For many years I have dreamt of keeping bees, of having my own hive and two things have have stood in the way of me being able to have a hive.

Problem No 1 to beekeeping has been my wife!

She has always been the type that when a bee comes within ten feet of her, she starts making stupid noises and running around waving her arms and this has even been in public.

National Beehive

Problem No 2 has been that I am a wheelchair user, the type of hive as picture above can involve some heavy lifting. A full box can weigh between 40 and 50 pounds and so it means I couldn’t keep bees using these hives.

Problem No 1

Has been solved after many years of teaching my wife about bees, telling her that they won’t sting if she just carries on with what she was doing and that they are too important to the hive to sting her and then die.

Last week as she cut the lawn, she brushed by a very large lavender that over hangs the lawn and bumble bees and honey bees flew up and all around her and she did not bat an eyelid.

Then one evening whilst watching TV, she turned to me and said “You can have a hive” and yes I had to pinch myself!

Problem No 2

The solution is to build or have built a Top Bar Hive which is also known as a Kenyan Hive.

This style of hive is perfectly suited for wheelchair users. I can have it built to a height where I can wheel right up, open the hinged lid and the top bars that the bees build comb on are right there and easy to access.

But even so I will need the help of my amazing wife, I will be able to occasionally perform some tasks but it will be with assistance!

This style of hive doesn’t produce as much honey as a national hive, but that is okay. I will be able to keep bees and we will get some honey from it.

Top Bar Hive exploded view diagram

The Top Bar Hives are cheap to build and I can get the main build out of one 2440 x 1220 sheet of exterior ply. The top bars are 38mm x 450mm and the frame for the roof is 50 x 50mm.

This will be made possible as my birthday is in August and money from family will enable me to buy the wood to build, a beekeeping suit and some hive tools such as a smoker and a hive tool to pry the sealed bars off.

Bee Nuc from

A Nuc which is a box containing a queen, workers and some comb can cost £200 and so we will set the hive up as a bait hive and try and lure a swarm or a local pest control company has offered to help and will bring me a swarm if they get called out to one!

So watch this space, I will post blogs and videos about my journey into beekeeping and see if it is possible for a wheelchair user to suceed with a hive of their own!


Here are some links on what has happened so far

Here are the plans I finally settled on >LINK<

Top Bar Hive

This is the build of the Top Bar Hive >LINK<

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

4 thought on “A wheelchair users journey into beekeeping!”
  1. Zec,
    Derek and I have been beekeeping for 15 ish years. Go for it, so rewarding and good for relieving stress.
    You should be able to get a swarm for free. Go to British Beekeepers Assoc. to contact your nearest group and let them know you want a swarm.

    Associations offer excellent training and mentoring (it’s cheap to join) and you will always have someone to call upon when you are not sure about any aspect of beekeeping.

    Our local Association has a second hand equipment auction annually, good for cheap second hand equipment, books etc. I am sure other Assoc. do the same.


    1. I am so excited about it and can’t wait to get started!
      There is a local (ish) beekeeping association but the problem I have is that by 8pm everyday I am beaten and the pain levels then rise and so that is not an option.
      I emailed them though and they have now said they can help me source some bees and will see if there is a local beekeeper I can get to know!

      1. Loving your site/blog !
        I came across it by accident but it is now on my home page! I’m still getting through your posts but wanted to say hi.
        I’m interested in the bee keeping world but at the moment I am trying to ( kind of) do my garden.
        I also have a disability and I really relate to your comments on just about everything. Thanks for writing and please keep it up! Mrs Dump ( not my real name but it is funny as my hubbys tag name is Mr Dump and we call our daughter little dump😂)

        1. Hi Mrs Dump and thank you. I have found that writing the various posts to be very cathartic, it is just a great way to offload the various issues that previously caused me problems. I am not sure how keeping a hive will impact on my health but I am willing to give it a damn good go, I will be posting updates as I go.

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