Top Bar Hive beginner guide or beekeeping on a budget?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Hovey Hollow, May 15, 2006.

  1. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I think I would like to start with a Top bar hive, just because it's something we could build ourselves and otherwise the cost of getting started is going to be too expensive to even consider. BUT all the references I've found are geared more towards Langstrom hives. Does anyone know of a good book or website that is geared towards starting with a top bar hive?

    It seems that with the other critters I've been able to get a good understanding of things just by reading the forum and websites, etc, but it looks like beekeeping is much more complicated and I'm just having a hard time wrapping my head around it all.

    Also, what equipment is ABSOLUTELY necessary? I've heard of people who don't use this or that. IE long sleeves, pants, just regular leather gloves. Any ideas on cheap or alternative uses for equipment.

    I'm not looking to make a profit selling honey. Just an educational, fun experience with the added benifit of pollination for my garden and flowers, and occaisional honey and beeswax. Bees seem like a good addition to our homestead, but not with a $300 starter kit like I've seen in catalogs, websites, etc. Is it possible to start out under $100 including bees?
     
  2. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    Check out the beekeeping links thread on this forum. There are links to plenty of top-bar hive information out there.

    justgojumpit
     

  3. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    I think this is the best link I've seen. I believe it was prepared for the Peace Corp in training on low tech beekeeping. It focuses on top bar but describes bee behavior that would be applicable to Langstroth hives too.

    The emphasis on top bar is based on the reasons you cited. Locally built low tech low cost.

    http://www3.telus.net/conrad/toc.htm
     
  4. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    Thank you EdK!
    That is exactly what I'm looking for. It looks valuable enough to print and read cover to cover. Yep, that's us..........a developing country........if it ain't cheap we can't do it!!!!
     
  5. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    I hadn't kept bees in 20 years, but I started back again this year with top-bar hives, not more Lan$troth$ for me, I'm going the frugal route.

    If a person lives in a region of the country where stands of bees are kept in numbers, or where there are feral honey bees, there is no reason to buy bees, or Lang$troth hives. Top-bar hives can be made for free, add an envelope of "swarm lure" to your hive, and pretty soon you'll be in business. That's the way it was done for centuries, except that old comb and propolis acted as the "swarm lure". One in ten new swarms put in the supers in spring will move out to something they like better, and old queens are llikely to swarm anytime. There's nothing wrong with catching these strays, you'll get the honey and save your money.
     
  6. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    Thank you Haggis!
    Is there a recipe for this "swarm lure" or is it something to purchase and if so, where?
     
  7. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I also found out that the president of our beekeeper association lives in the same area as me, so with his thousands of hives around here there is probably a good chance of catching a swarm.
     
  8. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    There are "swarm lure" packets available from the bee supply houses for about $3.50 a packet, but again, old comb, or propolis scraped from a well used hive will work as well.
     
  9. Hee Haw

    Hee Haw Well-Known Member

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    From what little i've read on the topbar hives,they are easier to keep and work,and rob,because you are not having to break their house apart to rob are work the frames.
    I would be interested in more info. on them. Maybe as info.is found on the internet we could post the links here,for everyones interest. I know I have back trouble and to have a hive that goes outward instead of upward would be a big plus for me. No more reversing brood hives,just frames instead.
     
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  10. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I am going to start a new thread specifically for top bar hive links. Maybe we can even get it stickied.
     
  11. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    Actually, just added to the current links sticky. I see you already started a pros and cons thread.