A backyard hive is a concept which is appealing to more and more people. The idea of watching bees fling in and out of a beehive in your garden fits very well with today’s desire to be closer to nature. Certainly if you are looking for the most natural way to keep your own bees, a top bar hive is probably the way to go. But a more conventional Langstroth hive might be better if you think you might have to move the hive for any reason. The most important thing to remember when inspecting a comb is to do it very gently and not put any strain on the comb since it is only attached by one edge instead of four. It’s just a matter of learning how to manipulate the combs.

Instead of just flipping them over as you would a Langstroth frame, you rotate it along its axis so that the face of the comb is always visible to you.

byh-7 The top bar hive is gaining in popularity despite its critics. It’s unlikely to produce as much honey as a conventional hive, and it much more cumbersome to move. If you do ever have to move a Kenya top bar hive, you’ll have to be very careful indeed not to break any of the combs. As I said they’re only attached on the top instead of the four sides of a Langstroth.

If you’re intending to keep a hive or two because you’re interested in bees, you like honey and you have fruits and vegetables which need pollination, then you should consider a Kenya Back Yard Hive. If scout bees were to find a box, and summon the rest of the swarm to colonize it, the hive they built would probably be very similar to the arrangement in a Kenya Top Bar Hive. I just love to watch bees coming and going from a hive. It never ceases to amaze me how much pollen a single worker bee can carry back to her legs.

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