March 02, 2023

Marty Hardison's Appropriate Beehive

The URL is for sale! Just comment on this post if interested. Happy 303 Day!

A new hive design, adjusting for climate change. Building specs to come.

Here's a sneak peek at Marty Hardison's redesigned top bar hive. He's having better success getting colonies through winters with this revised appropriate beehive.

Appropriate Beehive?

🔈 /əˈprōprēət/
adjective: suitable or proper in the circumstances

The NOAA climate forecast for Colorado predicts more heat, more drought, and greater amounts of winter snow, changes which have implications for colony survival. Good beekeepers give the bees what they need, when they need it, so Marty's adjusting what constitutes appropriate.

Having observed colonies in bee trees that have been surviving for years, whose combs are long not wide, he's made his hive 4 inches deeper to allow the bees to build longer combs. The new design still uses 16 1/2" top bars, which allows for interchangeability between hives and makes this design appropriate for both the bees and the beekeeper.

Marty isn't actively teaching the craft anymore, so he and I have been working on updating his booklet, The Appropriate Beehive. An instrumental guide, it includes building plans for the original Hardison Hive. On clicking through, you will need to request access to the document but if you do, I will send you the updated PDF as soon as it's available. I'm not sure I can promise instructions on adding the additional four inches to the top, but the new edition offers more details on keeping bees in a top bar hive that beginning topbar beekeepers will appreciate.

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