Originally Posted by chickenstricken
that's only a little over 160 bees at that price.
how about .018ea
I haven't even looked into top bar hives, so I don't know much about them. Is the plexi so you can see inside the hive without opening it up, like an observation hive. That would be awesome. (pardon the pun)
how do you extract honey from them? Do you just put each comb in an extractor like you would with a traditional frame?
and we need a bee smiley
Whoops - never try to do math and get dinner into the oven simulatenously! You're right - the bees are a little over a penny each.
Yes, I built an observation top bar hive - mostly for cost containment - it was cheap, cheap. See there's this chicken addiction thing going on! The hive is simple to make, a bit of extra weekly 'tasks' of checking on straight comb and that they've got enough space, but not too much! So I spend about 20min/wk checking on bee stuff. Compare that to nearly an hour for 5 different chicken pens with five different sizes of chicks (feed, water, litter combing or scooping as needed) - yeah, the bees are SO much easier at this point. And yes, I do a daily 'peek' into the hive via the windows - saw a worker with wax extruding out of her glands (ewwww, but cool!), see wiggle dances, see pollen of all shades, see comb being built out - it's simply incredible. It's almost as good as candling an egg in an incubator (almost).
For honey extraction, you mostly take a whole bar of honeycomb and can either cut it and have fresh honey comb or you can crush and strain the honey. So no cost for extractors or bottlers - although I think I'll get a bucket with a honey gate simply to have on hand. Since the honey isn't heated at all, it's also more pure and has pollen grains to help those with allergies (my son).
There aren't any frames - just a bar on the top from which the bees draw comb from. So there's no foundation to try to get into the frame, no frame costs, no building of frames frantically if you need another super - no lifting of supers, no storage of hardware (wooden ware) - EVERYTHING is inside the hive. If they need more space because of a big honey flow - you take a few bars of honey out for your use, then put the empty bars back in so they can rebuild again!