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so, how did you get started in top bar beekeeping?

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  • girl Mark
    To get some conversation started here, i d like to ask folks to do an intro on how you all got started in top bar hives- or how you found out about them if you
    Message 1 of 16 , Nov 11, 2005
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      To get some conversation started here, i"d like to ask folks to do an
      intro on how you all got started in top bar hives- or how you found out
      about them if you aren't doing the method yet
    • Daron Page
      just getting interested, no hives yet, my BIL removes hives from time to time and is going to give me the next one he does, I need to get my hive ready soon,
      Message 2 of 16 , Nov 11, 2005
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        just getting interested, no hives yet, my BIL removes
        hives from time to time and is going to give me the
        next one he does,

        I need to get my hive ready soon, he never knows when
        he will get a call.



        --- girl Mark <girlmark_list_email@...>
        wrote:

        > To get some conversation started here, i"d like to
        > ask folks to do an
        > intro on how you all got started in top bar hives-
        > or how you found out
        > about them if you aren't doing the method yet
        >
        >
        >
        >
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        Soon to be Texas E-Shiper
        S.E. of Dallas,mild winters,(long)hot and humid summers
        Daron

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      • girl Mark
        are you in an area where you get fall swarms (like we sometimes do in California?) Mark
        Message 3 of 16 , Nov 11, 2005
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          are you in an area where you get fall swarms (like we sometimes do in
          California?)

          Mark


          > just getting interested, no hives yet, my BIL removes
          > hives from time to time and is going to give me the
          > next one he does,
          >
          > I need to get my hive ready soon, he never knows when
          > he will get a call.
          >
          >
          >
        • Daron Page
          I am in N.E. Texas, about 50 miles from Dallas, I really do not know if we get fall swarms, ... http://us.click.yahoo.com/dpRU5A/wUILAA/yQLSAA/MwgrlB/TM ...
          Message 4 of 16 , Nov 11, 2005
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            I am in N.E. Texas, about 50 miles from Dallas,

            I really do not know if we get fall swarms,

            --- girl Mark <girlmark_list_email@...>
            wrote:

            > are you in an area where you get fall swarms (like
            > we sometimes do in
            > California?)
            >
            > Mark
            >
            >
            > > just getting interested, no hives yet, my BIL
            > removes
            > > hives from time to time and is going to give me
            > the
            > > next one he does,
            > >
            > > I need to get my hive ready soon, he never knows
            > when
            > > he will get a call.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
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            > --------------------~-->
            > Get fast access to your favorite Yahoo! Groups. Make
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            Soon to be Texas E-Shiper
            S.E. of Dallas,mild winters,(long)hot and humid summers
            Daron



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          • Bryon Culling
            I don t know. I live in Phoenix and i just picked up and hived a swarm on Monday. It was in a water meter box and had been there a few weeks at least. it
            Message 5 of 16 , Nov 11, 2005
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              I don't know. I live in Phoenix and i just picked up and hived a swarm on Monday. It was in a water meter box and had been there a few weeks at least. it was very small though but had a laying queen.hopefully it will grow now that it's in a hive and I'm feeding it.

              Daron Page <dagwood008@...> wrote:I am in N.E. Texas, about 50 miles from Dallas,

              I really do not know if we get fall swarms,




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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • scot.mcpherson
              I know some members are a bit tweaked that a send tbhers to other lists, but quite frankly mark has just demonstrated why I do so. Having said this I
              Message 6 of 16 , Nov 11, 2005
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                </blurb>I know some members are a bit tweaked that a send tbhers to other lists, but quite frankly mark has just demonstrated why I do so. Having said this I would like to see some discussion here and wonder why if people want discussion that the membership here does just go ahead and chat. </end blurb>

                I have been keeping bees for over 20 years now. My operation is completely organic in practices. I practice zero tolerance for treatments whether organic certified or otherwise. The only feeding the bees get are new installations only until they can fend for themselves, and that’s usually only 1 or 2 lbs of sugar per hive.

                I got started with topbarhives after returning from military service, getting married and being broke wanting to return to bees. I really couldn't afford to by standard equipment and found tbhs. It took an extra year to get started and so could do some research and development for a whole year to come up with a perfect design. I bought bees from ken at buckeye bee, and had 4 new hives going that spring. Now I have been keeping bees in tbhs for 4 years, and am building 500 new hives and bought 500 packages for this spring.


