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201Re: [TopHive] beginner question

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  • girl Mark
    Aug 14, 2005
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      I and several other friends started out with top bar hives, and I think
      they're far better than Langstroths for a beginner- with the exception
      that it might be a bit more difficult to find a mentor than if you were
      doing the more conventional Langs. But there is now very good
      information available- on the lists and the rest of the internet. Since
      you're researching this 9 months in advance I think you'll have no problem!

      I think we have some good TBH links in the Yahoogroups website (if you
      joined via email, go to www.groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive and sign in,
      then look at the 'files" or "links" area.

      One example of the difference is that in a TBH it is easier to work with
      defensive bees- they aren't disturbed by the opening of the hive as much
      as in a Langstroth because we are able to only expose a few inches of
      combs to light at one time. Also, it is far easier to make our hives
      than it is to make a Langstroth (that was the whole point of the TBH
      invention)- if I remember right, you said you wanted to build your own
      equipment.

      I have worked both hive styles and I vastly prefer the TBH because I
      have had rather defensive bees (I don't buy queens or packages so I wind
      up with whatever Ma Nature sends my way with swarming)- and I think for
      beginners that's a good feature of these hives.

      I saw your question on the other list and I agree that if you dont' want
      to do heavy lifting of supers the top bar hive is a great alternative. I
      also think I once heard someone describe a wheelchair user beekeeper who
      used TBH's.

      There is still some lifting that can be difficult if you're injured, but
      nothing like moving the weight of a super. You may want to build a stand
      that holds a top bar for inspection (something like a very heavy-duty
      version of a file folder frame- two rails that the ends of the bar can
      rest on, so you can stop holding it up if you have arthritis in your
      hands or anything)

      Lastly, there is much less equipment cost involved- if you can find
      scrap wood you can build a TBH for just the cost of screws and wood
      glue- which is fantastic compared to buying foundation, extractor,
      etc... Many of us also practice organic or low-intervention beekeeping
      styles and though there's nothing specific about top bar hives that
      promotes that, it's another thing to consider.

      Mark

      > <html><body>
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      >
      > <tt>
      > I'm new to the list. I've been directed towards top bar hives, in<BR>
      > response to a question on another list about working bees in your old<BR>
      > age (I'm in my 50s). I am planning to put in bees next spring,<BR>
      > hopefully 3 hives to start. I have locust & maple on my place with<BR>
      > blackberries near by so I think I have a good spot for bees.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > My questions are: would you recommend top bar hives for someone just<BR>
      > starting out? Is there anything in particular a newbie would need to<BR>
      > know about handling these hives in a damp wet area (Washington state)?<BR>
      > <BR>
      > Thanks for your help!<BR>
      > -- <BR>
      > Teri Pittman<BR>
      > teri.pittman@...<BR>
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