We have to acknowledge the difficulty inherent in the phrase 'natural beekeeping': as soon as you consider 'keeping' bees, you begin to stray from what is truely 'natural'.  In nature, only bees keep bees.  So what do we mean by 'natural' beekeeping, and what is 'unnatural' about conventional beekeeping.  To be considered 'natural' our beekeeping must take into account: 1. the natural impulses and behaviour or bees, inlcuding - foraging, swarming, storing food and defending their nest   2. how hive design effects bees   3. the suitability of hive materials used, including considerations of sustainability    4. the nature and frequency of our interventions   5. the local impact of a big increase in honey bee population on other species of pollinators  6. the balance between honey harvesting and the bees' own needs   7. the nature of added inputs - medications and feeding. Sustainability   Our overall goal in natural beekeeping is to achieve a state of sustainability: balancing inputs and outputs such that our activities enhance rather than damage the health of our bees, other species and the planet.
Collapse and Recovery the gateway to natural treatment free beekeeping by Kirk Webster
Healthy Beekeeping by Kirk Webster
The best kept secret revisited by Kirk Webster

Natural Beekeeping Videos

Michael Bush   Treatment-free Beekeeping (8 mins)
Dee Lusby   Organic Beekeeping (27 mins)
Thomas Seeley   Following Wild Bees (50 mins)
The Warre Hive   David Heaf (27 mins)
Natural Beekeeping (Preventing CCD)   Jacqueline Freeman (10:20 mins)
Revealing the inside of the Sun Hive   Heidi Herrmann (11 mins)
The Sun Hive (Haengekorb)   Sun Hive (10:01 mins)
Perone Hive    Natural Beekeeping (12 mins) 

Natural Beekeeping Websites:

Michael Bush's website has a wealth of information on natural beekeeping including a page of powerpoint presentations on topics like the history of beekeeping, beginning beekeeping, foundationless beekeeping, natural cell size, queen rearing, races of bees, spring management, wintering bees and more. 
Here is a list of writings on natural beekeeping by Kirk Webster over the last 20 years and a number of the videos he has created on natural beekeeping.  

Philip Chandler's Top Bar website, Biobees and Warre Biobees is a good source of information including his youtube channel which includes topics like top bar hive setup, spring check, converting frames to topbars, top bar feeders, ecofloors and more.

Mike Palmer of French Hill Apiaries has a lot of good videos on natural beekeeping including natural, commercial beekeeping.  Here is his video web page and a Michael Palmer video web page by the Two Little Ladies Apiary
Backyardhive.com has a wealth of information on top bar beekeeping on their education page, "Managing Your Top Bar Hive".  They also have a youtube channel, Bee Guardian that covers topics from installing and seasonal management to harvesting. 

The Warre Store has a lot of information relating to Warre beekeeping.  There is a new beekeeper page, a Warre beekeeping information page and a Warre hive video tutorial  page.  

Kirk Webster
Natural Beekeeping Trust
Ed and Dee Lusby
Resistant Bees
David Heaf's Warre Beekeeping Pages and a list of published papers on the science behind natural beekeeping provided by David Heaf in the Natural Beekeeping Trust.
Natural Beekeeping Forum
Organic Beekeepers Forum

Top Bar Beekeeping

Top Bar Hives

Standard Top Bars for the Beekeeper (TJ Carr and John Bradford)
Keeping Bees in Top Bar Hives (Les Crowder and Heather Harrell)
An analysis of the KTB Hive in Calgary, Alberta (Calgary Beekeepers Association)
The Top Bar Hive in Commercial Beekeeping and Research (Dr. W.A. Mangum)
Comparison of TBH vs Langstroth Hives (Chantal Forster)
Beekeeping with Top Bar Hives (Wikibooks)
Top Bar Hives Questions and Answers
The Kenyan Top Bar Hive Explained
Comparison- Vertical to Horizontal Top Bar Hive
The Vertical Top Bar Hive (Warre Hive)
Building a Better Beehive with Les Crowder by Robert Gerard
Sustainable Beekeeping with Top Bar Hives (Robin Morris)
Top Bar Hive in East Senegal (B.F.D.)
Using local style and Top Bar Hives in Uganda (BFD)
17th Century Ceramic Top Bar Hives (H. Harissis and G. Mavrofridis)

