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Top Bar Bee Hive: Perfect for Backyard Beehives

By: Everett S
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Build a simple backyard beehive - Click Here!Most of the literature and websites out there about beekeeping tend to focus on the traditional box beehives, known as Langsroth hives. However, a more appropriate hive technology for the backyard beekeeper is called a “Top Bar” bee hive. We chose to build ours, but you can buy one too.

What Is a Top Bar Bee Hive?

These DIY hives are low cost and simple – perfect solutions for backyard beehives. Top Bars have been used in developing countries for many years because of their ease of design, low maintenance and low cost. They can be made from salvaged materials, and even hollowed out logs.

Top Bar Bee Hive for Sale Like the Langstroth hives, top bar bee hives also have removable frames so you can collect the honey, but the frames are added along a horizontal plane instead of vertically building up. And you don’t even need to include a comb to get the bees started. While it results in less honey, you do end up getting more beeswax – which has its own many uses.

The Top Bar Bee Hive is so named because its frames only a “top bar”.  They do not have sides or a bottom bar. In other words, the beekeeper does not provide a foundation for the bees. Rather, the bees build their own comb so it hangs down from the top bar.

The hive body is V-shaped in order to keep bees from attaching the comb to the hive-body walls, which would keep the hive owner from being able to lift the bar out of the hive. The top-bar design is a single, long box with all the frames hanging in parallel. It looks sort of like a boat (think Noah’s Ark) when finished.

One drawback of a top bar bee hive is that honey cannot be extracted by centrifugal force using a honey extractor machine because a top-bar frame does not have reinforced foundation or a full frame. Also, bees have to rebuild the comb after each harvest, making the honey yield less than traditional hives, but the beeswax yield much greater.

Like the Langstroth hive, bees can be induced to store the honey separately from the areas where they are raising the brood, making it less likely that bees will be killed when harvesting from a top-bar hive than some other designs.

How To Build a Top Bar Hive

Everett Building Top Bar Hives There are as many ways to build a top bar bee hive as there are beekeepers, so don’t be too bogged down in the differences. One thing is usually the same all-around, however, and that is the width of the bars.

To the left you will see a picture of me with two of the top bar hives that we built as part of our Urban Homesteading Group in Denver, Colorado. They were based on a different design, but the dimensions for the bars were the same, as was the concept of the V-shape to keep much of the comb from being attached to the sides of the hive body wall.

Where Can You Buy Top Bar Bee Hives?

Sometimes people just are not comfortable with carpentry. Maybe they have no tools. Or maybe you just don’t have the time and would rather buy something that you know is built with high quality than to try and make due on your own. Don’t worry – Top bar bee hives are often less expensive than more traditional hives and you can buy them online and have them shipped straight to your house, along with all of the gear you’ll need to get started with keeping bees.

Everett and Anna Looking at a Top Bar Bee Hive

This is one of the top bar bee hives me and my neighbor built.

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Category: Farming & Gardening

Comments (64)

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  1. Eve says:

    I’m a big fan of beeswax! Now I can build my own hives and ensure the safety of each individual bee. :) Did you hear that they’ve found a cure for “colony collapes disorder” turns out it was some sort of bacteria and scientists are administering antibiotics to some hives now w/ success! Thanks for the plans. Happy Earth Day!

  2. Bee-man of NM says:

    Beekeeping should be done by beekeepers, not scientists. Further, beekeeping should be done by small beekeepers, the words “industrial” and “beekeeping” should never be neighbors The cause of colony collapse disorder is more likely the use of anibiotics and mitecides in order to control the bacteria/fungi or mites that are affecting the hive. This can be eliminated to a great degree simply by using top-bar hives, but also the careful selection and breeding of gentle bees with mite and bacterial resistance can also help (honey production should be a tertiary consideration, simply because of the state of honeybee genetic diversity worldwide). Any hive that needs chemicals to survive should not be propagated and should most likely be re-queened. If more beekeepers were to follow this ethic, maybe we would see a more natural and lasting resistance begin to spread as the drones from healthy hives fly off and spread healthy genetic material to the queens in the area. Les Crowder and P.J. Chandler both deal with this in more depth. When we use top-bar hives we should commit to using no chemicals at all, we should commit to truly natural beekeeping, for how can we expect the bees to regulate themselves properly when we fill their hives with chemicals and antibiotics that disrupt the cycles of life they have evolved with over the last 40 million years?

