One day I received a call from a gentlemen who wanted to get an established hive for his top bar hive. The cell phone reception was horrible and we ended the conversation with saying something about him sending me an email. I then tried to call him back after I received a call with a good sized swarm but couldn’t reach him. Well, just last week I received an email from Ratana. He was the one who contacted me regarding getting some bees for his TBH. So we talked about transferring bees from a Langstroth frame into his home made top bar hive where he designed bars that are 19 inches in length, the same length of the top of a frame! He even emailed me a rough sketch and sure even, 19 inches and it’ll make moving an already established hive into a TBH easily. Meet Ratana and his custom made top bar hive.
Ratana did a lot of homework before he designed and built this Kenyan Top Bar Hive. He even incorporated a digital thermometer into his bee hive.
Glass observation window, follower board, 17 top bars with a 19 inch length, and removable sliding bottom tray.
It took a little work to dislodge the sides and bottom of a frame but it wasn’t too bad. We transferred 5 frames over from an established hive. We caged the queen and Ratana released her in two days to ensure the colony stays in their new home.
We checker boarded the top bars and the Langstroth frame top bars to entice them to draw new comb onto the top bars that Ratana made. Then he will just swap out the Langstroth top bars as time goes.
Good thing we don’t use glue on our frames or else we would have to cut the frames apart instead of pulling the nails. Here are five frames where we removed the sides and bottom.
And here’s a picture from the observation window.
Thanks Ratana for adopting these bees and also provide us with our first opportunity to transfer bees from a Langstroth hive into a custom made top bar hive!