Natural Beekeeping

Top Bar ApiRevolution has begun! Lets make some inexpensive Top Bar Hives and let them be pesticide free on their own natural comb! Che Guebee is a rebel bee fighting for the survival of the Biodiversity we all depend on and which is seriously endangered by deforestation and mono-crop agriculture! What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mykorrhiza is building a Kenya Top Bar Hive

Network Mykorrhiza decided to start keeping bees in horizontal Kenya-style Top Bar Hives. They have already built one in the city of Malmo and this new one will be placed in the Agriculture University of Alnarp. This is a HUGE step towards natural beekeeping in Sweden where most beekeepers keep bees in bee-unfriendly framed hives.
Naturally built top bar comb with various cell size, without the use of mono-cell wax foundation.
My smile sais it all :)

In top bar hives the bees are free to build their own comb cells size and are not limited to the frames. Top Bar Brood Comb is usually hanging free from the top bar and the sides are not attached to the walls (except the heavy honey comb) which allows bees to communicate with each other by vibration (when performing the waggle dance). It also gives freedom to bees to build any kind of cell size they feel is needed and they are allowed to have AS MANY DRONES as they feel necessary. The Queen is free to roam the whole hive. The colony is NOT FORCED to make lots of honey by placing extra supers on top of them. When opening the hive one doesn't remove the whole roof like one does in the conventional vertical hives, releasing the hive atmosphere. In top bar hives one opens only 2-3 top bars while the rest is closed. Bees hardly notice the beekeeper when performing an inspection.

Im so happy to see that people are willing to go the bee friendly way rather than focus on making huge amounts of honey :)
 we decided to build this hive from reused materials. We have found a few wooden pallets. It took us some time to dismantle them.Johanna and Marco working hard.
 Marco and me assembling the hive body. He was doing all the hard work I was just there to make the photo look pretty ;)
 The finished top bar hive body with a follower board in place and some top bars (we need to rip a few more top bars)
 the V-shape of the Kenya Top Bar Hive
and here is the finished Kenya Top Bar Hive with legs which make it more ergonomic. Even people with back problems can work this hive. Many old beekeeper stop keeping bees because their backs cant lift boxes used in vertical hives. According to Phil Chandler many women are attending his top bar hive courses and as they say to him "thanks god there is a hive which doesn't require heavy lifting".
We didnt have enough time today to finish the roof and we have to decide on the entrance placement. 
Marco standing proudly behind the hive. This Top Bar Hive will be his responsibility.
Im happy I could help Mykkorhiza to build this hive. I hope to see more of such work shops. 


  1. Realy nice!

    Keep up with the good work Dusko :-)

  2. You realy looks so happy then you study the bees on the picture abowe.

    You must be a beekeeper deep in your heart.

    1. Hi Patrick,

      Thank you for kind words. For those of you who dont know Patrick have built two top bar hives for the people of Mykorrhiza Värmland last year on the Permaculture Festival. It would be great to get Patrick to talk about Top Bar Beekeeping in Mykorrhiza Malmo

      Take care my friend