You have an interesting product, but I don't see how is "solves" any perceived problems in a Langstroth set up. Weight was solved a long time ago with the introduction of polystyrene foam hive bodies. Appearance rates an A+ but it looks like workability gets an F. I suggest you market to the "save the bees" crowd and not waste your time trying to convince serious beekeeprs that you have built a better mousetrap.
I would say wasabi has did what he wanted. So far he has 20 comments and has not had to say one word except his origional post. It is a nice looking hive and would look pretty neat in the right place and could be used to show that it is not the box that keeps bees alive as they live in all kinds of places. It would be nice to know that the guy that put it out there for comment was actually seeing the people talking to him though.
Hi beeks. I'm dead tired and it is late. I just spent the better part of an hour preparing responses when my #%[email protected]& satellite internet crashed. Shortspeak is I'm too grey to enter the proverbial ring for money but what I am facing from the internet is like taking a shower from a firehose.
There is no Mod/Admin solution to recovering an 'unposted' message AFAIK. In some circumstances a message gets flagged by the system as "moderated", and then is not visible until a Mod 'approves' the message, but that is not the case here.
The safe approach for a long message is to compose it in some kind of [local] editor (Wordpad, Quickedit, nano, etc) and then copy/paste it into the forum message window. A riskier option (but better than none) is to just periodically copy your message into your system's paste buffer (Control-C or right-click Copy, etc) so if something goes wrong you can then paste from the buffer into a new message.
Thank you everyone for your questions and patience. I'm going to have to be brief here out of practicality. I just replied to five or six specific questions using "quick reply" when I clicked load on the last one (just got to GregV - He gets the door prize ) when I got a message that what I posted was a duplicate. I don't have time to use a cumbersome system with a snail slow internet connection so I'm going to ask you to bear with me while I prepare answers offline and find a better way to deal with all the details. A few, answers here and then I've got to sign off,
Our hive boxes are between a lang medium and lang deep in size, however they have more square inches of comb per cubic inches of space. This means less effort from the girls to heat and cool
Two of our frames fit per bracket in most extractors. The frames are also sized to fit 5 gal pails for crush and strain. FOld-Hives make great hexagonal shped comb honey
Fold-hives open up quicker with about half the lifting. In fact, once in place, the only lifting for our three box version (X3) is the removal of top and attic station and/or top super.
With our larger seven box version (X7) one lifts top, attic feeding station or super and the center hive box.
All the others fold down and back up. I've never had to use two hands to lift the folding hive boxes.
These hive boxes nest together in a "cluster" which means the inner double surfaces provide more insulation and isolation for each box. The tops also have extra insulation.
Moving our small hive is not much different from a two or three box lang set up. In both cases straps and a couple of backs or better yet a dolly.
Not yet but I plan to. I'm satisfied with insights tweaks from 4 prototypes and ready for our first manufacturing run of CNC parts. Our plan is to see if experienced beeks (N America FIRST) like the hives enough to want to help beta-test. These hives won't technically be for sale, but will become available to early adopters, innovators and DIY's in kit form for deep discounts when we launch.
looks like a scaled down version of the horizontal Cathedral Hive.
Here are thoughts about operation.
1. It will take too long to open and close and inspect frames for normal hive operations such as requeening.
2. Can be expanded or contracted as needed for a large or small colony which is an advantage.
3. Does not discourage predators such as skunks by design.
4. Not easily transported.
5. Not easily fed.
6. Not easily treated for mites and diseases.
7. Will be expensive relative to most other hive designs.
8. Does it incorporate a queen excluder? Otherwise the queen will lay in the honey storage boxes.
9. By the looks of the design, it will artificially compress the bees in early spring which will dramatically increase swarming.
Here is a comparison to determine if this hive is cost efficient. I can build out a square Dadant hive with all the required parts for about $75.
1 - cypress top and bottom with entrance reducer $27
1 - square Dadant box - $15
1 - Excluder $25
14 - frames built to my specifications $28
14 - sheets foundation $28
Nails, frame wire, glue, and paint $11
Total for a complete hive $134
As an aid to understanding hive design, please look up the Stewarton Hive, Jackson Horizontal Hive, Perone Hive, Rose Hive, Cathedral hive, and Layens hive.
In my opinion, your hive will be too much work to manage and has too many parts. Re the patent, a hive very similar to this was patented back in the late 1800's. I've got pictures of it around here in a book.
Thanks to all for the thoughtful responses and questions.