  3. melissa says:

    But how do you get started? I would love to have a hive on my urban homestead, and will eagerly build a hive, but how do you populate it once it’s built? There are lots of inspiring sites by people keeping bees, but how to get started is still a mystery to me. Is there a good online resource to which you can direct me?

  4. Melissa,

    Once you have your hive built you’ll need to either order bees or catch a swarm. For a place to order bees see the “buy them online” link at the bottom of the post.

    Good luck!

  5. […] Me proudly showing off the Top Bar Bee Hives I built last […]

  6. William Sakwitz says:

    Melissa,

    I populated my hive by capturing a swarm. BackYardHive.com has an excellent article on capturing a swarm. Also, do a search on YouTube to see videos of people capturing swarms. Then call some local pest control or bee removal places and ask them if they get calls to remove swarms and if they will let you take one of the calls. It only took me about a week to get a call.

    Have Fun!

  7. Peter says:

    Hey, great website! The other day, for no particular reason, I decided that i wanted to have bees around me, and proceeded to explore the net. After researching, it has become apperent that the ktbh is the sustainable design choice for me. I will begin constructing mine soon with my 7yo step son, and the only main question i have (as i figure most of my questions will be answered by the bees themselves once i begin) is about keeping the breeding and honey production seperate, to minimize bee deaths. How is this achieved? I plan on build one similar to the PDF file posted above, where i will have an entrance low on one end, and i will make a couple follower boards. What is the function of the follower boards? Also, i understand the need to to make the top bars of a certain width, but i haven’t noticed anything about spacing.. Should the top bars be touching? I’m excited to begin, and appreciate helpful forums like this. Thanks in advance!

    Peter

  8. Derec Shuler says:

    We just finished building two top bar hives and are now looking for swarms. I was looking for honey at first but am now excited about the wax and want to learn more about making soaps and other bee oriented products.

  9. I am so hoping to get some help from someone here. For six years my husband and I have been trying to remove huge colonies/hives of honey bees in our house and barn walls. We did not want to kill them and we had one bee keeper after another say they would come and get them but no one ever has.
    The bees are causing more and more problems and they have to go. There are estimated hundreds of pounds of honey in the walls and we realize we have to tear the house apart to clean up which is one reason we have just learned to live with them.

    I have heard that the bees can be persuaded to move out by putting a hive nearby or something — but we don’t want to buy a hive. We could build this top bar easily.
    Can anyone offer advice???
    Thanks so much

  10. Marty Hardison says:

    Valerie Attina,
    Hello Valerie I read your post and am pretty good at relocating bees. Let me know where you are and I’ll see if it is practical for me to visit your barn and move your bees out.

    You can e-mail me or call my cell 303-619-5156

    Marty Hardison

  11. valerie did you get the bees gone. if not let me know where you live, maby i can help. thanks gerald.

  12. I apologize for my late response… I could not remember this web site name for anything. So glad I found it again.

    I live in northeast Ohio. It would probably be (bee :) too costly for someone to come over and like everyone else we are low on funds. We may have to DIY. NOW my husband wants to keep bees also — but not in the house of course. Sooo guess who gets another job …
    Marty, thank you I will call you to discuss.

    my direct email is valtime1@windstream.net

  13. Dawn Austin says:

    So how do you extract the honey with these hives?

