Wyatt Mangum’s New Top Bar Hive Book

Wyatt Mangum’s New Top Bar Hive Book

Wyatt Mangum’s Top-Bar Hive Beekeeping: Wisdom & Pleasure Combined book arrived. Its 411 pages: are filled with 25 years and 200 top bar hive experiences are abundantly illustrated with more than 400 photos costs about the same as a top bar hive and worth every penny are easy to read are practical are appropriate for anyone interested in beekeeping will fill in the gaps for […]

Package Bees

Package Bees

After searching Youtube, I’ve found a video that shows how I handle and install package bees. As a commercial beekeeper, I’ve installed thousands of packages this way with some minor changes: using a spray bottle of light sugar water is easier than a spray tank manually release the queen after a week if the bees show no aggression towards her A couple of shots of […]

Honey Production

Honey Production

The Idea Honeybees don’t naturally store up large quantities of surplus honey. So, a top bar hive beekeeper manages the free space, inside the hive, for honey production. A quick inspection of the hive’s honey storage area leaves the broodnest undisturbed, and indicates what should be done. To increase production, a beekeeper can: harvest frequently in larger top bar hives, rotate comb run additional top […]

Failed Comb

Failed Comb

The Idea Properly managed top bar hive comb seldom fails. But comb can fail when: handled improperly a top bar hive is moved too soon after being worked a top bar hive is worked and it’s too hot Mishandling induces stress on a single comb. It’s failure doesn’t endanger the colony. As the colony can easily replace the failed comb which can be salvaged. It’s […]

Comb

Comb

The Idea Top bar hive comb must be managed to keep a hive workable. The goal is to allow the bees as much comb building freedom as possible while maintaining non-destructive access for the beekeeper. To manage top bar hive comb, a beekeeper must know how to: cut comb make comb corrections get straight workable comb space comb adjust comb thickness rotate comb The Details […]

Swarming

Swarming

The Idea If all goes well early summer is a time of swarming. As a colony attempts to propagate itself, a beekeeper has several options: work with the bees and the season’s abundance to make beekeeping easier just let the bees swarm work harder to prevent swarming The Details The Swarm Process Any organism that has enough vigor, resources and motivation reproduces. Bees are no […]

Feeding

Feeding

The Idea A newly stocked top bar hive needs continuous feeding until it makes a living. But eventually a beekeeper will encounter a hive that needs feeding. Failing to feed a hungry hive always retards development. Extended hunger demoralizes a hive and threatens its survival: put all feed inside the top bar hive bee stored honey/pollen combs are the best feed when needed sugar can […]

Riley’s Top Bar Hive Bee-down Strip

Riley’s Top Bar Hive Bee-down Strip

Putting top bars, back in a top bar hive, can be problematic. There’s no bee space between them and extra care is needed to avoid squishing bees. I’ve written about a couple of techniques that help. But they both take time and are not fool proof. A bee brush and smoker are often needed to help get the bees out of the way. Top bar […]

Early Summer

Early Summer

The Idea Early summer is a season of recovery from winter’s deprivation. Abundant spring resources and climatic warmth have fueled a couple of brood cycles filling colonies with healthy, young bees. Early spring forage begins to disappear with the decline of the dandelion bloom. It may be several more weeks before any clover becomes available. Yet, a healthy colony is at its prime. It is […]

Spring

Spring

The Idea Spring brings a burst of new life, energy and expansion. Like the plants, a colony awakens to partake of new resources and channels it’s activities toward swarming, which is the colony’s way of propagating itself. A natural beekeeper follows this progression: unwraps hives feed hungry hives provides water revitalizes equipment manages comb The Details Unwrapping Beyond food, warmth is almost everything to a […]

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