If you purchase an independently reviewed item through our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.
SummerHawk Ranch honey jar hives are an innovative approach to the age old practice of beekeeping. The SummerHawk Ranch 38533 Honey Mason Jar Beehive comes with a deep, brood super and 10 frames. This super features an observation window on the side and is called the “quick check” super. Using this window, you are able to inspect your bees without having to remove the frames.
About the SummerHawk Ranch 38533 Honey Jar Hive
The SummerHawk ranch 38533 Honey Jar Hive is an ideal beehive for beginner beekeepers. It has many features that make beekeeping a little less intimidating for the first timer. Experienced beekeepers can also appreciate these innovations that greatly improve the beekeeping process.
- The use of mason jars to harvest the honey eliminates the need to dismantle the hive and scrape the honey off the frames. This method causes a lot less stress to the bees and is safer for the beekeeper.
- The quick check windows on both the brood and honey supers make it easy to observe the bees at work. You can check on the health of your hive without having to pull out the frames and risk making the bees angry.
- The windows can also be used to help ventilate the hive in the hot summer months. The ventilation caps help to keep the air circulating in the hive so that no moisture collects in the bottom of the cover. Too much moisture in the hive can be dangerous to the bees.
- The pre-assembled frames that are already waxed, enable the bees to start making brood comb as soon as they are introduced into the hive. This means you don’t have to wait as long for your bees to start making honey.
Quick Check Super
Dismantling the hive frame by frame to check on the health of your bees is a painstaking process which is time consuming and can stress the colony. Plus you run the risk of getting stung by angry bees. The quick check window reduces the need to open up the hive because you can inspect your colony from the outside.
Each frame has a special contour shape, enabling you to see the bees moving around inside the hive better when you’re looking through the quick check window. This also creates more “bee-space” between the frames. Bee-space is important for the health of the hive. The frames are preassembled and pre-waxed, encouraging the colony to immediately begin making brood combs so the queen can lay her eggs.
Instead of the traditional honey super with frames, the SummerHawk honey jar hive’s honey super is equipped with round holes. Each of these holes fits a mason jar and it too has a quick check window. The super can fit up to 12 jars at a time. The bees use these mason jars like frames, making honey comb in them and filling them with honey. This makes harvesting honey a lot easier, especially for beginner beekeepers. Click here to read our full review of the SummerHawk Ranch Quick Check Super.
The hive also comes with two ventilation disks which can be placed into the holes instead of jars to help increase ventilation to the hive. This will help keep the bees from getting too hot during the summer months.
Pros and Cons
- The “quick check” observation window is an ideal way to educate children on beekeeping. Kids will get the opportunity to witness the bees going about their daily activities without the danger of angry swarming bees. They come away with the fun facts and none of the terror associated with bee stings.
- Lifting out the frames and dismantling the hive every time you need to make sure the bees are healthy is a necessary evil in the world of beekeeping. It disrupts the activities of the hive and can stress the colony. Using the quick check window to examine the bees is a simple, easy and relatively stress free way to ensure the health of your colony.
- The quick check window on the honey super will allow you to see how much honey your bees have accumulated and when it’s ready for harvesting.
- The contoured shape of the frames can help increase airflow throughout the hive during hot summer months. By leaving the “quick check” window open on hot days, you can allow more air circulation inside the hive. This will help make sure that the bees don’t get too hot during the summer.
- The ventilation caps are another easy way to increase ventilation in the hive.
- Most bee hives come with frames that need to be assembled and waxed. Some hives even have wire frames which can be intimidating to first time bee keepers. The SummerHawk Ranch 38533 Honey Jar Hive features frames that are already assembled and waxed so your bees can go right to making brood comb.
- Using mason jars instead of frames to collect the honey from the hive is an ingenious idea. Both experienced beekeepers and first timers will appreciate this quick and easy way to harvest the honey from their hive.
- Bees tend to make burr comb in every available space in the hive especially when the frames are filling up. The increased bee-space between the frames might invite the bees to fill it with burr comb if the quick check window is left closed.
- Bees are fast becoming an endangered species and need to be treated with the utmost care for the continuation of the species. That being said, having the bees produce their honey in mason jars and not on frames might be ideal for the beekeeper but is it the best thing for the bees? Is there any information on how the bees are affected by this process? Is there a study on which method is better for the bees?
A Final Word
The SummerHawk Ranch 38533 Honey Jar Hive is a modern, innovative beehive with features that make taking care of your colony faster and easier. It has taken a lot of the hard work out of beekeeping. There is less stress on the bees and the beekeeper doesn’t need to spend so much time handling the frames. The bees are left virtually undisturbed.
Do you own the SummerHawk Ranch 38533 Honey Jar Hive? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of it.Check Price