May 11th, 2014 Building the Hive
Our hive is a top-bar hive based on Les Crowder's designs. Bees build comb from the parallel crossbars without frames or foundation like in the more common Langstroth hive. Since the comb in a top-bar hive is unsupported, it must be cut to harvest the honey. Langstroth frames, in contrast, can be used over and over again, as the honey is extracted with a centrifuge. Beeswax takes a lot of energy for bees to produce, and commercial beekeepers prize Langstroth hives for their efficiency. I chose to use a top-bar hive because they are relatively easy and cheap to build and because of compelling arguments that building fresh comb is healthful to bees, even if it ends up meaning less honey to harvest.