I designed the hexagonal hive (Hex Hive for short) because I believe the shape to be in closer harmony with the bees than the traditional square box hives.
I thought, “What kind of hive could I make that would be as close to a natural, wild hive usually found in a circular tree branch?” I was inspired to design the Hex Hive because it’s the same shape as the comb the bees build.
I have experienced, on numerous occasions, a measurable difference in the bee’s behavior from those living in the hex hive vs. those living in the traditional square boxes. At various times of the day, I have inspected both types of hives and found that more often than not, the bees in the square boxes responded very angry and aggressive when I lifted the lid while the colony in the hex hive was ALWAYS gentle and acted as if all was well in their world.
I prefer to not use smoke on my bees and I am pleased that I have NEVER needed to use smoke on the hex hive. Most beekeepers claim that using smoke calms the bees down, but what actually happens when a beekeeper blows smoke into a hive is the bees are forced into an emergency state of being. They are being fooled into thinking there is a fire and that they may need to evacuate their hive, so they start gorging on as much honey as they can consume. Their attention is taken off the intrusive beekeeper and put onto the task of collecting as much food as they can in case they have to leave their home. This state they’re in allows the beekeeper to inspect the hive without many bees trying to sting them.
I believe the bees take a considerable time to recover from this stressful state after they have been smoked. I have vowed to be as unintrusive as possible with the bees under my care, and I want to do everything possible to not stress them out, so smoke was the second thing I’ve stopped using in my hives. The first thing I’ve done away with was plastic foundation in my frames. I let the bees make all their own comb, but this is material for another post.
I’m working with a carpenter to build the hex hives I designed and the latest addition to this new hive design is a beautiful roof.
I will be offering them for sale very soon. And when they go on the market, there will be two different roof materials to choose from, wood shingles or roofing shingles.
Here are the protoypes of the roofs.
More to come as soon as I have all the pricing and info available!