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Top Bar Beehives

Top Bar Beehives

Top bar hives are a natural way of housing bees

Many bee keepers favour Top Bar Hives because they believe the design mimics the natural environment more closely, which leads to a strong bee colony. The design is also a more flexible structure with no foundations, easy access and no heavy lifting.

A top-bar hive is a single-story frameless beehive in which the comb hangs from removable bars. The bars form a continuous roof over the comb, whereas the frames in most current hives allow space for bees to move up or down between boxes. This hive, built by All You Can Eat Gardens is typical of what a hive looks like:

Top Bar beekeepers say that inspection of the combs can be carried out with far less disturbance to the bees than a more traditional hive, since only a small amount of the hive is exposed at any one time. Some hives also have a viewing glass window in the side of the hive that allows for observation without opening the hive itself.

The most popular method of harvesting honey from a top-bar hive is by cutting the comb from the top-bar, crushing the comb and straining the honey. This results in honey with a higher pollen content than honey that is extracted by flinging out without crushing the comb

Adrian Lodice (pictured above) from Beekeeping Naturally says, 'Entering the beehive from one side means that only a small number of bees are disturbed at a time, rather than thousands of angry bees reacting to just having their roof ripped off.  A smoker to confuse the bees is rarely used and delicious raw honey can be taken out one bar at a time as needed.' 

Beekeeping Naturally runs beekeeping courses across Australia and All You Can Eat Gardens runs courses in Brisbane. There are hundreds of bee keeping courses across Australia on any given day. If you can't find them here, consult Dr Google. 

Photos: Beekeeping Naturally |  All You Can Eat Gardens
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