Can Traditional Hive Frames Be Used In A Flow Hive Facts About Kenya Top Bar and Langstroth Beehives

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Facts About Kenya Top Bar and Langstroth Beehives

Kenya Top Bar and Langstroth hives are among the most common structures that house domesticated bees. Undomesticated bee colonies live in natural beehives. Humans have been preying on natural beehives for centuries to obtain honey, bee larvae and beeswax. Nowadays, the word beehive generally refers to man-made artificial hives, as opposed to natural “nests” inhabited by undomesticated colonies of bees.

Modern bee hives are divided into two basic types of hives: “Langstroth hives”, which have closed frames to hold the comb, and “The Kenya Top Bar Hive (KTBH)”, which only have a top bar to support the comb.

Top Bar Hive

The use of Kenya Top Bar Hive increased in Kenya in the 1970s. Since it is a hive with movable honeycomb, it acts as a rational intermediate step between hives with fixed honeycomb and hives with movable frames (Langstroth). This hive is a medium technology hive that is technologically more accessible and economically more feasible than mobile honeycomb hives. Langstroth Hives. The honeycomb in the hive can be removed and replaced without destroying it as in traditional fixed frame hives. Because of this, he is able to control crowding and use basic queen rearing techniques to increase colonies.

Top Bar hive frames only have a top bar and the bees make the honeycomb so it hangs down from the top bar. This allows the bees to store honey separately from the rooms where they raise the brood, and the brood can survive the harvest. Honey production is relatively high, as the bees have to rebuild the comb after each harvest. Honey is collected from newly built combs, which is why it is of higher quality than honey collected from classic beehives with fixed frames.

The two main disadvantages of Top Bar Hives are that it is difficult to move colonies without breaking the comb, and that the colony can only spread horizontally (because the comb is attached to the top bar of the hive). Although this may limit brood growth, it should not greatly affect smaller beekeeping projects. Top Bar Hives are trending in many developing countries and are also used by small beekeepers in the US and other countries.

Langstroth’s Apiary

The American Reverend Lorenzo Langstroth, who invented and patented its design in 1860, called it the Langstroth beehive. Langstroth-style beehives are the generally accepted standard throughout the developed world – except in Great Britain, where the British Modified National Hive and WBC hives are the most commonly used types of beehives.

All the mentioned hives are movable frame hives used in today’s technically superior beekeeping. The bees are allowed to make the honeycomb in the frames, which includes a piece of beeswax embossed with a bee cell model on both sides, which serves as a base to ensure the flat, centered honeycombs in the frames. The main differences between the different movable frame hives are the size of the hives and the amount of frames they have.

The basic characteristic of this kind of beehive is that its structure allows the bees to have space between the frames and between the frames and the box that holds them, which is the same as the space that bees naturally have between the honeycomb. This bee room allows the bees to move around and allows them to use multiple frame boxes in a solitary hive.

The movable frames on which the bees create their honey are housed in standard-sized rectangular boxes without a top or bottom. The boxes are piled up. The lower boxes, called “hive bodies”, are used to contain the young bees (brood). The boxes that are stacked on top are known as “super” and that’s where the honey is stored. The boxes can be made of wood or styrofoam, and the frames are hung parallel to each other inside the boxes. Beehives with a movable frame allow changing frames and boxes without killing the bees – a system that allows a high level of beekeeping.

The advantages of Langstroth-style movable frame hives are:

o Combs can be easily removed, inspected and replaced

o Remove the comb with honey for harvesting, separate the honey from the comb with centrifuges and return the bare comb.

o Bees do not need to renew new combs, which increases honey production. The quality of the honey is also improved because only the comb containing pure honey is removed and drained.

o Because the comb is securely attached to the frame, colonies can be moved with limited breakage of the comb, meaning colonies can easily be moved to areas where nectar flow is better, for example.

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