The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Top bar hive entrance hole cover

license plate top bar hive entrance door slide

Most people plug up the entrance holes of a top bar hive with champagne corks, but we were fresh out.

I started to cut a piece of wood to size, but then imagined the warping that will surely happen after exposure to the elements.

We used furring strips to secure the expired license plate and act as a rail for it to slide on.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Looks like your hive has been licensed to fly.

Keep us informed on the progress of your top bar hive. I almost built one this past year, but hubby ended up in the hospital 300 miles away and I have been busy with other priorities.

Comment by Mona Tue Apr 24 21:52:44 2012

Mona --- I loved the license plate (with fancy handle). It looks even better in person than in the photo!

I hope your husband is doing okay! There's always plenty of time for these homesteading projects --- better to wait until you've got the time to enjoy new ones.

Comment by anna Wed Apr 25 09:32:14 2012
It looks like we're going to need to put up a section on the site for people to submit their pimped-out hive modifications to. Yours is starting to look like a hot-rod! Great idea with the sliding cover.
Comment by Everett Wed Apr 25 10:07:55 2012
Everett --- Yep, you'll definitely need a section for folks to show off their awesome hives. :-) I was very impressed when Mark came up with the sliding door idea --- even if we'd had corks, I don't think they'd have been nearly as easy to use.
Comment by anna Wed Apr 25 11:37:39 2012

I love how your hive is coming together. The license plate is a neat touch. We just hived our TBH's this weekend if you want to take a peek.

Comment by Monika Wed Apr 25 11:45:35 2012

Monika --- Our bees arrive tomorrow! I've got to refresh my memory about installing a package --- any tips for installing one into a top bar hive?

Your hive is beautiful!

Comment by anna Wed Apr 25 16:39:46 2012
I've been fresh out of champagne corks for many a year. Thanks for the smile!
Comment by Debora McNeer Thu Apr 26 07:31:24 2012

Debora --- I laughed when I saw Mark's post too. :-) I don't drink at all and Mark only drinks with other people (which means, since we're usually the only ones here, he doesn't drink at home).

People do tend to give us bottles of wine now and then, and we actually have a bottle of champagne in the cupboard, but Mark told me I couldn't steal the cork unless I was willing to sit down and drink the whole bottle with him that afternoon. "How will we get the hive done if we do that?" I asked. So we went with his alternative.

Comment by anna Thu Apr 26 08:37:12 2012

I just love the license place hole cover! I've saved all of my license plates over the years (except when some state made me turn it in) so I could use them as bird house roofs someday. Now I know I will use a couple as bee hive entrance covers someday instead! :-) Hopefully that will just be a couple of years in the future...

Oh, I just downloaded Walden, too. Going to catch up and join the reading list!

Comment by Laura W-A Wed May 2 20:38:58 2012

Laura --- As pretty as license plates are nowadays, it's a shame not to reuse them! Your bird house roofs sound very nice. :-)

We'll be glad to have you joining us for the book club!

Comment by anna Thu May 3 07:43:08 2012

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