                Scot Mc Pherson
                McPherson Family Honey Farms
                Davenport, IA
                Bradenton, FL
                http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/
                http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org
                http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/OrganicBeekeepers/


                -----Original Message-----
                >From: "girl Mark" <girlmark_list_email@...>
                >Sent: 11/11/05 2:18:22 AM
                >To: "tophive@yahoogroups.com" <tophive@yahoogroups.com>
                >Subject: [TopHive] so, how did you get started in top bar beekeeping?
                >
                >To get some conversation started here, i"d like to ask folks to do an
                >intro on how you all got started in top bar hives- or how you found out
                >about them if you aren't doing the method yet
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >The group archive and other pages can be accessed at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                >
                >roup archive and other pages can be accessed at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                >
                >
                >Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • Carolyn Chaney
                I was wanting to keep some bees, but what I knew about Langstroth hives seemed very complicated. So I went to a 2 day workshop at the Permaculture Institute
                Message 7 of 16 , Nov 12, 2005
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                  I was wanting to keep some bees, but what I knew about Langstroth hives
                  seemed very complicated. So I went to a 2 day workshop at the
                  Permaculture Institute of CA (In Marin County, near Point Reyes:
                  www.permacultureinstitute.com) with K. Ruby, a top bar bee keeper who
                  knows her stuff. We built top bar hives on the second day, so everyone
                  went home ready for a swarm or package. Ruby made it seem easy, and so it
                  is. It is ALSO complicated...the more I learn, the more there is to know.

                  Thanks for the question.

                  Carolyn Chaney
                  Emerald Hills, CA


                  "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
                  --Mary Oliver

                  On Fri, 11 Nov 2005, girl Mark wrote:

                  > To get some conversation started here, i"d like to ask folks to do an
                  > intro on how you all got started in top bar hives- or how you found out
                  > about them if you aren't doing the method yet
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > The group archive and other pages can be accessed at
                  > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                  >
                  > roup archive and other pages can be accessed at
                  > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > SPONSORED LINKS
                  > Beekeeping Tbh Beekeeping supplies
                  > Beekeeping equipment
                  >
                  > ________________________________________________________________________________
                  > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
                  >
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                  >
                • P.H. Rankin Hansen
                  Well, for starters, most mating nucs here in Northern Europe are actually small TBH s. I was fascinated by the way the bees draw out the combs. Then I came
                  Message 8 of 16 , Nov 13, 2005
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                    Well, for starters, most mating nucs here in Northern Europe are actually
                    small TBH's. I was fascinated by the way the bees draw out the combs.

                    Then I came across a site with TBH's (John's I think), and was hooked on the
                    subject.

                    I like the simplicity and that I don't have to lift heavy boxes to get to the
                    brood nest. It also does not hurt that making the equipment is next to free.
                    What I don't like about TBH's, is that it is somewhat less easy to practice
                    drone brood removal, but I have just now gotten some ideas on how to control
                    this.

                    I do love to experiment and try out new ideas.

                    Ping.

                    venlig hilsen / best regards

                    P.H. Rankin Hansen
                    Grædstrupvej 53, Grædstrup
                    DK-8740 Brædstrup
                    (+45) 7586 1688 / (+45) 2211 9611

                    --

                    Ping.

                    P.H. Rankin Hansen
                    Grædstrupvej 53, Grædstrup
                    DK-8740 Brædstrup
                    Tlf: 2211 9611
                  • Daron Page
                    so scott what is the perfect design, scot.mcpherson wrote: I know some members are a bit tweaked that a send tbhers to other
                    Message 9 of 16 , Nov 17, 2005
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                      so scott what is the perfect design,

                      "scot.mcpherson" <scot.mcpherson@...> wrote: I know some members are a bit tweaked that a send tbhers to other lists, but quite frankly mark has just demonstrated why I do so. Having said this I would like to see some discussion here and wonder why if people want discussion that the membership here does just go ahead and chat.

                      I have been keeping bees for over 20 years now. My operation is completely organic in practices. I practice zero tolerance for treatments whether organic certified or otherwise. The only feeding the bees get are new installations only until they can fend for themselves, and that’s usually only 1 or 2 lbs of sugar per hive.

                      I got started with topbarhives after returning from military service, getting married and being broke wanting to return to bees. I really couldn't afford to by standard equipment and found tbhs. It took an extra year to get started and so could do some research and development for a whole year to come up with a perfect design. I bought bees from ken at buckeye bee, and had 4 new hives going that spring. Now I have been keeping bees in tbhs for 4 years, and am building 500 new hives and bought 500 packages for this spring.


