Healthy Honeybee Keeping

Wild Hive - A Healthy Honeybee Project of the W.S. Badger Company

Bill with Hive Bill with Hive

Badger Bill writes:

"A few years back, I read about the plight of the honeybees and I became concerned. What's going on? Why are the honeybees dying? In the course of my reading and research I became a beekeeper exploring a "new" system of beekeeping based on the use of Top Bar Hives, and actually, based more on ancient methods of beekeeping that harmonize with the way bees thrive in the wild.

"I became convinced that Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is the result of 100 years or so of modern beekeeping methods. Artificial raising and "line breeding" of queens; suppression of the "swarm impulse"; the use of wax foundation and feeding with sugar water; an overall beekeeping system that stresses the bees by disrupting their native "wild" tendencies - these issues are at the root of the problem. Wild Hive hopes to be at the heart of the solution. It's not really about hives and methods though. It's all about reverence and respect for all living things.

"My personal goal is to have many thousands of new or converted beekeepers practicing The Ancient Way of Beekeeping in every bio-region in North America with the result eventually being the renewal of healthy honeybee populations worldwide.

"If you have any questions, concerns, or would just like to learn more feel free to give me a buzz!"

Bees Honeycomb

Wildhive's Swarm Thrower Top Bar Bee Hive

Keeping bees healthy by treating them right.

Top Bar Hive BeekeepingThe little beauty is named “Swarm Thrower”. That’s because we hope that “swarms” will fly from this hive every year or so, for years to come. “Swarming” is when half of the hive’s bees, along with their queen, leave the hive in search of a new home. Meanwhile, back in the original hive, a new queen emerges, mates and begins laying eggs...this brings a completely new set of genetics into the hive. “Swarming” is the honeybee’s basic reproductive strategy for survival. Most modern beekeepers are taught to prevent swarming in order to increase honey yield. Yet regular swarming imparts health to a hive while supplying the genetic diversity that nature thrives on. A beekeeping system that “honors the swarm” and learns to work within its boundaries will be a key link in the recovery of the honeybees. Wild Hive beekeepers strive to respect, rejoice, and encourage the swarming impulse.

Wild Hive allows you to care for your honeybees in a manner that approximates the way honeybees care for themselves in the wild. And, Honeybees have 60,000,000 years of evolutionary experience we can learn to trust. In most cases, the less you do, the better off your bees will be. In Wild Hive, the bees build “natural comb”. This is good for them. Research suggests that natural comb better supports hive immunity and disease resistance. Harvest only a small amount of honey and always leave plenty for your bees. Once your bees are hived, use the view window to keep track of your bees’ progress without disturbing hive scent and warmth. Simple, easy and fun.

Here's a little more information:

  • Swarm Thrower is beautifully crafted of native pine.
  • Hive interior dimensions are approximately 17” X 28” X 9.5”. ( = one deep and one medium super).
  • It has a secure, light-weight, easy-to-open wooden roof system.
  • A 21” X 4” plate-glass viewing window with latched cover helps you keep track of your bees’ progress.
  • (20) 1¼” Profiled Top Bars + 8 ¼” spacers support the natural honeycomb and help to keep it aligned.
  • A classy, Hand-Crafted White Oak Stand holds the hive bottom high and dry 21” above the ground.
  • The hive body comes assembled. The stand does not. You can easily assemble and attach the stand in a few minutes with a screw gun.
Badger Bill Top Bar Bee Hive

Badger Bill loves his hives! Honeybees seem to love these hives too. The 60 degree sloped sides minimize comb “attachments” and they mirror the hexagonal shape of a honeycomb cell. The approximate Golden Mean proportions of this hive are aesthetically pleasing – the Golden Mean has appeared as a recurring motif in nature and in “sacred architecture” since the dawn of time. And a glass observation window with removable cover enables you and the bees to keep an eye on each other. Bottom line: Very Nice!

If you have any questions, feel free to give me a buzz.

Bill Whyte

Click here to download the brochure!