A new beehive system made up of a series of hexagonal prisms may be just what your bees need. The Honeycomb Hives system is designed to tackle bee colony losses by making hives which apparently keep pests out, get rid of condensation and which retain heat more efficiently – all problems which can be a bane to honey bees.
As you may have guessed, the hexagonal shape is the key. Take condensation, for example. The creators of Honeycomb Hives reckon flat-top hives will cause condensation to drip back down onto the bees, which can be lethal to them in winter (I'm no bee expert, but a spot of Googling seems to confirm that this is indeed a thing.) A hexagonal prism affords an angled roof, so the condensation runs down these and the side walls, causing less damage.
Temperature-wise, the advantages of the hexagonal shape are down to the ratio of comb space to box space, which means the bees have to work less hard to stay warm (so the theory goes). The makers of Honeycomb Hives also claim their build quality means fewer "crevices, corners and cracks" for predators like moths and beetles to hide in.
The hives come in a couple of configurations for bee-ginners. The Starter Hive is ideal for absolute novices, needless to say. Flex-Hives are a step up, offering newbies a bit more flexibility to organise a small colony in different ways. The aptly-named Long-Hives are designed for larger colonies and apparently offer even greater flexibility in setting up a hive as you'd like.
The modular, stackable Fold-Hives are where the real action is (says the chap that knows nothing about beekeeping). It appears that these can be stacked and scaled as needed, reducing the amount of lifting required, and only a few bees are exposed at any one time when removing covers.
Honeycomb Hives can come with numerous accessories, including various frames, feeders, observation panes and pollen traps, as well as Nuc Boxes for attracting and catching swarms of bees.
The creators of Honeycomb Hives are seeking funding on Kickstarter, where you'll be stung for US$147 for a super early bird Starter-Hive. Flex-Hives start at $287 while a three Fold-Hive system starts at $447. The bees' knees, a 7-unit Fold-Hive, can be had for $997.
Should all go well, Honeycomb Hives are due to ship in March 2019, should the campaign reach its target, which is looking by no means certain at this stage. Still, given the recent news that honey is quite a good thing to take if you have a cough (probably), perhaps it's not a bad time to get into beekeeping.
Check out the buzz in the video below.
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