                      Scot Mc Pherson
                      McPherson Family Honey Farms
                      Davenport, IA
                      Bradenton, FL
                      http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/
                      http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/OrganicBeekeepers/


                      -----Original Message-----
                      >From: "girl Mark"
                      >Sent: 11/11/05 2:18:22 AM
                      >To: "tophive@yahoogroups.com"
                      >Subject: [TopHive] so, how did you get started in top bar beekeeping?
                      >
                      >To get some conversation started here, i"d like to ask folks to do an
                      >intro on how you all got started in top bar hives- or how you found out
                      >about them if you aren't doing the method yet
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >The group archive and other pages can be accessed at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                      >
                      >roup archive and other pages can be accessed at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                      >
                      >
                      >Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >





                      The group archive and other pages can be accessed at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive

                      roup archive and other pages can be accessed at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive


                      Yahoo! Groups Links










                      Soon to be Texas E-Shiper
                      S.E. of Dallas,mild winters,(long)hot and humid summers
                      Daron
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                    • girl mark
                      could you elaborate on what you ve just found? Mark
                      Message 10 of 16 , Dec 15, 2005
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                        could you elaborate on what you've just found?

                        Mark


                        >What I don't like about TBH's, is that it is somewhat less easy to practice
                        >drone brood removal, but I have just now gotten some ideas on how to control
                        >this.
                        >
                        >I do love to experiment and try out new ideas.
                        >
                        >Ping.
                        >
                        >venlig hilsen / best regards
                        >
                        >P.H. Rankin Hansen
                        >Grædstrupvej 53, Grædstrup
                        >DK-8740 Brædstrup
                        >(+45) 7586 1688 / (+45) 2211 9611
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • P.H. Rankin Hansen
                        I have dropped the idea again, as it was impractical (read: momentary brain-fart). Well, it is kind a heresy, but my idea was simply to simulate some of the
                        Message 11 of 16 , Dec 15, 2005
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                          I have dropped the idea again, as it was impractical (read: momentary
                          brain-fart).

                          Well, it is kind'a heresy, but my idea was simply to simulate some of the
                          conditions in a lang by make a frame fitting the TBH and put drone foundation
                          in it.

                          The reason I dropped the idea again, is that the bees naturally mix in drone
                          cells in the free-drawn combs in a TBH, as opposed to mainstream hives, where
                          the use of foundation keeps the bees in line. Thus they have plenty of drone
                          cells and ....

                          On Thursday 15 December 2005 10:37, girl mark wrote:
                          > could you elaborate on what you've just found?
                          >
                          > Mark
                          >
                          > >What I don't like about TBH's, is that it is somewhat less easy to
                          > > practice drone brood removal, but I have just now gotten some ideas on
                          > > how to control this.
                          > >
                          > >I do love to experiment and try out new ideas.
                          > >
                          > >Ping.
                          > >
                          > >venlig hilsen / best regards
                          > >
                          > >P.H. Rankin Hansen
                          > >Grædstrupvej 53, Grædstrup
                          > >DK-8740 Brædstrup
                          > >(+45) 7586 1688 / (+45) 2211 9611
                          >
                          >
                          > The group archive and other pages can be accessed at
                          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                          >
                          > roup archive and other pages can be accessed at
                          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                          >
                          >
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >

                          --

                          Ping.

                          venlig hilsen / best regards / vy 73 de

                          P.H. Rankin Hansen
                          Grædstrupvej 53, Grædstrup
                          DK-8740 Brædstrup
                          Tlf: 2211 9611
                          oz4ph
                        • scot.mcpherson
                          Drone removal is wrong thought really. You want even distrubution of drone brood throughout the nest. About 10% of the brood nest should be even distrubution
                          Message 12 of 16 , Dec 15, 2005
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                            Drone removal is wrong thought really. You want even distrubution of drone brood throughout the nest. About 10% of the brood nest should be even distrubution of drone cells. Fighting the bees by preventing drones forces the bees to try and make more drones, but if they have a nice distribution of cells, the bees will no longer build large patches of drone brood. If you get a comb with too much drone cells, then cull the whole comb, and let the bees build a new comb between your best two combs.

                            Bees know what they need and they know they need drones. Let them have them. The drones have many more uses besides mating. They are part of the insulation of the brood nest usually when allowed building drone brood towards the edges of the brood nest, thereby being more expendable. They draw parasitic and phoretic pests. They are more clumbsy flyers and lazy than workers and so are culled first by birds and other predators. And bottom line is a colony with an appropriate drone population driven by the bees' needs seems to help colony disposition.

