The Colorado Top Bar is a beautiful beehive for your backyard, community garden or rooftop. Designed by our team in Colorado and inspired by the classic Kenyan Top Bar design, the CTB contains minimal parts and requires lost no equipment to harvest honey and wax.
The CTB embraces natural beekeeping methods, allowing bees to build “natural” or “free” comb. Other styles of hive such as the Langstroth typically use pre-made plastic foundations or commercially produced wax comb.
Get the Source Files and Make Your Own!
This Instructable will show you how to assemble your beehive. If you would like to make your own, you can access the source files here.
Step 1: Your Beehive Parts
Review your parts to make sure you have all of the following:
- 01. Base Plate x1
- 02. Roof Panel x2
- 03. Entrance Door x1
- 04. Back Legs x1
- 05. Front Legs x1
- 06. Gabel x2
- 07. Follower Board x1
- 08. Roof Beam x1
- 09. Wedges x16
- 10. Top Bars x16
- 11. Side Panel x2
Step 2: Combine Front & Back Legs With Side Panels
Lay the Back Legs flat on the floor and then place the two Side Panels into the corresponding slots.
Put the Front Legs into place.
Step 3: Add Wedges
While still resting on the floor add the Wedges to the lock joints of Side Panels. Leave them loose for now.
Step 4: Inserting the Base Plate
Place the hive body in a horizontal position and add the Wedges to the Back Legs panel.
Carefully push the Base Plate in through the front entrance and be sure that it locates along the grooves and into the slot on the inside of the Back Legs panel.
Step 5: Add the Follower Board
Add the Follower Board. Add as many top bars as needed for your colony size with the protrusion facing down.
Step 6: Roof/Gable Ends
Add the Roof Panels making sure the angled cuts are vertical.
Step 7: Roof Beam
Add the Roof Beam and add the Wedges.
Give all the Wedges a few taps with a hammer until the Roof Panels grip the Roof Beam enough to create a compression fit.
Step 8: Roof Assembly
Place the roof onto the hive body by locating the Gable ends to the feet. Locate one side first and then drop the next into place.
Use a table saw to cut 30 degree angles in each Roof Panel where they intersect the Roof Beam (measure the angle to doublecheck before cutting).
Step 9: Place in Your Garden & Enjoy!
Place the beehive in your garden and enjoy!