Setting Up

Here's Green Hive with the two packages of bees to be hived. This hive structure is called a top-bar hive. It allows for a more "natural" process for raising the bees, wherein they build their own comb in the free-spirited, catenary shapes they would create if left to their own devices (e.g., if, for example, they were nesting in a tree).

With the "standard" Langstroth hive, the bees are generally provided a manmade, framed structure (foundation) for building comb in a manner that facilitates automated honey-removal. The top-bar method doesn't necessarily bring the beek as much honey as the Langstroth method. Nor does it lend itself to mechanized honey extraction. But it lets bees be bees and is thought to aid in the reduction of varroa mite infestations due to the smaller size of the cells the bees construct on their own. (Cell size is a long story we'll get into another time.)

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