                            Culling drone comb constantly only keys the bees into defending against predation, which what you are to the bees when you keep pulling drone comb and fighting the bees.

                            10% is what they want, 10% is about where they stop making more. Cull to improve even distribution, so the bees are happier and can go about their business, and gain the benefits of normal drone production.

                            Scot McPherson
                            Davenport, IA
                          • Paul Rowland
                            P.H. John who? Does he have a website? ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            Message 13 of 16 , Dec 15, 2005
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                              P.H. John who? Does he have a website?

                              On 11/13/05, P.H. Rankin Hansen <ping@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > Well, for starters, most mating nucs here in Northern Europe are actually
                              > small TBH's. I was fascinated by the way the bees draw out the combs.
                              >
                              > Then I came across a site with TBH's (John's I think), and was hooked on
                              > the
                              > subject.
                              >
                              > I like the simplicity and that I don't have to lift heavy boxes to get to
                              > the
                              > brood nest. It also does not hurt that making the equipment is next to
                              > free.
                              > What I don't like about TBH's, is that it is somewhat less easy to
                              > practice
                              > drone brood removal, but I have just now gotten some ideas on how to
                              > control
                              > this.
                              >
                              > I do love to experiment and try out new ideas.
                              >
                              > Ping.
                              >
                              > venlig hilsen / best regards
                              >
                              > P.H. Rankin Hansen
                              > Grædstrupvej 53, Grædstrup
                              > DK-8740 Brædstrup
                              > (+45) 7586 1688 / (+45) 2211 9611
                              >
                              > --
                              >
                              > Ping.
                              >
                              > P.H. Rankin Hansen
                              > Grædstrupvej 53, Grædstrup
                              > DK-8740 Brædstrup
                              > Tlf: 2211 9611
                              >
                              >
                              > The group archive and other pages can be accessed at
                              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                              >
                              > roup archive and other pages can be accessed at
                              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
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                            • mo
                              Hi Scot Do you have any thoughs after this year of with all your TBh s? I know when I get a 3 lb package mid April here in New England and install with just
                              Message 14 of 16 , Nov 20, 2006
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                                Hi Scot
                                Do you have any thoughs after this year of with all your TBh's?

                                I know when I get a 3 lb package mid April here in New England and
                                install with just foundation and have to feed it hard, I rarely get a
                                decent crop but do the next year. If I install same on 3-5 of drawn
                                comb I get a super or so. If on 20 drawn Langstroths get a decent
                                crop. In every case I have to feed but less as I go.

                                So, I guess my Question is there a economic starting point as far as
                                success or a minimium point or combination with a new package say like
                                a 3lb package with the ultimate goal of filling a Standard 48" KTBH
                                like yours? Or do you think a smaller or larger package would be
                                needed? Any drawn comb added?

                                I know with my bees they have a hard time keeping up with some
                                of the intense flows and ultimately swarm as they can't draw a super
                                fast enough.

                                Cheers
                                mo


                                --- In TopHive@yahoogroups.com, "scot.mcpherson" <scot.mcpherson@...>
                                wrote:
                                >
                                > </blurb>I know some members are a bit tweaked that a send tbhers to
                                other lists, but quite frankly mark has just demonstrated why I do so.
                                Having said this I would like to see some discussion here and wonder
                                why if people want discussion that the membership here does just go
                                ahead and chat. </end blurb>
                                >
                                > I have been keeping bees for over 20 years now. My operation is
                                completely organic in practices. I practice zero tolerance for
                                treatments whether organic certified or otherwise. The only feeding
                                the bees get are new installations only until they can fend for
                                themselves, and that's usually only 1 or 2 lbs of sugar per hive.
                                >
                                > I got started with topbarhives after returning from military
                                service, getting married and being broke wanting to return to bees. I
                                really couldn't afford to by standard equipment and found tbhs. It
                                took an extra year to get started and so could do some research and
                                development for a whole year to come up with a perfect design. I
                                bought bees from ken at buckeye bee, and had 4 new hives going that
                                spring. Now I have been keeping bees in tbhs for 4 years, and am
                                building 500 new hives and bought 500 packages for this spring.
                                >
                                >
                                > Scot Mc Pherson
                                > McPherson Family Honey Farms
                                > Davenport, IA
                                > Bradenton, FL
                                > http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/
                                > http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org
                                > http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/OrganicBeekeepers/
                                >
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > >From: "girl Mark" <girlmark_list_email@...>
                                > >Sent: 11/11/05 2:18:22 AM
                                > >To: "tophive@yahoogroups.com" <tophive@yahoogroups.com>
                                > >Subject: [TopHive] so, how did you get started in top bar
                                beekeeping?
                                > >
                                > >To get some conversation started here, i"d like to ask folks to
                                do an
                                > >intro on how you all got started in top bar hives- or how you
                                found out
                                > >about them if you aren't doing the method yet
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >The group archive and other pages can be accessed at
                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                                > >
                                > >roup archive and other pages can be accessed at
                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                              • Scot Mc Pherson
                                Yes I have some thoughts. That s a lot of freaking beehives, no matter what style. I had a hardship during my installation season. When I went an picked up my
                                Message 15 of 16 , Nov 20, 2006
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                                  Yes I have some thoughts.

