This here’s a little tale about how we supered our top bar hive. Yep, I hear the purists cringing and the aesthetes too. And they’re right — we’ve got a Frankenstein on our hands.
Why did we do it?
The Kerry hive is full beyond belief — every bar is packed with honey, pollen, and fresh worker brood. No matter how many bars I harvest, the girls are drawing more within a short week or two and showing no signs of a slow down. It’s a full house.
So, rather than fight the gift of a madly productive hive, we’re rolling with it.
How did we do it?
First, let me admit it’s all my partner’s idea.
He’s obsessed with Langstroth hives and secretly bought a couple to “experiment with.” Next thing I know, I hear myself saying it’s OK to add Langstroth honey supers to a top bar hive which, were I sober or not in love with him, I’d have thought the most perverse of sins.
So here’s what we did:
- Remove one bar from the back of the hive
- Cut spacers about 3/8 inch (enough to allow “bee space”)
- Put spacers between bars at the back of the hive
- Place an empty super on top of the spaced bars at the back of the hive
- To provide evenness for a cover, place an empty super at the front of the hive (there’s no space yet between the bars underneath this super)
- Place a cover on top of both supers
And here’s the photo essay version…