Kenyan Top Bar Hive Management

The Appropriate Beehive: An Introduction to Top Bar Beekeeping by Marty Hardison
This hive is called by a number of names: the David hive, the Kenya hive, or simply the frameless movable comb topbar hive. These hives were designed for use in Third World development projects. The David hive was developed by an Israeli apiculturalist, 1. Linder, for use in Senegal, Africa. The Kenya hive was developed by two English beekeepers, E. J. Tredwell and P. Paterson. It was designed for use in Kenya, Africa. (Sperling:1980, p. 285.) Both of these situations lack the kind of material and monetary resources that facilitate Langstroth
beekeeping. But I believe that their necessity has been mother to a great invention. The topbar hive is an appropriate technology tool for beekeeping. It's not an inefficient primitive instrument nor is it a high cost convenience. It lies somewhere in the middle. It operates by the same discovery that enabled the Langstroth hive - the bee space. In this hive independent movable combs are suspended from carefully sized topbars. The topbars are the precise width that once a comb is build on one· the bee space between that comb and the next is preserved. The combs are built entirely by the bees.

Basic Beekeeping Manual by Pam Gregory - Top Bar Hives (Africa)
This is a 2 volume publication written by Pam Gregory with assistance of Gay Marris of the U.K. National Bee Unit (FERA) that concentrates on top bar hive beekeeping, but many of the techniques and ideas can also be used by traditional and frame hive beekeepers.  "This field manual is designed for use by field-based trainers in sub Saharan Africa. It is based on colour pictures with few words. The manual covers basic techniques needed to start a beekeeping business. It also offers some new ideas to help beekeepers to become independent by making their own equipment from local materials. I hope that this will help people to start beekeeping at an affordable cost, and maybe to experiment with new materials. The pictures show some of the many different ways that people keep bees. This is intended to promote discussion and shared experiences to help people to solve problems locally. The manual concentrates on top bar hive beekeeping but many of the techniques and ideas can also be used by traditional and frame hive beekeepers."   The Advanced Beekeeping Manual covers more advanced management techniques and problem solving and offers some ideas about how to tackle them.  The Swahili language version of this manual.

Top Bar Beekeeping in New Zealand - When talking to professional bee keepers about Top Bar hive's don't be put off if they look at you blankly. Most bee keepers have not heard of this way of keeping bees and indeed Top Bar hives are not an option for a professional bee keeper as the honey production is not as high as with a conventional hive. These hives are becoming more and more popular in the UK and America, where people are looking for a more natural and cheaper way of keeping bees. A great website to start your research is Phillip Chandlers Biobees (www.biobees.com). You can also buy his book The Barefoot Beekeeper which describes the management and care of a Top Bar hive based on his U.K. Experience.

Top Bar Hive Management (Tanya Philips - beefriendlyaustin.com)
Top Bar Beekeeping in Alaska (Stephen Petersen, toklatapiaries.weebly.com)
Beekeeping with Top Bar Hives (Nicola Bradbear and Gladstone Solomon BFD)
Top Bar Hive - Essential Management (sparkybeegirl.com)
Beekeeping Training Manual (Top Bar, Zambia, W.C.S.)
Better Beekeeping in Top Bar Hives by Pam Gregory (B.F.D.)
Things that can go wrong with Top Bar Hives by Pam Gregory (B.F.D.)
Top Bar entrances and roofs by Pam Gregory (B.F.D.)
Sample simple 32 bar Top Bar Hive Inspection Form (beepods.com)
Simple 32 bar Top Bar Inspection Form (beepods.com)
Top Bar Hive Inspection Diagram (Christy Hemenway)
How to introduce bees to a Top Bar Hive by Phil, Norm and Gary at biobees.com
How to install a package of bees into a Top Bar Hive (goldstarhoneybees.com)
Video - Installing a Package of Bees in a KTBH (Wyatt Mangum)
Video - Inspecting the installed package of bees on the third day (Wyatt Mangum)
Moving Bees from a frame to a Top Bar Hive (Philip Chandler)
Installing a Langstroth Nuc into a Top Bar Hive
Choosing a site, making a hive stand and attracting bees (BFD)
Video - Top Bar Hive Inspection (honeybeesonline.com)
Video - Comb Management Part 1 (learningbeekeeping.com)
Video - Comb Management Part 2 (learningbeekeeping.com)
Top Bar Hive Ventilation (T.J Carr and John Bradford)
Video - How to Make a KTBH Feeder (Philip Chandler biobees.com)
Mite Management of Top Bar Hives by Randy Oliver (scientificbeekeeping.com)
Harvesting honey from a Top Bar Hive (Howland Blackiston)
How to Harvest Honey from a Top Bar Hive (Pam Gregory)
A trapezoidal frame adapted for centrifugal extraction (B.F.D.)
Winterizing your Top Bar Hive (backyardhive.com)
Winter in a Top Bar Hive (Christy Hemenway)
Video - Winterize your Top Bar Hive (goldstarhoneybees.com)
Video - Minnesota Cold Winterizing your KTBH (Pine City Apiary)
Dividing Top Bar Hives in Ethiopia (BFD) 
Facts about a frame for the Kenyan Top Bar Hive (Stanley Mboboa, Kenya)

