Top Bar Hive Lessons
Top Bars present several advantages to beekeepers, yet they have drawbacks as well. Like most things in life, the correct choice is about a trade off. .
- No lifting (except the lid)
- Low cost to build (This means more honey per hive $ cost)
- Low cost to maintain (no foundation every year)
- Better defense to pests (Small hive beetle – Unproven, but my observation. Someone chime in on this or do a study.)
- No need to buy extractor, uncapping knife, cappings tank and drainer
- No storage problem of unused supers during winter
- More wax production
- Workable for the impaired or handicap
- Less honey production
- More maintenance during comb-building time
- Limited movability
- Bad for cutouts
. Overall, It is a good hive for beginners. Cheap to get into, faster to learn beekeeping with, and more intimate knowledge of beekeeping is obtained. Crushing and straining honeycomb at harvest time is fun, too. . You can find a good design plan for TBH on my Top Bar Hive Design page . Here’s a few lessons on using Top Bar Hives. .
First – A little on how to build a Top Bar Hive
How to Build Top Bars:
How to make Top Bars is a tricky business. It is the only critical measurement of a top bar. They need to be cut 35mm wide for brood chamber (first 12 bars) and then you can open out to 40-45 for honey storage bars. Here’s Two videos Part 1 & 2 on how to make them.