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Hello from Smithville Mo


#1

Hello all, me and my wife are doing our research and looking to start with 2 or 3 nucs. We want to get our yard ready by planting the appropriate flowers and having a setting for the hive boxes. So perhaps if it’s done in time we can do it this year. But I am filled with questions, and I will spare the vast majority of them until I can find a group locally that can help us out with knowledge.

Also, we are looking strongly at the Top Bar Tanzanian as our hive box of choice right now. I, if there is a local group that can teach, I for one would love hands on learning and can help most weekends if it’s possible.


#2

Matt,

Welcome aboard the Flow-Forum . It’s very wise to get help, a mentor (if possible) n join a local group or club.

Curious… why top bar ?! I know there are some on here that have too-bar experience so should be able to help n comment.

I live up here in the Pacific NW SE of Seattle in the foothills country n Spring has sprung for us. If your planning any launch :rocket: this season … equipment needs to be gotten hold of, assembled n painted. Bees :honeybee: should almost already be ordered as good supply will dwindle quickly. I ordered my 3 Nucs last October… Not to hurry you but bees n supplies go fast.

Good luck :four_leaf_clover::+1:,

Gerald


#3

G’day Gerald, it’s great news that spring has sprung for you. That means that autumn must be in sight for us, I can’t wait.


#4

Well to be honest and fair we are looking at two types of Top Bar. The one mentioned earlier is one, but also a “langstroth long box Top Bar” as well. Please forgive me if I make any mistakes. I have spent the last few weeks reading everything I can get my hands on and watching every video and documentary that I can with my wife.

We chose the Top Bar design because it would be easy for her to use. Also for myself easier to use because the work I do leaves me having a sore back most days. So, it’s inevitable that I will be to sore to do a traditional langstroth hive box. Also, we both love the idea that we will not disturb the bees as much when we access the hive from the side of the hive with no entrance holes.

I would also like to mention that we Are doing this for the :honeybee: and not ourselves. Getting a little honey and such is a nice bonus, but we will be putting the :honeybee: first. Even as I write this we are making big purchases for making a flower garden for early spring, spring, summer, and autumn that will measure about somewhere around 900 square feet. Keep in mind we will only have a small number of hive boxes, and any swarms that may happen will hopefully be captured and given to local beekeepers. That is the plan currently we have.


#5

One more note, we are looking heavily into either Carniolan “the one I like more” and Caucasian. I like the Carniolan because it can get quite cold here in Kansas City, but I do wonder how they will handle the heat of summer.


#6

Matt,

I’m 72 yrs old n finding swing full deep Langstroth hives getting on the heavy too. I’m slowly shifting over to 8 frame n Cedar boxes. That’s helped me a lot. As you can see I have 6 hives n might top out at 8 hives with two I hope to continue at my daughter at a two hive satillte apiary 12 miles from shack ! I have an 8 frame cedar hive over there the local yellow jackets killed out over there.

I’ve only raised Italians Bee’s so I’m no help on info regarding the other two species. Someone will pouse in here sooner or later n edify you on those other two species soon.

Cheers,
Gerald image


Happy :smiley: Vietnamese New Year !


#7

Carnies should be fine in summer. There is a breeder in Hawaii who raises them, so if they can handle the heat there, they shouldn’t have a problem in Kansas City. You could always ask people at your local bee club too. They may even have bees to share with you. :blush:


#8

Thank you for letting me know about them in Hawaii, but sadly I’m not the best at using google to find things such as bee clubs near me. I have heard by word of mouth that they do exist in my area, but as of yet have not figured out who they are.

On a side note I would like to let everyone know the flower garden list, by name and they will be in good numbers. I did make a mistake earlier in the square footage being used, it is approximately 1,100 square feet. So, even though there will not be any bees this year, my wife and I will have a nice flower garden we can use to both walk through and sit in thanks to a bench I’ll make this spring.

