April Danann



Thinking outside the box


The standard beehive, as most people know, is a square box. This box contains all the latest and greatest in beekeeping technology, but still just an ugly square box. No wonder then, the growing interest in a hive that does not look like a box or even a hive for that matter.

Top Bar Hives buck the trend of sticking with what everybody else is doing. They are so different from standard commercial hives that most beekeepers scoff at the very idea that they could even work. When in fact, its the Top Bar Hive that has been around for hundreds of years and the commercial hives that are the new and strange way of beekeeping.


The basis of the Top Bar Hive design lies in the simple hollowed out log, which was used by early beekeepers to create a copy of the naturally formed hives found in old hollow logs or hollow tree trunks. These are the same bees that get into your attic space and set up house. These bees are not looking for a box to move into, a box is not a natural shape. What the bees are looking for is a sheltered spot to build their hive without risk of disturbance.

Bees forced to live in a modern box are under stresses that include crowding, dampness, lack of proper ventilation, diseases, pests, toxins and removal of most of their precious winter stores. (The winter stores are then replaced with a sugar water that offers no nutrition) All these symptoms of box life result in a far weaker hive population that is easily susceptible to disease and parasites.

Its no wonder that people are looking for an alternative to the box and Top Bar Hives are the answer for a steadily growing collection of beekeepers that are looking for a better way of keeping bees healthy.

Top Bar Hives - Thinking outside the box