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Anyone have Top Bar hives in the San Francisco Bay Area?

 
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Labow
House Bee


Joined: 10 Mar 2016
Posts: 13
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:40 pm    Post subject: Anyone have Top Bar hives in the San Francisco Bay Area? Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I'm starting my first hive this month, and have decided to go with a Top Bar hive. I was wondering if anyone in the Bay Area has a top bar hive? I would love to connect and maybe you could answer some of my newbie questions.

I'd also like to get some more experience before I get my package (either on a top bar or on a Langstroth, but I would prefer a top bar), and am wondering if someone would let me come help work their hives? I'm in San Francisco, and am willing to travel around the Bay Area.

Questions I have off the top of my head:
1) screened bottom board or solid? I've read arguments for both, and was wondering what your experience is.
2) Would you put your entrance at the end of the hive, or in the middle (along the longer side)? Also have read both are correct.
3) More of a general question, are mites inevitable? It it just something that every beekeeper has to deal with?

Thank you!
Brian
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amccoy1@gmail.com
New Bee


Joined: 30 Jun 2016
Posts: 1
Location: Davis

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:58 am    Post subject: Does Davis count? Reply with quote

I would think you can find some TBH's closer, but if you want to come out to Davis you can check out mine.

Fairly newby beekeeper, but...
screend bottom and solid. I put in a screened bottom, sandwiched between two boards so there is 3/4 inch below the screen, then tacked foam board onto the bottom. Mites and debris falls through. Mites can't really climb back up. I can pull the foam board off to clean periodically, but the bees don't have to fight wind to keep the airflow they want.

I have never tried keeping a hive with fully open bottom. I read about others doing so, but seems to me the bees don't pick cavities with open bottoms in the wild...

My entrances are in the middle. I think my next hive will be on the end just to keep the progression simpler. I read they prefer side entrance and mine seem happy, but I will need to do some rearranging later on most likely...

I think mites are inevitable. Whether they wipe out the hive or not is likely not inevitable...
I got carniolans that are supposed to be more resistant.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Anyone have Top Bar hives in the San Francisco Bay Area? Reply with quote

Labow wrote:
Hi everyone,
Questions I have off the top of my head:
1) screened bottom board or solid? I've read arguments for both, and was wondering what your experience is.
2) Would you put your entrance at the end of the hive, or in the middle (along the longer side)? Also have read both are correct.
3) More of a general question, are mites inevitable? It it just something that every beekeeper has to deal with?
Thank you!
Brian


Hi and Welcome.
I am very much not in SF.CA but some of your questions are hardy perennials and subject to the beekeeping opinion phenomenon.

1) screened bottom board or solid? I've read arguments for both, and was wondering what your experience is.
Most will agree that even with a screened bottom it should be covered. To decide between the two ask if you intend to do anything about mites if you find them. If not, why count? I use ecofloors just to add another confusion for you. If i didn't I would be solid floors as I believe insulation in essential for the bees to control mites.

2) Would you put your entrance at the end of the hive, or in the middle (along the longer side)? Also have read both are correct.
Most will suggest at one end as the bees will only expand in one direction and then will move in that direction to east over winter. With a middle entrance you may need to move the colony over to ensure you have enough space and then they may store honey in both ends confusing things in winter. Middle entrances are easier to inspect though. You can get the best of both world with having an end entrance with spacer bar and follower board (with holes obviously) just inside.

3) More of a general question, are mites inevitable? It it just something
that every beekeeper has to deal with?

Yes, live with it, and support them to do the same.
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greg91
Nurse Bee


Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 32
Location: USA California Menlo Park

PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Brian,
I am in the area and would be happy to chat. Sorry I missed your original post. open screen, entrance at one end of long side, no problems with mites but big problems with these crazy little argentine ants.
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Labow
House Bee


Joined: 10 Mar 2016
Posts: 13
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i guess i missed the emails for these few last replies. thanks for all the info.
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