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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings Fellow Beeks,

I've been a Beesource member for some time but rarely post. That said, this place has always been my go to for pithy bee information and insights, so I'm seeking your input and advice on an important project...

As an organic farmer raising vegetables, wasabi, mushrooms, berries, and a mixed orchard of fruit trees, I am fortunate to live in close touch with nature. After noticing fewer pollinators on our farm some years back, I began beekeeping.
After a couple of frustrating seasons, I decided there must be a better way to keep bees than in stacks of heavy boxes. I've been innovating a new beekeeping system and have spent the past four years refining, tweaking and bee-testing it

The core idea is folding beehives with universal comb frames. Patents are pending and we're making preparations for our first true production run. I've chosen INDIEGOGO as a launch platform for two reasons:
First is it is the single best platform to gather pre-orders so we can accrue enough orders to produce via CNC Router Manufacturing so we can control precision of joinery and sizing and fits
Second, it is a fabulous way to gather a tribe of like minded folks together who are willing to support, help Beta-Test, refine and exchange information about this new beekeeping approach with other beekeepers.

Before we go forward with a public launch I want to share this new system with fellow beekeepers and folks interested in beekeeping. I very much value and seek your experienced insights, suggestions and feedback that may inform further improvements. If it is not for you, please know I still value your input.

I'll stand ready to field questions or provide additional info...

Doug Lambrecht

HCH Day1-111.jpg HCH Day1-124.jpg HCH Day2-333.jpg HCH Day2-335.jpg
 

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Looks interesting. What are the advantages over a traditional Langstroth style hive?
 

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How long have you kept bees in those hives, and what have been your observed results?
 

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They are very pretty and will likely appeal to a certain type of garden beekeeper.

The size limitations and cost will likely rule them out of commercial use.

However it seems like they would work, so good luck with your endevours. Please update here so we can see how things go.
 

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As someone who has seen my fair share of patent rejections, I wish you good luck with obtaining your patents. There are lots of hexagonal stacking hives out there. First thing I thought of was the bee barrels stacking horizontal hexagons.

That looks a lot like other things I've seen, and it even bears some resemblance to 4500 year old north African beekeeping.

It will really depend on the specifics of your patent application. If you've patented a unique method of fastening the boxes together that's probably good. If it covers hexagon boxes or hexagon frames then you'll learn first hand how the patent rejection notice feels.

Good luck in your endeavor.
 

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Very pretty, but like someone else said, not practical, as I see it. Good luck, I'm sure you will find some people with $$ to spend, that want a pretty beehive in their garden. Looks like it would be difficult to OAV. Does look interesting though.
 

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That is a very nice looking product and I wish you good luck with it. I am sure there are plenty of beekeepers who would like to try them out, including me. But now, I will play devils advocate:
You mention "there must be a better way to keep bees than in stacks of heavy boxes" and what you have created is hexagon shaped stacking boxes. What makes these better?
To avoid lifting the heavy boxes, most beekeepers use a long Lang hive or a top bar hive. Other than the shape, how does this system compare?
As Scott mentioned above, what is the volume of the hive and how does it compare with a standard 20 frame/2 box Langstroth hive?
Finally, if you need to move these hives, what is the best way to do so? It looks to me that the odd shape of the hive would make it really difficult.

Again I will repeat, it is a really neat looking product and I hope the patent process goes well for you. Even if the patent does not go through, when the product is for sale, let us know. I am sure there are people here that will want to try them.
 

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Not going to repeat the comments above (enough said)...

Here are few points where I am trying to be useful, since OP asked for it.
If a new design is proposed, then it is is kinda assumed to offer benefits over some existing prototype.
So, let's take existing commercial Lang 10 frame, multi-body as a prototype to compare and ask few questions?

* which exact weaknesses of the prototype this FOLD-HIVE is trying to resolve?
** lack of visual appeal?
** lack of insulation?
** need to lift heavy supers?
** other?

* if any of the above questions are answered to demonstrate superiority of the FOLD-HIVE over prototype, what are the associated costs?
** high cost in $$ up front?
** lack of compatibility that means MORE $$ to maintain the FOLD-HIVE in the future (locked in to the vendor)?
** any newly introduced issues (e.g. too many moving parts causing excessive complications in maintenance)?

Simply put, what is the OP trying to solve?

As for me it is only trying to solve the lack personality of the commercial Lang boxes.
Well, this particular issue has been solved many times already while not introducing new issues that the FOLD-HIVE has many (too many for me).

PS: the issue of "stack of heavy boxes" has been solved many times over (even before the issue came along to begin with).
 

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I can see several problems for me to convert to something like this. How am I going to move hives. How am I going to extract my honey. Nothing I have is compatible with this. How am I going to feed or use OAV. Doesn't look like inspections would be easy to do. But they look neat.
 

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Did you ever have trouble folding the hexagons back up? After you unfold the two upper hexagons down beside the lower one, did you ever have trouble getting the bees out of the hinge area and keeping them out while you folded each hexagon back up? In this picture it looks like a lot of bees can get squished in those two hinges.

 

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Methinks this was either the right place to post for critical analysis, or the wrong place to post for support. I am certain folks on Indigogo will send money, as well as i am certain that those people will not be current beekeepers.

Good luck with your newest mouse trap.
 

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Very neat looking setup. I'm a new beekeeper, so my opinion doesn't count.
My thoughts as follows...
Very artistic looking.
I don't think it will work out for average beekeeper, it's just not practical. Looks like it would be hard to work, and you couldn't use on an extractor.
You probably wouldn't get much comb sold either. Not able to cut into neat squares, or rectangles. Allot of waste if you did.
Many other downfalls , but will not go into that.
You probably would sell a few to some rich folks that want something pretty in their rose garden, but to get them to actually work it , would probably be another issue.
Sorry if it seems critical, but not trying to be. Just looking at design, and best uses. ... an art piece that may get used, but not utilized by Many folks. Sorry.
 
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