SNEADS FERRY, N.C. – Bee populations have been declining at a rapid rate over the past several years, but one Sneads Ferry man is hoping to change all that with his new hive system.
Managed hives, like those in Roland Reed’s backyard, help to prevent further decline.
”I’m not here managing the bees. I’m helping them do what they would normally do in a way that benefits them” said Reed.
Traditional top bar hives, which have been in use for years, can weigh 90 pounds or more, especially when they’re full of honey. So Reed thought up a way to lighten the load.
”I realized that a young woman or a young child, and I do a lot with helping young people get into beekeeping, has the problem of not being able to lift a lot of weight just as I did as an old guy” explains Reed.
So, he came up with what he calls the “modern top bar hive.” Not only is the hive more lightweight, it also uses a patented color coded system to make different parts of the hive easy to identify for newbies. The hives also feature a viewing panel in the back to see the bees hard at work and in their element. Also, each frame in the hive weighs no more than 9 pounds. Reed hopes this will appeal to people of all ages.
”I think it’ll help the beekeeping industry, young people particularly. Everybody’s concerned about colony collapse disorder. This is gonna help more people become beekeepers” said Reed.
Reed is hoping his new hive system is the first step in attracting young bee keepers.
For more information on the modern top bar hive system Reed developed, click here.