Top Bar Hives

by Paul Cooper

As I mentioned last month, I am starting a project to investigate the pros and cons of a top bar hive. The literature claims all sorts of advantages not least of which is the greater tolerance to disease, especially varroa, due to the brood cells being the size the bees choose rather then being based upon the size of the foundation pattern.  I will need to consider how to extract honey (using a press rather than a centrifugal extractor) or just use it as comb honey. Oil seed rape is widespread where I live so comb honey will have to wait until later in the season otherwise it will set in the comb.

The picture is courtesy of

So there is lots to consider, not least of which is which design to use as I will be building it myself this winter. There are plans available online as well as lots of websites offering advice and guidance. Here are a few to look at:

I will provide you with an update each month in Herts Bees and hopefully next month some pictures of my new top bar hive.

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