My dear father with his booth at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market in Ithaca, New York
As I mentioned in my last post, one of my near-term goals is to build a new top bar hive. The plan is to travel to my parent’s house this weekend, where my dear father has agreed to help me build the new hive. He has become quite the woodworker in his retirement, building and selling custom furniture throughout the year.
Based on my first year of use, my existing top bar hive Venus has a few drawbacks. In this post I’ll lay out my views on the current hive and how I hope to address these in a new hive. Unless something goes wrong, my next post will present the finished product. Continue reading
Spring is a couple months away and the weather might be cold and dreary, but I have the birds and the bees on my mind. My bird feeders in the back yard have been visited by the local chickadees, juncos, cardinals, blue jays and other birds; and we started bee school in January with two classes under our belt so far.
I have been thinking about hives. While I am still keen to have a top bar hive, existing beekeepers keep telling me that I should start with Langstroth hives before trying top bars. So after some angst, I decided to seek some solace and advice in books and online. Continue reading
Welcome to Top Bar Tuesdays! This is the second post in a six-part series on top bar hive design. I was surprised to see how many variations there were for the basic shape of a top bar hive, and how little many authors discussed the different options, so I thought a few posts highlighting what I see as pros and cons of common approaches might be useful.
This post looks at the body of the hive, in particular the end of the hive. Continue reading
Welcome to Top Bar Tuesday’s! I thought it would be worth discussing top bar hives every week or two here, at least until I run out of ideas. So I’ll start with this post and see where these Tuesdays take us. Oh, and I’ll use top bar hive interchangeably with TBH, depending on my mood. Continue reading
I thought I should record some notes on different types of beehives. My grandfather was an avid beekeeper and used Langstroth hives, the box hives you typically see. These were designed in 1852 by Rev. Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth after he realized that bees required a certain bee space between each frame. Bee space is the distance bees require to work between their combs, and is a critical measurement when designing a hive. Continue reading