Hello! I was wondering if we could compare notes on our top bar hive experience with 1) max amount of bars with brood, 2) max amount of bars covered with bees, 3) acceptable vs tremendous honey harvest. Oh, and 4) bars covered with bees in winter/pollen dearth.

My hives are Tanzanian bars/frame, Langstroth sized... so the comb is 19 X 9 in2, and a Kenyan hive (15 wide x 11 ht a la Phil Chandler) or a Kenyan with Langstroth compatible bars (19 in wide x 9 in ht) are the dimensions we are working with.

I mention this because if you do the math, the square inches of a Kenyan a la Phil C. or Kenyan Lang-compatible are both close to 90 in2 - the lang is 171 in2 - so my bees covered and yours will differ considerably for the same number of bees. It is something that you can correct for.... just be sure to mention which hive you have!!!!


1. Hive type/follower dimensions: Horizontal Langstroth-compatible, about 19 x 9
2. Max bars covered at peak pop: 25 (full length of 42 in hive with spacers)
3. Max bars with brood at peak brood: 14 from the end, with first 2 not brood.
4. Acceptable vs tremendous honey harvest: ??? not there yet. 3 bars typical, which is about 18 lbs
5. Size at winter: 6 bars covered with bees (can do well through winter with 6 more bars with honey, so nuc sized).

Please share yours....