Top Bar Bee Hive

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Project by Kirk Lewellen posted 03-17-2011 08:27 PM 3622 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first atempt at a Kenyan Top Bar Bee Hive. Last year my father and I started bee keeping with two Langstroth Hives. It has been an enjoyable experiance and I have shared with several friends. One of my friends is interested in keeping bees ANAP (As Natural As Possible). This hive is for his new family. With a top Bar Hive there is less intervention from the beekeeper. There are about 30 Bars accross the hive, a follower board for expansion, and a view port window to view the bees progress. The underside of the bars are designed for the bees to naturally build comb. The photos show a piece of foundation as a starter for the bees.

-- Kirk Lewellen, Murfreesboro, TN

10 comments so far

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 5238 days

#1 posted 03-17-2011 08:50 PM

I have never seen a hive like that. How do you get to the honey? Do you have to remove the top by taking out all of the screws?

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Kirk Lewellen's profile

Kirk Lewellen

21 posts in 4063 days

#2 posted 03-18-2011 02:07 AM

Hi Max,

Yes you do get honey typically not as productive as a traditional Langstroth (box Type) hive but still honey! NO SCREWS! just lift it off…

There are some additional pictures at the link below…

-- Kirk Lewellen, Murfreesboro, TN

View Yekrub's profile


47 posts in 3965 days

#3 posted 03-18-2011 02:36 AM

Does the tin roof not cause a disturbance to the bees when it rains? Really cool design though.

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4429 days

#4 posted 03-18-2011 03:30 AM

I have been looking at these hives for about a year now. We were sitting down to watch a bee keeping video as I saw your post. It’ll have to wait a few minutes now. We hope to get started this spring. Hope we aren’t too late. I’ve heard and read really good things about the top bar bee keeping method.
Good luck with this.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Kirk Lewellen's profile

Kirk Lewellen

21 posts in 4063 days

#5 posted 03-18-2011 04:05 AM

Tin roof? I don’t know didn’t really consider it…

-- Kirk Lewellen, Murfreesboro, TN

View Kirk Lewellen's profile

Kirk Lewellen

21 posts in 4063 days

#6 posted 03-18-2011 04:08 AM

BTKS, you are not too late. But I would order bees as soon as possible. The top bar hive is an easy build glad to help where I can…. I would look at for a good start to top bar beekeeping. I’m new to it too…

-- Kirk Lewellen, Murfreesboro, TN

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5279 days

#7 posted 03-18-2011 07:41 AM

Imagine that. Just yesterday I was checking this site for a top bar hive. Now here you are. Nice job. Where did you put the entrance?

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 3653 days

#8 posted 03-18-2011 10:11 AM

very interesting hive design

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View Kirk Lewellen's profile

Kirk Lewellen

21 posts in 4063 days

#9 posted 03-18-2011 02:24 PM

The entrance is in the end of the hive closest to the view port window. This way there is only one follower board required and you could us ethe “empty end” as an area for splits…

-- Kirk Lewellen, Murfreesboro, TN

View ianlee74's profile


153 posts in 3913 days

#10 posted 03-18-2011 03:25 PM

Interesting. But I must say that the thought of using it scares the BEEjesus out of me! ;)

-- Ian, Tennessee

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