                                  That's a lot of freaking beehives, no matter what style. I had a
                                  hardship during my installation season. When I went an picked up my bees
                                  (a literal van full) it was nice and warm. Cool, but warm enough. It
                                  took me 3 days to install all the bees working from morning until late
                                  night. On the 3rd day, the weather took a turn for the colder, and some
                                  of the clusters in their packages were too chilled to install, but I had
                                  no choice and installed them. I lost a lot of packages between
                                  installation and when the weather warmed up enough for them to break
                                  cluster. At the end of the installation, I was down to 380 living
                                  colonies (some good others weak), and going into winter I am down to 320
                                  colonies and think I will come out of winter with about half of that if
                                  I am lucky, and I will feel very lucky indeed for having those, because
                                  a mature colony coming out of winter builds up fast. The weak colonies
                                  coming out of winter I will combine all but 1 comb into the strong to
                                  aid in buildup, then split them back out to the weak again for building
                                  up and requeening. Then I will split them back out to the original 500.

                                  If I can genuinely manage that, then I believe my first year to be a
                                  complete success. 1st year of operation is not about generating a
                                  profit, but just getting the colonies to mature through a winter. After
                                  than, its much much easier. Having done this on a large scale, I would
                                  recommend to new aspiring commercial beekeeprs to start smaller, and
                                  just get some hives through winter. Once you have that, its easier to
                                  buildup than it is to start with so many at once. Especially since I
                                  have a full time job also to pay the bills while cash flow develops.

                                  I bought 3lb packages, but delievered they really averaged 5 lbs I
                                  think. 2lbs is really a good minimum, 3 lbs is better, but more than 3
                                  lbs is a waste really. Most of the bees are going to die very soon
                                  anyway, and they won't buildup any faster than a 3lb package really. In
                                  reality, with the 320 hives that actually made it to winter, only a few
                                  filled the hive with honey, and I left it on. In fact I combined some of
                                  the 60 that didn't make the cut into into the stronger because I knew
                                  the stronger would use it where the weaker would just waste it or let it
                                  rot when they died.

                                  Drawn comb always helps the queen lay more eggs faster, but its only a
                                  few days worth of lead time unless you have a lot of drawn comb and they
                                  can use it for honey storage also without having to burn honey to make
                                  comb. Once the hive is established, many of us who have done both hive
                                  type agree that the bees will produce as much honey in a tbh "on
                                  average" if managed properly. That's not to say that the record breaking
                                  tbh will attain the same as a record breaking lang. I think the lang
                                  will break more records in honey production.

                                  If the bees are given room ahead of time, they can keep up. It's the
                                  beekeeper who throws on the emergency super who has caused his/her bees
                                  to fall behind. Whether in a tbh or in a lang, I recommend
                                  foundationless systems. It aids in many things including pest control.

                                  Most important is to develop the brood nest. You can't just let them
                                  build a 5 comb brood nest and expect them to do well, you need to
                                  develop the nest by adding empty bars when its appropriate. Feed the
                                  bars between the current two best combs at first until the brood nest
                                  gets to be a decent size, then you start feeding empty bars into the
                                  center of the brood nest, while culling combs from the outside of the
                                  brood nest to maintain the size brood nest you want to manage. You don't
                                  have to have a 20 frame brood nest if you don't want to, but if you can
                                  get the bees to keep 20 frame filled with brood your hives will
                                  outproduce any other hives. However in reality, the bees will choke
                                  those down to a nest size they can manage, but you can keep developing
                                  the nest until you and the bees are happy. Then when you introduce an
                                  empty comb to enhance uniformity and such into the brood nest core, you
                                  can let the brood emerge from the edge combs and cull it before they
                                  fill it with honey and pollen. Or alternatively there is some advantage
                                  to leaving some brood comb in the back of the brood nest that the bees
                                  fill exclusively with honey, because if the bees all of a sudden get an
                                  urge to raise more bees, you don't want them using honey comb to raise
                                  combs of drone. Plus you can ensure that any honey they have gathered
                                  and put into brood nest edge combs they get to keep as well as what ever
                                  else you deem necessary to overwinter successfully.

