What are the pros and cons of top bar hives. Witch do you think is best? Why?
What are the best breeds of honey bees? Why?
Just thinking about getting started next year. I will build my own hives, I think.
Hope to hear from you,
IMHO, Different locations, climates and beekeepers means different ideas. If you ask 20 beekeepers, you are going to get 20 different answers. I have read, listened to and asked about this--with 100's different answers, ideas, suggestions and studies to back them up. Best thing to do is join a local bee club or find a mentor that lives close enough for you to help him and to learn from him. Then if you are like me and alot of others you'll finally decide what's best for you.
I have one top bar hive and two langstroth hives. i like both. The top-bar was cheaper for me because i built it myself, but the langstroth hives are easier to manage. i enjoy watching the bees build natural comb. top-bar hives are good for comb honey production. or you can squease the honey out of the comb with a dough roller (the comb goes inside a freezer bag with the corner cut out...the honey comesout the corner into a strainer, then a nylon sock, then a collecting bin.) then you get both extracted honey and beeswax, which can be used for candlemaking and other crafts. since the bees keep having to rebuild their comb, though, honey production goes down as wax production goes up. another advantage of the top bar hive is that bees build the size cells they want - smaller for brood, bigger for honey. this way they can be as efficient as possible.
i would think it would be easier to build a top-bar hive than it would be to build a langstroth, with all the ridges and the need for perfect measurements - and cuts! with a top-bar hive, all that matters is the length, which will accomodate a number of 1-3/8 inch top bars and two end bars of 1-9/16 inches. this is to allow for ample bee space at the ends of the hive. good luck building. i like my bees. they are italians.
A forum community dedicated to living sustainably and self sufficiently. Come join the discussion about livestock, farming, gardening, DIY projects, hobbies, recipes, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!