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How many top bars?


I live north of San Francisco with mild winters and lots of sunny days. How many top bars should be kept including brood and honey storage? My Warre hive is easy --keep two boxes.


This will vary depending on the strength of the colony, and how much honey is contained in each bar. Most of my hives I end up consolidating down to around 14-20 bars at the end of the season (September-ish, here in Portland). I try to ensure my colonies have between 30-50lbs of honey. Each comb, if completely full of honey will weigh around 4-7lbs. I’ll go through the hives at the end of the season, hefting each bar to get an estimate of how much they’ve got. If they’ve got significantly more I can harvest. If not, I’ll leave it all for them.

Hopefully this makes some sense!