of D.C.
                        Here the climate is mild but vicious cold and tempermental.

                        My KTBH survived through February to starve out in March.
                        It was a May swarm, and fat as a tick. I never harvest a first year hive, so it was unbothered except for one episode in June when I explored it at the height of the day's heat, to show a class how a top bar works.
                        Even gentle movement in 80+ deg heat was too much for the comb to take, and several beautiful slabs collapsed and formed a whole new layer of comb on the hive floor.

                        Even with an outer peaked cover and an inner Masonite slab lying directly on top of the bars to cover them, they simply ran out of fuel to heat the hive. I got beautiful slabs of  clean drawn wax. But there was not one smidgeon of honey left. Of course I found the last stand clustered about the queen in the center of the hive all dead.

                        The problem for this climate is that they have to heat horizontally.
                        In a KTBH that is just too much caloric drain for them to keep up with
                        Think of a candle flame into which you insert just the tip of a sharp knife.
                        The flame succumbs to the caloric drain of the knife tip.
                        You will end up with a smoking wick.

                        If you are south of North Carolina, you may not have this problem, and a KTBH would be just fine.

                        Thanks,

                        Bill


                        ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:14:50 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                         

                         

                        Ok, so, if I may pray your indulgence, what makes them better for the tropics? I live in the Deep South. Not quite tropic but, basically, we don’t have much in the way of winter. The bees, here fly nearly year round with, perhaps a few days or weeks in January and February that might be too cool.

                         

                        Karon Adams

                        Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                        You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                        www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                        www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                         

                        From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                        Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
                        To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                        Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                         

                         

                        Karon,

                        Yes. And you are right.
                        They are harder to build and to maintain.
                        My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

                        The quick reason.
                        They are designed for the tropics.

                        And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
                        Good luck.

                        Thanks,

                        Bill


                        ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                         

                         

                        Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

                         

                        Karon Adams

                        Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                        You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                        www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                        www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                         





                        Bill Husztek
                        Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                        7558 Marshall Drive
                        Annandale, VA 22003
                        703-573-8842




                        Bill Husztek
                        Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                        7558 Marshall Drive
                        Annandale, VA 22003
                        703-573-8842



                        Bill Husztek
                        Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                        7558 Marshall Drive
                        Annandale, VA 22003
                        703-573-8842

                      • karon
                        Oh, adding a story. I was wondering if anyone had tried that. I mean, I am sure someone, somewhere has. I wondered how that went. O am thinking about doing
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 16 4:24 PM

                          Oh, adding a story. I was wondering if anyone had tried that. I mean, I am sure someone, somewhere has. I wondered how that went. O am thinking about doing some built in the jar comb, this season. Seems like, if I used langstroth top bars, to give some space for the bees between the frames, you could put a super on top of a top bar with little or no problem. That is, assuming, that the top of the top bar hive is the same size across as one of the hive body sizes.

                           

                          Karon Adams

                          Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                          You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                          www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                          www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                           

                          From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                          Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2013 6:12 PM
                          To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                          Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                           

                           

                          Karon,

                          I repopulated the dead out, with a package in April.
                          I think that they have swarmed at least once, which I was able to collect in my nextdoor neighbor's yard last month.

                          One of the several serious problems with the KTBH is the fixed size of the unit.
                          Another is the weight and complicated equipment factor.
                          And third, the standard hives insult my sense of visual elegance. To my eye, a KTBH looks like nothing so much as a set of carpenter's saw horses lost in the back yard. Awkward at best.

                          In my own Mk-1 and Mk-2 designs, I tried to deal with the weight issue by truncating them to a 3 foot length in the hopes that one person might be able to lift and move the unit as needed.(That may have caused my starving out last March.)
                          I dumped out the; to my eye; ridiculous legs as not necessary since I provide a each of my hives a stand created from a cut round of a dead tree which has been cut up for firewood or disposal.

                          These log stands are inherently stable if the ends are cut square, they have their own mass and don't easily capsize. And they look more natural to my eye. As far as their rotting out, that is a natural process, and takes a solid chunk of oak about ten years, a pine round about six.

