Yes, these hives are in a different class. They are a quality product that I build with my own hands here in my shop in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Salida, Colorado. The materials are high-quality and costly, and the construction of the components is very labor intensive. But I believe that honey bees are worth it, and I invite you to join me. All of the colonies that I steward in my high mountain valley are in Bee Tree Hives.
I hand-pick each piece of lumber and do my best to make a beautiful, long-lasting hive that is designed to allow honey bees to live much more like they're designed to live - like they do live in the wild.
It is not my intent to cater to, or compete with, the mass-produced, made-over-seas, cheaply-constructed, thin, smooth-walled hive components of the conventional backyard beekeeping or commercial beekeeping worlds. (Is my bias coming out or what? Haha!) Bee Tree Hives are designed to support bee-centered beekeeping which puts the long-term health, welfare, and vitality of honey bees foremost. The goal of Bee Tree Hives is to provide the best possible hive cavity while still meeting the requirement of keeping bees on removable frames.
Bee Tree Hives are not intended for the conventional/commercial beekeeper with hundreds, or thousands of hives. Rather they are intended for the bee-centered or preservationist beekeeper who may have a smaller number of hives (ideally, in widely separated locations - although this isn't always practical).
Although I personally hand-pick every piece of lumber, and do everything possible to build beautiful and high quality components, I am using exterior-grade framing lumber. That is the only way to get the double-thick material with a rough surface that helps promote a propolis coating by the bees on the inside of the hive bodies. Working with such lumber, I cannot and do not guarantee the stability of the lumber or how it will behave after it leaves my shop. Occasionally, some pieces of lumber simply try to go back to being a tree.
That said, I do my best to pick lumber that is not warped, bowed, twisted, cupped, bent, wet, scarred, or split. I also look for pieces that do not have too many knots, or knots in the wrong places. Less than 5% of the lumber I pick through meets my standards. In addition, western red cedar can vary in color from blonde to chocolate brown, but, when I can, I do my best to match colors as I'm building components.
I bother with all of this because the beauty of the hives matters to me. But, in the end, I am limited by the lumber that is available to me.
Shipping is not included in the product prices. Being a one-man operation, I do not have the scales, software, and supplies to pack and ship myself. So, I use a pack-and-ship store as my shipping department. I will deliver your hive components to them, provide them with your phone number or email address, and they will work directly with you on the packing, insurance, handling, speed-of-delivery, and carrier options that best meet your needs.
Bee Tree Hives are a solid, well-built product of substance. As such, shipping is not negligible. But, the folks at the pack-and-ship store will work with you to get you the best possible shipping price given your needs and location.
From a customer in West Virginia, regarding the shipping, "...the quality is well worth it. These pieces are beautiful!"
Questions? Please feel free to phone me at 1-719-239-1188, or email me at BeeTreeHives@gmail.com. (I am sometimes way up in the backcountry and completely off the grid; please don't be concerned if it takes me a few days to respond.)
Returns: I have never had a Bee Tree Hive returned for any reason. But if you find that necessary, I will refund your purchase price, less the Shopify order fee, after reselling your hive(s) to a subsequent customer. To do so, I must receive the hive(s) back here in Salida within 30 days of when I delivered them to the pack-and-ship store to be shipped to you. Of course, the pieces must be unused and in resaleable condition.
Cancellations: If you cancel your order within 48 hours, your money will be immediately refunded less the Shopify order fee. After 48 hours, your order becomes a Return and will be handled as described in the paragraph just above.