I'm not trying to convince anyone that I've invented a better mousetrap, nor are these hives yet in production so I'm not trying to sell anything. I am convinced, however, there is room for a different approach to beekeeping and that conventional practices could stand some improvement. This is simply an idea I've worked on for quite some time that I'm sharing to gauge interest level. I don't expect everyone to love it, but I'm interested in why or why not.
I've bee-tested and tweaked my prototypes for three years. The bees take to the frames, which closely match their natural cluster size, and move about the hives and to the attic feeder nicely.
Here are three aspects of my Fold-Hives that I believe will help bees and beeks:
1) Tighter Spaces - Experienced beeks know that bees thrive in close quarters. A common practice, especially with small colonies, is to crowd them to fewer frames by using follower boards. Our Fold-Hives boxes are sized just right and enclosed by inner covers. The resulting ratio between available comb and cubic inches of hive space creates tighter spaces than exist in rectangular hives. This means bees don’t have to work quite so hard to maintain optimum cluster temperature.
2) Quicker Inspections - The easy folding action not only helps beeks by offering full hive access with less lifting. It also allows quicker inspections with far less disruption. Since each side opens independently, beekeepers can selectively access portions of their Fold-Hive without disturbing the other side. Even if their entire hive is opened flat for full hive access, inner covers keep the bees in each hive box cosily contained until that specific portion of the hive is opened for inspection. This means the bees can calmly carry on with their business.
3) Better Insulation and Ventilation- The way Fold-Hives nest together means that each hive box is better insulated by the doubled walls. We’ve also added insulation board to each roof section, making Fold-Hives interiors much more energy efficient. To manage humidity, we’ve included Venturi chimney vent openings so that air can rise and exit through the attic. This action vents away excess hive moisture creating a drier, healthier environment for bees.
Q-1 These hives don't look typical. Do they work with regular hive frames?
A-1 No, they don't. Typical hives are rectangular stacked boxes. Typical frames are rectangular leaving corners and margins outside the cluster. Fold-Hives frames will not fit in typical hives, nor will their’s fit ours.
Q-2 When Fold-Hives are folded open won't uncapped nectar leak out?
A-2 Good practice means leaving the hive alone as much as possible during strong honey flow, but even if one needs to open their FOLD-HIVE before honey is capped, it’s unlikely to spill. The frames rotate a bit more than half way so they’re never upside down. Honey is viscous so it flows slowly. Typical inspections of one side should be under five minutes.
Q-3 How does one move these hives?
A-3 Pretty much the same way you would move a stack of rectangular hives. Strap them well and move with a couple of backs and/or a two wheel dolly.
Q-4 How do these hives compare to Langstroth’s?
A-4 Size wise, Fold-Hive boxes contain slightly more comb area than Langstroth Medium with 10 Frames. As for appearance/aesthetics, the feedback is they are clearly better.
Q-5 They look like they will be too expensive.
A-5 In Langstroth's time labor was cheap and automation was nearly non-existent. With today's technology we can make parts very economically. With a time-honored tradition of making or assembling their own gear, I think there is a market for innovators, early adopters and others. A key objective for this project is to have enough scale to make them affordable. The very last thing I am interested in is making expensive hobby hives.
"As an aid to understanding hive design, please look up the Stewarton Hive, Jackson Horizontal Hive, Perone Hive, Rose Hive, Cathedral hive, and Layens hive."
I find it interesting you would assume that I made what I have with little or no research of other hive systems. I've read everything I can find, and love researching old patents. There has been a lot of minds at work on beekeeping over the past few thousand years. I'm just one more person with ideas who happens to (perhaps audaciously) that there may be healthier methods to help bees survive environmental and over-wintering challenges.
Perone, Rose and Layans as well as Dadant all offer iterations of rectangular frames popularized by Langstroth. The Stewarton is more like Hex Hives which both require multiple size frames.
The closest in function and looks is the Cathedral variation of a Top Bar Hives. There are a number of differences, including size of combs and the fact that ours are fully surrounded by frame.
With the larger size of the Cathedral half-frames I would worry that unsupported comb might break. Also, the smaller frames in my system can be easily inspected or replaced with one hand
yep, to sell a curant beekeeper ya got to show the guts
however I think 3:32 give me the view i was looking for. I am concerned about the cluster's ability to move from box to box and getting traped away from the stores.
Wasabi what plant zones have these been tested in?
A forum community dedicated to beekeeping, bee owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about breeding, honey production, health, behavior, hives, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more!