                          My Mk-1 took the original spirit of the design, using locally free available materials, in this case some junk boards left over at a farm lumber mill, there are always piles of these around any saw mill. I didn't try to smooth or mill them. Just cut to the length I thought I could handle, nailed it together with what I had around.

                          The top.

                          I think flat tops are really blah, so I went with a peaked roof. This is more complex to build than the original flat design, but to my eye an essential for it to be in one of my yards. So, directly on top of the top bars I found an old slab of Masonite, which I rough cut for an inner cover this I spray painted on the upper side for weather-proofing.

                          The peaked top, I telescoped over the whole to weather proof it a little. The center peak is not perfect, one rough board edged to the other in an over lap which when they warp, (they will) allows a narrow gap between them. This is not important, not much weather can get through it, and the inner cover more than protects against that. I may choose to seal this opening this coming Fall with some roofing tin to cut out any weather reaching the interior in winter. It may make a difference.

                          What follows is derived from my experiences with the KTBH and the Warre, and my own variation of the Warre which I call my Hungarian Gypsy Hex Hive. (This latter is in its first year, and the problems with it are much more interesting "challenging.") Some how I have convinced at least a couple other beekeepers to attempt it and we are tackling its problems as schedules permit. Both its Mk-1 and 2 are currently in service.

                          The hardest part was the bars.

                          Other beekeepers like cutting ice cream sticks and gluing them in grooves, or creating a upside down triangular bar. But I'm lazy on this point. If you are going to have more than one or two hives, you'll soon find yourself using my method.

                          On the Mk-1 I ended with 19", by 1.5", by whatever the thickness of the sawn lumber was.
                          (One caveat here is that in retrospect, you need to make sure the top bars are the same length as Langstroths. That way you can use a Lang body to set them in during inspections of the hive.)

                          These I grooved by running them over a barely exposed table saw blade (watch the fingers on this maneuver!!), and tried a variety of ideas. One was to fix using a stapler a length of jute packaging twine that had been shoved to the back of a junk drawer in a tight line in the under center of the bar. This idea I later refined by soaking some of the twine in melted beeswax then mounting it. Then I realized I could just pour the melted wax sans twine in the groove. Very quickly I saw came to the conclusion that my grooving the bars was a  concession to my eye, not the bees' needs.
                          That understood, I developed my hand eye coordination and now just dribble a line of wax on the bar's under surface in a more or less straight line in the bar's center.

                          During all this the bees have proved very cooperative, and duly build wax where I dribble wax.
                          But the fixed size limitation is really a difficult issue.

                          But the weight issue of the Mk-1, see photo, (it was weighty).
                          I can and could lift and move it by myself even with bees, but just barely.
                          I complained to the sawyer, and he came back with some really delightful slabs of clear cedar heartwood wood sawn to a thickness of 1/2 ".
                          Mk-2 any one?

                          Again I went with the three foot, sans legs, 19" wide design.
                          This time the joinery was more difficult, a farm nail through fine cedar is how you split your board.
                          By the time I was able to actually get the construction started, it was winter, so the Mk-2 is sitting weathering out while the Mk-1 goes through its second season with bees in it. I Plasticoted the exterior to try to preserve the well known red color of the cedar, but it probably won't last.
                          It is definitely lighter for me to move about.

                          I may still enhive a split into Mk-2 before June is over in preparation for the Fall nectar flow. Because I don't think it will work up here, I moved the hive down to my North Carolina farm where it is sitting empty.

                          Now regards the fixed size limitation.
                          I'm toying with adding a story to the hive.
                          But this Mk-3 will really challenge the KTBH system.
                          And if it is to be workable for my purposes at all, it has to provide far more insulative properties than the Mks 1 and 2 have done.
                          But the whole idea is one problem after another.
                          Something for next winter when I'm sitting on my boat in the Gulf of Mexico baiting a fish hook.

                          Meanwhile, the Warre is booming just a little ways from the KTBH. We will see how they winter.

                          Attached photo is Mk-1 in February when it still had last year's bees in it.

