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In Kansas (zone 5/6) - too cold for top bar?

 
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tsfairish
New Bee


Joined: 26 May 2016
Posts: 3
Location: Lawrence, Kansas (USA)

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 2:54 am    Post subject: In Kansas (zone 5/6) - too cold for top bar? Reply with quote

My husband and I are new, novice beekeepers, and we have a Langstroth hive. I am just now learning about natural beekeeping, and I love the idea of the top bar hive Mr. Chandler describes in his book. We live in Lawrence, Kansas (USA), which is zone 5/6. Are there any concerns about it being too cold here for a top bar hive? Thank you!
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, should be just fine.
There is absolutely no reason why you can't use a top bar hive if you are already using a langstroth. If anything kenyan top bar hive are more heat efficient than langstroths.

I live in North Yorkshire in the UK and i am not sure how our climates compare but we'll get down to a -20oC (-4oF) over winter and even this time of year we are only hitting 17oC(62oF) during the day. There is a swedish beekeeper on here who uses top bars hives and their winter regularly hit -40oC.
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are building your own hive(s), I would suggest you use the appropriate thickness wood for the hive walls that will give you good heat retention in the winter and a sloping roof with insulation above the topbars. This will allow the bees to expend less energy on heating. Good luck.
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jnickison1
Guard Bee


Joined: 20 Mar 2016
Posts: 69
Location: USA, Michigan, Mecosta.

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 12:51 am    Post subject: To cold for Top Bar?... Reply with quote

Hi, I'm in northern Michigan, we get quite cold here but I have no reservations re over wintering my Two hTBHs. I have a Langstroth mentor and even he admits that my Top Bars will be more heat efficient in winter than his vertical hives.
John
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tsfairish
New Bee


Joined: 26 May 2016
Posts: 3
Location: Lawrence, Kansas (USA)

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, everyone! That is extremely helpful. We are just getting the hang of our Langstroth, but when we're ready to expand, we'll likely be building a Kenyan top bar. Thanks!
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a cold climate I would recommend entrance holes near or at the end rather than in the centre as per the original hive plans on this site and siting the hive in a spot well sheltered from the prevailing cold winds.
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Tavascarow
Silver Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 962
Location: UK Cornwall Snozzle

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

& make a roof that will allow enough room for plenty of top insulation. Smile
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tsfairish
New Bee


Joined: 26 May 2016
Posts: 3
Location: Lawrence, Kansas (USA)

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the tips -- MUCH appreciated!
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R Payne
Foraging Bee


Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 123
Location: USA, Kansas, Wichita

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just south of Wichita. Until a really wet spring right after my hive swarmed and they failed to requeen I had a colony for 3 years in a top-bar made with 1-by lumber.

Ron
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