Beekeeping is perhaps one of the most rewarding and fascinating practices to undertake. Even though most people view bees as unwelcoming, such a perceptive in most cases stems from a lack of substantial knowledge about bees. Bees are naturally territorial and are hospitable as well if you know how to handle them. They need a good habitation to thrive and never tolerate any invasive behaviour. That may explain why they can attack at times when provoked. Fortunately, you can keep the bees at bay by providing an ideal environment for them. Your first step should be to invest in the best beehive you can afford. The beehive is their home and therefore such a decision should be taken very seriously. With many readily available beehive options available in the market, narrow down your choice by checking out the best beehives outlined below in this article.
What to Consider when Choosing a Beehive
Before you commit your hard-earned cash to the purchase of a beehive, consider these;
- Versatility – does the hive allow the use of standardized equipment and accessories? Having one that allows you to share hive accessories such as brood and honey frames can be a plus. It should also be easy to add more frames when the bees have fully utilized available frames.
- Honey Harvesting – a good one should make it easy to harvest the fruits of your labour; the honey.
- Minimal Disturbance – an ideal beehive makes it easy to work on the hive with little disturbance of the bees.
- Production – choose a hive that inhibits drone production and maximizes the production of honey and brood.
- Design – the hive chosen should have a design that provides your bees with the right temperature and aeration. The bees should be well protection from elements of nature such as rain, cold, and temperature changes.
- Setup – choose a hive that is easy to setup. The joints on the wooden components should interlink well and easy-to-read and follow instructions should be provided.
- Transportation – for best convenience choose a hive that can easily be disassembled and assembled. This makes transportation easy.
- Material quality – beehives are built using different types of wood. The best hives are those built using good quality material.
- Budget – we are never equal when it comes to financial status and this will dictate what one can afford. If you are well-endowed, why then should you not go for the best you can possibly find?
With that said, here’s our list of the best beehives:
10. Valley Bee Supply 10-Frame Beehive
The Valley Bee Supply 10-Frame Beehive is made using unfinished New England White Pine. It comes unassembled and without any finishing. It designed for the pro-beekeeper or a beginning that is willing to buy the other beekeeping supplies separately. The unit is easy to assemble and comes fully-packed with most of what is needed for kick-starting or expanding your beekeeping enterprise.
The Valley Bee Supply Beehive comes with 2 deep boxes and 3 medium-size boxes. These have been drilled already and the joints fit perfectly. Its handles are pre-cut so as to offer a better grip and resist rot. Furthermore, the hive boxes are made using high-grade plywood which lasts for years. The unit’s roof is made of heavy aluminium that is rust-resistant and it comes pre-assembled just like the bottom board, inner cover, and slide out tray. Another feature of the beehive is the entrance reducer included. Nonetheless, it is foundationless and lacks nails and frames. These have to be bought separately.Check Price
9. Honeybee Headquarters Beekeeping Beehive Starter Kit
The Honeybee Headquarters Beekeeping Beehive Starter Kit comes with all that you need for beekeeping within one package. It is designed for all skill levels and it comes at an affordable price. Some of the beekeeping accessories in the package include; hive tool, bee brush, beekeeping book, bee smoker and a beekeeping jacket that has a veil and a pair of gloves.
The beehive is designed to give the bees the best home. It has an assembled aluminum telescopic outer cover, a bottom board, entrance reducer, a top hive feeder, and an assembled inner cover. Other features include; 1 medium super with 10 frames, 2 deep brood boxes with 20 frames and beeswax foundations. What is only missing is a honey extractor. Everything included is of high quality. This kit is ideal for any beekeeper.Check Price
8. Happybuy Beehive Frames 2 Layer Beehive 10 Frame Beehive Starter Kit
The Happybuy Beehive Frames 2 Layer Beehive is made of pine wood and measures 24.5 x 20 x 16 inches and weighs 16.18 kgs (35.67 lbs). The unit comes with one deep brood box, an entrance reducer, 2 windows for viewing the hive, a solid bottom board and an inner cover. The foundations are also included. The honeycombs are very easy to remove so as to prevent the bees from coming into contact with the hive wall and honeycombs. Its overall design is appealing, safe, and convenient. It is also easy to install this beehive.
One of the most outstanding features of the Happybuy Beehive Frames 2 Layer Beehive is that it is compatible with the traditional beehive. It is also important to note that the wooden material used in building the hive has been subjected to a mechanical drying treatment. This helps ensure the beehive does not crack. Its outer wall has also been polished to prevent water infiltration. Furthermore, honey is harvested via the efficient auto flow technology. This beehive is a sure bet for the savvy buyer.Check Price
7. Popsport Beehive Wooden House 20 Frame Complete Box Kit
Another top pick for beekeepers is this hive box from Popsport. It has all that you need for starting or expanding your beekeeping enterprise. The complete box kit beehive is tailored to suit 10 deep and 10 medium frames. The frames that come with the unit are made of white pine whereas the hive super is made of premium fir wood. The unit has an entrance reducer and a bottom which help secure the hive from predators and insects that invade the hive.
