Natural Beekeeping

Top Bar ApiRevolution has begun! Lets make some inexpensive Top Bar Hives and let them be pesticide free on their own natural comb! Che Guebee is a rebel bee fighting for the survival of the Biodiversity we all depend on and which is seriously endangered by deforestation and mono-crop agriculture! What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Building supers for my nucleus Top Bar Hives

I have started building shallow supers for my nucleus Top Bar Hives. My hives have 10 top bars space + follower board. I never planned to have any supers when I have built them but it seems as it perfectly fits the Langstroth frames lengthwise.
I have trimmed the top bars as well to 24mm wide so there is a bee space for the bees to pass up into the supers. There will be a queen excluder placed on top of the TBH to keep the brood nest on 8 combs only. I will do this to keep the brood nest a bit tight so the queen can keep the brood nest free from nectar back-filling during the flow. This way they will not go into early swarm preparation and will focus on filling those supers with honey instead. I am doing this because we have a very short flow from April to Jun and after that in this part of Denmark there is not much flowering thanks to huge expanses of mono-crop agriculture. This year I let the bees be express their biology and they have swarmed early. The swarms have had enough nectar to build wax combs but then the flow stopped and they could not fill it at all. It seems that one can not keep bees naturally in an unnatural environment. For that reason i have to manage them from April to Jun to make enough honey on which they can winter. Of course it would be great if they can make excess honey for our household too.
I find building frame hives very difficult. There is so much more to it than in a Top Bar Hive. All the need for correct bee space and comb spacing and fitting the queen excluder and the supers must fit onto one another perfectly to avoid gaps, there is need for much more materials and time ... etc ...
I have decided to go with shallow frames/supers. Actually these are even smaller than the shallows. I think they are called Comb Frames. They are only 12 cm deep (inner frame depth is 10 cm). This way I can also use comb honey and apparently bees readily go up into shallow supers.

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