                          I hope this helps.

                          Thanks,

                          Bill


                          ---- On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 05:26:32 -0700 karon <karon@...> wrote ----

                           

                           

                          I’m in Tennessee so, I don’t think that will be a problem for me. I can see how that could be a huge problem in your area. Anywhere that has tough winters. And, to me, a tough winter is one that has freezing temps during the day for any length of time.

                           

                          Luckily, I live in Chattanooga TN. That is Southeast TN, just on the TN GA border.  The winter, here is usually about 2 days of temps below 40 degrees. It really is a rare day, here when the daytime temp remains below freezing. We actually don’t have a lot of night time temps that fall too far. We always watch because a night time temp below freezing can mean a few ice patches on the road. We are blessed with mild winters.

                           

                          So, that does not look like a problem with KTBH. The other thing is, around here there is almost ALWAYS something blooming. Even in ‘winter’. I am sure there will be times when I face die off and starvation but, in my area, luckily, it probably won’t be because of weather.

                           

                          Sounds like Langs are definitely the best bet for northern climes. Certainly easier to keep them worm, especially from a calorie stand point. I don’t think we consider such things this way, very often. We are always thinking of calories from a standpoint of weight on ourselves, we don’t think of it as a unit of heat and energy until we do something like keeping bees.

                           

                          Are you thinking about trying another TBH? Or have you decided not to pursue it? you might consider, in the winter, moving the following board over and placing a syrup feeder inside the hive. That way, they’ll have plenty of syrup to keep themselves warm without having to brave the weather.

                           

                          Karon Adams

                          Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                          You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                          www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                          www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                           

                          From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                          Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:52 PM
                          To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                           

                           

                          Karon,

                          I live in Northern Virginia.
                          Just outside of D.C.
                          Here the climate is mild but vicious cold and tempermental.

                          My KTBH survived through February to starve out in March.
                          It was a May swarm, and fat as a tick. I never harvest a first year hive, so it was unbothered except for one episode in June when I explored it at the height of the day's heat, to show a class how a top bar works.
                          Even gentle movement in 80+ deg heat was too much for the comb to take, and several beautiful slabs collapsed and formed a whole new layer of comb on the hive floor.

                          Even with an outer peaked cover and an inner Masonite slab lying directly on top of the bars to cover them, they simply ran out of fuel to heat the hive. I got beautiful slabs of  clean drawn wax. But there was not one smidgeon of honey left. Of course I found the last stand clustered about the queen in the center of the hive all dead.

                          The problem for this climate is that they have to heat horizontally.
                          In a KTBH that is just too much caloric drain for them to keep up with
                          Think of a candle flame into which you insert just the tip of a sharp knife.
                          The flame succumbs to the caloric drain of the knife tip.
                          You will end up with a smoking wick.

                          If you are south of North Carolina, you may not have this problem, and a KTBH would be just fine.

                          Thanks,

                          Bill


                          ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:14:50 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                           

                           

                          Ok, so, if I may pray your indulgence, what makes them better for the tropics? I live in the Deep South. Not quite tropic but, basically, we don’t have much in the way of winter. The bees, here fly nearly year round with, perhaps a few days or weeks in January and February that might be too cool.

                           

                          Karon Adams

                          Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                          You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                          www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                          www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                           

                          From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                          Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
                          To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                          Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                           

                           

                          Karon,

                          Yes. And you are right.
                          They are harder to build and to maintain.
                          My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

                          The quick reason.
                          They are designed for the tropics.

                          And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
                          Good luck.

                          Thanks,

                          Bill


                          ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                           

                           

                          Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

                           

                          Karon Adams

                          Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                          You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                          www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                          www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                           





                          Bill Husztek
                          Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                          7558 Marshall Drive
                          Annandale, VA 22003
                          703-573-8842




                          Bill Husztek
                          Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                          7558 Marshall Drive
                          Annandale, VA 22003
                          703-573-8842



                          Bill Husztek
                          Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                          7558 Marshall Drive
                          Annandale, VA 22003
                          703-573-8842

                        • husztek
                          Karon, I ve seen folks cut a interior cover with holes the size of inverted jars. Then another hive body is put on around them to protect and raise the top
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 16 5:27 PM
                            Karon,

                            I've seen folks cut a interior cover with holes the size of inverted jars. Then another hive body is put on around them to protect and raise the top cover.

