One of the reasons I created this blog was to brainstorm on how I might begin beekeeping in a way consistent with a sustainable lifestyle. As I research and dialogue with other beekeepers on the internet and in my real life, I have to be willing to change my direction or plans. A good plan is always flexible, adapted to new knowledge about your environment and yourself. For this reason, I am thinking about changing my earlier "game plan".
Gerry at "Global Swarming" suggested a day or so ago that I consider starting out with a Top Bar Hive. I had been reluctant to do this since I had assumed that TBHs were a difficult way to begin beekeeping . But I considered what Gerry told me and about her experiences and am seriously reconsidering the direction I'm going.
I read Phil Chandler's The Barefoot Beekeeper last night and it makes a strong argument for beginning with TBHs for someone in my situation. Firstly, I can't lift alot of weight anymore (Doctor's orders) and that would not be as necessary with a top bar hive. Secondly, a beekeeper using a top bar hive interferes in the life of the colony much less and allows the bees much more leeway to create comb to their own specification and needs. I see this as a key to sustainability. I believe that the bees know best. Lastly, I am fortunate to have a life partner who has also worked as a carpenter who can easily make a hive from Chandler's plans, so my initial costs will be much less. One problem with TBHs, though, is that I really will have no support locally.
So where do I go from here?