Apr 3, 2012

What The Hex? A Better Beehive?

Johnny Mason, April 3, 2012:

Just like mousetraps, it seems everyone is also looking to build a better beehive. There have been many, many variations over the years and one of the latest contenders to come down the shoot is called a Hex Hive.

Created by beekeeper Randy Sue Collins, the Hex Hive is an option for those who like to take a more “natural” approach to beekeeping. Built in the shape of a hexagon (hence, Hex) the inside somewhat emulates the inside of a log and features rough cut cedar to encourage propolis creation. I know a lot of beeks think that propolis is a pain in the you-know-what. But, if you keep in mind what the actual function of propolis is, this is a good thing as it promotes a healthier environment for the bees, and fights off various sources of infection. We all like healthy bees, don’t we?

It’s interesting to note the use of the nine frames in this design. The five center frames can be removed and switched around as may be expected, but the four tapered outer frames are actually affixed inside to hold comb. It’s noted that these can be removed if needed. Kind of cool, but I haven’t actually been able to test the management of this hive in the real world, because I don’t have one *cough cough* :).

The bottom of the hive is screened for integrated pest management, each super has its own entrance hole, and the pointed top is covered in copper.

From an esthetic point of view, I really like the look of the Hex Hive, as it kind of looks like a swanky rocket. First class all the way, baby! I bet they would even serve in-flight meals in this sucker!

This is just another example of why beekeepers rule! The thought and innovation that people put into taking care of their honey bees is amazing. Some work better than others, but as long as people are trying, that’s what counts in the end. If you’d like to dive into a Hex Hive, hit Randy Sue up at her website. Go ahead and tell her that Mason’s Blue Collar Bees sent you. I’m not sure that it’ll do you any good, but it’ll make you feel like you’re one of the cool kids.