Top Bar Beehives

Here’s a guest post I wrote for on Top Bar Hives. Go check it out.

For what it is worth, I strongly agree with Roger (the author of that site) about how therapeutic bees are. I know some would disagree (and probably run screaming!), but I cannot think of anything more relaxing than being with my bees.

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4 Responses to Top Bar Beehives

  1. aleisha says:

    nicely done! great analysis…maybe i will have to do that kind if i get back into beekeeping after my break:)

    • daveloveless says:

      I actually thought you would enjoy top bars. It seems more your style in a lot of ways. In some ways it involves a lot more work in terms of more consistent visits, but since you can get a hive with a window, your most frequent inspections could be as simple as opening the window and taking thirty seconds just to see.

      For someone who wanted a more hands-off style, I think Top Bars lend themselves quite well to that. And the weight… I was sold on Top Bars the very first time I lifted a single bar as opposed to lifting a full deep body. Every time I lift a deep, I swear I hear tendons snapping all up and down my back. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the review Dave. I loved it.

    I have jusr read and reviewed the Barefoot Beekeeper. Is that popular in the USA?

    I am wondering about not using smoke when I open my conventional hive. What do you think?

    • daveloveless says:

      I don’t know that I’d say he’s popular, but he’s common. My dad follows him because he’s one of the few that actually talks about Top Bar hives. In my experience, he’s pretty accurate.

      Smoke… My opinion is that I use smoke. I use only a little, but I find it works well for me. My partner in beekeeping uses a lot of smoke. It’s a matter of style and preference. I use it more as a signal of “hey, I’m here” than drowning them in smoke. I just don’t think heavy smoke is necessary.

      For the record, I don’t know that I buy into the idea that smoke says “FIRE!!!” to the bees. I’ve never seen bees abandon a hive for smoke, and Michael Bush claims to have seen some hives actually die from being smoked too heavily. If the response was to gorge on honey in order to flee, why didn’t they flee when the smoke got so heavy that they couldn’t breathe?

      I think the smoke masks pheromone communication. To each their own, however.

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