  14. Some notes on the previous messages: 1. there is no cure for colony collapse disorder 2. to say that beekeeping should be done by beekeepers and not scientists shows a real disrespect for both beekeepers and scientists because anyone who keeps bees is in fact a scientist by nature. 3. beekeepers who are also professional scientists have been considering the problems of CCD and many are considering the lack of genetic diversity in commercial bees as the major contributor to CCD so if you do need to order bees (instead of capturing a swarm) it is in everyone’s best interest (hobby keeper, commercial enterprises, and THE BEES that you try to obtain bees from small scale apiaries that can give you outcrossed or hybrid bees and not requeen your hive every year (which some do to increase honey yeilds regardless of colony health)–that way, your colony and the drones it produces will help maximize genetic diversity in the wild bee populations as well 4. HOW TO GET THE HONEY FROM A TOP BAR: you simply crush the combs in a collander and let the honey run out in a clean pan or bucket…to remove small bits of wax from the honey afterwards, carefully pour it through a nylon stocking…but keeping some on the comb is a nice treat too.

  15. kenny61 says:

    try the Michigan Hygenic queens…theyre in demand all across the country

  16. O'Neill says:

    Why are some top bar hives built with a solid bottom and others have a screen on the bottom? Is there an advantage to either style? Should there be an entry hole and a seperate exit hole?
    Thanks
    Tom

  17. O’Neil,

    The bottomless top bar bee hives, or the kind from which the bottom can be removed, are thought to help with veroa mites and other pests because they fall through the holes in the bottom. It also helps keep the hive cool in the summer. However, the bottom should be installed for winter in most climates.

    There is no need for separate entry and exit holes.

  18. j christopher says:

    i was unable to bring up the pdf file if you could give me the address i would appreciate it thanks

  19. […] frame style hive and you don't have to hotknife the comb to retrieve the honey from these. Top Bar Bee Hive: Perfect for Backyard Beehives I have talked to bee keepers here and they are reluctant to sell colonies because of the bee […]

  20. terry hill says:

    I BUILT A TOP BAR HIVE BUT DONT KNOW WHAT THE FOLLOWER BOARDS ARE USED FOR . CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN HOW THEY ARE USED. THANKS TERRY

  21. Terry: the follower board just helps the bees keep the hive size manageable when you first install your bees. You keep moving it back as the hive grows and eventually won’t need it if you have a happy healthy hive. Some people don’t even use them.

  22. dave luger says:

    Hi, I had bees for about 7 years. It was box and super style. This style intrigues me but how do you keep the brood from the honey? Does it have a queen excluder? Where can I see full plans?

    Thanks, Dave

  23. […] Top Bar Bee Hive: Perfect for Backyard Beehives […]

  24. Linda Silvey says:

    My husband and I have a swarm in a tree on a lower branch. I would love to have someone get this swarm rather than have the city kill the bees.

    I live in SE Kansas.

  25. Linda Silvey says:

    what do you make out of the bees wax?

  26. SE in Kansas please never, ever, ever “kill the bees”. First of all, honey bees aren’t going to hurt you. Unless you know you’ll have an allergic reaction to their stings, there is no reason to fear them. TRUST ME; I’ve had them all over me as I literally picked up swarms with my hands.

    But the main reason not to be concerned is that they WILL move off within a day or two. Right now they are just swarming together while some scouts go look for a new place to live. As soon as they find a good home they’ll be gone.

    I appreciate that you came on here seeking advice and first tried to get someone to come fetch the bees, but the fact that we’d rather kill an entire swarm than wait a day for it to leave on it’s own is exactly what is wrong with human kind.

  27. Michael Eastlake says:

    My friend Dave is the Beeman …
    he asked me to build them new hives.
    I made them a little different
    just so the Bees stay alive.

    My hives look the same as others,
    but aren’t painted pearly white …
    just made of sweet-smelling cedar wood.
    The Bees think that they’re just right. We’re so glad.

    My hives don’t have rectangular frames
    for the Bees to build their wax combs …
    ‘just made them some simple topbars
    that are more like their forest homes.

