Your First Beekeeping Hive – Langstroth or TBH?

Your First Beekeeping Hive – Langstroth or TBH?

Article by Evan Goode

You may have already acquired your beekeeping suit (just to be on the safe side), but after that it’s time to get to the most important part of beekeeping: deciding upon and purchasing the type of beekeeping hive you will use.

The type of hive you select should be based on your skill level, your preference, and also your physical stamina – as some beehive configurations can be quite heavy and awkward to manage.

There are two primary types of hive design in use today: The Langstroth Hive and Top-Bar Hive (TBH).

The main difference between the two types of beehives is that one is a movable frame type of beehive, and the other is a movable comb type.

The Langstroth Hive

Named after its inventor, L.L. Langstroth, the Langstroth Bee Hive is probably the most commonly utilized beekeeping hive.

Almost all beekeeping manuals, guides, and courses are based on this type of movable frame bee hive. So obviously if you wish to be able to make the most sense out of the majority of beekeeping instruction available to you, a Langstroth Hive would be a practical choice.

The Langstroth is a movable frame type of beehive consisting of a migratory cover, an inner cover, a hive body (or bodies), and a bottom board.

You can of course, opt to build your own hive – many beekeepers do. However, building your own bee hive is not recommended for beginners.

If you are just starting off with beekeeping, it probably is in your best interest to purchase a Langstroth hive from a reputable beekeeping supplier rather than try to build your own.

Top Bar Hive

Another type of beehive is the African top bar hive or TBH of which there are two variations: the Tanzanian and the Kenyan.

TBHs are very unlike the Langstroth design as they are a movable comb type of bee hive.

With this type of beehive, the honey bees attach and hang wax comb from bars which rest on top of a hive body – typically a long wooden box.

Top bar hives produce less honey than Langstroth Hives; however the honey they do produce is of the highest quality.

Ultimately, when selecting a beekeeping hive – you should weigh your choices carefully.

About the Author

Evan Goode can tell you more about beekeeping hives at his website. Visit for beginner beekeeping tips.

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