                                  Be well,

                                  --
                                  Scot McPherson
                                  The McPherson Family Honey Farms
                                  Davenport, Iowa USA
                                  http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org
                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/OrganicBeekeepers/
                                  mailto:scot.mcpherson@...

                                  . ` , ` '
                                  .,';`,. ``. '.
                                  _/^\_ :;.,';`'.,` `., ' '`,
                                  /_____\ .:.,"'`
                                  /\_____/\ .,:`'"
                                  \###/.,';`




                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: TopHive@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TopHive@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                  Of mo
                                  Sent: Monday, November 20, 2006 10:01 PM
                                  To: TopHive@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [TopHive] Re: so, how did you get started in top bar
                                  beekeeping?


                                  Hi Scot
                                  Do you have any thoughs after this year of with all your TBh's?

                                  I know when I get a 3 lb package mid April here in New England and
                                  install with just foundation and have to feed it hard, I rarely get a
                                  decent crop but do the next year. If I install same on 3-5 of drawn comb
                                  I get a super or so. If on 20 drawn Langstroths get a decent crop. In
                                  every case I have to feed but less as I go.

                                  So, I guess my Question is there a economic starting point as far as
                                  success or a minimium point or combination with a new package say like a
                                  3lb package with the ultimate goal of filling a Standard 48" KTBH like
                                  yours? Or do you think a smaller or larger package would be needed? Any
                                  drawn comb added?

                                  I know with my bees they have a hard time keeping up with some of the
                                  intense flows and ultimately swarm as they can't draw a super fast
                                  enough.

                                  Cheers
                                  mo


                                  --- In TopHive@yahoogroups.com, "scot.mcpherson" <scot.mcpherson@...>
                                  wrote:
                                  >
                                  > </blurb>I know some members are a bit tweaked that a send tbhers to
                                  other lists, but quite frankly mark has just demonstrated why I do so.
                                  Having said this I would like to see some discussion here and wonder why
                                  if people want discussion that the membership here does just go ahead
                                  and chat. </end blurb>
                                  >
                                  > I have been keeping bees for over 20 years now. My operation is
                                  completely organic in practices. I practice zero tolerance for
                                  treatments whether organic certified or otherwise. The only feeding the
                                  bees get are new installations only until they can fend for themselves,
                                  and that's usually only 1 or 2 lbs of sugar per hive.
                                  >
                                  > I got started with topbarhives after returning from military
                                  service, getting married and being broke wanting to return to bees. I
                                  really couldn't afford to by standard equipment and found tbhs. It took
                                  an extra year to get started and so could do some research and
                                  development for a whole year to come up with a perfect design. I bought
                                  bees from ken at buckeye bee, and had 4 new hives going that spring. Now
                                  I have been keeping bees in tbhs for 4 years, and am building 500 new
                                  hives and bought 500 packages for this spring.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Scot Mc Pherson
                                  > McPherson Family Honey Farms
                                  > Davenport, IA
                                  > Bradenton, FL
                                  > http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/
                                  > http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org
                                  > http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/OrganicBeekeepers/
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > >From: "girl Mark" <girlmark_list_email@...>
                                  > >Sent: 11/11/05 2:18:22 AM
                                  > >To: "tophive@yahoogroups.com" <tophive@yahoogroups.com>
                                  > >Subject: [TopHive] so, how did you get started in top bar
                                  beekeeping?
                                  > >
                                  > >To get some conversation started here, i"d like to ask folks to
                                  do an
                                  > >intro on how you all got started in top bar hives- or how you
                                  found out
                                  > >about them if you aren't doing the method yet
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >The group archive and other pages can be accessed at
                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                                  > >
                                  > >roup archive and other pages can be accessed at
                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >





                                  The group archive and other pages can be accessed at
                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive

                                  roup archive and other pages can be accessed at
                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive


                                  Yahoo! Groups Links
                                • mo
                                  Wow! I ll bet you were busy! shifting all the bars about and checking on them regularly. I thought TBH s were easier to manage, but I guess like any hive,
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Nov 21, 2006
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Wow!

                                    I'll bet you were busy! shifting all the bars about and
                                    checking on them regularly. I thought TBH's were easier to
                                    manage, but I guess like any hive, weather and other factors
                                    make it important to still check them regularly.

