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Top Bar Hive Build.....

Discussion in 'Bees and Beekeeping' started by FarmerD, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Feb 21, 2015
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    I just love honeybees. I could watch and listen to them work all day long...so industrious, so productive and self-sustaining. Seeing those bees out of your hive in the middle of winter warms my heart....spring will be here soon!
     
  2. Feb 22, 2015
    wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Almost Self-Reliant

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    That is a really neat project. I would love to have a bee hive on the property. I need to look into what we have for options with all the rented farm fields around us.

    @FarmerD Love everything you have planned for your property! that is long term planning for sure. It makes me think about things we can do here in zone 4. DH already nixed the walnut trees I had on the order form. I have to admit, 70 bucks for two is pretty expensive for a grafted walnut that has a good chance of dying...
     
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  3. Mar 1, 2015
    FarmerD

    FarmerD Lovin' The Homestead

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    featured thread?!? have i made the big time or what!

    i havent forgot about this thread. been busy trying to get this project knocked out before spring, but cold and rain has delayed painting and a truck repair has delayed obtaining the metal roofing. i should be getting some pics of topbar machining, roof construction, and leg assembly soon. wont be but a week or two, and ill have bee pics!
     
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  4. Mar 9, 2015
    FarmerD

    FarmerD Lovin' The Homestead

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    Mixed news from the apiary...... Had around 30% winter losses. On the bright side, the hives that survived are mostly doing very well.
     
  5. Mar 9, 2015
    Britesea

    Britesea Super Self-Sufficient

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    Do you have any ideas how you could reduce those losses in future winters?
     
  6. Mar 9, 2015
    FarmerD

    FarmerD Lovin' The Homestead

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    my apiary was new last year, and was started from a mix of survivor swarms and small cell packages. all the colonies had to build lots of comb to get started. that is the major reason for the high losses. unlike an established hive that has most of its comb already built and can go to work straight away storing nectar and pollen, my colonies spent their energies building comb. even though we fed them most of the year, not all were able to put back enough honey to last the winter. to be honest, i expected the high losses. we knew going into winter that alot of the colonies didnt have enough stores to make it through winter.
    so the lesson ill take away for this spring is to make all my splits as early as possible to give the bees as much time to gather nectar for the winter as possible. ill be getting 6 colonies from cut outs during the spring on a barter situation and im sure ill catch some more feral swarms that ill have to nurse through the winter, but i shouldnt bear the same losses i did this winter. another thing i'm taking away from this last year is that i need to feed heavily during the dearth we experience in the heat of the summer to keep them from burning up their stores too early. of course we kept all the drawn comb out of the dead outs to reuse this year and that will help too, but the main thing
    going forward is to plant much bee forage so we can cut out the feeding all together by next year.

    all in all, its not a bad situation. i was hoping to hit 50-60 hives this year, but in all likelihood ill only get to about 40. that will reduce my projected sales for next spring, but i should still make enough to cover the costs of establishing the apiary and pocket a little profit. we should see significant income by year 4....... not too bad for our first farm venture i dont think
     
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  7. Mar 16, 2015
    FarmerD

    FarmerD Lovin' The Homestead

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    ok, im nearing the end of the build. heres a brief update...... got just shy of 600 top bars milled, but still have to mill and attach the guides. picked up the roof metal for this build and another 24 hives from a metal roofing manufacturer. got all 24 roofs built. all the legs are machined, and awaiting transport to the apiary before attaching them. wont be long and ill have my makeshift shop cleared out enough to move on to the next project!
    IMG_0876.JPG

    above is the painted roof frame....

    IMG_0877.JPG

    roof frame with insulation installed......
    IMG_0878.JPG

    completed roof!

    IMG_0879.JPG

    IMG_0880.JPG

    24 painted and completely assembled roofs
     
  8. Mar 16, 2015
    FarmerD

    FarmerD Lovin' The Homestead

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    some topbar machining pics.....

    IMG_0851.JPG

    cutting up some scrap into topbar blanks.... IMG_0852.JPG

    more sawing....
    IMG_0853.JPG

    machining angles on ends and cutting to length.....
    IMG_0854.JPG
    bunches of bars awaiting machining to correct width
     
  9. Mar 16, 2015
    FarmerD

    FarmerD Lovin' The Homestead

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    also made up some 50-ish comb hangers from rabbit wire..... IMG_0874.JPG

    IMG_0875.JPG

    made these up at the request of my friend that does bee removal services. im bartering 2 of my completed hives for 6 colonies installed in my nucleus hives. he will be using these comb hangers to save the existing combs that he pulls out of the hives he removes. once the colonies have stabilized in the nucs, ill transport them out to the farm and transfer them into full size hives. we're also baiting up all our unused equipment to try and catch some swarms. ill get up some more pics showing the completion of the hives later this week if all goes well!
     
  10. Mar 16, 2015
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Wow, you've been busy!
     

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