Understanding The Top Bar Beekeeping
Article by Shak D
The top bar hive is not a new concept; it goes back to the 1600s. The top bar hive was perfected for use in Kenya, Africa, and therefore, it is referred as the “Kenya Hive”. It is the simplest form of a hive box. It is very easy to build and expandable when you want it. It is a roofed box and has a landing – the slats across the top bars provide a place where the bees can start their honeycomb. These top bars are arranged about 3/8th inches from one another.
The top bar hive has three components:
a. the hive body (box)b. 20 to 30 top bars (frames)c. a lid
The four advantages of top bar hives are:
1. It is easy to build – you only need some nails, wood and some varnish.2. It takes less time – you can complete building the hive within 3 to 4 hours.3. It has a very simple design – roof, hive box, landing and quilt.4. It has no complex maintenance – even a novice beekeeper can handle it.
The top bar hive is healthier for bees. To check your bees, you will not have to take the whole thing apart. Hence, your bees will be less disturbed by your presence and checking of the comb. In addition to the honey, the top bar hive has more beeswax to harvest. You also do not need a honey extractor; smoking is completely unnecessary and many top bar hive owners do not wear protective clothing also.
When the honeycomb gets removed by you, the bees will go about their business as usual. The top bar hive is designed for the bees’ optimal living conditions. This makes a colony much stronger and enables it to fight off pests and diseases on their own. With one top bar hive, you will have more than enough honey.
In top bar hive, the top bars gels well with the concept of sustainable and chemical-free beekeeping; no doubt, top bar hive beekeeping is also called ‘Organic Beekeeping’. It allows the bees to make honey with minimal interference.
You can build top bar hive with frames that can be made movable also. There is no foundation required. The frames hardly interfere with the natural behavior of the bees. Even the honeycombs grow with natural shape.
You can now understand very well when the pocket is not giving but still you want to do beekeeping, then the top bar hive will come to your rescue!
About the Author
ShakD is a beeekeeping expert. For more great tips on beekeeping, visit http://www.beekeepingpassion.com