*BFD = Bees For Development (beesfordevelopment.org)
Top Bar Hive Construction 

The Calgary Top Bar Hive: For Northern Climates (Calgary Beekeepers Association) 
The CTBH features an IPM screened bottom, and is partitionable for the purpose of running a 2 queen colony, queen rearing or hiving a swarm. It is also interoperable with Langstroth equipment and can be expanded using Langstroth honey supers. This hive is an indirect result of my analysis of using Top Bar Hives in Calgary. This hive improves upon current offerings by being specifically designed for a northern climate, while still acknowledging the simplicity of design fundamental to the original Kenyan Top Bar Hive.

How to Build a Top Bar Hive (Philip Chandler - biobees.com)
Building a Top Bar Hive (beekeepingnaturally.com)
Crowder Top Bar Hive Plans (Les Crowder)
Crowder style Top Bar Mating Nuc
Drawings for a Top Bar Hive with Window (T.J Carr and John Bradford)
How to Make a Movable Comb Top Bar Hive (Pam Gregory, Kenya)
Video - How to Build a Top Bar Beehive  NMBKA
Making a Top Bar Hive (BFD - Bees for Development)
The importance of Top Bar Hive dimensions by Pam Gregory (B.F.D.)
Colorado Top Bar Hive (osbeehives.net)
Kenyan Top Bar Hive Plans (Peace Corps)

Top Bar Hives Videos

Swarm Catching 101 (Top bar hive)  (from Phil Chandler and Biobees - 10:39 mins)
Moving bees from frames to a top bar hive   (from Phil Chandler and Biobees - 12:19 mins) 
Kenyan Top Bar Hives    (from Phil Chandler and Biobees - 27 mins)

The Warre Hive

"Before leaving, I would like, dear bees, to carve my name on these leaves, blessed shrub that has taken all its sap from around your dwelling place.  In its shade, I have rested from my weariness, have healed my wounds. Its horizon satisfies my desires for there I can see the heavens.  Its solitude is more gentle than deep. Your friends are visiting it. You enliven it with your singing.  And because you do not die, dear bees, you will sing again and for ever, in the surrounding foliage, where my spirit will rest.  Thank you.
E.Warré"                                                                                                 "... At  a  convenient  time  we  raised  queens  and  supplied  swarms.  But  one  evening,  an  order  for  12 swarms  was  cancelled.  I  had  empty  hives  to  put  them  in,  but  I  had  only  enough  foundation  for  two hives. I settled for putting starters in the others as raw wax at the top of the frames, helped greatly by my  knife  in  putting  these  starters  in  order.  And  I  noticed  that  on  these  starters  the  bees  constructed their combs as quickly as those on foundation and that these combs were more regular. I thus decided to continue to use only starters of raw wax and I have never come to regret it.  The People's Hive was thus designed.  And  if  small  hives  with  frames  economise  on  winter  stores  and  facilitate  the  development  of brood in spring, a hive with fixed comb will do it better because its volume is smaller: 36 litres instead of  44.  We  therefore  designed  the  People's  Hive  with  fixed  comb.  Now  we  noticed  that  the  People's Hive with fixed combs saved an extra 3 kg of stores compared with the People's Hive with frames. We thus  had  two  hives:  the  People's  Hive  with  fixed  comb,  a  perfect  hive,  but  not  convenient  on  a commercial  scale  because  it  does  not  allow  the  extractor  to  be  used,  and  the  People's  Hive  with frames,  very  superior  to  modern  hives,  inferior  however  to  the  People's  Hive  with  fixed  combs,  but convenient for commercial use.... "

How to build a Warre beehive at low cost by David Heaf

Warre hives for alternative minds - Sam Comfort

Warre Hive Videos

Top Bar Hive Websites:


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