Wanda and Mike Top Bar Hive

May 04, 2019

Wanda and Mike live in Hudsonville, 1 mile South. Swarms flying through their property triggered their desire to set a hive.

Wanda and Mike’s property is mainly wooded with a clear around the main house. Hudsonville is a patch of woods, pasture and a few fields growing soybeans, corn or cotton.

As a first attempt in 2018, we set up a modified Langstroth with a late small swarm I had attracted in a baited box on Tom’s property . The swarm never really thrived and the hive was empty by August 2018. The lack of success did not alter Wanda and Mike’s determination, it was decided to install a hive for the following season.

Mike and the first hive populated with a swarm.

In the meanwhile they got a grandson and Wanda got concerned with a hive at ground level. The hive would be up in a tree close enough to the house though so they could see the bees from their porch when having a morning cup of coffee. Mike likes to interact with nature and a log hive or a freedom hive high up would have been too remote, Wanda was interested to get a bit of honey every so often. The Gilbert Veuille hive was more interactive but there was no way to collect some honey. A Langstroth on a platform came as a possibility but the platform requires a fair amount of adjustment and I did not want to impose in their yard for a couple of days. The hive could hang and finally in February I came up with the idea of a top bar hive tucked in a wooden frame hanging from a lower branch of their very large oaks: I was just coming back from Mali where I saw these hanging hives made in half barrels cut longitudinally.

On March 10th 2019, the hive was ready and installed in one of these majestic oaks, the entrance pointing South.

On May 4 2019, we opened the hive to move the dividing board and we were really pleased by the progress.

The re-wilding projects of Hudsonville create special bonds within our small community.