7 Dec 2011

Beginning beekeeping with Langstroth or top bar hives?

David Heaf, a leading UK based proponent of Warre hives (see our Links page) often writes on the topic. Below is an extract from 'The Welsh Beekeeper' magazine, Winter 2011.

In it he's responding to an earlier article by Wally Shaw who appears to dispute sustainable beekeeping and particularly Johann Thür's concept of 'Nestduftwärmebindung' (the retention of nest scent and heat) something which is core to the design of the Warre's hive and natural beekeeping. Andrew J has previously posted to the group on this concept and it's a topic we should cover in a future blog post . . .

Anyway . . . I just thought the snippet below was interesting for us:

Shaw's concluding remark is: 'A quick fling with a top bar hive can be quite interesting for an experienced beekeeper but this is no way to form a lasting relationship with your bees.' Beekeepers should be free themselves to determine the nature of the relationship that they want with their bees, and to choose the hive that seems appropriate to them. Many beginners choose top-bar hives at the outset, often despite being told of the advantages of frame hives, one of which is that it is usually a lot easier to find a mentor close at hand. Most stay with them because they find top-bar hive beekeeping more satisfying. Furthermore, several commercial beekeepers have turned to the Warré hive, one of whom used to manage 2,000 Langstroths. I would like to see diversity in beekeeping rather than the uniformity that could arise from the straitjacket of Langstrothism.
David Heaf

Full article is available here.

BTW - we have in Australia our own early adopter and promotor of Warre hives and natural beekeeping. Tim Malfroy of Malfroy's Gold. I'm very pleased that Tim has recently joined our email group.

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