About Me

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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kenyan Top Bar Hives... Why we chose this style of hive

Kenyan Top Bar Bee Hive
As we started researching the top bar hive and the long term benefits, we realized that the long term benefits of the top bar hive was congruent with our view of backyard farming.
  • Inexpensive: The number one motivation was cost! You can build these completely out of scrap wood. They are designed and developed for third world countries where materials are scarce. You could easily drop close to $1,000 in equipment alone for a Langstroth or Warre type hive. So the Kenyan Top Bar appealed to us in that way. All of the materials to build these 3 hives cost us a mere $20...and we have plenty of spare wood to build more as well!! 
  • Little Treatment: You have a reduced dependence on chemicals to treat various mites and hive beetles. 
  • Health: The bees build their own comb and cells which allows them to be healthier and resist mites. The bees know better than we do and they sure do know how to build their own comb...so why not let them! 
  • Versatility in Design & Size: There is not one set design so you can design and be creative with the construction. There are hundreds of designs out there for how each person prefers their top bar hive to look. Bryan designed and built our hives out of scrap wood which he bought at an estate sale. For $20 he purchased enough old scrap wood to make at least 10 hives (which we don't need 10 hives, but for $20 he decided to buy all the wood!). You can truly personalize these boxes! Bryan designed all of our hives to the same interior dimensions so that comb is transferable in case you want to split a colony. 

There are many benefits and desirable features to the Kenyan Top Bar hive and this is just the surface! Join us on our journey as we discover and research more about this method of bee keeping. 

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