                                    I can see how tropical areas are ideal for TBH beekeepers, where
                                    you have a constant flow and they are always looking to expand.
                                    Having bad weather or a early bad dearth, I guess could really slow
                                    down things. Do you think a colony could could fill a TBH in a year
                                    with no assistance?

                                    I am going to try a few next year and will try your model!

                                    mo


                                    --- In TopHive@yahoogroups.com, "Scot Mc Pherson" <scot.mcpherson@...>
                                    wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Yes I have some thoughts.
                                    >
                                    > That's a lot of freaking beehives, no matter what style. I had a
                                    > hardship during my installation season. When I went an picked up my bees
                                    > (a literal van full) it was nice and warm. Cool, but warm enough. It
                                    > took me 3 days to install all the bees working from morning until late
                                    > night. On the 3rd day, the weather took a turn for the colder, and some
                                    > of the clusters in their packages were too chilled to install, but I had
                                    > no choice and installed them. I lost a lot of packages between
                                    > installation and when the weather warmed up enough for them to break
                                    > cluster. At the end of the installation, I was down to 380 living
                                    > colonies (some good others weak), and going into winter I am down to 320
                                    > colonies and think I will come out of winter with about half of that if
                                    > I am lucky, and I will feel very lucky indeed for having those, because
                                    > a mature colony coming out of winter builds up fast. The weak colonies
                                    > coming out of winter I will combine all but 1 comb into the strong to
                                    > aid in buildup, then split them back out to the weak again for building
                                    > up and requeening. Then I will split them back out to the original 500.
                                    >
                                    > If I can genuinely manage that, then I believe my first year to be a
                                    > complete success. 1st year of operation is not about generating a
                                    > profit, but just getting the colonies to mature through a winter. After
                                    > than, its much much easier. Having done this on a large scale, I would
                                    > recommend to new aspiring commercial beekeeprs to start smaller, and
                                    > just get some hives through winter. Once you have that, its easier to
                                    > buildup than it is to start with so many at once. Especially since I
                                    > have a full time job also to pay the bills while cash flow develops.
                                    >
                                    > I bought 3lb packages, but delievered they really averaged 5 lbs I
                                    > think. 2lbs is really a good minimum, 3 lbs is better, but more than 3
                                    > lbs is a waste really. Most of the bees are going to die very soon
                                    > anyway, and they won't buildup any faster than a 3lb package really. In
                                    > reality, with the 320 hives that actually made it to winter, only a few
                                    > filled the hive with honey, and I left it on. In fact I combined some of
                                    > the 60 that didn't make the cut into into the stronger because I knew
                                    > the stronger would use it where the weaker would just waste it or let it
                                    > rot when they died.
                                    >
                                    > Drawn comb always helps the queen lay more eggs faster, but its only a
                                    > few days worth of lead time unless you have a lot of drawn comb and they
                                    > can use it for honey storage also without having to burn honey to make
                                    > comb. Once the hive is established, many of us who have done both hive
                                    > type agree that the bees will produce as much honey in a tbh "on
                                    > average" if managed properly. That's not to say that the record breaking
                                    > tbh will attain the same as a record breaking lang. I think the lang
                                    > will break more records in honey production.
                                    >
                                    > If the bees are given room ahead of time, they can keep up. It's the
                                    > beekeeper who throws on the emergency super who has caused his/her bees
                                    > to fall behind. Whether in a tbh or in a lang, I recommend
                                    > foundationless systems. It aids in many things including pest control.
                                    >
                                    > Most important is to develop the brood nest. You can't just let them
                                    > build a 5 comb brood nest and expect them to do well, you need to
                                    > develop the nest by adding empty bars when its appropriate. Feed the
                                    > bars between the current two best combs at first until the brood nest
                                    > gets to be a decent size, then you start feeding empty bars into the
                                    > center of the brood nest, while culling combs from the outside of the
                                    > brood nest to maintain the size brood nest you want to manage. You don't
                                    > have to have a 20 frame brood nest if you don't want to, but if you can
                                    > get the bees to keep 20 frame filled with brood your hives will
                                    > outproduce any other hives. However in reality, the bees will choke
                                    > those down to a nest size they can manage, but you can keep developing
                                    > the nest until you and the bees are happy. Then when you introduce an
                                    > empty comb to enhance uniformity and such into the brood nest core, you
                                    > can let the brood emerge from the edge combs and cull it before they
                                    > fill it with honey and pollen. Or alternatively there is some advantage
                                    > to leaving some brood comb in the back of the brood nest that the bees
                                    > fill exclusively with honey, because if the bees all of a sudden get an
                                    > urge to raise more bees, you don't want them using honey comb to raise
                                    > combs of drone. Plus you can ensure that any honey they have gathered
