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HOME2018-07-09T17:50:47+00:00
INTRODUCING HONEYCOMB HIVES

The Future of Beekeeping is Here and Now

Facts about honey bee losses and headwinds they face are alarming and we’re all becoming increasingly aware that honey bees are seriously challenged!  Between Varroa mites, Colony Collapse, viruses, extreme weather and rampant pesticide and fungicide use, the odds are staggeringly stacked against honey bees.

Everyone seems to sincerely want to help, but nature needs more from us than cute SAVE THE BEES Campaigns. With North American beekeepers reporting over 60% colony losses in 2017, we think it’s time for some rethinking and reimagining of beekeeping systems with bee-centric health and successful overwintering of bee colonies as top priorities.

Honeycomb Hives is committed to find, iterate or innovate ways to improve bee environments so the bees can live full healthy lives, making for happier beekeepers who will likely raise even more honey bees.

“The world desperately needs informed, well-equipped beekeepers to take up the enjoyable practice of responsible husbandry of honey bees ”  Douglas A Lambrecht

Honeycomb Hives was founded to distribute an exciting new integrative beekeeping system invented by Doug Lambrecht, a North Carolina, USA mountain farmer who decided to personally tackle some of the pithy challenges that honey bees face. He has spent the past four years tweaking and bee-testing new hive prototypes and the past two years preparing for production and distribution.  Although objectives and principles guiding Doug’s designs are primarily bee-centric, additional goals of making beekeeping more attractive, more approachable and more profitable for beekeepers are also front of mind.

Logical options allow beekeepers ultimate flexibility in choosing which hive and frame types best suit their preferences.  For example, use of plastic or wax foundations are accommodated or natural beekeepers can opt for foundationless frames.  Feeding options include in-hive Divider Feeders (single or double sided) or Attic Boardman Feeders or Patty Boards.  Other practical options include Observation Panes, Detritus Trays, Pollen traps and more,

Honeycomb Hives is pleased to introduce Lambrecht’s new Integrative Beekeeping System featuring universally-sized Smart Frames, our exclusive Combhoney Harvesting System and Practical accessories that are exchangeable among most of our five hive types:

  Honeycomb Nuc-Boxes

Honeycomb Hives Nuc Boxes are little workhorses of active apiaries
Honeycomb Hives Nuc Boxes are little workhorses of active apiaries

Nucleus Hives a.k.a. “Nuc-Boxes” or “Nucs” can be amazing little workhorses in an active apiary. Typically holding five frames, they’re perfect for building up or transporting small colonies, catching swarms, raising queens, or overwintering a modest colony. The versatility of Nuc Boxes cannot be over-emphasized.

Honeycomb Hive Nuc-Boxes hold seven frames which means they have about the same comb space as typical rectangular Nucs.  Nucs are ideal tools for beeks who are growing their apiaries.  They can also serve as affordable learning hives for beginners, but can be very challenging because a colony can quickly outgrow, or sense they will, the confined space, leading them to swarm.

  Honeycomb Flex-Hives

Honeycomb Flex-Hives are all about flexible setup options
Honeycomb Flex-Hives are all about flexible setup options

In a word, Honeycomb Flex-Hives are all about “versatility”.  Sized just right to start a package or accept frames from a spring Nuc, Flex-Hives provide everything one needs to house small growing bee colonies.  Flex-Hives allow beekeepers to easily tailor cluster space to colony size, making them a preferred choice for sweeter results even for beginners, though Flex-Hives offer features appreciated by seasoned beeks.

Honeycomb Flex-Hives enable beekeepers to derive insights and grow from direct hands-on experience with a flexible, integrative beekeeping system.  With three entrances that can each be selectively dialed open or partially or fully closed, Flex-Hives can run wide-open as a single colony or be easily divided into three separate sections (requires two divider boards), with each resulting chamber holding four or five Smart-Frames (depending on spacing).  This setup lets two or three colonies overwinter together, taking advantage of shared virtual clustering for better thermal management, which enhances their chances of surviving long, cold winters. (each colony will need expandable hive space early the following spring)

  Honeycomb Long-Hives

Honeycomb Long-Hives offer even more space with more options
Honeycomb Long-Hives offer even more space with more options

Sometimes bigger is better! When it comes to bee hives, there has been a definite trend over the past couple of decades towards larger frame hives often referred to as “deeps”. Another evolving trend is “long” Horizontal Hives, which tout less lifting and flexibility of hive management. Honeycomb Long-Hives enable beekeepers to maximize efficiency with significantly larger capacity hive for growing bigger, more productive honey bee colonies. They also offer even more flexibility than Standard Flex-Hives, such as adequate room to occasionally accept Langstroth frames with special follower boards

