I have been keeping bees for a number of years now, and like most started with standard national framed hives.
I had no idea at the time, that any other way of keeping bees existed, this I believe is a failing in the way we are introduced to this wonderful craft at the outset.
I initially stumbled upon “Beekeeping For All” by Éloi François Émile Warré a french priest who invented the “peoples hive” and proceeded to read it front to back. From that moment on I was determined to explore an alternative way of keeping my bees.
My first hive in fact was a Kenyan style top bar hive, designed by Phil Chandler the “barefoot beekeeper” a man well known in the world of top bar beekeeping. Hive finished, i luckily picked up a swarm, unceremoniously dumped them in the hive, replaced the top bars, put on the roof , opened the entrance and walked away to let them get on with it. I resisted the overwhelming temptation to have a sneak look a few days later, finally returning after five long days of wondering how they were. What happened next totally convinced me that this was the way forward with my beekeeping future. The girls had built four combs, perfectly aligned on the top bars and were busy on the fifth, a quick inspection revealed eggs in the beautiful pristine white comb. During the summer the bees expanded and finished the season on fourteen bars.
I have subsequently built more hives and made some subtle tweaks along the way, finalising with the designs you see on our shop page.Andrew Vidler Owner of Topbarbeehives.co.uk