The flower list is as follows:
The Rocket Ligularia
Amethyst Salvia
Rose Queen Salvia
Snow Hill Salvia
Blue Hill Salvia
Sensation Rose Salvia
Arizona Sun Gailladia Aristata “Blanket Flower”
Flutter Rose Pink Scabiosa “Pincusion Flower”
Fans White “Pincushion Flower”
Butterfly Bush “sterile dwarf”

We hope any honey bees we do get will love us stick around, and we want to emphasize just how much we appreciate help we get. I for one know the road to get to next year is a long one, but it will be done right and proper.

I really like what this has to say and thought I would share it here too. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFWkKqa3apFRkijZqEgzJ_A

Also here are the areas in my yard where the raised flower garden will go as it horse shoes from one side of the house to ge other with a walkway dowsing in a horse shoe like pattern in the middle of the garden. I hope you all enjoy, and there is a designated area for the bee hives location. It will be a lot of work and a lot of money. So naturally an underground watering system is a must as well.


#9

Here is a place to start for you:
http://midwesternbeekeepers.org/local-resources-and-suppliers.html

:blush:


#10

Hi Matt,
Great you are going to plant a flower garden. That really will uplift your place and your spirit.
It’s not that hard. I had a go at some of our desolately dry and weedy places, just by digging holes, filling them with potting mix and planting flowers and veggies in it.
Once things grow you feel compelled to water and to weed around and bingo, you got a new patch.
I even put out watermelon seeds, never having been successful in over 30 years. Had about 10 big strapping watermelons this year, thanks to the bees.
I keep planting things now in odd places, expanding wherever I see an opportunity. No idea why I always thought I need proper garden beds and fencing.
My vegetable garden is still fenced though, to keep the chooks and wild birds out. But I’m surprised how much I can grow randomly about the place.

I have Italians and Carnies. They both do well in our heat. We do get over 40C occasionally. That’s really hot. But both breeds do ok, even with our subtropical humidity.
We never get frost. If it’s really hot I put a sprinkler out. Bees love a shower and fill up with water for their hives’s air conditioning without flying all the way to the dam 50m away.
I suppose the Carnies we do get here are trained for our climate over the generations. I love my Carnies. Great honey producers. Somewhat more efficient than the Italians.
But then, the Italians always surprise me with a sudden gain in weight too. And I like their looks, especially the ginger headed Cordovans.
I have no experience with Caucasians. Not sure we can get them in Australia.
Just ease up on structured garden beds and dig holes and plant. It’s so much cheaper and easier and follows the line of the natural land.
Wish somebody would have told me that before.
I live in the mountains.


#11

Wow, I had no idea that they could be better than Italians for producing honey. I for one chose them because everything I’ve been reading leads me to think they would do best in winter and are the calmer and gentler of the honey bees.

I do like the idea of having a water fountain feature, not just for looks either. Sadly though I live in an area where people will be judging our lawn and how our gardens look. So for that we almost have to do a series of concrete blocks and such. But what I’m most interested in is having a bench setup near to the hives so that me and my wife can observe them coming and going periodically.

We have been discussing setting up a couple of bait boxes on two of our trees on the side yard, just to see if we can attract a swarm. But, we will see. We are not ready to do a hive yet, so we’re thinking we may stretch ourselves thin attempting this. But, we have some time still before it’s warm season.

As for more flowers and such that can be added to the garden, we found more. I will not bore anyone with the details, but let’s just say there is a cherry blossom tree and also African blue basil we’re considering.

A side note about how to water all of this. We are definitely getting a micro sprinkler setup for the entire garden.


#12

Hi Matt, it wont be necessary to plant on your property to cater for your bees. Your bees will cover an area of something like 50 sq.kms. When your hives are up & running, you’ll see your bees leave the hive & fade into the distance, most likely to a predetermined destination.

Plant stuff on your property, by all means. I grow a lot of food. Some of it attracts bees, such as dragon fruits & strawberries. Some of my plants such as potatoes, ginger, turmeric, sweet potatoes, Chinese water chestnuts, red shallots & yacon hardly attracts any bees at all… Sweet corn, that attracts bees for the pollen.