 Honeycomb Fold-Hives

Honeycomb Fold-Hives provide easy access for faster hive inspections
Honeycomb Fold-Hives provide easy access for faster hive inspections

Fold-Hives are not only beautiful to behold, they offer unique, practical advantages for housing one or more healthy colony of honey bees. First advantage is Fold-Hives easily open for full-hive access meaning quicker hive inspections with less bee disturbance.  Secondly, the hinging action of Fold-Hives means beekeepers are lifting only about half the weight, which is much appreciated by seasoned beekeepers and beginners alike. Third is no tall stacks of hive boxes. Next, easily removed inner covers (waffle and baffle boards) mean that each hive box is opened only as needed, which keeps the bees calmer. These covers also provide insulation and isolation between adjacent hive boxes but allow bees to easily navigate between boxes via bee ways and through channels.

Fold-Hives use central entrance hallways to efficiently route all bee traffic to appropriate destinations like exit ramps on a highway. Another cool advantage is our built-in pollen trap with removable tray that makes harvesting this important protein source for winter feeding an easy routine.  Other options include attic feeders, observation windows, detritus trays and our exclusive combhoney cup harvesting system.

  Smart-Frames System

Honeycomb Hive’s secret sauce and main differentiator, other than design, is the Smart-Frame System. This is what makes our system remarkably integrative. Crafted to allow 3/8” bee space below, all around and above, these frames allow bees freedom of choices and also improve air circulation.  All Smart-Frames also feature knurled-knob adjustable spacers to allow beeks to tweak their frame spacing with a twist of the wrist.  Whether for small cell work, brood boxes, overwintering or honey production, frame spacing adjustments are easy and no tools are needed.  (variable from 1  1/8”  to  1  1/2”)

The Honeycomb Smart-Frames System includes frame types that accept wax or plastic foundation, comb honey cups, queen excluders, foundationless frames and follower boards. Together with divider boards, these hive tools comprise our Smart-Frame System and are exchangeable in all Honeycomb Hive types.

  Comb Honey Harvesting

If you are an experienced beekeeper, imagine a harvesting system that makes you three times more money per ounce than your liquid honey, with a product that only requires a label:  Our Smart Combhoney Harvesting System means less work for beekeepers, requiring no uncapping, no extracting,  no homogenizing,  no filtering,  no pumping,  no mess, no blending and no bottling honey.

New Beekeepers save money from the get-go with this practical system, as there’s no need for an uncapping knife, a pricy extractor, honey filters, wax processing, or bottles or jars.  Instead beeks put their own labels on smart-sized cups of pure, raw comb honey resulting in their own premium comb honey  product that generates three times the financial returns for a third of the work.

ABOUT HONEYCOMB HIVES

The Start of Our Journey

“Every journey begins with a single step” Lao Tzu

 Langstroth, Warre, Layens, Perrone, Rose, Japanese, Slavic, Ukrainian, AZ, Top Bar and other hive systems all have their strengths.  But with average annual colony losses now exceeding fifty percent, conventional practices with rectangular hives need to be seriously questioned.   We think beekeeping can benefit from re-thinking and we’re doing something about it with an entirely new look at how bees are housed.

First is improving the ratio of available comb to hive space.   Second is reducing disturbance typical during hive inspections.  Third is simpler modular hive components you can grow with.  Fourth, is exploring alternatives to the questionable practice of re-purposing wax.   Fifth,  technology (more later)

  What started as a single idea has morphed into something else altogether.  Inspiration for a new beehive evolved into an integrated system.  The first step for us was our decision to focus on healthy honey bee environs.   Making our hive system available to beeks world wide is our journey.   We invite you to join us!

Meet Doug Lambrecht

Doug is a NC mountain farmer who decided to personally tackle some of the pithier challenges honey bees face. He spent the past four years tweaking and bee testing new beehive prototypes. While the objectives and principles guiding Doug’s designs are primarily bee-centric, making beekeeping more attractive and approachable are also included.  Doug is committed to find or innovate ways to improve bee environs so they can live full healthy lives, making for happier beekeepers who will then likely raise even more honey bees.

Obvious Growing Need

We’re all increasingly aware that honey bees are seriously challenged. Facts about honey bee losses and headwinds they face are alarming ! Between Varroa mites, Colony Collapse, extreme weather and rampant pesticides, the odds are staggeringly stacked against honey bees. Everyone seems to want to help, but nature needs far more from us than SAVE THE BEES Campaigns.

