BackYardHive Top Bar Bee Hive
The BackYardHive Top Bar Hive is an Easy Way to Keep Healthy and Productive Bees Without the Need for Special Equipment or Invasive Practices

The BackYardHive Top Bar Hive has many advantages for the backyard beekeeper. This hive is easier to use, inexpensive to purchase, and it requires much less equipment and expertise to get into the adventure of beekeeping.

With this unique "holistic" bee hive, you will find that a beekeeping hobby is safe, fascinating, and easier than you might think.

  • No Moving Parts = Long-Term Durability and Simplicity


Golden Mean Top Bar Hive

As I've mentioned before, traditional hives have many parts and are more complex than the Backyard Hive, requiring these parts to be continuously replaced as they wear out. The Backyard Hive Top Bar Hive is much more simply made and should last decades with no need for parts to ever be replaced.

  • Precisely Crafted to Exacting Specifications -- Critical for Good Comb Formation


In addition, this hive is meticulously handcrafted by a professional woodworker using only sustainable hardwood sources. Our local woodworker crafts every hive to exacting measurements and standards using the most precise angles and spacing to create a pleasant and efficient home for the bees.

The Backyard Hive is not only a beehive; it is a work of art. Aesthetically pleasing to look at as well as highly functional, it is a charming addition to any garden, farm or yard.

  • Non-Invasive Design is Healthier for Bees


Looking Into Top Bar Hive Window
Corwin designed a viewing window for our top bar hives

The top bar hive is also healthier for the bees. It is by design less invasive so that when the beekeeper needs to check the bees he or she need only look through the window running the length of one side of the hive to see how the bees are progressing, or if it is time to harvest some honey!

 Golden Mean Top Bar Hive with a Viewing Window


  • Stress-Free Harvesting (for you AND the bees)

Even the process of harvesting has more care for the bee immune system, as the keeper need only remove one or two bars to harvest the honey. This does not stress the bees like the removal of the entire top of the hive, as is required in traditional beekeeping.

In addition to not stressing out the bees, it is safer for the keeper. Smoking is unnecessary, and the bees will go back to their business as soon as the bar is out, and the lid back on the hive. With a little practice and confidence, you may even decide that protective clothing isn't necessary!

  • Easy, Maintenance-Free Design


Flowers On Top Of Top Bar Hive

Because the Backyard Hive is such a simple design, it is much easier and less labor intensive to care for.  Honey production is easily achieved with the Backyard Hive, and honey harvesting is straightforward and requires no extra equipment such as those centrifugal spinners and uncapping knives that can cost thousands of dollars.

Corwin designed one piece, precision milled top bars for our hives

Top Bar Hive Wedge Triangle Shape Top bars
The topbars themselves are created so that the bees start and build their own comb, negating the need for costly man-made filaments that are required for traditional hives. The bees draw out their own comb so that there is not a need for foundation that is re-cycled from beekeeper to beekeeper and if they were using chemicals to treat their hives, the wax is permeated with chemicals.

  • Carefully-Milled, One-Piece Topbars Are Durable and Precisely Spaced

The topbars are also ingeniously crafted into one piece. Many of the other topbar hives require gluing pieces together, leaving the topbars prone to breakage or needing more maintenance.

Every topbar is precisely spaced according to specific research into exactly how much area a bee prefers to have in order to build comb straight and true.
  • No Need to Medicate Your Hive

 Because the Backyard Hive is designed for bee health, pesticides and medicines are not required, thus negating the assault on the pocketbook, as well as keeping the honey free and clear of traces of these foreign substances. The Backyard Hive enables the body of bees to have a healthy immune system with much less stress and greater ability to fight off pests on their own.

So, You Ask, If It's So Great, Why Don't You See More Top Bar Hives in Use?

The top bar hive is not designed for high-volume honey production, although there are anecdotal accounts that it has the potential to be as productive as the Langstroth system. Rather, the Backyard Hive is designed for the ease of taking care of the bees, for the bees' health, to strengthen the bee immune system and to let the bees live in a more natural type of environment. If the body is healthy there is much less chance of an intruder causing harm.

I have been raising bees in top bar hives for many years and developed the details of this particular topbar design with a woodworker friend of mine that I mentioned earlier. Carlos, whose attention to detail is legendary, has crafted a hive where the measurements are precise, the angles are perfect, the top bars are milled from a single piece of hardwood so that no messy assembly is required and the combs hang as they would in a natural hive.

Without getting into too much boring detail, these measurements have been developed over many years by expert beekeepers and scientists -- and we have taken them a few important steps further.

The top bar hive is not a new concept. This type of hive was written about as early as the 1600's and today in it's more modern form, it is used all over Kenya and other developing countries.

The current conception of the top bar hive was developed in the 1960's and designed for use in Kenya, Africa. In fact, sometimes the top bar hive is referred to as the Kenya Hive or Kenya Top Bar Hive

Its purpose was to create a hive that could be afforded, and easily used in a developing country by people who did not have the means to purchase the more expensive Langstroth system. Happily, these hives are also a fabulous way for people like you and me to get into beekeeping safely and inexpensively.

This particular design, however, takes the top bar hive to a new level. We have worked out the exact angles and dimensions that give you every possible advantage in building and maintaining a healthy and productive hive.

Buy our top bar hives here:
BackYardHive Shop - Top Bar Hives and more!

BackYard Hive Golden Mean Ratio Proportion Top Bar Hive


Thanks for getting us started with the Backyard Hive. As you know, we thought about it for a long time and we are SO glad we got one this year. It has been absolutely fascinating for the whole family to watch our bees start to build their combs and to watch the hive grow in size. We look through the window almost every day and there is always something new to see.

We should harvest our first full comb of Dart Family Honey in the next few weeks! The kids are excited, but I can barely contain myself.

Our friends and neighbors are almost as into it as we are. We think we've started something in Portland :-)"

Will, Katherine, Cosmos and Pearl Dart
Portland, OR


What an incredible adventure beekeeping is! Going into the hive to harvest honey and to have all these bees around you buzzing and humming is such a rush! I have not experienced anything lie it before. Plus the absolutely delicious honey these bees make is like no other.

Karen Sadenwater
Boulder, CO




Just a note to say that my new TBH arrived yesterday. I'm entirely pleased with the craftsmanship and attention to detail. Your manual and "parts list" are helpful, too. Thanks for offering such a fine product!




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