Bee Tree Hives Hive Body
One of the goals of the Bee Tree Hive design is to create an environment for the bees that is much more like a cavity they would ideally choose in the wild. This would include factors like a smaller hive volume, thicker walls all the way around, and rough surfaces on the interior.
All Bee Tree Hive components are made of western red cedar, also referred to as non-aromatic cedar. This, of course, makes the hive much longer lasting in the outdoors.
But there are other benefits of using western red cedar.
One side of each piece of cedar is rough, and the rough side is turned to the inside. This helps to stimulate the bees to coat the entire inside of the cavity with propolis. As you know, propolis is a natural anti-microbial; it kills many types of microbes including bacteria and viruses, and contributes greatly to colony health. A propolis coating is much more commonly found in wild hives, but the smooth wooden hive bodies typically used by conventional beekeepers do not promote this propolis coating. Note: the texture of the cedar can vary somewhat, from board to board, but I always put the roughest side toward the interior.
Another benefit of western red cedar is that the material is thicker to start with than pine material. But, Bee Tree Hives takes this a big step further by including double-thick walls on the hive bodies. Plus, western red cedar has a higher insulative value than pine to start with.
Bee Tree Hives are built on an 8-frame hive footprint. But, with the double thick walls, a Bee Tree hive body holds 7 frames. This, in conjunction with the fact that the Bee Tree hive bodies are built to hold deep frames, contributes to a narrower, more vertical cavity for the bees to live in. If you view images of honey bees in their winter cluster, almost without exception the cluster is only 7 frames wide.
Each hive body has its own entrance toward the bottom of the box. There are many advantages to this:
- This, along with the Bee Tree Hives Eco-Floor, makes a bottom board completely unnecessary.
- Without a bottom board, and its corresponding bottom entrance, there is no concern about skunks, opossums, raccoons, mice, weeds growing up and blocking the entrance, or snow piling up and blocking the entrance. (Although a mouse can get its head in a 1" hole, it cannot make the hard right turn into the 3/8" of bee space between the inside of the hive body and the end bar of the immediate frame.)
- Plus, these entrances are much more easily defended from robbers.
- These entrances also give the bees direct access to the comb where they are currently storing nectar and honey.
- Adding a box does not change the ventilation properties thay have so carefully constructed.
- And, in fact, two of these boxes with their entrances, create the same hive opening space as a half-opened bottom entrance. But, no need for entrance reducers!
You will be amazed at how the bees manage their traffic control going in and out of these entrances. So many bees can travel through these at once, going in both directions. They easily land on the face of the hive, and then enter from all around the entire circumference of the entrance hole.
The hive bodies come with hand holds on the sides, not inset hand holds which would negatively impact the insulative quality of these thicker walls. And, the hand holds have a 15° bevel on the bottom side for a secure grip.
Note: All box corner joints are both glued and screwed. No nails or staples are used. And each Bee Tree Hive component is branded with the Bee Tree Hives trademark.
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.