                                    > and put into brood nest edge combs they get to keep as well as what ever
                                    > else you deem necessary to overwinter successfully.
                                    >
                                    > Be well,
                                    >
                                    > --
                                    > Scot McPherson
                                    > The McPherson Family Honey Farms
                                    > Davenport, Iowa USA
                                    > http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org
                                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/OrganicBeekeepers/
                                    > mailto:scot.mcpherson@...
                                    >
                                    > . ` , ` '
                                    > .,';`,. ``. '.
                                    > _/^\_ :;.,';`'.,` `., ' '`,
                                    > /_____\ .:.,"'`
                                    > /\_____/\ .,:`'"
                                    > \###/.,';`
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > -----Original Message-----
                                    > From: TopHive@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TopHive@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                    > Of mo
                                    > Sent: Monday, November 20, 2006 10:01 PM
                                    > To: TopHive@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: [TopHive] Re: so, how did you get started in top bar
                                    > beekeeping?
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Hi Scot
                                    > Do you have any thoughs after this year of with all your TBh's?
                                    >
                                    > I know when I get a 3 lb package mid April here in New England and
                                    > install with just foundation and have to feed it hard, I rarely get a
                                    > decent crop but do the next year. If I install same on 3-5 of drawn comb
                                    > I get a super or so. If on 20 drawn Langstroths get a decent crop. In
                                    > every case I have to feed but less as I go.
                                    >
                                    > So, I guess my Question is there a economic starting point as far as
                                    > success or a minimium point or combination with a new package say like a
                                    > 3lb package with the ultimate goal of filling a Standard 48" KTBH like
                                    > yours? Or do you think a smaller or larger package would be needed? Any
                                    > drawn comb added?
                                    >
                                    > I know with my bees they have a hard time keeping up with some of the
                                    > intense flows and ultimately swarm as they can't draw a super fast
                                    > enough.
                                    >
                                    > Cheers
                                    > mo
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In TopHive@yahoogroups.com, "scot.mcpherson" <scot.mcpherson@>
                                    > wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > </blurb>I know some members are a bit tweaked that a send tbhers to
                                    > other lists, but quite frankly mark has just demonstrated why I do so.
                                    > Having said this I would like to see some discussion here and wonder why
                                    > if people want discussion that the membership here does just go ahead
                                    > and chat. </end blurb>
                                    > >
                                    > > I have been keeping bees for over 20 years now. My operation is
                                    > completely organic in practices. I practice zero tolerance for
                                    > treatments whether organic certified or otherwise. The only feeding the
                                    > bees get are new installations only until they can fend for themselves,
                                    > and that's usually only 1 or 2 lbs of sugar per hive.
                                    > >
                                    > > I got started with topbarhives after returning from military
                                    > service, getting married and being broke wanting to return to bees. I
                                    > really couldn't afford to by standard equipment and found tbhs. It took
                                    > an extra year to get started and so could do some research and
                                    > development for a whole year to come up with a perfect design. I bought
                                    > bees from ken at buckeye bee, and had 4 new hives going that spring. Now
                                    > I have been keeping bees in tbhs for 4 years, and am building 500 new
                                    > hives and bought 500 packages for this spring.
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Scot Mc Pherson
                                    > > McPherson Family Honey Farms
                                    > > Davenport, IA
                                    > > Bradenton, FL
                                    > > http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/
                                    > > http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org
                                    > > http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/OrganicBeekeepers/
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > -----Original Message-----
                                    > > >From: "girl Mark" <girlmark_list_email@>
                                    > > >Sent: 11/11/05 2:18:22 AM
                                    > > >To: "tophive@yahoogroups.com" <tophive@yahoogroups.com>
                                    > > >Subject: [TopHive] so, how did you get started in top bar
                                    > beekeeping?
                                    > > >
                                    > > >To get some conversation started here, i"d like to ask folks to
                                    > do an
                                    > > >intro on how you all got started in top bar hives- or how you
                                    > found out
                                    > > >about them if you aren't doing the method yet
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >The group archive and other pages can be accessed at
                                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                                    > > >
                                    > > >roup archive and other pages can be accessed at
                                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > The group archive and other pages can be accessed at
                                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                                    >
                                    > roup archive and other pages can be accessed at
                                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    >
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