    Honey Bees build their combs
    out of wax that’s 6-sided
    that hang from these topbars
    in shapes THEY decided. Everybody likes a choice !

    Some combs hold honey,
    in others are babies.
    We just want those Bees happy
    and I don’t mean just maybe.

    We don’t use an extractor
    to fling out the honey …
    just squeeze with our fingers
    which get sticky and funky. The honey’s still sweet !

    Some people feed Bees white sugar
    which makes them have real thick boogers.
    Instead we feed’em honey
    which don’t cost us money …
    we just give’em what they want ! Now that makes sense !

    When fall comes and the flowers all quit
    and winter is coming near,
    Dave won’t take their fresh honey.
    It’s their only food for the year.

    Maybe next spring
    when the flowers are blooming
    there will be enough honey
    to share with us humans. Maybe we should ask ‘em !

    I talked with a Bee once
    with words you hardly could hear.
    It was just a little BeeBuzz
    quietly next to my ear.

    She likes what we’ve done
    and that we treated her dearly.
    She hopes we’ll come back
    and care for her yearly. Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Oh Boy!

    Bees are really important
    and most certainly cool.
    Helping them be healthy
    should be taught in our schools.

  28. Robert Richards says:

    The reason the comb is not glued to the sides is because the bees have a difficult time to make a comb while on their backs, this is why super boxes are seldom combed all the way thru. In other words, thats why the frame remains removable, and why the Warre hive boxes stop at 4.25 mm from the lower boxes topbars. The bees do it.The angle of the KTB hive is slanted enough to take advantage of this. Great, isn’t it! KTB is wonderfully easy.

  29. J. Bondo says:

    Hey, I just built my first top bar hive. What kind of bee entry does everyone have? I am thinking of drilling about 3 1/2″ holes in one end. Would that be large enough entry holes?

  30. Hello Bondo. Congrats on building your first hive! Most people just have one entrance (not three), although I’ve heard of people having the main entrance in the front and then one in the side as well. Usually the front entrance is more of a rectangle than a hole. I think a rectangle makes it easier for you to put in a piece of wood to close up half of it in the winter.

  31. April Heim says:

    Linda Silvey……. do you still have the swarm? My uncle has a hive and lives an hour west of Wichita. He would probably come capture and remove your swarm. I’ll check for another post in a couple of days and we can figure out how we are going to make contact.

  32. PaminPhoenix says:

    I am considering starting a small bee hive, and I like the idea of the top bar. My interest is mostly in trying to increase the bee population for flower and veggie gardening. We used to have bees in our attic.. their hive took up 3 rafters, and was discovered by the man who came to get the A/C ready for the summer. We were so glad to discover it before the weight of it came through the ceiling! The bee people said that scouts would try to return if there was so much as a grain of honey left, so it was a big clean up project…and tight screen covers every possible entrance to the attic.
    So, my 2 questions are… will the bees pretty much stay in their hive, and can a hive live through the hot Phoenix summer (today is 112 degrees), or will they leave, and hopefully come back when things are cooler?

  33. PaminPhoenix says:

    By stay in their hive… I mean for living purposes… I know they will leave to get food and pollinate!

  34. Deb says:

    I live 20 min East of Wichita right on a river with a great wooded slope and would love to start bee keeping. I would love and appreciate any and all advice. Deborah is my full name and is biblically interpretted as the “Bee charmer”….would love to fulfill my namesake…I also love flower gardening and my nearest neighbor has started an orchard of plums, cherry trees, etc….

  35. Marsha says:

    I am so new to this and I have started my TBH. My questions are: What time of the day is the best to harvest ? Also how do you tell the difference between brood and honey? Is it very evident?

  36. scott says:

    i have a topbar hive and noticed they make alot of drones. i’m not sure if this is good or not. it’s late july and still no honey. bees seem to stay inside alot compared to my regular hives. is this normal?

