Friday, 21 June 2013

Top Bar Hive

Three years ago Max made a top bar hive. We wanted to compare the two different ways of beekeeping. We left the TBH outside in an enticing position and waited...and waited. Absolutely nothing! We had swarms from our hives but we wanted these back. For the TBH we were hoping for a wild swarm or a swarm from a callout. But for two years we had no calls for swarms and the TBH found its way to the back of the wood barn where it waited some more.

Then on Monday we were driving home when I suddenly saw a swarm sitting in a tree trunk just a few miles from home. Max returned half an hour later with the only equipment we currently have available - a small step and a sheet - and bought them home. Meanwhile I had managed to extract the TBH from under a pile of wood.

It took a while. These bees were obviously looking for a different des res but luck and the weather were on our side. It started to rain and didn't stop for 24 hours. It's not often I welcome 24 hours of rain, especially during the tennis season, but this time I was delighted. The bees realise that a TBH that was waterproof was the best offer they were getting and filed in. We checked yesterday and they are slowly building comb. We are devising a feeding system for them as the weather is still not great.

I will try and keep you up to date on this hive. I love the idea if a more natural way of beekeeping although I have no plans to get rid of my trusty Dadant hives.


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