Modern beekeeping-Kenya Top Bar Hive and other equipment

Kenya Top Bar Hive

The Kenya Top Bar Hive is another type of a beehive that has achieved significant success over the years in beekeeping. It is an altered version of the Langstroth beehive, but here, the honey combs are suspended at the centre of the bar.

As the combs hang, the holding frames can be easily removed and returned, especially during harvesting or during routine inspection of the hives. Therefore, the combs maintain a natural U-shape, just like they would in a natural, open-air hive, and they have stability in design. There is also space within the hive for bees to move from comb to comb, since the combs are not attached to the walls of the internal walls of the hive.

The Kenya Top Bar Hive is relatively cheaper to purchase. Also, Honey combs can be removed without disturbing the brood, more wax is harvested and a Queen excluder separates the brood from honey

On the downside, since the combs are suspended from the top bars, they run the risk of breaking, since they are brittle, so care must be applied during harvesting.


The refractometer enables the beekeeper to ensure the quality of honey output is consistent and of the highest quality.

The refractometer works by measuring the refractive index of honey. In principle, when there is change in fluid concentration, the fluid’s refractive index changes, enabling the beekeeper to assess the quality of honey if it has been diluted with water, or tampered with. Kenyan consumers are increasing becoming aware of, and consistently demanding quality, pure, unadulterated honey from farmers.

The refractometer comes in aluminium alloy, and has been designed to resist rust and abrasion, ensuring food-grade safety of the honey. It boasts of a refractive optical lens with a great refractive index for accurate measurements.

Bee smoker

 It is critical that the highest safety standards are ensured during honey harvesting, and routine checks on beehives during normal apiary management.

According to Savannah Honey, dealers of modern beekeeping equipment, the Bee Smoker should be designed to guarantee the farmer’s safety, as well as the bees.

It is commonly understood that smoke helps in making bees calm during harvesting by disguising defence pheromones—2-heptanone and isopentyl acetate—making them more docile during this critical operation.

The smoker is easy to use, and has sturdy leather bellows to fan the flame of your fuel, as well as a heat shield to prevent the farmer from burning during usage. This simple design is user friendly, and can be operated by novice beekeepers. Furthermore, you can use local fuel to fire the smoker such as charcoal, dry wood and grass, making it highly applicable for Kenyan beekeepers.

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