Here’s another bee-autific little blurb in our series of bee-attitudes in need of recalibrating – this is BEE-ATTITUDE #3:
“Top bar hives don’t overwinter in cold climates.”  This one appears to have originated with an early philanthropic effort to provide some folks in Kenya with some supplemental income.  Sort of a “stimulus package”, if you will.  They used horizontal hives made from local materials – and that used no frames or wax foundation – in Kenya – where the temperature ranges from 45 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit.  I don’t know about you but I’ve been a number of places a lot closer to home, where temperatures could exceed those numbers on both ends, and people are keeping bees in those places in top bar hives, successfully – and I didn’t have to go to Kenya to see that.
I accumulate a lot of data about top bar hives and how they behave in the various locations where people are keeping them, and the growing list of people who are successfully keeping bees in top bar hives in places where the temperatures range from 5 to 99 degrees F is getting pretty long.  So we’re not sure that a top bar hive is only suitable for Kenya’s temperatures…
And we hate to point this out, but logic insists that we must:  It would seem, if you were to ask a whole bunch of conventional beekeepers, that bees don’t overwinter in Langstroth hives very well either… or maybe it’s that bees just don’t overwinter well, period.  I know too many Langstroth equipment users that lost all of their colonies over a winter, whether a vicious or a mild winter, for it to make sense to say that it can be blamed on the equipment being used.  I think that healthier bees overwinter better – and so that’s our focus.

Does this attitude match up with yours?  Check us out at  We’ve been looking for you – we need your help in saving the bees.


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One Response to “RE-CALIBRATING THE BEE-ATTITUDES… (Part three)”

  1. the Luddite Says:

    looking forward to future data posts re: Kearsarge project!

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