Friends of the Bees
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 


*** You will need to re-register ***

Please support Friends of the Bees

Breeding but hardly honey

Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Horizontal top bar hives
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Michael Dreyer
House Bee

Joined: 21 Aug 2014
Posts: 13
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:23 am    Post subject: Breeding but hardly honey Reply with quote

Hi there, just want to mention my observations with my 2 years top bar hive experience. While my colleagues with there supers had plenty of spring honey my bees were happily breeding. The queens went from comb to comb laying eggs with a small honey area above the brood. But none had pure honey combs. Now with the summer honey season it's the same. I wonder whether I will use a queen excluder next year because with 2000 eggs laying per day my brood combs are to many in numbers now as she is not always filling both sides of a comb completely. How is your experience?
Best regards

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Silver Bee

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

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really depends why you are beekeeping.
Nationals and Langstroths are honey farming factories. Managed conventionally they apply huge amount of demand on the bees to fill cavities above them. Healthy/strong colonies meet this need and provide honey.
Top bar hives allow you to apply smaller amounts of stress to the bees through introduction of single comb cavities within the nest or merely providing expansion space.

I am in it for the bees myself not the honey. I get enough honey for me but my costs are low enough that I don't need to sell honey to recoup my costs. On top of that my bees are treatment-free and apparently healthy and usually do not require supplementary feeding to support them.

It could be a simple matter of re-siting your hive. Queen excluders are possible in a TBH but why would you want to actively encourage your colony to be smaller?
If you want to produce more honey on a top bar hive you could feed a light syrup early in the year prior to the nectar flow. This would buildup the colony ready to convert the nectar flow to honey rather than the bees using the spring flow to build up.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Horizontal top bar hives 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

Quality Top Bar Hives by Andrew Vidler

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

Now available from

Now available from

4th Edition paperback now available from

See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.