We have a new hive at our house, a lovely windowed top bar that Neil built. Neil, hive builder extraordinare! It found a home against the fence and near a small apple tree in our yard. (IMPORTANT NOTE: The house that shares the fence is not occupied - technically this hive should be several yards way from fence lines, but the homeowner doesn't care. Make sure to talk to your neighbors before installing hives in urban farming areas!) Even though our year old hive (called Amanda) is also in the process of expansion, there is something about new bees getting established in a shiny new hive.
A top bar hive is just that: a long narrow trough-like hive that has bars on top that the bees build their comb on independently. The traditional hive style - the one you visualize - is called a Langstroth hive. It is essentially a box filled with frames of prepared comb for the bees to move into and … Continue reading What is this “top bar” thing?