Please support Friends of the Bees to keep this forum free to use.

Natural Beekeeping International Forum
low-cost, low-impact, balanced beekeeping for everyone

 Forum FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileYour Profile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Please Read The Rules before posting.



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)
Ask a Bee Inspector

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Ask a Bee Inspector
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject: Ask a Bee Inspector Reply with quote

This section has been created in response to a generous offer by an official UK Bee Inspector to answer questions here.

Please note: nothing here - or anywhere else on this forum - should be taken as 'legal advice' or construed in any way as to form the basis of your decision-making, other that as the personal opinion of the person offering the advice. In other words, on no account should our Bee Inspector's answers - or anyone else's for that matter - be read as the definitive answer to your question and you should always seek first-hand assistance, especially with disease diagnosis.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RodneyWT1180B
Guard Bee


Joined: 20 Mar 2010
Posts: 91
Location: USA, WA, Centralia

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:10 am    Post subject: Thank You Reply with quote

Just wanted to say Great Idea and Thank You for taking the time to do this.
Rodney
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tavascarow
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: Ask a Bee Inspector Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
This section has been created in response to a generous offer by an official UK Bee Inspector to answer questions here.

Please note: nothing here - or anywhere else on this forum - should be taken as 'legal advice' or construed in any way as to form the basis of your decision-making, other that as the personal opinion of the person offering the advice. In other words, on no account should our Bee Inspector's answers - or anyone else's for that matter - be read as the definitive answer to your question and you should always seek first-hand assistance, especially with disease diagnosis.

I think you should also stipulate that advice from a UK inspector might vary considerably from one from another country, so always best to check locally as well..
_________________
Don't worry
Bee happy.
Member of Cornwall Natural Beekeepers
http://z7.invisionfree.com/Natural_Beekeeping/index.php?showforum=4
http://www.fotothing.com/Tavascarow
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Barry Jackson
Foraging Bee


Joined: 27 Jan 2009
Posts: 231
Location: UK, London N2

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:40 pm    Post subject: Friendly Inspector Reply with quote

Thank you Phil, what a great idea. We have a friendly inspector here in London who has recently invited us (6 TBHs 3 beeks) to attend an informal meeting with local North London Beekeeping Group. She was impressed with our healthy hives and put in a good word, where before there was exception to our methods.
Best Wishes
Barry
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
andycoles
House Bee


Joined: 19 Mar 2011
Posts: 12
Location: UK Cambridgeshire Peterborough

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:00 am    Post subject: A balanced Answer to this opinion on TBH inspection sought Reply with quote

Dear all,

I detect a biased opinion from our local BBKA association secretary in his last newsletter:

"Top Bar Hives

It was with some surprise that I read the articles in both Bee Craft and the BBKA magazine about top bar hives. This type of hive was largely discarded over a hundred years ago when the Rev. Langstroth discovered “bee space” coming up with the removable frame in 1851 and J Memhring with foundation in 1857. The use of frames with foundation meant combs could be re-used so saving the bees a lot of work and the beekeeper could extract the honey without ruining the comb. But more importantly combs today can be inspected for disease more easily. To examine combs efficiently they need to be tilted at an angle for the examiner to see to the bottom of the cell. This cannot be done with top bar frames as with no support when tilted the comb breaks off the top bar. In some countries, I’m told there are moves to get this type of hive banned and, in the opinion of many modern day beekeepers, this should happen in this country too.
Note that the much-promoted Warre hive is simply a succession of top bar frames stored in vertical columns. Inspection and the addition of new “supers” is a two-man job so unless you have an assistant available at all times these are best avoided too – especially by beginners. "

As a first year KTBH owner and a member of this association, I was interested to read this opinion, and I was a little downhearted to read what I believe is inaccurate regarding inspection of a TBH.

I would be interested to know if there really is a genuine problem of TBH inspection for bee inspectors, and what level of comb breakage is experienced. Also, is this opinion widely held within BBKA circles?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gareth
Wise Bee


Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 3060
Location: UK, England, Cotswolds

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: A balanced Answer to this opinion on TBH inspection soug Reply with quote

andycoles wrote:

I would be interested to know if there really is a genuine problem of TBH inspection for bee inspectors, and what level of comb breakage is experienced. Also, is this opinion widely held within BBKA circles?


