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Musings on Beekeeping: Top Bar Hive Apiary

 
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Tomas
Guard Bee


Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 85
Location: West Central Honduras, Central America

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:19 am    Post subject: Musings on Beekeeping: Top Bar Hive Apiary Reply with quote

I think everybodyís beekeeping depends on their own unique situation and desires. Beekeeping takes many different forms around the world and there is no one right way. It all depends on the circumstances of the person engaged in this activity. For me it has led to the use of top bar hives, both because of them being so inexpensive but also because they work well for Africanized bees.

Hereís a glimpse of one of my top bar apiaries in Honduras. Itís a ďvisitĒ to show how I set up my apiaries and some of the activities involved with it. It shows a bit of what I do but also why I do it my way.



Musings about Top Bar Hive Beekeeping: A Visit To An Apiary
http://musingsonbeekeeping.blogspot.com/2015/02/musings-about-top-bar-hive-beekeeping.html

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Tom
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tomas,

I'm interested to know what the reality is with working with Africanized bees. Is there much of an added danger to beekeeping with them, or any other difference?

Thanks
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Tomas
Guard Bee


Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 85
Location: West Central Honduras, Central America

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broadwell, your questions about Africanized bees give me another topic for a future blog entry. Iím sure that somewhere down the road Iíll be writing something. This post will be some initial thoughts for that blog!

My bees are one hundred percent Africanizedóno cross breading or selection to make them more docile. Queens can be bought in Honduras but they are expensive and itís not done on a large scale. Breeding my own queens would be the better option, but I donít have the time with my teaching job. I deal with what I get with the swarms.

Over the years I`ve learned when I can do more intensive intervention in the hives and when I can`t. The time of the year definitely plays a big part in defensiveness. The rainy season generally seems to be the worse time for going into a hive. There is nothing flowering really so all the old field bees are at home and ready to get cranky. There were some times where the bees got so crazy that the best thing to do was simply close up the hive and leave.

During the harvest season the beesí temperament is a bit better, but I still need to get fully suited up especially if it is several hours of harvesting. Gloves and a veil are a must. I can sometimes get by wearing just a couple shirts instead of the overalls if I go into just a couple hives. The more hives you enter, the more ornery they get.

I donít do intensive managementóno time really with my teaching job and Africanized bees donít make it easy. The bees give me what they want and I`m grateful for it. Itís a nice extra income considering the little amount of time I invest in management.

So this means the hives will swarm but I donít let it bother me. I always see the positive in that the hive will have a nice young queen. And what better queen than one that was raised naturally by a strong hive. No mass production, grafting or shipping involved with it.

As far as honey, they can make a good amount. Most of my boxes are over four feet long and the hives up in the coffee zone will fill that from one end to the other with comb. Half of it can be honey.

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Tom
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Tomas
Guard Bee


Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 85
Location: West Central Honduras, Central America

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those interested (and those who speak Spanish), I have now posted this blog entry in my companion blog, Refexiones Sobre Apicultura.

http://reflexionessobreapicultura.blogspot.com/2015/03/reflexiones-sobre-apicultura-con.html
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really enjoyed your website Tomas. Its always interesting to see how others keep bees under different conditions. It seems to be a very human condition to assume that our way is the correct way for all. Those bees sound like a lot of "fun" if you have to suit up each time you handle them as you can see from my avatar we are a bit more casual with ours Very Happy

Cheers
Rob.
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tomas,

I hadn't seen your reply until now, so thank you for that. It doesn't sound as awful having africanized bees as I had imagined.

I'll see what google translate makes out of your Spanish blog post too.

Thanks again
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