Beekeeping Naturally promotes the Kenyan Top Bar Hive as one of the most effective natural bee hives for the backyard and small-scale Beekeepers (Bee-carers). The top-bar or Kenya hives were developed as a lower-cost alternative to the standard Langstroth hives and equipment. The main advantage is the simplicity of the hive and its low cost. You also get to produce beautiful comb honey for home consumption or for sale.
Entering the beehive from one side means that only a small number of bees are disturbed at a time, rather than thousands of angry bees reacting to just having their roof ripped off. A smoker to confuse the bees is rarely used and delicious raw honey can be taken out one bar at a time as needed.
No more bending and lifting heavy bee boxes. The Kenyan Top Bar hive is great for people in wheelchairs and very easy for elderly people.
Tips for Natural Bee Keeping
- Keep Bees for the Bees’ sake and value them as pollinators first (apicentric), and honey producers second.
- Fill your garden with nectar and pollen-rich plants (particularly plants that flower over February/March and winter), and don’t use chemicals.
- Allow bees to overwinter on their own honey instead of feeding a sugar substitute.
- Harvest excess honey in spring, summer, and early autumn, only if there is sufficient nectar flow.
- Maintain the nest scent and warmth of the hive by opening it only if really needed.
- Allow the Bees to reproduce naturally by swarming.
- Don’t use chemical treatments for disease and pest control.
- Don’t cull the drones.
- Choose hives that replicate natural honeybee hives, such as Kenyan Top Bar, Warré, Golden, and Dome Hives.
- Avoid smoking the bees as this can cause undue stress.