We bought our first hive of bees in spring 2015, and won't be harvesting honey until 2016. I was concerned at first, about being stung, but the bees have been very docile and I rarely ever see them aside from pollinating my flower and vegetable gardens!
We decided to go with the non-conventional top bar hive simply because we felt that it is more conducive to healthy, happy bees. In addition to honey, we will also be harvesting a great deal of bees wax every year! So if you are interested in beeswax, or if you would like to know more about top bar beehives, please contact us!
With great sadness, we lost our entire hive due to hornets just before we made the move to western North Carolina. But we will be adding bees to our homestead once more in 2018. We miss our bees terribly!
*Update* We did start a new hive, but that same winter the hive did not survive, which was the story for almost every beekeeper we had spoken to for that year. We will again start a new hive in 2021/2022. Until then, I have pounds and pounds of beeswax to refine for candles and salves.