  37. jean pierre rousseau says:

    hi all you bee loving peple.i built a tbh and it works great but i opened it 2days ago only to find most of the bars were built so crooked that i cant pull out any without having the combs collapse to the bottom of the hive.will the bees make the attachement more solid or should i do something abot it.i live in quebec close to quebec city

    jp

  38. Andy Lepak says:

    How do I get the bees to stay in a top bar hive once I buy a 3# package??

  39. jerry autrey says:

    Has anyone ever had a hive in a greenhouse.

  40. Suzette says:

    I live in south Florida, and have had several swarms at my urban property.
    Two years ago, a swarm set up in an inverted pot, however, the colony seemed to “collapse”. Recently another swarm took over the same (cleaned out) pot. Buffo toads (invasive) were waiting at the top opening to eat the bees. When I used a piece of hardware cloth to loosely cover around the top to discourage the toads, the colony spooked and left. There were about 4, 8 in. x 5in. combs remaining in the pot, so I cleaned it out again.
    I would like to make or purchase an inexpensive and safe hive to encourage the return of bees to my bee, bird, and butterfly friendly garden.
    Any suggestions are appreciated.

  41. Viki says:

    Hey ya’ll I’m going to start with a hive because of the terrible plight of the bee and my back yard is nature central.What is the easy easy way to make a hive in the city I live in greater Atlanta GA and want to put a hive at home and at the strip between the office and the woods. Info please!

  42. sally says:

    After i get the bees to come into my hive how do I get them to stay?

  43. sally says:

    Whitch is best for my top bar hive a solid bottom or screen?

  44. jerry autrey says:

    Has anyone ever had a hive in a green house.

  45. James W. Morris says:

    WE HAVE BEES IN THE SUB-ROOFING (BETWEEN THE ROOF AND CEILINGS OF OUR HOME. FOR AWHILE THEY WOULD COME INTO A LARGE CLOSET AND SWARM AROUND A LIGHT FIXTURE AND AN OVER HEAD FAN (PARTICLARLY WHEN THE LIGHT WAS ON. NOW, THE HAVE MOVED TO A PALM TREE NEAR THE MAIN HOUSE. THEY DO NOT BOTHER US IN THE PALM TREE. HOWEVER, WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A FEW HIVES IN OUR YARD, MORE AWAY FROM HOUSE. WE LIVE IN THE WESTERN PART OF PALM BEACH COUNTY, IN A VERY RURAL AREA AND HAVE A SMALL FARM(32 ACRES)NEAR ORANGE GROVES AND WOODS WITH ALOT OF FLORIDA HOLLY TREES(ALL GOOD SOURCES FOR POLLINATION). WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST HIVES & LEAST EXPENSIVE HIVES TO INSTALL & USE? AND, HOW MUCH HONEY COULD WE REASONABLY EXPECT FROM EACH HIVE DURING THE PRODUCTUVE SEASONS? THANKS TO ANYONE WHO CAN PROVIDE INFORMATION!

  46. ruth hoak says:

    December 20
    It is 50 degrees outside in Makanda Illinois (southern Ill). My bees were out and flying, so I took them some honey to eat. Is that what I should do? I am so afraid they dont have enough to eat. We had drought for the months of July, Aug., Sept. and part of Oct. We fed them sugar water at that point.

  47. Brian Ritchie says:

    Hi Ruth,

    Bees fly all year. Even at freezing Winter temperatures they fly out of the hive to poo. They are tidy about their hives. They must fly out with other hive debris, too, like dead bees or bits of bee legs or soil debris. At 50F they might be flying about to collect pollen and water. Likely there are no nectar sources available at 50F. You might well see drones being dragged from the hive as the bees prepare for Winter. The drones are replaced in the Spring to live their lives of idleness unless needed to fertilize a new queen.

    By the way, bees need a lot of water and that’s why beekeepers like to have a pond or stream nearby or they put out buckets of water. You must put hay or sticks on the top of the water – some kind of handy landing spot – because the bees will drown trying to get some water.

