Last year I decided that, despite being a newbee, I would try using a Top Bar Hive in addition to my standard National. I signed up for a session with a chap called Jim Binning who uses them and provides the materials and instruction to make your own. The result can be seen in the pictures above and I have to say I’m thrilled with it.
I like the idea having natural comb and also being able to manage the space by moving the boards out and adding new bars. There is also a glass panel so you don’t have to take the lid off to have a look-see. This type of hive is apparently more ‘natural’ for the bees and will allow them to make cells the size they want rather than being dictated to by the foundation used in a National. We’ll just have to wait and see.
I have to say, I can’t wait to get some bees in there and see how they get on. Also see how I get on with managing it. There seems to be a certain amount of negativity towards this type of hive from some quarters. I guess I can understand why – they are designed for use in Africa/hot countries, but I can’t see why it won’t be successful. Maybe I’m naive? I’m certainly not an experienced beekeeper and that was another reason why I met with some negativity when I said I was going to get one. Apparently you need 20 years experience. Only another 19 to go then.
Whatever happens I’ll note it here.