Recommended books or blogs etc for top bar hives?

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Hi all is there any book or blog or you tuber etc you?d recommend for learning about top bar hive beekeeping? Am about to start my first year keeping bees ! And in a top bar hive.

Or is there any advice you?d tell me, anything you wish you had known at the beginning?

(I?m in Atlanta but my site is in the middle of a few unmaintained acres with a pond so I think I have a little less to worry about from angry neighbors or pesticides Directly than if I were in a subdivision. And another guy already has 2 hives there)


Let me start by saying that I don?t have bees in a top bar hive. I have a little experience with horizontal long langstroth hives and horizontal Layens hives.  I have used foundationless frames in both.

I have a copy of ?Top Bar Beekeeping? by Les Crowder. It?s a good read and a guide through all seasons.

There are a lot of different ways to keep bees so don?t get too wound up about everything the internet tells you.

My one tip for top bars or any frames without foundation is to keep the comb straight and aligned with the top bars. Once they start going wrong it doesn?t get better.


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Bob Wilson:
Maggie. I also only have experience with horizontal langstroth beekeeping, which I like very much. I can't recommend any books, but the websites and YouTube videos of the two following men have given me a wealth of information about horizontal hives, and beekeeping in general. They are clear and simple in their delivery, and are among the best.
Michael Bush at
Dr. Leo Sharashkin at www.horizontal

  Hi Maggie,

  All good advise so far and I thought I'd chime in and mention I wish I had started out with local bees only. I began with a local nuc and a package from a commercial supplier. The nuc was a chore to install but they thrived whereas the package didn't. If you know another top bar keeper maybe they could do a split for you. ?

Joe D:
Hi Maggie,
I started off with a top bar I built.  I had built it and then got a cut out, so I made the rest of a frame to help tie the comb to.  The bees I had in it were very gentle.  As for the top I made the bars to fit the space front to back of hive, very little space, the I fixed a cover over the bars, kind of an arched deal that fit over the frames.  Once you get your TBH done how are you going to extract your honey.  And a TBH is heavy to move, if you have to.  I have thought for years about building a long hive using Lanford frames, probably mediums for the ease of extracting.  You would just get a frame or two out at a time inspect and take out another and replace it leaving a gap to work from.
I did love my TBH I had a window down one side with a cover over it.  Could raise the cover and watch the bees do their thing for hours.  Oh, I also put a wire mesh #8 hardwire in the bottom of the hive with a tray with oil at first, then I switched to water with a cheap dish washing liquid in it.  It was closed where the bees couldn't get in it.  Maybe this will help a little, I did go to Mr. Bush site and others on u tube.

Good luck to you and your bees,

Joe D


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