                            Good luck,

                            Bill

                            ---- On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 16:24:38 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                             

                            Oh, adding a story. I was wondering if anyone had tried that. I mean, I am sure someone, somewhere has. I wondered how that went. O am thinking about doing some built in the jar comb, this season. Seems like, if I used langstroth top bars, to give some space for the bees between the frames, you could put a super on top of a top bar with little or no problem. That is, assuming, that the top of the top bar hive is the same size across as one of the hive body sizes.

                             

                            Karon Adams

                            Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                            You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                            www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                            www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                             

                            From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                            Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2013 6:12 PM
                            To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                            Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                             

                             

                            Karon,

                            I repopulated the dead out, with a package in April.
                            I think that they have swarmed at least once, which I was able to collect in my nextdoor neighbor's yard last month.

                            One of the several serious problems with the KTBH is the fixed size of the unit.
                            Another is the weight and complicated equipment factor.
                            And third, the standard hives insult my sense of visual elegance. To my eye, a KTBH looks like nothing so much as a set of carpenter's saw horses lost in the back yard. Awkward at best.

                            In my own Mk-1 and Mk-2 designs, I tried to deal with the weight issue by truncating them to a 3 foot length in the hopes that one person might be able to lift and move the unit as needed.(That may have caused my starving out last March.)
                            I dumped out the; to my eye; ridiculous legs as not necessary since I provide a each of my hives a stand created from a cut round of a dead tree which has been cut up for firewood or disposal.

                            These log stands are inherently stable if the ends are cut square, they have their own mass and don't easily capsize. And they look more natural to my eye. As far as their rotting out, that is a natural process, and takes a solid chunk of oak about ten years, a pine round about six.

                            My Mk-1 took the original spirit of the design, using locally free available materials, in this case some junk boards left over at a farm lumber mill, there are always piles of these around any saw mill. I didn't try to smooth or mill them. Just cut to the length I thought I could handle, nailed it together with what I had around.

                            The top.

                            I think flat tops are really blah, so I went with a peaked roof. This is more complex to build than the original flat design, but to my eye an essential for it to be in one of my yards. So, directly on top of the top bars I found an old slab of Masonite, which I rough cut for an inner cover this I spray painted on the upper side for weather-proofing.

                            The peaked top, I telescoped over the whole to weather proof it a little. The center peak is not perfect, one rough board edged to the other in an over lap which when they warp, (they will) allows a narrow gap between them. This is not important, not much weather can get through it, and the inner cover more than protects against that. I may choose to seal this opening this coming Fall with some roofing tin to cut out any weather reaching the interior in winter. It may make a difference.

                            What follows is derived from my experiences with the KTBH and the Warre, and my own variation of the Warre which I call my Hungarian Gypsy Hex Hive. (This latter is in its first year, and the problems with it are much more interesting "challenging.") Some how I have convinced at least a couple other beekeepers to attempt it and we are tackling its problems as schedules permit. Both its Mk-1 and 2 are currently in service.

                            The hardest part was the bars.

                            Other beekeepers like cutting ice cream sticks and gluing them in grooves, or creating a upside down triangular bar. But I'm lazy on this point. If you are going to have more than one or two hives, you'll soon find yourself using my method.

                            On the Mk-1 I ended with 19", by 1.5", by whatever the thickness of the sawn lumber was.
                            (One caveat here is that in retrospect, you need to make sure the top bars are the same length as Langstroths. That way you can use a Lang body to set them in during inspections of the hive.)