Some other notable features of this beehive kit include: pre-cut finger joints that interlink perfectly, a stylish, safe, and convenient overall design, and excellent ventilation. This beehive has a dimension of 11.4 2x 20.87 x 23.62 inches and weighs 45 pounds. You can easily remove or install its frames and it comes at an affordable price.Check Price
6. BestEquip Beehive Wooden Honey Beehive Bee House
This is an ingeniously designed beehive unit that offers the habitation for your bees. It boosts the productivity of your bees and minimizes disturbances when you are working on your hive – honey harvesting or routine checks. The 20 x 16 x 10 inches unit weighs barely 35 pounds. It is easy to remove and install the hive components and this makes a great choice for most beekeepers. It is even compatible with most hive kits and its frames can be shortened to suit any hive.
The BestEquip Beehive Wooden Honey Beehive is made of excellent quality corrosion-resistant pine wood and is compatible with automatic flow raw honey frames which are not included in the package. The auto flow honey frames can be installed to up to 7 pieces. It also features a clear end-frame view which allows the beekeeper to evaluate whether the honey is ready or not without opening the hive. It is easy to install and it comes with installation instructions. This beehive can last for up to 10 years.Check Price
5. Flow Hive Classic Langstroth 6 Frame
The Flow Hives have gained massive popularity in the recent past. As for the Flow Hive Classic Cedar 6 Frame, it is built using Western Red Cedar which is resistant to fungus and can repel insect invaders. It also has a screened bottom board, a queen excluder, inner cover, and roofing. The unit is easy to assemble and is delivered with an instruction manual which is easy to read and follow.
Some of the other features of the Flow Hive Classic Langstroth 6 Frame include: a brood box that has 8 standard frames without foundations and a super with 6 flow frames that has honey-collecting tubes and accompanying Flow Key. The Flow Hive is designed to minimize the disturbance of the bees when you are harvesting the honey. The Flow Key is inserted which then splits the honey cells and extracts the honey and directs it out of the hive. In this case you do not need a smoker or a beekeeping suit when you want to get some honey for breakfast.Check Price
4. Ware Manufacturing Home Harvest Beehive
The Warré hive is one of the best beehive units for bees. Ware Manufacturing have designed this unit to ensure you provide the best home for your bees and enjoy maximum productivity from your bees. The hive is made from white-stained cedar, one of the most durable and insect-resistant types of wood. The unit comes unassembled but is pretty easy to put together all its components.
The peaked roof of the Ware Manufacturing Beehive helps keep rain water off your hive. The unit also has two observation windows and ventilation with adjustable airflow. This is required for keeping the hive temperature within the required levels during hot and cold seasons. This unit is also expandable. You can simply add new boxes below so as to accommodate new bees and their honeycomb. As for price it is affordable and a sure quality for money.Check Price
3. BuildaBeehive 10-Frame Deluxe Beehive Starter Kit
This is perhaps one of the most popular beehive kits for beginners and professionals alike. It is a complete kit with a Langstroth hive. When you buy the unit you get the hive in addition to 10 frames, excellent quality gloves, an entrance feeder, a beekeeping suit, a smoker with fuel, a hive tool, and instruction manual. This manufacturer also offers a money-back guarantee in case you are dissatisfied with the package for whatever reason.
The 10 frame supers that come with the hive are wooden and the 20 frames have plastic foundations which can be left out or replaced if you like. Available also in the hive are: an inner cover, a reversible entrance reducer, a metal roofing and a bottom board. Given all that is delivered with this hive, this is probably the cheapest beehive you can get in the market.Check Price
2. Mann Lake HK160 Assembled Complete Hive Kit
The US-made Mann Lake Assembled Complete Hive Kit is a popular choice among beekeepers. The unit comes pre-painted and it is made of pine wood. Since it is already assembled you have little to do upon delivery. The unit includes a hive box with an inner cover, a telescopic roof, entrance reducer and a bottom board. However, it does not have a queen excluder.
One of the signature features of the Mann Lake HK160 beehive is the fact that it provides room for expansion once the bees have exhausted most of its foundations. The unit allows for the addition of a second deep hive body and that means you can scale up when need arises. The beehive items that come with the unit are made of exceptional quality wood. However, you might have to paint it just to add some aesthetic value. You also have to check and ensure gaps between frames are well arranged.Check Price
1. Goodland Bee Supply Complete Beehive Kit
Another top hive to checkout is the Goodland Bee Supply Complete hive kit. It comes with all you require for beekeeping and that is why it is preferred by most starters. The package includes a bee smoker, a frame grip, a frame spacer, uncapping roller, a stainless steel honey extractor, and 2 wood handle hive tools. The beehive is well protected from rain and direct sunlight thanks to its telescopic hive cover. The bees are also secured from insects and predators by its bottom board and entrance reducer.
This unit’s inner and exterior components are impressive. It comes with 2 large kiln dried pine supers and 20 9-inch frames. The beehive also has pre-waxed brood box with foundations and an inner hive lid. This durable hive kit has been built to boost bee productivity and minimize death during harsh weather conditions. It is expandable and compatible with most beehives in the market. You can therefore exchange or swap hive components when deemed necessary. Nonetheless, no instruction manual is included in the package, but luckily the unit is easy to assemble.Check Price
A Final Word
The beehive you choose will hugely affect your potential for growth as a beekeeper. The best beehives above offer each offer great features, benefits, and price. Choose one that meets your needs and is within your budget.