Terrific new beehive design doesn't disturb bees when you harvest honey

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This is awesome. Just make sure not to harvest all the honey, the bees need it as well.

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I want one!!!

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As a honey-lover this looks impressive. So of course I have to think of the caveats.

They don’t explain how it works, but I assume it’s a premade cell structure with a mechanism that just releases the honey out the back of the cells?

Does honey “mature” while it’s stored in the cells before harvesting? I doubt it, but if so, this could break that process. Another aspect is preservation. Honey in itself is a preservative because of its low water/sugar ratio. Would partial emptying of the cells affect the preservation properties of the honey?

And of course, the most obvious point: how do bees react to their storage cells being unexpectedly empty? Obviously this is much less traumatic to the hive than traditional harvesting. Do the bees fare just as well with this type of hive when provided sugar water over winter?

And finally, what’s the cost of a hive going to be? Considering the usual cost of hives and eyeballing the material and manufacturing costs of this one, I’d place it easily in the few thousand dollar range.

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Based on the pic theres a bunch of channels in the frame, so the as long as the bees don’t cap off the back the honey will just flow down into the reservoir.

Tate and Lyle keeps them going, The refined snow. It is Tate and Lyle they live on, instead of flowers.

Don’t the bees usually fill a cell up and then cap it off? If you sneak it out the back door, aren’t you going to be left with a lot of closed cells that are empty and have the bees run out of storage space?

[edit - I see from the FAQ that this is the case (empty cells,) but that the bees will reopen the cells. It still seems off to me…]

If the bees decide to cap the cell after it is full, then a bottomless cell will never get capped.

Any bee specialist to comment?

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These are fair questions to ask, I think. In general though this is still impressive and seems to be a step up in a lot of little ways, especially if harvesting can cause the hive to be abandoned. The biggest thing would be if you already use the beeswax for something like candles/etc, since all you get is honey out of here, you wouldn’t have any wax to use.

This is a very interesting hive design, but I haven’t started beekeeping like I want to and don’t feel like I’m experienced enough to jump on something so new. I’ll probably wait and see how it shakes out for the early adopters. If it works well though, this could make things way easier for me! I was kind of dreading trying to lift a full super all by my little biddy self.

What about a crane gantry above the top of the hive? So the plates can be lifted and moved? Quite like the fuel rods were handled in RBMK reactors?

[quote=“frauenfelder, post:1, topic:52266”]if it works as advertised this will revolutionize amateur beekeeping[/quote]So… not suitable for commercial operations?

(Come to think of it, I don’t even know if commercial operations involve tearing up the frames by hand. Suddenly it strikes me as impractical on a large scale.)

On their website they use my favorite phrase when introducing a new product, “There has got to be a better way!

There’s ALWAYS a better way!!

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The worst part of being a beekeeper us pulling out the honey-laden frames from the box

… that and the stinging. The horrible, merciless, relentless stinging.

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Tries to grab the water bottle that’s set in the holder and it falls over. noooo!!

I am more concerned about robbing when harvesting, I would love to try this hive system. I lived in Bolivia and we keep africanezed honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata), they tend to robb and are in averaged more defensive and aggresive.

WHY would you keep Africanized bees?

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Probably for the same reason they were invented - they’re more productive than regular bees in tropical climates.

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Amazing!