                            These I grooved by running them over a barely exposed table saw blade (watch the fingers on this maneuver!!), and tried a variety of ideas. One was to fix using a stapler a length of jute packaging twine that had been shoved to the back of a junk drawer in a tight line in the under center of the bar. This idea I later refined by soaking some of the twine in melted beeswax then mounting it. Then I realized I could just pour the melted wax sans twine in the groove. Very quickly I saw came to the conclusion that my grooving the bars was a  concession to my eye, not the bees' needs.
                            That understood, I developed my hand eye coordination and now just dribble a line of wax on the bar's under surface in a more or less straight line in the bar's center.

                            During all this the bees have proved very cooperative, and duly build wax where I dribble wax.
                            But the fixed size limitation is really a difficult issue.

                            But the weight issue of the Mk-1, see photo, (it was weighty).
                            I can and could lift and move it by myself even with bees, but just barely.
                            I complained to the sawyer, and he came back with some really delightful slabs of clear cedar heartwood wood sawn to a thickness of 1/2 ".
                            Mk-2 any one?

                            Again I went with the three foot, sans legs, 19" wide design.
                            This time the joinery was more difficult, a farm nail through fine cedar is how you split your board.
                            By the time I was able to actually get the construction started, it was winter, so the Mk-2 is sitting weathering out while the Mk-1 goes through its second season with bees in it. I Plasticoted the exterior to try to preserve the well known red color of the cedar, but it probably won't last.
                            It is definitely lighter for me to move about.

                            I may still enhive a split into Mk-2 before June is over in preparation for the Fall nectar flow. Because I don't think it will work up here, I moved the hive down to my North Carolina farm where it is sitting empty.

                            Now regards the fixed size limitation.
                            I'm toying with adding a story to the hive.
                            But this Mk-3 will really challenge the KTBH system.
                            And if it is to be workable for my purposes at all, it has to provide far more insulative properties than the Mks 1 and 2 have done.
                            But the whole idea is one problem after another.
                            Something for next winter when I'm sitting on my boat in the Gulf of Mexico baiting a fish hook.

                            Meanwhile, the Warre is booming just a little ways from the KTBH. We will see how they winter.

                            Attached photo is Mk-1 in February when it still had last year's bees in it.

                            I hope this helps.

                            Thanks,

                            Bill


                            ---- On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 05:26:32 -0700 karon <karon@...> wrote ----

                             

                             

                            I’m in Tennessee so, I don’t think that will be a problem for me. I can see how that could be a huge problem in your area. Anywhere that has tough winters. And, to me, a tough winter is one that has freezing temps during the day for any length of time.

                             

                            Luckily, I live in Chattanooga TN. That is Southeast TN, just on the TN GA border.  The winter, here is usually about 2 days of temps below 40 degrees. It really is a rare day, here when the daytime temp remains below freezing. We actually don’t have a lot of night time temps that fall too far. We always watch because a night time temp below freezing can mean a few ice patches on the road. We are blessed with mild winters.

                             

                            So, that does not look like a problem with KTBH. The other thing is, around here there is almost ALWAYS something blooming. Even in ‘winter’. I am sure there will be times when I face die off and starvation but, in my area, luckily, it probably won’t be because of weather.

                             

                            Sounds like Langs are definitely the best bet for northern climes. Certainly easier to keep them worm, especially from a calorie stand point. I don’t think we consider such things this way, very often. We are always thinking of calories from a standpoint of weight on ourselves, we don’t think of it as a unit of heat and energy until we do something like keeping bees.

                             

                            Are you thinking about trying another TBH? Or have you decided not to pursue it? you might consider, in the winter, moving the following board over and placing a syrup feeder inside the hive. That way, they’ll have plenty of syrup to keep themselves warm without having to brave the weather.

                             

                            Karon Adams

                            Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                            You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                            www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                            www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                             

                            From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                            Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:52 PM
                            To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                             

                             

                            Karon,

                            I live in Northern Virginia.
                            Just outside of D.C.
                            Here the climate is mild but vicious cold and tempermental.

                            My KTBH survived through February to starve out in March.
                            It was a May swarm, and fat as a tick. I never harvest a first year hive, so it was unbothered except for one episode in June when I explored it at the height of the day's heat, to show a class how a top bar works.
                            Even gentle movement in 80+ deg heat was too much for the comb to take, and several beautiful slabs collapsed and formed a whole new layer of comb on the hive floor.

