Top Bar Beekeeping Workshop: Very Cool!

It’s very challenging to be a renaissance-type person in an era of highly focused specialization; I’m a bit of a throwback. I guess I’m just curious about the world in general. So, today, in the spirit of exploration I attended a small workshop about Top Bar Beekeeping which I learned about through the Sonoran Permaculture Guild. The location was way out west of Tucson, in a very tranquil and beautiful part of the Sonoran Desert.

It seems like a good time to think about how to be a good steward for bees. This has to be the worst time ever to be a honeybee; from a bee’s point of view, colony collapse disorder has be equivalent to the apocalypse.

Aside from altruistic motives–which are real–I will admit to being interested in bees because I want a source of honey. I spend a small fortune every month on local raw honey. Plus, crafty as I am, I can just see myself making candles.

Here’s one of the 2 top bar hives we looked at today:

The bars are arranged in a row on top, and when you pull one out, presto: bees busy building their apiarium empire. I had a chance to hold this bar of bees; it’s heavier than it looks:

Here’s a close up; I was really impressed at how possible it is to have a very gentle interaction with bees:

I really liked this workshop and highly recommend it! The folks who taught the class build and sell top bar hives. I know it’s allegedly easy to build one yourself; but I don’t seem to do to well with power saws and planes and angles. I get a bit flummoxed by it all and even the simplest schematic is impossible for me to decipher. So if I can find some bees this late in the season, maybe I’ll just buy a handmade top bar hive from the folks I met today. It’s certainly for a good cause; plus, it’s always a good practice to support small business. More later.