Thursday, August 22, 2013

Top bar bee hives

I have been attracted to raising bees but really put off by the up-front costs.  Fixed costs are evil.

Then I went to a field day at General Motors, Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant.  They have bee hives on the property and sell the honey.  I talked to the two apiary coordinators and they had a suggestion:  Google "Top Bar Hives"
Some honeycomb from a wild swarm that set up housekeeping on an autumn olive.  They got wiped out last fall when they were unable to defend the comb against yellow jackets.  I cannot decide if this comb is shaped more like Africa or Texas.
Top view.  You can see how they built off the the stick at the bottom of the photo.  I think this is a very cool pattern.

End view.

Sumac sticks of appropriate dimension

Close up of sticks in Barn Owl/Bee box.  Alternate thin and thick sticks.  Alternate fat-end and skinny end, look at a box of shotgun shells to get a better feel for how to alternate fat/skinny.
The front cover was fastened in place with four deck screws.  I left a 5/8" gap at  the top for the bees to come and go.  I will put a piece of foam on top to minimize condensate dripping down on to the comb in the winter time.

Only time will tell if bees decide to take up residence.

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