Mann Lake HK160

Mann Lake HK160 Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit Review

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Quick Overview

Ease of Assembly
Structural Design
Value for Money


The Mann Lake HK160 is a knock out beekeeping starter kit that provides great value for money.

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Information is power as they say and this definitely applies to beekeeping. Even before you begin to gather your beekeeping gear and components, soak yourself with all that needs to be learned about beekeeping. This is an enterprise that is geographical in nature. Where you set up your venture will determine the type of seasons you will encounter, the severity of the temperatures experienced, and the type of forage available for the bees. A sturdy and well-made hive box such as the Mann Lake HK160 Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit is a great way to get up and running, but of course, there is more to this. Food and water make it possible for the bees to survive even in the hardest conditions. The different seasons are particularly a challenge to the bees. At times you find yourself struggling with nature and this is part of beekeeping. Forage is required for honey making and building up food stores for future use. As for water, the bees need it for hydration as well as making bee bread and honey. A shallow pool of water in a bowl or bird bath close to the hive can suffice for the bees.

Choosing your Hive

One of the most important things to know about bee hive boxes is the fact that they are never created equal. The hive box you choose will have a huge impact on how the bees will be nurtured and this affects the colony’s productivity. Each beehive out there has its drawbacks as well as benefits.

Some bee hive box attributes include:

  • A popular design that offers the most resources.
  • Capable of yielding the most honey.
  • Offers a design that requires the least amount of management.
  • Easy to lift and carry.
  • Is heavy to lift and carry.
  • Yields little honey.
  • Requires regular maintenance and management.
  • Provides a natural environment for the bees.

These are just some of the attributes of the various hive types to choose from. It is important to understand the hive type before you make your choice since we all have our unique likes, needs, and desires. It becomes easy to choose a hive when you understand your needs. Therefore, there is no clear-cut rule that dictates what beehive to choose if you want to venture into beekeeping. As a general rule, go for what best meets your needs and is within your budget.

About the Mann Lake HK160 Starter Kit

The Mann Lake HK160 starter kit is a 10-frame traditional complete hive unit that has all that is desired of a beehive. Its interior, as well as exterior, are designed in such a way that it makes it easy for the bees to move in and out of the hive. It also boasts a design that allows the beekeeper to easily inspect or harvest the sweet honey. Mann Lake is a US manufacturer and is known for its exceptional quality beekeeping hives and hive accessories. The Mann Lake HK160 offers the following features:

  • 10-frame traditional kit, complete and assembled.
  • 10 wooden frames with dimensions of 9-1/8 inches.
  • A waxed rite-cell foundation that is expandable.
  • An assembled telescopic cover that has an assembled bottom board, an inner cover as well as an entrance reducer. The entrance reducer is not painted.
  • The hive body is not painted.
  • Made of good quality pine that is durable.
  • A hive body with dimensions of 22 x 18.5 x 13.1 inches and weighing 30.6 pounds.
  • Made by a reputed US manufacturer.

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Pros and Cons


  • The box is sturdy and well-built. It is made of good-quality pine.
  • The waxed plastic foundation and frames are top quality.
  • It is already assembled which is a huge plus for the beginner.
  • It does not require a lot of maintenance after installation.
  • Allows you to bring in a second deep hive body once most of the foundation has been utilized by the bees.
  • The telescopic cover helps protect the bees from direct sunlight and rain.
  • It has a spacious interior that offers the best ventilation for the bees.
  • Has an entrance reducer, foundation, and a solid bottom board.
  • It is quite affordable.
  • The supers have handles on the side.
  • Ideal for those starting out as well as those scaling up their beekeeping enterprise.
  • Weighs only 30.6 pounds and has a spacious interior to host a bigger bee colony.


  • Not pre-finished. You might have to paint or seal the unit.
  • Does not have a feeder and it isn’t screened.

Further Thoughts

Mann Lake products ideally boast exceptional quality. The Mann Lake HK160 unit offers nothing short of the best in terms of features, functionality, and durability. The 10-frame traditional hive box is designed for all skill levels and comes assembled. Its telescopic cover is also assembled and has an entrance reducer as well as an inner cover and assembled bottom board. The beehive box is also expandable and which means it will grow with your business. You can simply add a deep hive body once most of the foundation has been used up by the bees. In terms of weight, this unit weighs 30.6 pounds which makes it easy to carry it around during installation. However, it will weigh more once the bees are brought and the honey frames are filled with honey. This unit appears to be well-built unit and durable. It is made of pine which is strong and can withstand all types of weather. The fact that it is already assembled also makes it a great choice for any beekeeper.


If you desire a fully assembled hive kit that has great features, then the Mann Lake HK160 is highly recommended for you. Most of the beekeepers familiar with Mann Lake products have nothing but praise for its products. This beekeeping starter kit being a 10-frame traditional complete hive kit is spacious and expandable, hence ideal for the starter as well as the professional who needs an additional hive. For the price, it is affordable and worth every dollar.

Do you own the Mann Lake HK160 Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of it.

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About Michael Simmonds

Michael Simmonds is a beekeeper from the United States, with over 20 years of experience in the field. He developed a passion for beekeeping at a young age and started his own apiary when he was just 15 years old. Over the years, he honed his skills and gained extensive knowledge about honeybee biology and behavior.
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Best Bee Hive Boxes – Standalone and Expansion Kits (2023)
6 months ago

[…] Click here to read our full review of the Mann Lake HK160 Assembled Complete Hive Kit. […]

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