Monday, January 11, 2010

Natural Comb . .

My swarm in the TopBar hive is amazing !!! In just 2 weeks they have built at least 4 combs that I can see, acouple of them just about down to the floor of the hive. I haven`t gone all the way into the first comb to check for eggs but it must be happening as there is quite alot of nectar and pollen stashed away. Isn`t it the most beautiful creation of nature ?
Like the other swarm, I haven`t had to wear a veil or use my smoker when I have opened the hive, I only take 2 or 3 bars out at a time and the bees just don`t seem to mind - there is no mad buzzing around. I am going to get another TB hive built for next year and I think it will be the way to go for me - so much easier on both the bees and moi !!



Looking into the hive as much as I can without taking out more bars - you can see 2 longer combs behind the smaller one in the front. The bees just carried on with their business

The chap who built the hive called in yesterday with his family, he will build another hive for me and is willing to build for other interested TB beeks. It was so cool to beable to show them what the bees were doing, his young children didn`t seem at all worried about the few bees that were flying around and eve his wife, who is very afraid of bee, came up for a closer look - go these gentle bees !!




8 comments:

Lynn said...

You can't believe how encouraging this is for me. We have been desperately cold here for over 3 weeks now and it's hard for me to think about much other than staying warm. It should be better by the end of the week and I should know how my bees have fared.

We are going to an excellent bee school at the end of the month and I'm excited to know there will be a presentation on TB. It will give my husband a chance to see what I've been chattering about for months and he should be able to build one without any problem. I don't have any doubt, that like you, TB is the way for me to go!

Mark's Bee-Haven said...

Very nice! We were just talking about top bars at the all-natural beekeeping class on Saturday. I told Lynn and Jared that at some point I want one. I have a friend who has a farm and he's offered me space to build my apiary. At the rate yours is succeeding, it may be the way to go for me. Keep us posted!

HENHOUSE POTTERY said...

Lovely photos of your top bar hive. The swarm looks like they are doing so well...

Particularly like the first photo - the comb looks like it is lit from withing and glowing~

Our bees are still wintering - fed them yesterday as the queens will all start laying brood in preparation for spring within the next 4 or so weeks. It has been especially cold here (around 1-2 degrees Farenheit) so it was encouraging that all of our hives are still alive and thriving.

doris said...

Very interesting, your pictures are great. I see pictures of people getting in to their hives without gear, I can't imagine. My bees get so agitated and would definitely be stinging me if I wasn't geared up. It seems they are more aggressive as time goes by, not sure what that is about unless they are just defending all the brood and the stores of honey, etc. I know some people don't use gloves or net or anything, wow! I am enjoying your posts.

Ngaio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ngaio said...

Doris, the cool thing about the TBH is that you don`t take the roof completely off the hive so the bees don`t get cold or loose all of the pheramone scent, I only take acouple of bars off at a time, maybe 3 if I really want a decent look. The bees just carry on doing their thing, I have not had to smoke them or wear my bee gear including gloves. Mind you, the bees in my other hive, a langstroth, are fairly placid also. I usually have the smoker going and do wear my suit, mainly to protect my face, but they don`t seem to mind me going in - maybe it has something to do with the fact that I don`t open them often, only when I need to.

Kenzie said...

Great shots of the TBH and that comb, Ngaio. I'm still seriously considering trying a TBH in the future.

I just got back from a 4 week trip to NZ, and can thoroughly agree with your enthusiasm on the place. We travelled all over (Wellington->Napier->Taupo->Rotorua (did not make it to Hamilton or Taranaki I'm afraid)->Whanganui->Wellington->Picton->Nelson->Kaikoura->Hanmer Springs->Christchurch->Lake Tekapo->Wanaka->Arrowtown&Queenstown->Te Anau (Milford and Doubtful Sounds). Stunning and wonderful. Just beautiful, and like many visitors I'm now day-dreaming about how life could let me live there. Back in the real world, London is in the grips of snow, which is highly unusual. It's throwing it down right now. I'll try to get some snaps of my snowy hives on the blog when I can. Keep enjoying that wonderful country of yours!

gemini said...

cool bee project, i wanted to have one years before when we where in the countryside. your pics made me nostalgic about country living again. thanks for sharing. visiting here.