  48. Melody says:

    Hi I’m a new beekeeper, and loving it, I want to stay as organic. What do I do about ants getting into the hive? Also I want my bees to be as natural as possible, so do I worry about mites and all the other things people say to spray for. My hives are old and very strong, I don’t want to hurt them in any way. thanks for the help. I want to try the top bar hive next.

  49. Lu says:

    I am the proud recipient of a gift of a hand made top bar hive and have ordered the bees for the middle of April. I live in southern WI. My question is….where do I place the sugar/water mixture in the hive. The top is flat and sits on top of the bars. Can I place it next to the first few bars and on the bee side of the excluder. Also, is it necessary to have a hole 2/3 or 3/4 of the way up the side of the hive (above the entrance) for air circulation. This hive sits on lets and will be about 3 feet off of the ground. Lu

  50. Meira Loenard says:

    Hi- I appreciate all the help that is given here. I am a new beekeeper with a new top bar hive. I was planning to purchase one package when the seller advised in starting with two. I am purchasing the package through a local bee club. The seller also advised against top bar and said that 80% of his clients have to repurchase the next year because they didn’t survive. I am here in Colorado so the cold winters are apparently a problem. I am still wanting to work with the top bar per permaculture wisdom. The bees I would be purchasing are the Italians. If you have any thoughts on this topic I welcome it.

  51. Jorge Vieira says:

    great forum,
    i have a hive with frames, and i am considering built one of these TBH, but how do you keep the brood from the honey? Does it have a queen excluder? I haven’t found a answer to this in any design, but i think it could be done using a follower board with a queen excluder grid in it?
    Thank you
    Jorge Vieira

  52. Deborah says:

    Hi! If you are a beginning bee keeper or are interested in keeping bee, contact your local apiary society and take a Beginning bee keeper course. All the questions I have seen on the forum were answered in my class! I also got great info at backyardhive.com
    I know this info is late but,
    Scott with all the drones: your queen is probably dead and the workers are laying eggs that hatch into drones because they only have unfertilized eggs. You need to re-queen or your hive will die.
    Jerry Autrey: bumble bees will live in a greenhouse, they are used by hot house tomato growers. Honey bees will go into a greenhouse if it is left open. Honey bees do not pollinate tomatoes but will pollinate other crops like squash and melon. Honeybees don’t do well in green houses.

  53. Debby says:

    I am thinking of keeping bees. I am not sure how well bees will winter over in top bar hives in northern Vermont. I have been told that they don’t do as well in topbars as they will in langstroths. The person who shared this information has both types of hives. Has anyone had experience with top bars in cold climates?

  54. Sidney says:

    Hi to everyone on the bee blog. I am interested in the top bar hive. Is there someone near north Colorado Springs who is familiar with top bar hives and can spend a little time to talk to me about it? thanks.

  55. Hello Sidney. The folks at Backyardhive.com can answer any questions you have. They’re located in Boulder, CO I think – so not too far from you.

  56. Pamela Dillon says:

    Thanks for the honey bee poetry. I am hoping to raise Bees in a top bar. What or how should I stablize the legs? My ground is very uneven and hilly.

  57. John LaRocque says:

    About over wintering bee in top bar hives: People who are experienced bee keepers do not have any more problems overwintering in top bars. You must know that if you start late in the summer with a swarm or package there is very little chance that a colony will survive the winter in any sort of hive. Also commercial beekeeper are experiencing 80% or more loses. There are a lot of reasons that colonies do not survive the winter, but the biggest two reasons are starvation and mites. As with most things, we get better with practice, and that is particularly true with bee keeping; and beekeeping in top bars in particular.

    What you will run into in the established beekeeping world is a prejudice for what they have been doing for years. Even when what they have been doing is not working, as when they loose 80% of their hives in one winter. Sort of like a computer person that first learned on doss computers will never even consider a Mac, even though it is much easier and far more productive.

