Tanzanian Top Bar Hive

tanzanian top bar hive
Langstroth frame compatible Tanzanian top bar hive.

Plans? Want plans? You can save and print this image.

Or download a Google Sketchup based plan for this hive:



Since building the Kenyan top bar hives, my priorities have changed:

  • no need to raise queens or nucs in the far end
  • prefer harvesting at several, frequent intervals
  • sloped sides don’t reduce comb attachments
  • need Lang frame compatibility
  • spacer cleats fastened to end pieces


  • this top bar hive is two boards high by four boards wide
  • four 6′ boards are glued together for the cover and the bottom
  • two 6′ boards are glued together for the sides
  • two 6′ boards are glued together for the ends and a follower board
  • a rabbit is cut out along the top of each side providing frame rests
  • lifting cleat are staggered for compact stacking/moving
  • wood strips can be used in the rabbit when this hive is used exclusively as a tbh

The broodnest is re-positioned in the center of the hive, with honey storage on each end.

Top Bars

Top Bars are 19 7/8″ x 1 1/4″ x 1″. A saw kerf is cut down the center of the top bar and filled with molten beeswax.


The cover made of lumber. Several cleats are set back from the cover’s edge to allow efficient stacking.

Two Box Combo – The Best Bet?

Two standard Langstroth boxes can set between the spacer cleats. When used with frames, this hive functions the same as my two box combo hive. This top bar hive equals the two box combo when used with frames. And it’s a much better top bar hive, than the two box combo hive, when used with top bars.


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