                            Even with an outer peaked cover and an inner Masonite slab lying directly on top of the bars to cover them, they simply ran out of fuel to heat the hive. I got beautiful slabs of  clean drawn wax. But there was not one smidgeon of honey left. Of course I found the last stand clustered about the queen in the center of the hive all dead.

                            The problem for this climate is that they have to heat horizontally.
                            In a KTBH that is just too much caloric drain for them to keep up with
                            Think of a candle flame into which you insert just the tip of a sharp knife.
                            The flame succumbs to the caloric drain of the knife tip.
                            You will end up with a smoking wick.

                            If you are south of North Carolina, you may not have this problem, and a KTBH would be just fine.

                            Thanks,

                            Bill


                            ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:14:50 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                             

                             

                            Ok, so, if I may pray your indulgence, what makes them better for the tropics? I live in the Deep South. Not quite tropic but, basically, we don’t have much in the way of winter. The bees, here fly nearly year round with, perhaps a few days or weeks in January and February that might be too cool.

                             

                            Karon Adams

                            Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                            You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                            www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                            www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                             

                            From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                            Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
                            To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                            Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                             

                             

                            Karon,

                            Yes. And you are right.
                            They are harder to build and to maintain.
                            My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

                            The quick reason.
                            They are designed for the tropics.

                            And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
                            Good luck.

                            Thanks,

                            Bill


                            ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                             

                             

                            Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

                             

                            Karon Adams

                            Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                            You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                            www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                            www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                             





                            Bill Husztek
                            Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                            7558 Marshall Drive
                            Annandale, VA 22003
                            703-573-8842




                            Bill Husztek
                            Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                            7558 Marshall Drive
                            Annandale, VA 22003
                            703-573-8842



                            Bill Husztek
                            Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                            7558 Marshall Drive
                            Annandale, VA 22003
                            703-573-8842




                            Bill Husztek
                            Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                            7558 Marshall Drive
                            Annandale, VA 22003
                            703-573-8842
                          • karon
                            Returning to a conversation from last summer. My summer was ended shortly after this e-mail when I fell and broke my kneecap. That was the end of my season.
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jan 3, 2014

                              Returning to a conversation from last summer. My summer was ended shortly after this e-mail when I fell and broke my kneecap. That was the end of my season. From then, All I could do was let the girls do their thing.

                               

                              But, I am back and starting my spring able to walk, again.

                               

                              OK, you live in the tropics. Where? I live in the deep South so, from what I have read, a top bar hive should work well for me.

                               

                              Karon Adams

                              Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                              You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                              www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                              www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                               

                              From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                              Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
                              To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                              Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                               

                               

                              Karon,

                              Yes. And you are right.
                              They are harder to build and to maintain.
                              My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

                              The quick reason.
                              They are designed for the tropics.

                              And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
                              Good luck.

                              Thanks,

                              Bill


                              ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                               

                               

                              Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

                               

                              Karon Adams

                              Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                              You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                              www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                              www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                               



                              Bill Husztek
                              Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                              7558 Marshall Drive
                              Annandale, VA 22003
                              703-573-8842

                            • Rich
                              WELCOME back Karon! Glad to hear you are up and around again :)
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jan 3, 2014
                                WELCOME back Karon! Glad to hear you are up and around again :)

                                ---- karon <karon@...> wrote:
                                > Returning to a conversation from last summer. My summer was ended shortly after this e-mail when I fell and broke my kneecap. That was the end of my season. From then, All I could do was let the girls do their thing.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > But, I am back and starting my spring able to walk, again.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > OK, you live in the tropics. Where? I live in the deep South so, from what I have read, a top bar hive should work well for me.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Karon Adams
                                >
                                > Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)
                                >
                                > You can send a Rosary to a soldier!
                                >
                                > www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary
                                >
                                > www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                                > Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
                                > To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                                > Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Karon,
                                >
                                > Yes. And you are right.
                                > They are harder to build and to maintain.
                                > My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.
                                >
                                > The quick reason.
                                > They are designed for the tropics.
                                >
                                > And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
                                > Good luck.
                                >
                                > Thanks,
                                >
                                > Bill
                                >
                                >
                                > ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them? From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Karon Adams
                                >
                                > Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)
                                >
                                > You can send a Rosary to a soldier!
                                >
                                > www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary
                                >
                                > www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Bill Husztek
                                > Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                                > 7558 Marshall Drive
                                > Annandale, VA 22003
                                > 703-573-8842
                                >
                                >
                                >
                              • Thomas Janstrom
                                Hi Karon, Welcome back! Not sure about Bill, but I too run KTB hives and I m at about the same longitude as you just on the other side of the equator. The two
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jan 3, 2014
                                  Hi Karon,

