The Advantages of a Top Bar Hive – If you’re new to the beekeeping business, then you have to be knowledgeable of the different hives you can put your bees in. One type is the top bar hive which is perfect for small time beekeeping business.
The Top Bar Hive is a simple single box type hive. The bees require a different type of environment for the processes. Unlike other types of hives, the Top Bar Hive is a self-containing box where the bees can do their yearly functions in one place.
The length of the top bar hive is one of the most important considerations bee keepers should make in the structure. According to the experts, a 3-foot long or larger is recommended. If the hive’s length is lesser than that, it can result to the bees filling the box immediately. This means that, there will be lesser or no honey that will be harvested.
Top Bar Hives have top bars (which is where it got its name) made of wood laid on the top where the bees can make their comb. Each top bar is placed across the hive with one end on the front and another on the back.
The Advantages of a Top Bar Hive
Compared to other hive options, for instance the Langstroth hive, harvesting honey from a top bar hives require less specialized tools. Even tools such as a kitchen knife, cheesecloth, and an ordinary bowl will do.
This is how it’s usually done: The honey comb is cut off using a kitchen knife in order to open it and with the help of cheesecloth, separate it from the wax to collect the honey.
Varroa mites are extremely destructive to bee hives and colonies. These pests live on the extra space of the cell and strive along with the bee larvae. In top bar hives, the bees create cells that are just enough for their size, leaving no room for the Varroa mites to strive in. Although you may still face some Varroa mite-related problems, the problem will be lesser compared to other types of hives.
3. Better in the Winter
Since the Longstroth hives are made up of stacked boxes, the heat rises up to the top leaving the bottom cold. The bees need to be warm in order to carry out their normal processes. Top bar hives, being horizontal, retains the warmness throughout the box and makes it easier for the bees to make honey in the winter.