    Having said all that, getting Them to stay at first is greatly enhanced if you have some drawn come. If you are starting out that is difficult. Try to get some from a local top bar beekeeper. Or, put them in and hope for the best. When installing a package leave the queen caged until they draw out a little come. Do not try it after the first of July. They ain’t gonna make it.

    Te biggest disadvantage with tb is that it is difficult to feed them. I haven’t figured out a good way yet. What I do is put an entrance feeder right in the hive. Works, but is not ideal.

    Oh, but they are so much fun, and way easier and cheaper than the traditional way.

  58. Shawna says:

    I very much want a hive, and would like to look into building one, but I can’t seem to find the plans. People are talking about having just built theirs; am I missing the link to the plans? I feel a little daft!

  59. This is my first year with a top bar hive. Have had langstroth hives
    for 7 years but not with much success. Lost my last two, 2 years ago
    when we had a horrendous snow storm here in West Virginia, couldn’t see my hives for three months. I took a breather from the box hives and decided to try a TBH.I like the natural appeal of the hive. Allowing the bees to do their thing. I set it up in April and one of our friends from our beekeeping club made me 5 frames (a nuke) from a Langstroth hive but made them to fit the TBH. The nuke was queen-right and had brood on all five of the frames. i had lots of questions and not many people had answers. How to feed them, how to keep the brood seperated from the honey stores and may I include, they were some angry bees. maybe b/c they were taken from a box hive and put into this weird shape of a home. Needless to say, they built up quickly and don’t you know they swarmed! But being the considerate ladies that they were, they left me a queen cell and lo and behold the queen was hatched. I now have the 5 original frames, 5 drawn out frames with brood and honey, three full frames of honey and 2 extra to bars in case they continue to expand. I also have had a lot of drones more than I ever had in the box hives. There has to be a reason that they make so many drones. Seems to me that’s going to make more work for the workers at the end of the season, dragging those useless bodies out of the hive. i don’t usually use smoke but I do with the TBH b/c the bees always seem to want to see what’s going on on the outside and i don’t want to squeesh any of them when I put the bars back in place. Well, I’ve rambled on long enough but to all of you out there – Go For It-I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well those little girls know how and what they need and you’ll be pleased with what they can provide for you if you treat them kindly.

  60. […] rage, but if you don’t want to shell out hundreds of bucks for a hive, try building your own. This article about DIY top-bar bee hives is a good place to start. Rate this: Like this:LikeBe the first to […]

  61. Jake says:

    Top Bar Hives are really the way to go for any smallscale beekeeper. If you aren’t good with tools you could buy a top bar bee hive for under $300 easily and it would still be cheaper than all the equipment you’d need for a Langstroth.

  62. Benny Jeffreys says:

    Lots of good top bar words. I think that every beekeeper should get at least one swarm a year. I don’t think that I would ever buy a bee or bees. Lots of people are killing bees for lots of misguided reasons. Put your name on the fire dept. list. Now here’s one that no one has ever heard of. TALK TO THE REALESTATE PEOPLE IN YOUR TOWN. Let them set the price. The buyer or seller will be the one paying. You are saving bees,making some money but you will be making friends. Too many people have fear of bees. I rescue swarms for FREE because… But I get more than I would charge most of the time. Any fool will work for money,but you are doing this for love. I have gotten 11 swarms and two bird houses. By the way I have lost bees because of swarming. OH WELL

  63. MikeR says:

    The nicest thing about top-bar hives, aside from being able to build them yourselves, is that they’re expandable just like the drawers in a filing cabinet. Give the girls a small space to start in, then slide the spacer over (and add more bars) as they fill the space with brood and honey. You can work the hive without disrupting all of it at once … as you inevitably do when you pull a heavy box off the top of a conventional hive. I definitely don’t miss the expensive wooden supplies!

  64. […] to try a microbusiness idea of my own. Along with my neighbor Tommy, I was going make and sell top-bar bee hives. We made a few prototypes and sold a couple of hives before doing the math and realizing it […]

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