It’s plastic. It’s colorful. It’s British. By God, it’s a Beehaus!
The Beehaus is touted as the answer to urban beekeeping. I have my reservations. For one, it isn’t very pretty. I’m all about beautiful bee hives.
It isn’t cheap. It sells in the U.S. for $860, plus shipping and handling. You can build your own wooden hive for a fraction of that cost.
It doesn’t look like a good hive for people who own large dogs. I can see my giant golden retriever Bayard knocking it over with one hearty romp!
Notwithstanding, there are advantages. Here’s some details from the Omlet website. (I AM intrigued by their plastic chicken coops. My neighbors would kill me though…..)
The beehaus is specially designed for keeping bees in your garden or rooftop. Developed to provide your bees with a safe, modern home in which to live it makes beekeeping straightforward and fun.
Space for the Whole Colony
Modern bees need more space than they did in the past because queens have been bred to be more prolific egg layers. The beehaus uses deep National frames (14″x12″) that allow the whole colony to live in a single brood box. This simplifies inspecting your bees and is less disruptive to the bees compared to being housed in a double brood box system. Your bees will be calmer and easier to work with.
Two Hives in One
The brood box has two entrances – one at either end. There is enough space to accommodate 22 frames, which is double the number of frames in a traditional National hive. In spring when the queen is laying at her maximum rate your bees will be rapidly expanding in number. The extra space in the beehaus allows you to either a) expand the hive as a single colony or b) divide the hive in two and start a second colony. This is an effective method of managing your bees’ natural urge to swarm.
The entrance has a sheltered landing area that makes it easy for your bees to land and walk into the hive. The beehaus comes complete with a wasp guard which restricts the size of the entrance helping the bees to defend the hive against wasps. The wasp guard can be turned around and used to block the entrance if you are transporting your bees.
The beehaus has innovative triple pocket insulation to help keep your bees warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Bees need to maintain a stable 35degC in the brood. They control variations in temperature by vibrating their bodies to generate heat in the winter or if it gets too hot in the summer by using their wings as fans to circulate air.
The mesh floor ensures your bees have good air flow within the hive. It also allows debris and mites to fall out and this helps keep your bees healthy.
Light, Modular Honey Boxes
The beehaus comes with four supers for the bees to store honey. You place these on top of the brood frames in the spring when the bees start collecting nectar. The supers use a standard National super frame.
Comfortable Working Height
The beehaus is raised off the ground on sturdy legs. You don’t have to bend to lift heavy boxes as you do with traditional hives. During the spring and summer you will be checking the frames in the hive and supers weekly. Having the top of the hive at a convenient height and with space alongside to rest tools makes the job much easier.