                                  Welcome back!

                                  Not sure about Bill, but I too run KTB hives and I'm at about the same longitude as you just on the other side of the equator. The two I have work very well, not as productive as my Langs, but I really like them for their simplicity.

                                  One thing I have noticed though, the honey they produce is runnier (really need a honey refractometer!) than that produced by my Langs. I'm not sure if this is due to the hive design or the extraction method (crush and strain vs spin), as it's not the bees or the forage. All my hives have the same genetics and are located within 100' of each other......

                                  Anyways glad to hear you're up and about again!

                                  Cheers, Thomas.

                                  On 4/01/2014 12:54 AM, karon wrote:
                                   

                                  Returning to a conversation from last summer. My summer was ended shortly after this e-mail when I fell and broke my kneecap. That was the end of my season. From then, All I could do was let the girls do their thing.

                                   

                                  But, I am back and starting my spring able to walk, again.

                                   

                                  OK, you live in the tropics. Where? I live in the deep South so, from what I have read, a top bar hive should work well for me.

                                   

                                  Karon Adams

                                  Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                                  You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                                  www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                                  www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                                   

                                  From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                                  Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
                                  To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                                  Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                                   

                                   

                                  Karon,

                                  Yes. And you are right.
                                  They are harder to build and to maintain.
                                  My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

                                  The quick reason.
                                  They are designed for the tropics.

                                  And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
                                  Good luck.

                                  Thanks,

                                  Bill


                                  ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                                   

                                   

                                  Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

                                   

                                  Karon Adams

                                  Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                                  You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                                  www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                                  www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                                   



                                  Bill Husztek
                                  Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                                  7558 Marshall Drive
                                  Annandale, VA 22003
                                  703-573-8842


                                • karon
                                  Well, I am doing MUCH better. I have read that a broken kneecap can be incredibly debilitating. I believe it! I fell on Aug 2nd. I was starting to walk without
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jan 5, 2014

                                    Well, I am doing MUCH better. I have read that a broken kneecap can be incredibly debilitating. I believe it! I fell on Aug 2nd. I was starting to walk without a cane for the first time in mid November. But then, the first cold front hit and THAT set me back a couple of months. It was like the cold weather actually wrapped that knee in layers of stiffness!!  Lots of soreness. But, getting better.

                                     

                                    So, this year, I get to go back to my bees!!!

                                     

                                    Karon Adams

                                    Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                                    You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                                    www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                                    www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                                     

                                    From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Rich
                                    Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 12:24 PM
                                    To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: RE: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                                     

                                     

                                    WELCOME back Karon! Glad to hear you are up and around again :)

                                    ---- karon <karon@...> wrote:

                                    > Returning to a conversation from last summer. My summer was ended shortly after this e-mail when I fell and broke my kneecap. That was the end of my season. From then, All I could do was let the girls do their thing.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > But, I am back and starting my spring able to walk, again.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > OK, you live in the tropics. Where? I live in the deep South so, from what I have read, a top bar hive should work well for me.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Karon Adams
                                    >
                                    > Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)
                                    >
                                    > You can send a Rosary to a soldier!
                                    >
                                    > www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary
                                    >
                                    > www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                                    > Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
                                    > To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Karon,
                                    >
                                    > Yes. And you are right.
                                    > They are harder to build and to maintain.
                                    > My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.
                                    >
                                    > The quick reason.
                                    > They are designed for the tropics.
                                    >
                                    > And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
                                    > Good luck.
                                    >
                                    > Thanks,
                                    >
                                    > Bill
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them? From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Karon Adams
                                    >
                                    > Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)
                                    >
                                    > You can send a Rosary to a soldier!
                                    >
                                    > www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary
                                    >
                                    > www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Bill Husztek
                                    > Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                                    > 7558 Marshall Drive
                                    > Annandale, VA 22003
                                    > 703-573-8842
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >

