Late yesterday, as the sun was beginning to hide behind some tall trees, I became a beekeeper again. I grabbed my box of apicultural supplies, climbed into my bee suit, and fired up the smoker. I would be moving a bee colony from a two-foot long top-bar bee hive into my four-foot long top bar. According to instructions my friend Paul Cooley gave me when I picked up the colony the night before, I was to leave the full hive on top of the empty hive overnight. “Just make sure you move the bees at some point tomorrow,” he cautioned.
Yesterday at the farmers’ market, I bought a top-bar beehive from Steve Wall. He’s been selling me honey there for about nine years, but he also sells empty hives (more on getting the actual bees later) designed by top-bar proponent Les Crowder. Regular readers of this blog might remember that we already have a beehive. But evidently, about a year after my wife built our hive with Les (about 15 years ago), Crowder changed the design, which meant that our model ultimately needed to be replaced with the new design in order for imported bee colonies to properly fit in their new home.