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?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Building new Top Bar Hives

I have started building a few more top bar hives for the coming season. If all of my 6 colonies survive the winter I will need at least 6 more bee hives to make new splits in May, probably more. I might set up a few as swarm traps. So far I have 5 new top bar hives.
The new top bar hive body. This kind of beekeeping is also known as the Barefoot Beekeeping or Natural beekeeping in Top Bar Hives. One needs no money to build these hives. I use reused pallet wood as main material. They are simple to build and are very much bee friendly.
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5 new top bar hives


  1. What sort of tools do you use when checking on the bees?

    I've been using an extra long hive tool to lever up the top bars. I was using an old bread knife to cut the comb from the walls, but I bought an opinel carpaccio knife and love it for working inside my top bar hives. It is long, thin, and flexible - perfect for the task in my opinion. I'd like to hear about the tools you use and any tips you have.


    1. I use a long thin kitchen knife, spray bottle with a few drops of lavender and a bee brush (feather even better). I use no smoker.

  2. Is the topbars made from pallets as well?

    1. Yes. The whole hive is from pallet wood except the roofing material. For the roof I use anything which is freely available and is waterproof.