Bee Yard

LangstroTh beehives

We are the only bee yard open for public visits and education in our region! Our hives (Langstroth and top bar) are a HUGE attraction at our urban farm. The picture to the left shows the Langstroth beehives, which are vertically modular bee hives with vertically hung frames, an open bottom board with an entrance for the bees, boxes containing frames for brood and honey, and an inner cover and top cap to provide weather protection.  

In the picture to the left, the two bee hives in the front are Langstroth beehives, and behind those hives in the left corner is the top bar style hive. It has a horizontal structure compared to a vertical structure that is more commonly seen in our community. 

Top Bar BeeHive

The top bar hive style is the oldest and most commonly used hive style in the world. It features individual bars laid across the top of the hive cavity. The bees build their comb down from these bars naturally, without the use of a 4 sided frame or foundation. Generally the bars are a wooden wedge or strip with a guide to ensure combs hang straight. 

Bee Maintenance

The bee hives are observed nearly daily during their active months. We work with the bees about twice a month. We check the hives to see how the queen is doing and look for any signs of problems.

 In the spring we provide supplemental food with in-hive syrup feeders.  In the early summer, we treat to prevent possible mites with formic acid. In the fall, we use thymol to catch tracheal mites.  In the fall, we prepare the bees for our harsh winters by providing hive-top feeders and fondant winter lids. 

Pollinator Plants

We grow buckwheat, phacelia, and over 30 kinds of bee flowers on the farm for them as well. We began with 3 hives in 2020 and all overwintered successfully. We have expanded to five hives and in 2022, one hive lost their queen bee, but the bees were able to successfully replace the queen. A huge success!