                                  • karon
                                    I don’t have a refractometer. My husband does but the range is much lower because he makes beer But, I think the idea of crush and strain too often leaves
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jan 5, 2014

                                      I don’t have a refractometer. My husband does but the range is much lower because he makes beer<G> But, I think the idea of crush and strain too often leaves honey open to the moisture in the air and thus, leaves much more thin honey. I am working on a drain system that will allow me to crush my comb and bottle on the same day. I am working on a basket for an extractor or a stepped type of drainer that can be closed and not allow atmospheric moisture to enter my honey. That is, to me, the greatest thing about bees and honey. There are always new techniques to develop.

                                       

                                      I am also working on a way to move my hives indoors.  I don’t think I will ever actually HAVE to do this but, one day I may. It is said, in all of human history, there are two groups of people who have never starved. Those who could produce alcohol and those who could produce sweet. But, in places where war is a problem, theft and forage follows. But, what if you could move your hives inside. That way, you could protect your bees. You could also use the bees to protect yourself.

                                       

                                      Just another idea that keeps whirling around in my head!

                                       

                                      Karon Adams

                                      Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                                      You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                                      www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                                      www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                                       

                                      From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Thomas Janstrom
                                      Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 4:42 PM
                                      To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                                       

                                       

                                      Hi Karon,

                                      Welcome back!

                                      Not sure about Bill, but I too run KTB hives and I'm at about the same longitude as you just on the other side of the equator. The two I have work very well, not as productive as my Langs, but I really like them for their simplicity.

                                      One thing I have noticed though, the honey they produce is runnier (really need a honey refractometer!) than that produced by my Langs. I'm not sure if this is due to the hive design or the extraction method (crush and strain vs spin), as it's not the bees or the forage. All my hives have the same genetics and are located within 100' of each other......

                                      Anyways glad to hear you're up and about again!

                                      Cheers, Thomas.

                                      On 4/01/2014 12:54 AM, karon wrote:

                                       

                                      Returning to a conversation from last summer. My summer was ended shortly after this e-mail when I fell and broke my kneecap. That was the end of my season. From then, All I could do was let the girls do their thing.

                                       

                                      But, I am back and starting my spring able to walk, again.

                                       

                                      OK, you live in the tropics. Where? I live in the deep South so, from what I have read, a top bar hive should work well for me.

                                       

                                      Karon Adams

                                      Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                                      You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                                      www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                                      www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                                       

                                      From: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of husztek
                                      Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2013 8:02 PM
                                      To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                                      Cc: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Top Bars

                                       

                                       

                                      Karon,

                                      Yes. And you are right.
                                      They are harder to build and to maintain.
                                      My suggestion is to stay away from the Kenya Top Bar style.

                                      The quick reason.
                                      They are designed for the tropics.

                                      And, I do have two of them, so I'm not being arbitrary.
                                      Good luck.

                                      Thanks,

                                      Bill


                                      ---- On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:23:05 -0700 karon<karon@...> wrote ----

                                       

                                       

                                      Hi folks, do any of you use top bar hives? I have Langstroths right now. I have read that Top bars are not for the new beekeeper because they require a little more finesse to manage. I wondered if anyone here had some experience with them?  From what I have been able to read, they will be interesting. My husband and I are going to build two of them this week and I hope to populate them with swarms.

                                       

                                      Karon Adams

                                      Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

                                      You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

                                      www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

                                      www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

                                       




                                      Bill Husztek
                                      Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
                                      7558 Marshall Drive
                                      Annandale, VA 22003
                                      703-573-8842

                                       

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