#13

Well, I am aware it will not be necessary to plant things in the yard to the extent planned. However, the size of it is more for me and my wife to enjoy by sitting down in a bench amongst it all and simply enjoy it.

Now something I did find interesting was a Top Bar with a Warre at one end for honey supers. I also saw a Top Bar with straight sides instead of sloped, Tanzanian I think it’s called, and it had for strips a 1 1/4 inch strip with 1/4 inch spacers and had at either side as guide going down 1 inch.

I am thinking about combining the straight sided Top Bar, adding at the back a Warre too for honey supers, and making it all out of 2” common pine boards (untreated) but making the front entrance/exit area and bottom board out of 1” instead of 2”. My thinking is thicker wood means better insulation. I am also thinking to make the Top Bar part the standard dimensions of a langstroth brood chamber, to accommodate starting off with a “nuc” and then carry this dimension through with Top Bar frames, then go down on either ends an inch or two as a guide for the bees. Eventually cycling out the 4 sided standard frame in favor of using the other frames. As for the Warre part on the back, it would have a queen excluder on the bottom and would be the standard top to a Warre box and it could be added on later in the season. Whatever is in the warre part in spring would be what I harvest for myself.

What I want to know, is this something that could work? And if so, how many frames do I need to make the Top Bar part itself? Keep in mind, I would never harvest from the Top Bar part, only the warre part on the back. Also, in early to mid spring I would remove all but on or two of each of the most full and newest combs in the hive. Honey, brood, pollen, and nectar being the ones I’m referring to. The idea is to have new combs built each year, and I would setup two feeders inside the entrance to help them build new combs. Should I attempt this or stick with a regular top Bar with straight sides?

Here is what I’m wanting to customize or hybridize if that is even a word.


#14

Hi Matt, I’m sure that it will work. However the best way & simplest way to go, in my view is to use Langstroth boxes & frames. Especially if you stick with all one size supers & frames. Use the KIS (keep it simple) method.

After you weigh up the pros & cons, I think that the standard Langstroth is way in front.


#15

I like the idea of “kis” and will be doing exactly this. The hive will basically be the dimensions of a Langstroth deep with up to 24 to 30 frames in the main hive (I haven’t decided an exact number of frames yet). Then at the very back have a queen excluder setup, so that when adding on top an 8 or 10 frame box for honey it would be the same dimensions as a langstroth. The issue I’m facing is how many frames to make the main part, and also where to place the entrance or entrances.


#16

Well, you were more right than I would like to admit when you said keep it simple. I’ve spent the past week trying to do measurements and such for that hive, but it’s no use as I cannot seem to get the hang of it. So, I began a regular top bar hive build and it is much simpler. I would do a traditional Langstroth Hive, but I do not enjoy doing heavy lifting on days I would be doing this. Once the build is complete I will be posting several pictures of it, and if asked I can include measurements. It really is much simpler and am enjoying the build so far.


#17

I use all traditional full depth Langstroth hives. I manage to avoid heavy lifting by removing some of the heavier frames first. I rarely attempt to lift a full depth super with any more than 6 full frames of honey. I’m in my 71st year now, with a crook back. However I see no need to move away from my present setup.

If 6 frames get too heavy, I’ll go down to 4 or 5.


#18

It’s been awhile and some things have been realized. So, it’s a little good news bad news. So bad first: the build weighed to much, could not get it leveled on ground, the build costs triple what it was supposed to, and lastly it looks like a coffin. Now the good: 1” thick wood with 1” thick insulation board, immovable by wind alone, looked really nice.

Bottom line, re-evaluated going with a langstroth 10 frame. Decided that was the best way to go, and also fit a warre roof and quilt box for the roof. Also am considering adding a slatted rack.

Now to decide what sealer to use and if spraying it after that with a spray can of flex seal on the outside only would keep long term and never harm the bees.