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Photos of TBH bees

 
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Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 14 2:25 pm    Post subject: Photos of TBH bees  Reply with quote    

My daughter & her partner are very interested in the bees so we did an inspection yesterday.
I don't usually work sans veil but I only have two & the kids needed the reassurance so I worked without.
Shows how gentle HTBH bees are though. there's no way I'd work a National hive without a veil or smoke.

Kerra & James awaiting their beekeeping initiation.


Lots of brood comb but little honey.



Beginnings of a queen cup (checked to see if occupied but vacant).
One of the advantages of top bars over frames is nearly all queen cells will be at the edges of the combs. Impossible with frames.


Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 14 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nice photos. The bees in my topbar are quieter than those in the national but there are fewer of them. The topbar started off at the same time but was a bigger nuc. They are doing fine but there are far fewer of them than the national which is worrying me slightly because it's looking full! Both of them are calm to work with but the national seems to get upset more quickly.

I am trying to keep an open mind because I'm finding pros and cons to both. I'm going to decide next year whether to buy a national (I'm borrowing one currently) or have another topbar. I do wish bees would read the right books though.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9978

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 14 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's a bad habit they have isn't it Cathryn. We don't have any top bar hives, but have found that the precise place the hive is placed can make a difference, the attitude of the beekeeper, and all sorts of other things.

Do you think the difference in the hives is that the bees have had to do more work to make the comb and so have not raised so much brood, or brought in so much honey?

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 14 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:


Do you think the difference in the hives is that the bees have had to do more work to make the comb and so have not raised so much brood, or brought in so much honey?


The hives are next to each other. I do think that they have to divide their energy more than the others and that would explain their slower growth. They are also filling the space and rather than building nice blades of wax, they've been sticking them to the sides. I've now added quite a few bars and moved the cut down national frames to the middle all in one go. I want to get those frames out soon if I can. I'm only going to look and fiddle with bars only if necessary and keep my fingers crossed that they don't swarm.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 14 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

In other news, my association has just sold out of five gross of honey jars, they were a top up for everyone! A good season I think.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 14 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
It's a bad habit they have isn't it Cathryn. We don't have any top bar hives, but have found that the precise place the hive is placed can make a difference, the attitude of the beekeeper, and all sorts of other things.

Do you think the difference in the hives is that the bees have had to do more work to make the comb and so have not raised so much brood, or brought in so much honey?

I atribute most things like that to the individual queens. I've had brood sisters raised at identical time & identical hives behave completely different.
Some say that bees will build comb faster when they aren't encumbered by foundation & although they do take more nectar to build TBH combs, it's not that much more that it should make that great a difference.
These bees are a swarm that moved in of their own accord & have the looks of some Italian genetics, hence lots of brood & not much stores.
I'm hoping the queen will slow down soon & the bees will start backfilling the combs for winter stores.

sueshells



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 690
Location: North Bucks
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 14 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good gracious! How on earth do you differentiate between an Italian bee and a British bee?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9978

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 14 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Italian bees are yellower.

Bees like to build wild comb Cathryn. We like it in nice parallel blades, they like it wherever they can fit it in. Another case of the bees not reading the books. We took one swarm that had set up home for a few days in a dustbin, and they had started to build comb there.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 14 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
Italian bees are yellower.

Bees like to build wild comb Cathryn. We like it in nice parallel blades, they like it wherever they can fit it in. Another case of the bees not reading the books. We took one swarm that had set up home for a few days in a dustbin, and they had started to build comb there.

That (from my own experience) is the main problem with top bar hives.
The bees very often decide to build in a different direction to the one you want them to.
Once you have a couple of straight combs, & as long as its not cold & risking chilling brood, I spread them so an empty bar is between two good combs. They have no choice then.
More photos.
A brood comb that is now being vacated & will hopefully be backfilled with honey.


Comb full of brood apart from an inch or two of honey at the top.


Bees cleaning honey from my thumb after I straightened a comb & got a little sticky.


James holding his first ever bar of bees.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7093
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 14 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I miss my bees - next year I'm definitely getting some more when I've sorted the bottom of my garden out as opposed to running around after my father like a nutter as this year has turned out!

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