Long hive beekeeping

Perhaps one of the oldest methods of keeping bees is top bar 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..


New Season Comb Honey For Sale

Today we took off the first frames from our garden hives to make comb honey. Most people understand that honey direct from a beekeeper is more likely to be ‘raw’, ‘unfiltered’ or just ‘not messed around with’ and so better for you and, many believe, helpful against hayfever. We are also often asked about the purest way to eat honey. Well, comb honey has to be it.

raw comb honey 4As you can see from the pictures here, the process is simple and involves nothing more than a cutter and a tray.

The frames are first taken from the supers, the shallow boxes put on top of the hive for the bees to store honey in.




raw comb honey 3Next the wax and honey are cut from the frame as a block.






raw comb honey 2Then a cutter made to the size of the container is used to cut out the right shape from the block.






raw comb honey 1This section is then dropped into a plastic tray and the lid put on. That’s it, nothing else, it is ready for sale.

As you can see, this means that the honey within the cells has never been touched by human hands or processed in any way. It has to be the most natural way to take honey. The first of these containers took about 20 minutes to go from hive to being on sale.

If you want my opinion as to the best way to enjoy comb honey, remembering that you can eat it all, wax included, then keep it simple. Cut a slice of the wax/honey and spread over a hot buttered crumpet or piece of toast. Nothing better.

If you would like to try it then you can buy it from my sales page here.