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risk of us and them - warre/langstroth/topbar


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worldwide there seems to be some sort of schism among beekeepers based on the type of box they use...

seems pretty ridiculous.

i ran a topbar workshop last sunday, and those present included beekeepers familiar in the use of each of warre/langstroth/topbar hives. It was a friendly day.

 

We talked a bit about what 'natural' beekeeping might mean, i was at least partly informed by the long thread on the topic on this forum.

 

thoughts on the best way to keep hobbyist beekeepers unified? clubs being open to beekeepers regardless of the hive type they choose (assuming legal of course) seems like a good start. anything else?

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worldwide there seems to be some sort of schism among beekeepers based on the type of box they use... seems pretty ridiculous. i ran a topbar workshop last sunday, and those present included beeke

It's a 'taught' behaviour. Through school, through the media and in any groups we are made belief: "you are either with me or against me", there is no in between. Then normally followed by: "I am

thats pretty much the best way there. actually showing the difference, the good and the bad of each type. i get somewhat annoyed when one type is promoted only on its good side and the bad side of i

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Err.. Don't worry, as you mentioned worldwide, here it is the same.. But as I understand, I am beekeeper, not a hiver ( what my mentor told me).. Mostly have to learn about bee biology, not woodworking as essential. Even today I refuse to know correct measures of Lang hives which I only use.. If I want to make some wood thing, I just take boxes, floors and copy/paste as my amateur skills allow and continue beekeeping..

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It's a 'taught' behaviour. Through school, through the media and in any groups we are made belief:

"you are either with me or against me", there is no in between.

Then normally followed by: "I am right and you are wrong".

Some bee 'boxes' are just easier to manage than others.

The rest is just unnecessary diversion from the enjoyment of keeping bees.

My 2c worth.

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To the bees its just a box. Some think one is more efficient than the others, others try and take the moral high ground by a more "natural" hive. Its how you handle the bees that is most important.

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actually I thought things were feeling a lot less divided now than they have been in previous years. Certainly once the legal side of things with unframed comb was sorted out it took the pressure out of the situation for a lot of us.

 

it comes and goes a bit..tends to be personality driven I think, and often sparks up around a narrowly read and outspoken newbee.

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thats pretty much the best way there. actually showing the difference, the good and the bad of each type.

i get somewhat annoyed when one type is promoted only on its good side and the bad side of it is not mentioned. this often results of people struggling and often failing because they are missing half the information they need.

 

There is one such case, I think invented one hive and claimed using that hive give 70% higher yields of honey. Lot of new in beekeeping go for such.. The most visible result is I can see is 70% more fooling on its account than on other hives..

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I don't think they are more prone to disease, there is a knack to checking them for disease, but a lot of TBH people here would say they are more difficult to manage full stop due to the lack of space. @Erin @dansar and others will get back to you on that one, or just search a couple of topics.

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I've heard top bar hives are more prone to disease and/or are more difficult to check for AFB.

is this true or just a yarn?

not more prone to disease at all. i understand they have a different technique for holding the brood for inspection as the comb is a bit weaker.

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probably the worse thing is that beginners seam to get them and they always seam to be pitched to beginners.

so you have people who don't know much trying to manage a difficult style of hive. which is a bit of a bad combination.

 

havn't heard much from TBH's of late. has that fashion trend ended?

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I'm going back to them cos have to muck about taking half the combs full of honey out before heaving the boxes chicks with honey off so I don't put my back out. I like both but for different reasons. Langstroth easier to get huge hive but TBH fun to crush the comb and take what I need. It's the Tutin risk I'm mindful of as using one bar at a time would increase the risk. A colander and stocking is still cheaper and easier. The greater amount of wax is a bit misleading as one bar yeilds about 50gm wax as so thin. So staying with both as still undecided if one is better than the other. I think if you have good regional advice you have a better chance of success with a TBH but the stuff about toxic waste dumps "Save the Bees" etc is a great byline to a successful business selling an ideal. It's still something I aspire to but beekeeping is so much easier with neighbours who are happy you keep bees and tolerant of problems it may cause them. So despite the fact it seems OTT I'm appreciative of it. I do think there should be encouragement to those interested in pollinators to explore other options like Bumblebess and solitary bees etc etc rather than selling hives or a hive type.

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Surely all beekeepers want the same thing in the end...healthy happy bees.

sadly thats not the case :cry:

i've run into those that think they will save the world by buying hives and leaving them to die as they will magically become varroa resistant and bingo they have saved the world. then the ones who have hives as a fashion statement. or pollinate their garden/orchard etc or they are purely interested in making lots of $$$.

in both 'camps' there are those who are not really beekeepers and frankly should not be beekeeping.

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mmmmm..... then theyre clearly not interested in the health of the bees aye. I dont think thats influenced by the type of hive they keep though... more an ignorance about the needs of bees. (or lack of care perhaps).

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mmmmm..... then theyre clearly not interested in the health of the bees aye. I dont think thats influenced by the type of hive they keep though... more an ignorance about the needs of bees. (or lack of care perhaps).

yes and no a bit on that.

certainly some have no real interest in bees.

others tend to be sold on the fantasy of keeping bees rather than reality. unfortunately thats where some of the other hive types come in. promoted as easy care, organic, natural and other buzz words, when they are not. especially when they are pitched at beginners who don't know any better. the focus tends to be on the hive type rather than the actual beekeeping, which of course is backwards.

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I know an eighty plus lady very competantly managing half a dozen langstroth hives who never lifts more than one frame at a time! She has a well honed system that works extremely well. Truth is that those who are promoting other types of hives to beginners are simply taking care of business - they will sell the hive, and then they will just happen to have a supply of 'special organic' nucs to fit.

Other beeks are often then left trying to mentor them through the trials of the first year with these hives which are so limited in management flexibility.

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those who are promoting other types of hives to beginners are simply taking care of business - they will sell the hive, and then they will just happen to have a supply of 'special organic' nucs to fit.

Other beeks are often then left trying to mentor them through the trials of the first year with these hives which are so limited in management flexibility.

agree completely - one of the most compelling arguments made for Kenyan Topbar hives is cost = you can make it from scrap for free then catch a swarm for free. but then you have people buying them without bees for several hundred dollars, and then buying either a langstroth nuc and trying to force it into the hive, or buying a topbar nuc from the same vendor....

i've lost count of the number of intending beekeepers who have never been inside a hive who have told me that langstroth hives are 'unnatural' and that topbar hives are better and easier and cheaper to use. Usually followed up by 'yeah, but what do you know?' if i start to suggest there are pros and cons to all hive types. Some of them slow down in the personal attack when i offer to show them through the two topbar hives i have in my garden and point out that there are many ways to keep bees well and which will suit a person and their bees best depends mostly on individual circumstances etc, but most switch off as they are already blinded by a sales pitch that has left them incapable of thinking for themselves.

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