My local bee inspector had no trouble inspecting several TBH's on more than one occasion this summer. Some of them were mine and one was a neighbouring beek's. Mine were inspected three times in total.

What matters is an understanding of the different approach needed to handle top bars. Yes, they are more fragile than combs, and if you try and treat them in the same rather aggressive way that one often sees frames handled- a quick swing to the horizontal, then upside down and twisted every which way- they will certainly break. But if you handle them gently and hold them up so that the bee inspector can look into the cells with the light behind him/her there is no problem whatsoever.
_________________
Gareth

[url=http//simplebees.wordpress.com]http://simplebees.wordpress.com[/url]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:50 pm    Post subject: Re: A balanced Answer to this opinion on TBH inspection soug Reply with quote

These people really should make more effort to get their facts right before they criticize.

Quote:
This type of hive was largely discarded over a hundred years ago


Wrong. The framed hive did not displace the top bar hive, it displaced the American 'gum' hive, which was a bit like a continuous 2-3 box Warré with a solid top. Nobody I know has shown top bar hives as we know them to have been in use in the USA or Britain at this time.

Quote:
when the Rev. Langstroth discovered “bee space” coming up with the removable frame in 1851..


Wrong. Jan Dzierżon did both of those things; Langstroth merely developed and marketed the idea.

Quote:
...and J Memhring with foundation in 1857.


And that should be Johannes Mehring...

Quote:
The use of frames with foundation meant combs could be re-used so saving the bees a lot of work and the beekeeper could extract the honey without ruining the comb.


Which also means that any lipophilic toxins are recycled every year and re-distributed to all the beekeepers who use it.

Quote:
But more importantly combs today can be inspected for disease more easily.


Quite wrong, as anyone who has attempted to prise a well-propolized frame out of a big Dadant box while ten thousand bees attack them will testify!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
type2head
Foraging Bee


Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 218
Location: poole,dorset

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great idea and thanks phil

Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BeeInspector
Moderator Bee


Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 30
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject: TBH Inspection & Comb Breakage Reply with quote

[I would be interested to know if there really is a genuine problem of TBH inspection for bee inspectors, and what level of comb breakage is experienced. Also, is this opinion widely held within BBKA circles?]

Well I have examined quite a number of Top Bar Hives this year and have not experienced any comb breakage at all. It always makes it easier if the beekeeper is there to assist, and better still if they use a comb stand or rest. As Bee Inspectors I think we all accept that one cannot always 'whistle through' these as quickly, and care and attention is needed. I cannot say that I have heard the opinions you have read are 'widely held' amongst BBKA circles - but there is always certainly interest in the why's and wherefores of any sort of alternatives. For what it's worth I have examined lots of bees kept in all sorts of hives and boxes - even old television cabinets (when they were wooden). The underlying thing is the bees and if they are healthy, and well cared for with everything they need (in my humble opinion)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
baz
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 May 2011
Posts: 145
Location: England East Sussex Bexhill-on -sea.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel we are entering a new era a period of better understanding, and trust United we can work towards healthy happy bees. Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
BeeInspector
Moderator Bee


Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 30
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I feel we are entering a new era a period of better understanding, and trust United we can work towards healthy happy bees"
I agree that is the important thing it is about the Bees Health, some other issues which affect human perceptions I guess will take a little longer Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
andycoles
House Bee


Joined: 19 Mar 2011
Posts: 12
Location: UK Cambridgeshire Peterborough

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:04 am    Post subject: grateful for your comments regarding TBH inspections Reply with quote

Thanks to all of you for your feedback. I went to the local meeting this month and was heartened to find a number of members there. My bee buddy, who knows I have a top bar, was particularly warm and welcoming, so I am looking forward to getting better at the craft and hopefully convincing the sceptic or sceptics through successful practice and, with effort and a little luck, healthy bees enjoying the local forage within the city. I am going to be retiring from work in March and will then be keen to develop my skills and maybe have a few other top bars in the city environs in a few years as my ability improves. One thing I do know - I will be continuing as a TBH beekeper.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1487
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy,

just to let you know that there are quite a few of us over in Cambridge with TBHs. I have two and there is one other on our allotment site in Trumpington. I am trying to see if there are enough of us to have a local group. I have met six others who are involved in keeping top bar hives and I believe there are others whom I haven't met yet. I haven't had any negative vibes from others in the local association yet but I am sure there are some who do feel it is a retrograde step.

good luck with your bee keeping in retirement.

