Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Top Bar beehive

Something very exciting happened this week - we got our prototype top bar beehive made.

We want to start keeping bees as soon as possible, for both honey and pollination, and this method seemed like the best suited to us and our way of life. It is cheap, easy to do, and other people that use the top bar system say that they see a marked reduction in bee diseases. It seems to be the "organic" way to keep bees.

In short, the hive consists of half a barrel on 2"x4" legs, a frame around it on which rest 23 bars for the honeycomb, and a roof. We will be writing a full how-to over the next week or two, which we will post at

All we need now is to find a swarm of bees. Usually they swarm - which is when a new queen leaves the old hive with a group of bees, ready to make a new hive - in Spring, although people say that bees do swarm as late as this here.

For more photos, click here.

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