Posted: 24/05/2015 at 18:53
We keep bees and agree with Beekeeper 2 above. We look after our bees well and they stay healthy and survive the winters.
Monty alluded to "wild bees" that might choose to make their home in your top-bar hive. There are virtually no honey bee colonies living successfully in the wild in this country now - any stray swarms will have orignated in an apiary, and are unlikely to survive for long if left unchecked and uncared for. It is a sad fact that various diseases, probably imported by beekeepers importing queens etc from abroad, will wipe out most colonies quite quickly.
Monty also implies that you can just take some of the honey if you like. To do this when the comb is not on frames is very difficult; you can't just help yourself to a lump of comb if you don't know how to tell honey stores from brood cells, and you can't use an extractor to spin off the honey without frames. You may also leave the bees short of food if you can't tell whether they have stored more than they need, and then don't offer them any replacement food. Then they will simply starve in the winter, if they don't die of cold or varroa.
That's just a few of the points we take issue with. Anyone interested in beekeeping should take the trouble to find out a bit about it first. There are, as this thread shows, differing views on how best to keep bees, but it really isn't kind or "bee-friendly" to assume that you can just set up a swarm in any box in your garden and leave the bees to get on with it.