“How do you tell the difference between European Honey Bees and Africanized bees?
European bees make you honey. Africanized bees make you run!”

I hung up my bee veil in the late 1990s after most of the bees in Tucson had become africanized. I just didn’t want to take the chance that one of my neighbor’s dogs – or G-d forbid, a person, would be attacked by one of my hives gone bad.

I am now thinking about building a top-bar hive. A horizontal top-bar bee hive helps solve many of the problems with conventional Langstroth (stacked square box style) hives such as the problem of pre-manufactured honey comb foundation having too large a cell size; raiding; mites; wax moths and africanization.  (However, you can not use typical honey extraction equipment.)

“Natural queen exclusion occurs more frequently in top-bar hives, because the brood nest is separated from the honey section by at least a full bar of honey comb, and not just a few centimetres of honey as may be the case in a multi-storey framed hive. And the more honey is gathered, the further the brood nest becomes from newly created comb. ” – wikipedia

Here’s some links for more info:

Keeping Bees: Using the Top-Bar Beekeeping Method

So, this looks to be a good wood-working project for this winter and then buying bees for it next spring. For now, I’ll continue buying local honey at the Farmer’s market.

Top image from image from


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