Top Bar Bee Hives
Do you like Kenyans or are you more of a Tanzanian type of person? By now, you’re probably going Huh? If I then told you they are both derived from Greeks and possibly Egyptians you’d be going ” what is he on about? ” Unless that is, you know a bit about top bar beekeeping.
As you may have guessed by now, I’m referring to a particular type of hive, called a horizontal top bar hive. First the horizontal part , which is self explanatory , the hive extends horizontally so all the honeycomb is side by side . The top bar bit is a bit trickier , originally these hives only had a single bar ( a stick if you will ) at the top and the bees filled in the rest below the bar, this made them easy to build and is why they were favored in third world aid situations, hence names like Kenyan and Tanzanian.
But ( my mother always said don’t start a sentence with a but , but there it is)… but in most of the developed world there is a requirement that bee hives are easy to inspect and this is usually ensured by a requirement to have fully enclosed frames .
Practically, that means that while a top bar comb is easy to inspect, it requires a different, more careful technique and the laws that govern these things were written with absolutely no knowledge of the existence of top bar hives. What this means is that to keep the powers that bee (pun intended) happy, a lot of top bar hives now have frames.