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Re: [TopHive] so, how did you get started in top bar beekeeping?

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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 1 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,




      ---------------------------------
      Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

      [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 2 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 3 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
          >
          > * Visit your group "TopHive" on the web.
          >
          > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > TopHive-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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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 4 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 5 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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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • girl mark
              could you elaborate on what you ve just found? Mark
              Message 6 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 7 of 16 , Dec 15, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 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 9 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
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > SPONSORED LINKS
                      > Beekeeping<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Beekeeping&w1=Beekeeping&w2=Tbh&w3=Beekeeping+supplies&w4=Beekeeping+equipment&c=4&s=76&.sig=Ey224tFdhhrTE0USovYsUQ>
                      > Tbh<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Tbh&w1=Beekeeping&w2=Tbh&w3=Beekeeping+supplies&w4=Beekeeping+equipment&c=4&s=76&.sig=GC17idYCSN4udfTmECL9iA> Beekeeping
                      > supplies<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Beekeeping+supplies&w1=Beekeeping&w2=Tbh&w3=Beekeeping+supplies&w4=Beekeeping+equipment&c=4&s=76&.sig=4dqn5D5M68HTseH3A3IaQg> Beekeeping
                      > equipment<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Beekeeping+equipment&w1=Beekeeping&w2=Tbh&w3=Beekeeping+supplies&w4=Beekeeping+equipment&c=4&s=76&.sig=_24j99ZfxzbicYCODHpoCw>
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                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • 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 10 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 11 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 12 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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