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Glossary

  • Top-Bar
    The length of wood that sits across the top of the hive with a comb guide included, on which the bees build comb.
  • Follower Board
    Wooden baffle that controls the volume of the hive that thee bees have access to. It doesn't need to be a perfect fit in the hive, the bees may visit the other side of the follower, but are extremely unlikely to build comb at the "wrong" end of the hive.
  • Varroa Mesh / Varroa Floor
    Varroa destructor is the mite that feed on bees "blood" and can spread disease throughout a colony. The Varroa Mesh is designed to allow any mites that fall from their host to drop through the holes of the mesh, but prevent the bees from getting close enough for the mites to re-attach. The Varroa Floor is a tray that fits below the Varroa Mesh. The upper face of the tray can be made sticky by wiping it with vegetable oil. When a Varroa mit drops through the mesh and lands on the tray, it will stick. After a few days the tray is removed and the mites counted. The result is used to determine if any mite treatment is necessary. A treatment should be considered when the average daily mite drop reaches a number equal to the number of the month plus one i.e. for May (month 5) a rate of 6 mites per day. The average is always taken over a few days to allow for variations. My preferred treatment is a light dusting of icing sugar repeated at weekly intervals for three weeks. Re-check one week after the last treatment
  • Deep Floor Extension
    The Deep Floor Extension is a new idea for a hive floor from Phil Chandler. The aim is to encourage an eco-system to develop in the bottom of the hive that may help to control Varroa mites.A video of Phil explaining it's use can be seen here.
  • Kenyan Top-Bar Hive (KTBH)
    A horizontal hive where the sides are sloping. Sloping sides reduce the amount of comb attachment, making inspections easier.
  • Tanzanian Top-Bar Hive
    A horizontal hive with vertical sides. This design is easier to make.
  • Observation Window
    An acrylic window set into the long side of the hive, away from the entrances. Acrylic is used as it is more robust and has better thermal properties than glass. The window is covered with a wooden shutter to exclude light and retain heat when not open. Use of the window can help avoid opening the hive.