I am not so into honey harvest but I have a nice piece of land (27 acres) which I convert step by step from a rubber farm into a thriving permaculture farm.
Instead of the rubber mono-culture I started about 190 different (not all different) fruit trees from seeds collected from all around the world and small trees and grafted ones carried home in my Golf bag.
Beside I have made up a good group of collectors who are always willing to exchange/share the latest seeds they found.
Also all small shrubs, flowers and herbs are bought whenever I saw it fits the hot climate.
Now its time to think of bees.
One reason is to live up the time as my grandpa had lots of hives
But also to have pollinators around settled down in the center of the land, so that at least the hives are not hit by the pesticide Hammer of the surrounding farmers.
Honey, ok if the bees can spare a bit I’d rather say no but as all animals on the farm they are seen as ‘workers’ and have to do their job.
Off cause pigs, ducks, guinea fowls and chicken pay for their ‘work’ as pest remover and ground tiller when they have reached the market size,
but the bees are too important as that I would have them as honey producer.
Hence I came to the conclusion, to try using self-made top bar hives instead of flow hives.
At least in the first stage of the farm. If I see they do well and produce a lot of honey I might consider implementing flow hives or whatever is suitable for Thailand.
For me as a returner (Grandpa had Straw hives and we made together some top bar hives)
but also a beginner my common sense tells me that a top bar hive is what the bees want.
They are great designer of honeycombs and know more about ventilation than any human ever will find out within the walls of the hive.
So I would let them do what they know best, let them have it their way.
Now I am interested how professionals are thinking of my ‘growing with the bees plan’
my wife and family have no clue about bee keeping but they are not scared at all.
They spot a nest in a tree, they plunder the combs, frying the brood as snack and leave a hollow tree behind.
Not very self-sustaining I recon but its their way the rural Thais grew up and I am working hard to show there are much better ways plus I sharpen the awareness how dead we will be in a matter of time without bees.
I am surprised that I have read the words here in the forum that a flow hive is something for beginners.
I grew up with straw hives and the top bar hives we made were the latest invention which made us modern bee farmers, they were so much easier to handle and harvest, but that is where my knowledge ends.
After grandpa died 1978 I went to sea and worked offshore,
once I rescued a swarm on a cable ship at sea (the story is somewhere here in the forum) but that’s all folks…
any comments and suggestions are welcome…