Chop Wood Carry Water Plant Seeds is a blog about Self-Sufficient Homesteading. How can we live by creating a sustainable bio-diverse world, instead of by consuming and destroying the only one we have? What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Queenright "Educational" Top Bar Hive

The "Educational" Top Bar Hive we have at the school swarmed in the first week of July and since then the hive wasnt doing that well. I could not see any new bees emerging, at one time we had lots of Drones which were killed by the workers bee several days ago, I could not see much Pollen coming in, ... I was almost certain that this hive was Queenless UNTIL TODAY :))

Since the summer is over and this hive maybe falling I decided to open it and use this opportunity to show the inside of the hive to my classmates so they learn more about how to manipulate a top bar comb, and to see if I can find the reason for this collony performing so poorly.

We started digging in by gently cutting away the comb attached to the walls ...
Looking for the Queen and eggs ... nothing ...
 You can tell by my grin how much Im enjoying this beautifully drawn natural comb :))
 so far only honey comb and we keep digging in ...
 Here you can see a collapsed comb which inspired the bees to start building in a wild fashion ... I took this comb totally out of the hive.
A very strange looking comb ...
and then it appeared infront of my eyes :)) BROOD, BROOD, BROOD :))
These are definitely cupped worker brood cells surrounded by the uncupped larvae

We even found the new Queen :)) she is sooooo beautiful :)) and very fast, so fast we could not make a decent photo of her :))
what a great day :))


  1. Hello again, and congratulations on the wonderful hive. I did suspect that you had a queen since they were bringing in pollen. A hive without a queen may bring in some pollen, but a hive that is not bringing in pollen when the others around it are is a good indicator of a queenless condition.

    The brood pattern looks very nice so I suspect this hive will perform well next year. I have been following your adventures and comparing them to mine. I am moving over slowly to what Dennis Murrell calls a Long Langstroth. I use a combination of existing comb, empty frames and a new style of top bar I have developed for langstroth style hive bodies. I will get a picture to you this winter when the work on our small farm allows a bit more time on the internet. :-) Keep up the excellent work. john

  2. Thank you John for commenting. I too am trying to find "my" hive style which suits me best. I think this is important for both bees and me. I will be testing my horizontal TBH inspired by Dennis Murrell's short Kenya TBH which was made wider and deeper to suit the Lang frames. and I will be testing my new Perone Style vertical hive which is smaller than the original but still wider than Warre.