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2492Re: [TopHive] New to Beekeeping Starting with top bars.

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  • Jorg Kewisch
    Nov 23, 2011

      welcome to the club. If you are just a bit like me you will find
      beekeeping totally addicting. There is nothing like the high you get
      when you work your bees and there is nothing else but you and your bees.
      You can open your hive when the temperature is above 50 deg F. If it is
      cold the bees build a cluster which should be now close to the
      entrance. The cluster will move to the back as they consume the honey.
      If there is honey left in the front they will not come back to it when
      the honey in the back is gone, but you can rearrange the bars. As soon
      as it is warm enough in spring check them out. If they are out of honey
      you can feed them fondant.
      Even if you do everything right there is a chance that one or both
      colonies don't make it through the winter. Don't be discouraged and
      allow yourself to make mistakes. Good decisions come from experience and
      experience comes from bad decisions. It is good to have you with us.

      I strongly recommend that you contact your local beekeeper club and
      enroll in a class or find a mentor. The class is best because the
      contact with other "newbees". Twenty students have more questions than
      one. When you see your teacher open a hive or if you have a mentor
      present when you open your bees the first time you will gain the
      confidence that makes all the difference. Also, beekeepers are the
      nicest people and you may find some real friends.

      In May you can split your colonies and fill the two empty hives. If your
      bees don't make it you have to buy new packages of bees. You must order
      them as soon as possible. Some suppliers take orders now.

      Where are you located?


      Cindy wrote:
      > I am new to beekeeping and need all the help I can get. I have
      > recently purchased 4 topbars and a nuc from a person who was moving.
      > 1st top bar has 30 bars and Italian bees which have wintered over 2 years.
      > 2nd has 30 bars and has Minnesota Hygenics and has wintered over 1 year.
      > 3rd and 4th also have 30 bars and are empty. The nuc is also empty.
      > We moved them here about 2 weeks ago. There have been a few days of
      > sun where a few of the bees came out but it is cold now so I haven't
      > seen any in the last few days.
      > I have not opened these hives at all because of the cold so I have no
      > idea what I have. The owner says there is enough honey to get them
      > through winter. We will see when spring comes.
      > I also have about 4 bars that are filled out with empty brood comb. HE
      > said they were from a previous year he tried to grow a new queen in
      > the nuc that didn't work.
      > When I open the hives next spring what do I look for?
      > How should my new top bar hives be arranged. The bars have beeswax and
      > some even have a small amount of comb on them. They are marked H for
      > Honey, T transistion and B for Brood. What order should they be in my
      > hives?
      > I bought the beekeeping for Dummies book and have been looking on the
      > internet but there is not much instruction about top bars. I have
      > already paid for 2 packages of bees for the empty hives. Hopefully the
      > others will winter over but I know there is a very high possibility
      > this will not happen.
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