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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Best Bee Hive, EVER!

The following is a reposting of my original design features.

My design is a top bar hive that:
1) Is stackable for moving and storage.
2) Is easily moved with little or no damage to the top bar comb.
3) Easy to protect from varmints such as skunks.
4) Has a one bee space porch type entrance that;
a) allows guard bees to ambush unwanted guests.
b) is easily closed for moving.
c) can easily be reduced for over wintering.
d) does not allow for flying directly into the hive. This is needed to help keep unwanted guests out.
5) Eliminates or allows the bees to regulate high humidity.
6) Has built in temporary comb storage to allow for easier manipulation and inspection of the hive.
7) Can be "supered" with standard foundation type honey supers.
8) Brood chamber can be expanded easily.
9) Has open or mite screened bottom that can easily be reduced for over winter.
10) Is particularly suited for keeping more aggressive or "African" strains of bees.
11) Allows for a more natural hive development.
12) Honey can be harvested without disturbing the brood.
13) Aggressive bees can be relegated to the brood chamber to allow honey harvest with NO bees flying free to harass the keeper.
14) Up to 10 of these hives can easily be loaded in a US standard 8 foot pickup bed.

Other items:
1) A feeder that can feed either liquid bee feed or honey or solid fondant type food.
2) Rack to fit into a pickup truck to allow for greater ease in movement of hives.
3) Harvesting devices that allow for greater ease and faster harvest times.
4) Modifications to existing harvesting equipment to allow top bars.

Now after 2 years of development I can say that the only thing that has changed is # 6 or the built in temp comb storage. I sacrificed that in favor of making the hive easier to build. After all temp. storage devices should also be temporary, no? I also think # 10 is a misstatement. This hive is suited for all types of bees, especially Africanized honey bees. I can see no reason why a few simple modifications would make this hive perfect for smaller bees like some of the special species in South America that are being farmed for medicinal purposes.

In the other item section I have dropped trying to modify existing harvesting gear. and rack to fit a pickup truck is no longer needed.

By and large the design is simpler, easier and quicker to build. Along with these streamlining design changes came greater flexibility and ease of regional modifications.

I wish I had a trusted bee keeping partner to share the new design. Most people I share it with think I am crazy for keeping bees. They can't seem to get past that and have only casual obligatory praise for "The Best Bee Hive, Ever!"