HL Tyler aka Ludi wrote:
I love the top bar hive design and if I ever make a hive, it will be a top bar. But we don't eat sweets, so we don't need honey! I love bees though. Thankfully we have a healthy wild hive on our place.
Beatrix Hives wrote:Thanks for the design.
I went ahead and built one of these hives and I've had bees in it for just over a month. I opened up the hive today and while the bees have been very productive, I have a bit of a problem on my hands. All of their combs are crooked and about five of the bars are stuck together with one big old comby, heavy, honey filled mass. I was only able to remove and inspect one of the newer combs because all of the other bars are stuck together so badly. Any ideas about what to do with this mess and how to prevent it happening on the rest of the bars? The comb guide that I used on the bars was miniature dowel (approximately 20 inches long) stapled to the underside of each bar.
Any suggestions on how to remedy this dilemma would be very much appreciated
Mike Barkley wrote:Top bar hives are rather popular. Top bar hives made out of plastic barrels are not common, as far as I know.
I would be very hesitant to try this type for several reasons. I think internal condensation during winter would be a serious problem here. It would probably require additional insulation & ventilation at least. Excess heat build up might be a problem in summer. The entrance looks very difficult for bees to defend from robber bees although that could be reduced in size easily enough. Bees are scent oriented creatures & I wonder how the plastic out gassing would affect them. I also try to avoid plastic in general everyday things. I wonder how many tiny bits of plastic making a plastic hive creates & ultimately spreads into the environment. Scientists have recently discovered microplastics in much of the food & water supplies. Do I really want that in honey too? I think not.
Using a barrel is a cool idea but I suggest a metal barrel would be a better choice than plastic. I think a big hunk of hollow log is even better.
As far as the older question about queen excluders & larva in the comb ... I have seen a vertical home made queen excluder in a top bar hive. It worked until it got crooked & a big gap formed. That was human error. A small amount of protein from eating larva won't hurt anything but I think the baby bees need that much more than humans do. My rule is ... if the comb has any viable larva cells it remains in the hive unharvested.
Chris rain wrote:Yeah, old thread. I've been looking for updates on 55 gallon bee hives. I want to know if these are a fad, or they have long-term success. Are there problems that keep people from using them? Very sparse info.
Please post your results, good, bad, unpopular etc! Thanks!