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Kenyan Top Bar Hive

Platz-, zeit- und kostensparendes Hobbyimkern mit beweglichen Waben ohne schweres Heben. Einfacher Selbstbau aus Holz und Verzicht auf belastete Wachsmittelwände und Kunststoffwaben.

My thbs in spring

Good old, older, over aged Germany


The beekeeping in Germany has a longstanding tradition and a lot of problems. Most beekeepers are hobbyists and the average age of the members in clubs is over seventy. Together with the beekeepers the beekeeping all over the country is dying.


A bee house is a typical ancient part of the beekeeping in Germany.




A lot of the problems are caused by the beekeepers themselves. All technics are oriented to produce a maximum of honey in a one-person side-line company. For this goal, a few developments were designed in Germany.  Thinking, the best of them are the trough hives. Especially the Golz-hive and the Bremer-hive are examples for this way.The Golz-hive is a good solution for side-line beekeepers.


This hive (Golz-hive) for 34 combs is a top loader with a vertical queen excluder separating the brood chamber and the honey chamber. The honey chamber is behind the brood chamber. (Bremer Hive: Honey chamber is on the side of the brood chamber).

It’s possible to use inhive honey boxes (inside hive bodies) in the honey storing area. You don’t have to lift hive bodies to inspect the brood.



But these aren’t solutions for modern families. If partners work, have other hobbies, a fulltime job and spending a lot of time with the kids and friends, we have to find other ways.

What kind of beekeeping could be adapted in industrial nations?

I think the top-bar hive could be a part of a solution.

The principle of Kenyan top-bar-hive is well known in Germany since decades. It’s the same as the Kirchain mating hive.The good functionality is without question.

mating box


The picture shows Kirchhain mating hives. It looks like a flower garden.

TBH Nucleus



Why did I start to keep bees in top-bar-hive in 2005?

After several years of beekeeping with Golz-hives, I couldn’t balance family and bees at the same time. "Less can be more".

I had to solve the following problems:

  1. Lack of time: A large part of the time I had to spend on frames and wax work. A large part of the prefabrications was done in the summer season, because I haven’t had a heated workroom.
  2. Shortage of space: Our garage was hopelessly stuffed with bee's accessories and honeycomb boxes.
  3. Lack of  tools and costs: I didn’t have the tools to build Golz-hives by myself. 
  4. Midribs problems: Without foundation mould I haven't had a closed wax circulation.


  1. You can transport the hives in the passenger car or estate car. The turned metal lid can serve as a base.
  2. You don't need protection against wax moths.


Bees in front of a hive