Sunday, August 22, 2010

TopBar Workshop

Two weeks ago I ran a very successful TopBar beekeeping workshop out at my friends lovely Herb Garden/Nursery and Cafe. As you can see from the above photo, there was an excellent turn-out even with the weather being wet and chilly ! We sat outside under cover for most of the time, retreating inside for a hearty lunch and afternoon tea.
I really love doing this, it is such a buzz (sorry) to share my passion and knowledge with all these interesting and eager soon-to-be beekeepers,especially spreading the word about the TB hive, of which there is little known here in NZ. I tend to get some `flack` about them also, they seem to be regarded as faddy and not successful hives, not enough honey etc. As I explain to people, I keep bees for their pollination skills and trying to build up their population again, not for the amount of honey I can rob them of !! Sure, honey is a wonderful bonus, but it is not the top reason I keep bees. With any luck, I have helped to convince afew more to try this hive as well as educating them about the Langstroth and other hives.

The pic below is looking out onto the herb garden, at this time of year looking abit drab, but in a month or so it will come alive with flowering herbs and now, lots of bees ! There is also a TB hive minus roof, on show for the workshop participants to have a close look at. This hive, along with 2 others at the garden are all made using Phil Chandler`s plans from his excellent website, BioBees. Phil is my hero, I always encourage new beekeepers to buy his book `The Barefoot Beekeeper`, my bible as far as my TB hive keeping goes !


Marilyn said...

An interesting post; I had never heard of a TB hive before reading your posts. My daughter had a hive for about three years when she was a teenager and now we all have a love of bee keeping and perhaps in the future one or other of us will be able to have a hive again. I like it that you think of honey as a side issue as I agree with you that the health of the bees themselves and the work they do is so very important.

Doris said...

A great reminder of why some of us became beekeepers, I love your attitude! Yes, we want to help the bee population recover and honey is just a nice by product. Good to know you are down there in NZ helping people become responsible beekeepers! The world needs more of you.

Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi said...

Wish there were more TBH keepers in Northland. We are about ready to go with our hive, but having trouble finding anything to work as a varroa mesh. Any suggestions?