I found those same pictures of your friends somewhere by googling for 'bees bears" or something the other day.
You probably found them from my blog. I will google something and often find more of my own photos.. LOL It is kinda strange when that happens.
I have tried to figure out the langstrom versus top bar but I only find it confusing. There is something called cross combing or the like in a top bar hive. What is that all about and why can't you just cut out some honey combs, through them in some tupperware and be done ? I don't care if a langstrom gets more honey, I want it to be quick and easy to get some amount of honey out of the hive and leave a bunch for the bees. I may not have alot of time to screw with it all.
You can. Here is one photo of "Z's" frames which he was trying for comb honey and they fell (due to no foundation in them which are plastic based or have wires embeded into the wax foundation if you are doing liquid honey -- but with comb honey you dont have that) and then the bees made burr comb from it after it fell. We did exactly that. We cut it out, squished it up between our fingers and then strained it though the really small strainers he has to bottle up. But we do chuck some into containers for comb honey and I just love it. There is no way these frames would work in an extractor so we had no other choice.
The problem with top bar hives is it takes longer for the bees to make more comb cells and then fill them, than if you used frames, centrafuged them out in the honey extractor and then put the frames back in for the bees to refill, then cap.
Here is me uncapping the frames
to put into the extractor
and to pour off the extracted honey
I have done it both ways. I did the 'neanderthal' method when I started raising bees in 1996 and then moved onto the extractor. It depends on what the end use of your honey is and how much you require for the year. "Z" sells his honey so we extract it. His hives produced 80 pounds per hive this year and they were just started in late May.
I personally strained it the best I could off my former hives and then put it into glass quart jars. I used all mine that my 3 hives produced and did not sell it.
Time? It depends on how they are managed. I think top bars tend to swarm more than other types. This year it was twice and took 8-10 hours to harvest all of the honey from his 5 hives. He lives in a large city so he may have gotten less than when he is out on the farm and we have bee plots (like alfalfa, clover, my large garden etc.) How much are your bees going to have to forage? How many hives are you planning on?
That said, I was going to play with a couple top bar hives with any swarms extra I had.
Oh.. and often local bee clubs, if you are a member or know someone who is, you can rent or borrow an extractor.