Dave
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ratcatcher
Guest





PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do think, like most hobbies or pastimes in the world, you'll always have a difference of opinion, my reasoning behind liking the tbh was simply, something that could be made at home with simple diy skills, and not costing more ££££'s on wax foundation etc

my local friends (beeks) have been very helpful to me with hands on help and verbal advice, I therefore joined their bee keeping club, introduced myself at the first meeting and was accepted by all, but had countless offers of "nationals for sale" to get me away from tbh, my replies have always been, that as Ive heard of hive stealing being quite big in essex, I dont see why I should line the pockets of some scumbag that wants to steal hives from farmers land, had I had my own land, then I'll admit I probably would have a few nationals, but as I dont, its tbh all the way, Id rather not have any bee's/hives stolen, but if I did, I'd rather it be a tbh made from scrap, costing £20 tops, to a national at £160 plus
I would still like to harvest honey from my bee's, but Im not looking at producing honey for re-sale, or making products from them, it would be enough to get a few jars for family/friends/mead making Very Happy
Back to top
andycoles
House Bee


Joined: 19 Mar 2011
Posts: 12
Location: UK Cambridgeshire Peterborough

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Cambridgeshire groups and TBH network Reply with quote

Thanks for your responses everyone. I have had a rather good experience of chatting to our local BBKA group secretary, who is also our bee inspector, when my top bar hives were inspected following an EFB outbreak nearby.

He confirmed that there is some negativity about the TBH from some of the local members, but he saw I was serious about the system and the obvious benefits for someone like me with a dodgy back who can't lift weights! My colonies passed with flying colours and are still healthy. I know have two of my swarms housed in flowerpot nucs ready for decanting to an additional TBH and a friend's National.

One of my hives sits on a community garden and at an open day I was kept busy answering questions about TBH beekeeping. (Thanks to Phil for the promotional material - it was just the job!)The upshot of the event was an introduction to another community location who are also interested in keeping bees the TBH way. I can't confirm the take up of the idea yet, but should it come to fruition it'll be a bit of a first for the UK. I'll post more details if it does come to pass.

It would be good to link up with other TBHers in the Cambs area, so do let me know if a local group gets off the ground. Anyone going to the Conference over August 10th to 12th? I'll be there!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Cambridgeshire groups and TBH network Reply with quote

andycoles wrote:
Anyone going to the Conference over August 10th to 12th? I'll be there!


Be sure to introduce yourself!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BeeInspector
Moderator Bee


Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 30
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Do Hives Have To Be Inspectable Reply with quote

[The issues of inspection are the same for the Warre keepers and we know that samples of bees can be taken and analysed instead of opening the bees up, a sample of honey can be taken as well, so there are alternative approaches that can done. The question is does an individual bee inspector have access to alternative techniques. The Perone hive is very inspectable unless you are solely relying on visual examination of comb.]

In the UK Samples of bees are not routinely taken to ascertain bee disease presence, although as has been pointed out elsewhere, bee samples have been taken for various research purposes the most recent being the Random Apiary Survey carried out over the last couple of years. So the answer is that it is an option, but it does not necessarily mean it is cheaper (Inspector versus Bee Sample) as the equipment used for analysis is extremely expensive – molecular diagnostics don’t come cheap. The other thing to point out is that Bee Inspectors are not just there to find foulbrood, they are there as part of an active surveillance programme for exotic pests, to offer advice and training to beekeepers, and when required to gather samples with the permission of beekeepers to feed into research projects, very different to parts of the world where foulbrood inspectors, are just that! The issue of beekeepers sending in voluntary samples is a thorny one. We already have a system in the UK whereby beekeepers can freely send in a comb sample to get a diagnosis of foulbrood, provided free with diagnosis usually within 24 to 48 hours. The number of voluntary samples received is very low, with about 80% of Notifiable disease being found by Bee Inspectors, that said it is recognized that there are areas where much more voluntary sampling could be used. So at the moment – no; inspectors do not have access to alternative techniques, but I wouldn’t rule out other techniques being used in the future, with greater sampling involvement by beekeepers, one of the areas currently being looked at in research is predictive diagnostics (eg in relation to EFB infection), and getting a better understanding of what subclinical “infectious” hives means for potential development of clinical disease.

