Introducing Top-Bar Tuesdays

Top-Bar Tuesdays!

Every Tuesday from November 1st until our Big Give Christmas Challenge starting on 29th November. We are going to share a story, here on our blog, from one of our project countries.

We want you to ‘Bee Part of the Story’ and meet some of the incredible beekeepers and beeswax artisans that Bees Abroad are supporting.

Do follow along and share our story!

Curious to know what a Top-Bar is?

Top-bar hives (TBH) were introduced specifically to suit conditions in Africa. They are low cost, easy to make and require little maintenance. They are accessible to women who can’t climb high into trees to harvest honey, and also to people with disabilities. 

Designs vary depending on local materials; wood, split bamboo, raffia, palm leaves and mud can all be used. Beekeepers and local carpenters are taught to make the hives. Shape can vary; a Kenyan TBH for example, has sloped sides but a Tanzanian TBH is often a straight-sided box. The most important and key consistent element however is the width of the top bar which can be easily measured using a common soda bottle lid! It must be 32mm, the perfect bee-spacing for the Apis mellifera scutellate, the most common bee in Africa. Our English bees are slightly larger and therefore need a slightly larger bee space.

How many things can you list made of Beeswax?

As we count down to the “Bee Part of the Story” Big Give Christmas Challenge, we will be sharing on social media many of the amazing things that our beeswax artisans around the world are making with beeswax.

Follow along and join in with your own beeswax stories in the comments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Value Added Beeswax Products

Did you know that the value of beeswax is often unknown and its’ use widely untapped in many of the areas we work across Africa? We are excited to see beekeepers discover the value and huge potential of this resource as they learn to process and clean the wax for sale or to make value-added products.

Before you see all the finished products, take a minute now to think about all the work that has gone into processing and cleaning the beeswax! Once the honey has been pressed out, the comb is put in a large pot of boiling water. The wax melts and then the pot is filtered into a bucket. The water and cleaned melted wax is strained into the bucket and as the water cools, the wax hardens into a disc floating on the top of the water. This wax can then be sold and cleaned and filtered further before being used for an amazing variety of value-added products!

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