Bee Keeping with a Top Bar Hive
Unlike traditional hives, we choose to go with a Top Bar Hive (TBH) the Kenyan style. With a lot of help from Bush Bees we decided to go with a natural and self sustainable way of beekeeping. The design of the hive was obtained from Michael Thomas who graciously sent me the general specs, although it did take a bit to figure the angles. Now I'm looking for a swarm! I am also wanting to try the Russian Bees. Next on our list of projects a honey press!
Bees Update: I ordered a package of bees from BeeWeaver Apiary and will pick up a 3# package in April 2012. I haven't decided what to do about a swarm. I'll probably still put out a bait hive/swarm catcher just in case. Hopefully in a year or so we can have honey to sell at the local farmer's market. Maybe even some candles!
Most of how we plan to manage our KTBH lies in the advise of Mr. Bush. He has made a very good slideshow that I wish to share with you. Most interesting is his observation of feeding sugar water vs honey. Honey has a pH of 3.2-4.5 which is very acidic. Sugar water has a pH of 6 which is more alkali (aka mellow). Take a guess at which pH level bacteria would rather live in? And besides, what do feral bees eat? Do they get sugar water? Trust me, a strong hive knows what to do!