Bob in his basement

On the Construction of Bob’s Top-Bar Hives

Kim and Bob joined us for pizza last night, but before we headed out we headed down into their basement where Bob keeps his shop. We wanted to see the progress on his top-bar hives. Well, they’re as good as finished…and, I must admit, they’re really wonderful.

Bob found some plans online that he liked and built two hives from scrap lumber (I’ll ask him for the site address so I can link it here). I don’t think these took him long to build, but then, he’s sort of a professional at these things. It would probably take me an eternity. And much aggravation. But, as you can see here, it doesn’t seem to have challenged Bob all that much.

Bob: architect and bee steward

Bob plans on painting the hives (I told you he’s sort of particular) because the material he used wasn’t designed for holding up outside. They’re gonna be green…the color of their leftover house paint…which is two gorgeous shades of green. I’ll post a picture of the finished hives when we introduce the bees to it, okay? But this is what it looks like right now:

Bob's almost-finished KTBH with observation window
Liz's wonderful KTBH

Low-Down and Uppity. But We Get Along Great.

Kim and Bob want to add another hive to their apiary. They have two seriously strong hives already. They’re  hooked on keeping bees, and they want to expand. This year, we decided to add a top-bar hive to their mix.

Bob is an architect. And I mean to say he’s perhaps beyond an architect. He’s a big-time architect. Big time.

Last week I alerted him that it’s time to begin thinking of building a top-bar hive (from here on out referred to as a KTBH…for Kenya Top Bar Hive). But, I told him, we need to build a KTBH that includes a window so we can watch the bees without disturbing them. Also, TwoHoneys may be installing a couple of KTHBs at the East End Veterans’ Memorial Community Garden this year, and I’d like those to have windows, too. The less often we disturb the hives (and the gardeners!) in a community garden, the better.

Bob wanted specifications: “Link?” he wrote. (Bob communicates in single-word emails, so this endeavor was not without its challenges).

But KTBHs are known for their lack of standardization. I responded in my usual eloquent way and included this image with a rough idea of its dimensions.  Which I’m sure cracked him up. Bob’s sort of into, you know, “specifications,” a word rooted in “specific.” I think more in terms of loose ideas.

Bob was silent for a while, and then he sent me an email with this link and wrote, “This is acceptable.”

I wrote back that his plan should work but that I thought the hive was a bit too fancy for my tastes.

He responded, “I’m an architect, not a junk dealer.”

See?! That’s what people actually think of my wonderful top bar hives! Which I absolutely love. Don’t you just love that old tin roof, Reader? I do.

I told Bob he was uppity.

Yesterday, Kim text me to say that Bob was already in full construction mode and that if I wanted to be sure things met with my standards, I’d better get over there soon.

Bob emailed me later in the day to say that he’d made not one but two KTBHs.

I’ll head over there today to see what wonderful creations have emerged. Don’t worry, Reader, I’ll supply you with pictures.