Long Hive swarm collection

Following on from my earlier post about the making of our long hive, it now has inhabitants. 

I collected a swarm the other day. It was a fairly simple collection, hanging at head height in a tree. I knocked them into my skep and then waited whilst the stragglers and scout bees made their way back to the colony.


There will always be a few left behind, but, providing you are prepared to be patient and you have the queen in the skep, the others will follow.


Here you can see them  in the skep and then after being knocked into the hive.


They quickly took to their new home and within a few hours had begun to draw out the small bits of wax foundation into comb.



With any luck they will have time this year to pull the comb out sufficiently to give them space to put honey for their winter store. This will set them up for a strong 2018, when we might get some cut comb honey from them.

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..