Hosting Hives


If you have a decent sized back yard or even a large piece of property, I am always looking for the right location to place my hives.  Some of the considerations are:

·       Enough room for at least 2 hives

·       Eastern and southern exposures

·       Level ground or minimally sloped

·       Easy access to the potential hive location

·       The legal right to have hives on your property

·       Agreement of your neighbors

 If you host a hive you earn “honey rent” for each year of hosting.  There is generally no honey in the first year of establishing a hive.  Then the amount of “honey rent” in subsequent  years is based on 5% of total honey harvested. 

Generally, bees will not bother people as they go about their business.  More people are stung by yellow jackets than bees.  Unfairly, bees get the blame!   Bees in your yard will typically leave their hive and immediately raise up over 15 feet to go visit flowers.  

 I have two separate types of honey bee hives:  traditional Langstroth hives, designed for the more commercial application of honey production, and top bar hives designed by a Frenchman named Warre.  There are many different styles of top bar hives but I like the look of the Warre.     The traditional Langstroth hives can produce upwards of 100 pounds of honey a season.  Langstroth hives typically have foundations suspended in a frame that allows the bees to build up wax to store the honey away.  The wax covering on the finished honey is opened up and then the honey is spun out.  The empty frames and foundation are then given back to the bees to fill again. Some beekeepers provide the bees with wax foundations or only wire to build out their cells, but my foundations mean less energy is expended by the bee to produce the needed cells for raising young and storing honey and pollen.

Top bar hives are free comb which means that the bees create their own wax comb and we, the beekeeper, can harvest the honey in the comb if we choose to or crush the comb to extract the honey.  The theory behind this type of hive is that this is the more natural way bees have created their storage systems of the millions of years of their existence, so why not do it the bees way.

I like both approaches so I have both types of hives.

If you are interested, please see the contact page to send email.

Pam working her Warre hives in her backyard.

© Pam Weimer 2016