Bee Inspector.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
BeeInspector
Moderator Bee


Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 30
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:48 am    Post subject: Do Hives Have To Be Inspectable Reply with quote

[I too find Ray's comments offensive and would not wish the bee inspector to think they were representative of all our views on this forum]

I am afraid that I didn’t see Ray’s comment prior to its removal, but I guess he thought that one of my replies was patronizing. That was certainly not my intention, and no upset was intended if I caused any.

Bee Inspector.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
BeeInspector
Moderator Bee


Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 30
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:50 am    Post subject: Do Hives Have To Be Inspectable Reply with quote

[My understanding of the situation is that the bee inspector has a right to inspect a hive if he feels it is essential for the wellbeing of that and other colonies in the area]

Yes – That is correct. Within the risk assessed programme we are required to work to.

Bee Inspector.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
BeeInspector
Moderator Bee


Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 30
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:53 am    Post subject: Do Hives Have To Be Inspectable Reply with quote

[Rules and regulations and the law in general, are always open to interpretation which is why there are courts of appeal etc where learned judges occasionally overrule the decisions of their peers. Things are never totally black and white in life and I think there is no definitive answer to the question of Perone hives in this country. ]

I agree and I have tried to give as definitive answer as I can with regards to the Perone System (and there seems to be many variations on it) at the beginning of this response, which I hope helps.

Bee Inspector.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
BeeInspector
Moderator Bee


Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 30
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:54 am    Post subject: Do Hives Have To Be Inspectable Reply with quote

[What the bee inspector is saying is that if there is an issue where they feel a hive needs to be inspected but the owner is opposed to it, then there is a means of mediation, but that they are prepared to be flexible whenever possible]

Yes that is correct. All the work of the Bee Inspectorate is done wherever possible by negotiation and by consent, in this we are quite unique in comparison to other inspectorates. I came from a background of livestock farming, and that was regulated very very differently. The difference mainly is that all Bee Inspectors are l practicing beekeepers themselves, again something unique to the Bee Inspectorate and not found in other inspectorates. There is flexibility in the system.

Bee Inspector.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
BeeInspector
Moderator Bee


Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 30
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:56 am    Post subject: Do Hives Have To Be Inspectable Reply with quote

[I would like the NBU to have all the 'alternative' types of hive and to give them a good testing as well as us... I kind of thought they would have someone on the ball with this type of thing...they might learn a few things in the process (that is not meant as rude comment but as a widening of approach, hive, concept and technique]

That is being look at, beginning next year for inspector training, and overall evaluation, not a scientific study at that point. We have already identified that the site at Sand Hutton is not appropriate with the number of people on site, and free swarming of bees is not so good for the non beekeepers there, so it would have to happen at a more isolated site. As I have said in previous threads – many of the inspectors themselves are keeping bees in alternative hive types, and are learning along the way.

Bee Inspector.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Ask a Bee Inspector All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

SPECIAL OFFER FOR UK FORUM MEMBERS - Buy your protective clothing here and get a special 15% discount! (use the code BAREFOOTBEEKEEPER at checkout and be sure to 'update basket')



Are the big energy companies bleeding you dry?


Is way too much of your hard-earned family income going up in smoke?

Are you worried about what could happen if the ageing grid system fails?

You need to watch this short video NOW to find out how YOU can cut your energy bills TO THE BONE within 30 days!

WATCH THE VIDEO NOW



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast



Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


4th Edition paperback now available from Lulu.com

See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.
site map
php. BB © 2001, 2005 php. BB Group

View topic - Ask a Bee Inspector - Natural Beekeeping Network Forum