Building your Top Bar Hive – Learning Beekeeping

15 There are many plans for Top Bar Hives. The vast majority are overkill. Come back to simplicity and see how these hives were designed to be made. For the Dimensions and to Learn more about beekeeping at

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  1. OutOfaBlueSky
    4:41 am on September 13th, 2010

    @sunnykintyre Scotland? The roof should be 1/2″ wood to aid winter insulation and provide mass to prevent it blowing off. A brick on top will also help. That’s a suggestion, some local beekeeper who keeps TBHs should be consulted.

    As for the sloped sides, it reduces the number of bridge combs bees will build to the sides. Makes life better for the beek.

  2. rockyPants4000
    5:15 am on September 13th, 2010

    @sunnykintyre Many top bar hives DO have straight sides. Look up “warre top bar hive”.
    You can try both and see which you like the best. Often the bees you have will make more of a difference than the hive box. Some bees just naturally build more vertically than others. Experiment and have fun!

  3. rockyPants4000
    5:59 am on September 13th, 2010

    @OutOfaBlueSky Yeah that’s a myth about the sloped sides. Many top bar hives around the world are built with straight sides (look up “warre top bar hives”), and they don’t get any more or any less bridge comb than sloped hives. Straight sides are simpler to build as well, and they are more stable in wind since they don’t have smaller bottoms.
    But if you like the slanted sides, that’s cool too.

  4. OutOfaBlueSky
    6:41 am on September 13th, 2010

    @musketman2008 That is the whole beauty of the TBH. By bees nature they don’t want to build on slopes, so they don’t attach to the slopped TBH walls. If they ever do build a bridge comb, you cut it off with your breadknife.

  5. musketman2008
    7:06 am on September 13th, 2010

    How do you prevent the bees from attaching the combs to the sides and bottoms? You don’t want the combs to rip out of the frame when you pry it out.

  6. sunnykintyre
    7:59 am on September 13th, 2010

    Thankyou so much, beekeeping has always been for the better off and this film of yours makes it available to all, what kind of roof would i need here in Scotland ? an an you tell me why straight sides are not used. thanks again and please keep the beekeeping videos coming.

  7. bdrowe
    8:56 am on September 13th, 2010

    True heating wax should be done with care. A 55 gal drum with a heating blanket around it might be good enough if you pre melt the wax in a pot.
    As for starers I find the best starter is some burr comb attached to the top bar.
    Billy Bob PA president has some good vids . But also dont take this as ‘I’m in favor of ktb hives.’
    How do you extract your frames?

  8. OutOfaBlueSky
    8:57 am on September 13th, 2010

    I would never recommend Bush’s weather proofing to beginners. Bush heated a vat of wax and resin and dipped much woodenware in it. He had to custom make the vat, which is not exactly simple and not worth just a few hives. Further, if you research more, others have tried and one caught the mix on fire and burned up some of his woodenware.

    As for dipping the starter sticks, not good, it is subpar for a guide. Watch my other vid on making bars using string and soidering iron.

  9. bdrowe
    9:47 am on September 13th, 2010

    If you’re starting hives from scratch and are weather proofing with oil & bees wax, you might want to try to dip the wood in the wood like making bagels. Painting does not penitrate the wood as much, and will require fresh application each year. Also for a straigt line you can cut a ‘free’ wood paint stir in half, dip it in bees wax, and stick it to the top bar with hot wax. Its called a starter strip, see Michael Bush’s site or talk to Billy Bob in PA.

  10. NineBitByte
    10:04 am on September 13th, 2010

    Nice – I’m going to try it. Thank you for the video.

  11. OutOfaBlueSky
    10:25 am on September 13th, 2010

    These KTB Hives are ideal for low cost, simple beekeeping. The con is they are not as flexible if you are managing dozens of hives.

  12. BillyAteMySoul
    10:45 am on September 13th, 2010

    Thanks for this video! I’m interested in maybe keeping a hive, and top bars look easier for someone who just wants to make a nice lil home for some bees and isn’t a serious, spend-tons-of-money bee keeper. I love your laid back attitude about it!

  13. kuragxo
    11:25 am on September 13th, 2010

    Thanks for the video!

  14. OutOfaBlueSky
    12:02 pm on September 13th, 2010

    thanks, thanks. Be sure to watch Conrad Berube’s videos too. His are great.

  15. bigbillyholmes
    12:45 pm on September 13th, 2010

    another very informative video..thank you sir,,,,,,billy

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