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Heather

Need help

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Heather

Is it too late to start a top bar hive?  Thought we would try with our own bees but don't think there is a queen and want to know if we are wasting our energy?  

We are wondering if we are doing this correctly because we are new to all this and would really like some advice.  We live on the Sterling border in Herndon if anyone can come we'd be willing to pay.  

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Todd S.

Heather,

Now is a great time of year to start a hive, regardless of type.  However, If you don't have a queen, then there isn't chance of success for any hive.  You can buy a new queen to replace a lost one, even via the mail.

 I highly recommend that you join a beekeeping community. The knowledge and experience is a great boon to any level beekeeper. Loudoun is not the only association in the area. Each county in our immediate vicinity has an association, and you can receive a tremendous amount of assistance. 

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Bob Ragsdale

It's never too late to start a Top-bar hive!

At this time of year there is more than enough time to build up a top-bar. You have a few of options:

  • Package bees - There are sure to be some of the larger suppliers that still have them. You can call around and see if you can get a package shipped to you. Wilbanks Apiaries in Georgia may have some. Their phone is (912) 739-4820.
  • A Top-bar Nuc - Not common but some beekeepers make them (like me). You can scan our Nuc and Queen supplier page for producers, you can also google "top bar nuc virginia" and several suppliers come up.
  • A Langstroth Nuc - It is possible to do a "cut-over" from a Langstroth nuc. It is a bit of extra effort and you do end up sacrificing a bit of brood, but it can be done.

I think everyone should have a top-bar hive - it is a great way to experience working with bees. Good luck.

Edited by Bob Ragsdale
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