I’d love to get plans for building a hive like this. Where can I find them?



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    I could not find plans for this specific type of hive but there is a very similar design called a, “top bar hive”.  The top bar hive is shaped somewhat like a boat but it operates by the same permaculture principles.  No wax is used and only simple sticks are used for the bees to build comb on.  These hives are very productive and cheap.  They can usually be built out of shipping crates with no specialized tools.  Top bar hives have been used in India for ages and it has now become a popular design for home beekeeping in the west.  I have attached a link to top bar plans below.  

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      Thanks for the link. Have you worked with this type of hive? I mentioned it to a beekeeper aquaintance and he was very discouraging. He said they are too hard to clean and will get infested with mites. I had heard the opposite. That top bar hives are less likely to get pests and diseases.

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      I have not worked with this hive personally but I have seen one at, “Earth Links” a non-profit garden in Denver Colorado. You are right that the hives are less prone to diseases, specifically mites. Forcing bees to produce combs on a plastic bee hive grid encourages openings in the comb where mites can enter. Top bar comb is much more dense and deep with only one connection point on the bar itself. Also, top bar hives are easier to harvest. You just cut off the whole comb and squeeze out the honey. I have also read that top bar hives are easier to handle because only one comb of bees is exposed when the lid is lifted. This prevents disturbing the bees. There are a few disadvantages to top bar hives. First, you will have to space developing combs with fresh bars. This prevents the comb from developing in one complete piece. Also, you will have to be more mindful of the potential for swarming as you will not just be able to add another super. Having another top bar hive ready and keeping an eye on their progress should mediate this problem. Good luck!

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