top of page

TOP-BAR HIVE PLANS

Below are plans for the newly revamped and improved Les Crowder/Bee Mindful designed 19" top-bar hive, which the popular podcast The Hive Jive calls "The People's Hive Of The Future"

 

Click to listen to the Podcast Episode to hear all the reasons why it is getting so popular :

Screen Shot 2022-02-16 at 1.50.53 PM.png

We offer these plans free of charge, because we want to encourage more people to build and use them.

Please note on the last page there is an Easy-Peasy Method to convert Langstroth colonies and frames into Top-Bar Hive format through a horizontal conversion.

 

Yes, we do realize we could monetize these plans for our own profit...

However, our overarching goal is instead to promote horizontal top-bar beekeeping as a sustainable option for most beekeepers around the world, and to make these plans available to people of all backgrounds and means, so that anyone, including those who would not otherwise have the means to access these plans or hives, still can start keeping bees in top-bar hives as easily and cheaply as possible.

So we are making our plans accessible to all to remove friction to adoption!

Because, like Les Crowder always says, together we rise...

But that's not our only motivation: from working with many different types of hives, including Langstroth, Layens, Long Langs, Warre, Flow, Barrel, AZ/Slovenian, and 17" top-bar hives, we know 19" horizontal top-bar hives are simpler, cheaper, much lighter and more practical than most other hives, making them ideal for most urban or backyard beekeepers, hobbyists and side liners, because they make for calmer, healthier bees and happier beekeepers. A lot of beekeepers around us are switching or starting with these because they make so much more sense than those other complicated to manage, expensive, and hard to build options.

Our plans and instructions  are free, but if you'd like to support us in our mission and our community outreach efforts, we do welcome donations, or simply your promotion of the plans and horizontal Top-Bar beekeeping.

Whichever way you decide to help, we will be eternally grateful for your spontaneous support and will use it to continue our efforts of democratization of Natural, Easy Beekeeping as a source of pleasure or income.

 

Because together, we can make the world a better place, for people of for bees.

Thank YOU!

Nathalie B. and Les Crowder

NOW IN INCHES AND METRIC!

BEE MINDFUL PLANS with volume-1
BEE MINDFUL PLANS with volume-1

press to zoom
BEE MINDFUL PLANS with volume-2
BEE MINDFUL PLANS with volume-2

press to zoom
BEE MINDFUL PLANS with volume-8
BEE MINDFUL PLANS with volume-8

press to zoom
BEE MINDFUL PLANS with volume-1
BEE MINDFUL PLANS with volume-1

press to zoom
1/8

FREE PLANS:

PRO TIPS:

  • Use thicker wood for cheaper material costs, sturdier hive and better insulation

  • Use thinner wood to transport often and ship, or for mini-Top-Bar Hive NUCs 

  • Make it shorter (8-10 bars wide instead of 30-33) for TBH NUCs, transport, Queen rearing and swarm traps

  • Make it longer (40+ bars) to increase available volume and colony size.

  • Use another end piece and additional entrances to split the hive in 2 and host 2 colonies​ in the same hive

  • Use 20" bars instead of 19" bars so they can sit comfortably on the hive edges instead of slipping in

  • Use bamboo skewers glued in the center of the bars for guides

WATCH OUR FRIENDS BUILD THEM!

Nathalie B. assembling hives on a Texas roof:

Our friend Darin filmed a video on how to assemble the hive body and the underside legs for 3-in-1 hives:

Our friend Duane filmed a video on how to assemble the hive body and the underside legs for 3-in-1 hives:

This is what the hive looks with our "HINGED ROOF":
(we simply used two pieces of 2x4s cut at a 30 degree angle and attached the lid to them with roofing screws)

This is what the hive looks like with our "DELUXE ROOF":
(dimensions for the top of the hexagon are the same as those for the bottom of the hexagon, except the top one is made up of 2x4s)