That was SO COOL!!! Bee install on my TBH

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Hovey Hollow, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I went to pick up my bees yesterday. I got them from a guy that does bee removals. They were a swarm that had made a hive in a plastic valve box that hadn't been installed yet. The guy just boxed up the container and that's how I got it.
    I took it home and was quite worried as to how I was going to get this thing installed in my top bar hive as I had no idea really what was in the box.

    I suited up and decided to go take a look at what I was dealing with. My husband meant to just stand back and watch and take pictures but when he saw how gentle they were he ended up helping me out in shorts, t-shirt, no veil, no gloves. He made a fire in a tin can and waved a piece of cardboard over it to smoke the bees. I really think we could have gotten away with out it, as the smoke wasn't very concentrated and the bees were not agressive at all.

    I brushed off the bees from the top and cut each comb off of the box. I brushed the bees off of the comb I was working on into my hive and then when they were all off I retreated away from the hive and was able to tie the comb onto top bars.

    I hadn't really planned on doing this at this time, I was just going to access and form a plan. We used twine to tie (suspend) the comb onto the topbars. It cut into the comb some, but stopped when it got to the brood. I'm hoping the bees will fill in the voids and attach the comb to the topbars.

    There was a total of 5 combs in the hive. One small one just had nectar so we didn't tie it in. As soon as I got the last batch of bees brushed into the hive they all started going in. I had a quick glimps of the queen and knew she was on that last comb. I returned the last comb to the hive and started shutting it down. They just all started heading into the hive. After I got all the top bars in place they found the entrance and started moving in real quick.

    When I checked on them about an hour later they were cleaning house, removing dead bees and larvae. (I smooshed a few larvae while tying the comb in)

    It was so cool!!! I just told myself there was nothing to be afraid of and there really wasn't. I moved slow and was a gentle as I could be and they didn't seem too bothered. There were a couple that would buzz around my head and follow me when I went away from the hive to tie the comb on, but no stings! My DH was in absolute awe. He couldn't beleive they weren't coming after us. My DD (11) even helped. I kept telling her to stay back, but next thing I knew she had crept forward and was in the fray again. She helped me with tying the comb on.

    Here are the pictures that DH took.
    [​IMG]
    .It was so cool!!!

    I'm sorry I keep saying that, but it really was cool!!
     
  2. dave85

    dave85 dave85

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    That was an awesome slide show and post. congrats!
    Dave
     

  3. Hee Haw

    Hee Haw Well-Known Member

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    Good job Hovey,
    Do yo have a way to put a feeder on that top bar hive with 1to1 sugar surap? They would draw that comb out a whole lot faster if you did. Good pictures,Hubby and daugther will have to get them a suite and hive now.
     
  4. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I put a jar feeder in the back of the hive. They are only using the first 4 bars so there is plenty of room in the back for a feeder.
     
  5. Nature_Lover

    Nature_Lover Well-Known Member

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    Cool slideshow!
    How do you identify the queen?
     
  6. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    She was way bigger. Almost twice as big. I just got a quick look at her, but she was obvious when I saw her.
     
  7. FlipFlopFarmer

    FlipFlopFarmer Well-Known Member

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    Wonderful slideshow! Did you build the hive yourself or purchase it? It's a real nice hive. What sort of materials are used on the roof?

    :) Beekeeping Wannabee

    Carla
     
  8. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I built it myself. I built it from leftover bamboo flooring. I covered the roof in copper flashing. I think it will be really pretty after it verdigris. I like for things to be pretty and functional. I am planning on making some to sell on E-Bay. I'm hoping to appeal to people who want a beehive in their city backyard that don't really want it to look like a beehive. Maybe they don't want scare the neighbors? Yard art with a purpose. It might also appeal to the rural McMansion crowd? If any of them are into bees.
     
  9. ZooNana

    ZooNana In the Colorado Rockies

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    Very beautiful beehive!! I'd LOVE to have one like that. You are talented.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures.. I had my kids take a look too.
     
  10. FlipFlopFarmer

    FlipFlopFarmer Well-Known Member

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    Where did you get the plans from? I'm having a hard time finding info related to TBH. Most I find all do standard type hives.

    I noticed that you have comb from the hive that was captured. How to you start a TBH without any comb? Provided you feed them, will they just build it? Sorry for the dumb questions....still trying to figure all this out.

    :) Carla
     
  11. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I looked at several plans and then kind of did my own thing that was a hybird of the different plans. I had read that 30 degrees was the best angle to use, but every plan I looked at had kind of deviated off of that. The two plans refered to the most were:

    Backyard Beekeeping

    and:

    Kenyan Top Bar Hive


    As far as starting without comb that is how I planned on, but the guy I got the bees from had gotten a call on this feral hive, so I ended up with it. If I had gotten a swarm the plan was to just shake them in and put a screen over the entrance for a couple of days. (There is a feeder inside the hive) They actually draw out comb really quickly.

    The very best resources I have found for TBH's are:

    Beesource Top Bar Hive Forum

    and :

    Small Scale Beekeeping

    This last one I printed out and read cover to cover. It was what gave me the best overall picture of how a TBH works. Everything else just seemed to give bits and peices. After I read this then the bits and pieces fit together better.

    Also see my list of links up on the beekeeping links sticky.
     
  12. FlipFlopFarmer

    FlipFlopFarmer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the links hovey. I'm reading beekeeping for dummies right now.....very slooooowwwwly though. My 5 yr old little farmer wants to me read it to him and of course he has questions about every 5-10 words. "What does docile mean?" "What's propolis?" He's a hungry little sponge for information. :) I'll never forget the first AI tech that came out to preg check our jersey and he stuck his gloved hand in her bottom.....He shook his head and told the guy. "The baby's not in there!!!" Too funny. We had to explain to him why he checks that way.

    I some ways it seems easier to go with Langstroth hives just because there seems to be a lot more info out there and beekeepers using that type of hive. I've checked out the backyard bees site. Did you get their DVD? I've asked my library to order it. If they don't, I might just buy it myself. I like the fact that TBH seem more natural and there's less intervention....not to mention cheaper and easier to build than standard hives.

    Where did you find the copper flashing? Is that something that's available at home depot or similar stores? I really liked the copper roof.

    :) Carla
     
  13. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    The copper flashing is at home depot back with the roofing stuff. It was about $20 a roll, but one roll will do two beehives. Kind of expensive just to look pretty, but I've got to look at it everyday, so why not!! Even if I had had to buy the wood I used (actually we did buy it when we were doing the floors) it still was cheaper than a Langstroth.
    Print out and read all of Small Scale Beekeeping (see link above). Its long--about 100 pages, but it really gave me the whole picture of how this works. Then all the other things I read on other websites made much more sense.
     
  14. FlipFlopFarmer

    FlipFlopFarmer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks hovey. I'll have to print that out. How soon can you open your hive to check them out and see how they're doing?

    :) Carla
     
  15. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    Hovey...what a great slideshow! Thanks for sharing your experience.