All of these design elements Corwin developed and refined were derived from many years of experimentation with the intent of making the Top Bar Hive more user-friendly and to encourage the bees to draw out well aligned combs. In colder climates our smaller hives can be winterized more effectively and the smaller space kept warmer by the bees. In an urban backyard, or in a semi-rural location, the small profile of this hive is not as obvious and intimidating for neighbors. They have a handsome aesthetic look that intrigues and interests, rather than evoking: "Oh my, the neighbor has bee hives! The 103 degree side angle is perfect for this smaller hive and is derived from the experience of long time Top Bar Beekeeper Marty Hardison's experience.
Critical for Good Comb Formation
Our Bee Hives are meticulously handcrafted by our professional woodworker using only sustainable, reclaimed or rescued wood sources. Our local woodworker crafts every hive to exacting measurements and standards using the most precise angles and spacing to create a pleasant and efficient home for the bees.
The Original Backyard hive has almost the same volume as the Golden Mean hive, but there is a big difference in the brood size and the total number of bees in each design. The height and the width of the hive determines the brood nest size that will develop and not so much the length of the hive. The bees want to have a roundish brood nest. So, the Golden Mean hive would have a basketball size brood nest and the Original Backyard hive would have a football size. The Original Backyard hives' smaller colony size is great for urban settings where having a lots of bees buzzing around could draw more attention. Also, the smaller colony size is great for someone just getting started with bees. It’s just a more mellow hive all around. The long length of the Hive really makes for a lot of separation from brood nest to honey stores, so when harvesting there are fewer bees to manage.
Specially designed top bars by Corwin Bell that improve the bees efficiency, health, ability to self ventilate the nest and improves overwintering, by providing passages for the bees to efficiently migrate through the honey stores.
Our specially machined "Passage Bars" are designed with four holes and when accurately aligned with consecutive bars provide the bees with tunnels through which they can easily travel from comb to comb.
Bees use these passages to migrate to their honey stores, enabling them to move through the passages and stay within the warmest part of the hive during the winter.