Long hive beekeeping

Perhaps one of the oldest methods of keeping bees is top barĀ Long Hive Beekeeping. Popular in Africa, largely due to the low cost of hive manufacture, it is now becoming popular in Europe as a bee and environmentally friendly method of beekeeping.

A few weeks ago Mrs Bee found some online plans and so I set to work. A trip to B&Q later and I had a sheet of plywood ready to make into a hive. Leaping forward, this is how it finished up.

And this is how I got there:









This shows the inside of the hive.

The frames are very different to those in a conventional hive, in that they are simple top bars.

A small piece of wax sheet is added to give the bees a subtle hint as to where we would like them to build comb.

And that’s about it. All I need now are some bees, oh and some warm weather..


2 thoughts on “Long hive beekeeping”

  1. I think it’s important to say that, into our 21st year of beekeeping now, there is no way that I think new beekeepers in the UK should start with a top bar hive.

    In order to be a successful and responsible beekeeper (fair to bees, neighbours, and other beekeepers), I strongly feel that you need to understand the workings of a hive, through significant experience of more conventional (to the UK) hive management, before even considering top bar hives.

    We’re hoping to use this hive to learn more about bee behaviour and to give us more flexibility in managing our conventional hives in these very challenging times for bees.

    The likes of ‘celebrity beekepers’, such as Monty Don, starting out with top bar hives has not helped the ‘good and informed beekeeping’ cause at all, in my opinion.

    1. Can’t agree more. I should also add thaty if anyone is considering beekeeping they should join their local association and then they will be partnered with a beekeeper to see if it is really for them, before committing to the cost. This also avoids ‘abandoned’ or poorly managed bees causing problems for other beekeepers.

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