Posted by: thebuzzonbees | September 14, 2011

Langstroth vs. Top Bar


If you are a honeybee in New Zealand, there is roughly a 99% chance that you live in a commercial operation. This means you are managed like a commodity for pollination and honey production.

  • You live in a hive usually made of synthetic materials including plastic and toxic paint.
  • You are forced to live in a square-shaped frame rather than a natural curved shape like bees build in the wild.
  • Your Queen is ‘caged’ in the lower section of the hive.
  • Your Queen is squashed and killed each year and replaced, often with an artificially inseminated Queen. This artificially bred Queen can lack vitality and often the colony is thrown into chaos in an effort to accept her.
  • The frames you are forced to live in can contain contaminated wax, or plastic. This is where you are expected to live, work and raise your babies.
  • Pre-formed foundation wax is placed in the hives, forcing you to build comb to the beekeeper’s requirements rather than your own.
  • Each year your colony is prevented from swarming, thus preventing your species from multiplying and helping to increase its genetic diversity.
  • The majority of your honey is stolen each season and you are fed white sugar to sustain you until the flowers start blooming again in late Spring.
  • Toxic chemical treatments are often added to your home to treat many diseases that have been introduced from poor beekeeping practices.
  • Your colony is trucked around the region and forced to pollinate crops. With some crops, such as Kiwifruit, your hive is placed in the middle of a mono crop, so you are forced to feed off this crop even though it is not nutritious for you.
  • The drones (males) in your hive are often culled, as they provide nothing to the commercial beekeeper.

A Top Bar Hive allows:

  • Bees to build their own natural comb to their own particular dimensions.
  • The Queen is allowed to move throughout the colony.
  • Honey is left for the bees, with only superfluous being removed.
  • Drones are allowed to develop to spread the colonies genetic makeup.
  • Queens remain for as long as the colony needs them.
  • Disturbance of the colony is kept to a minimum.

I encourage you to continue reading on the link below

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