Purpose Driven Design

Our intentions are to make beekeeping easier, more fun, more attractive and profitable. Importantly, that means revisiting some assumptions currently taken for granted.  Like rectangular boxes.  Or the practice of recycling wax into foundation.  We are driven to innovate healthier environs for honey bees.  We’re also excited to introduce ways to help beekeepers make more money.  We think profitable beeks will reinvest.   So we’re pleased to offer some highly profitable tools, like our smart comb honey harvesting system.

How Can You Help?

There are a number of ways: Cheer us on. Tell your friends and beeks you know. Help us spread the word. Like, Follow, Share, Link, etc. It seriously all helps! And we will love you just as much! Sign-up to apply to be Fold-Hives Host. Or to become a Fold-Hive Sponsor. Or become a ground floor “Beeta” tester with us! Or help fund our journey by contributing. We’ll put every dollar to good use.

A NEW APPROACH TO BETTER BEE HIVES

Introducing Lambrecht’s New Integrative System

Easy Full-Hive Access,  Smart-Frames,  Sweeter Returns

Inspired by the need to help bees stay healthy, Fold-Hives are part of our exciting new approach to beekeeping, an integrative system offering healthier bee environs, while being decidedly kinder to beekeepers backs!

With modular hive boxes that fold open for full hive access, quicker inspections, easy health monitoring, exchangeable frames and in-hive feeding stations, Fold-Hives offer a logical and attractive alternative to typical rectangular hives.

Honeycomb Hives is pleased to introduce Lambrecht’s new Integrative Beekeeping System featuring universally-sized Smart Frames, our exclusive Combhoney Harvesting System and Practical accessories that are exchangeable among most of our five hive types:

 Honeycomb Nuc-Boxes

Honeycomb Hives Nuc Boxes are little workhorses of active apiaries

Nucleus Hives a.k.a. “Nuc-Boxes” or “Nucs” can be amazing little workhorses in an active apiary. Typically holding five frames, they’re perfect for building up or transporting small colonies, catching swarms, raising queens, or overwintering a modest colony. The versatility of Nuc Boxes cannot be over-emphasized.

Honeycomb Hive Nuc-Boxes hold seven frames which means they have about the same comb space as typical rectangular Nucs.  Nucs are ideal tools for beeks who are growing their apiaries.  They can also serve as affordable learning hives for beginners, but can be very challenging because a colony can quickly outgrow, or sense they will, the confined space, leading them to swarm.

Honeycomb Flex-Hives

Honeycomb Flex-Hives are all about flexible setup options
In a word, Honeycomb Flex-Hives are all about “versatility”.  Sized just right to start a package or accept frames from a spring Nuc, Flex-Hives provide everything one needs to house small growing bee colonies.  Flex-Hives allow beekeepers to easily tailor cluster space to colony size, making them a preferred choice for sweeter results even for beginners, though Flex-Hives offer features appreciated by seasoned beeks.

Honeycomb Flex-Hives enable beekeepers to derive insights and grow from direct hands-on experience with a flexible, integrative beekeeping system.  With three entrances that can each be selectively dialed open or partially or fully closed, Flex-Hives can run wide-open as a single colony or be easily divided into three separate sections (requires two divider boards), with each resulting chamber holding four or five Smart-Frames (depending on spacing).  This setup lets two or three colonies overwinter together, taking advantage of shared virtual clustering for better thermal management, which enhances their chances of surviving long, cold winters. (each colony will need expandable hive space early the following spring)

Honeycomb Long-Hives

Honeycomb Long-Hives offer even more space with more options
Sometimes bigger is better! When it comes to bee hives, there has been a definite trend over the past couple of decades towards larger frame hives often referred to as “deeps”. Another evolving trend is “long” Horizontal Hives, which tout less lifting and flexibility of hive management. Honeycomb Long-Hives enable beekeepers to maximize efficiency with significantly larger capacity hive for growing bigger, more productive honey bee colonies. They also offer even more flexibility than Standard Flex-Hives, such as adequate room to occasionally accept Langstroth frames with special follower boards

Honeycomb Fold-Hives

Honeycomb Fold-Hives provide easy access for faster hive inspections
Fold-Hives are not only beautiful to behold, they offer unique, practical advantages for housing one or more healthy colony of honey bees. First advantage is Fold-Hives easily open for full-hive access meaning quicker hive inspections with less bee disturbance.  Secondly, the hinging action of Fold-Hives means beekeepers are lifting only about half the weight, which is much appreciated by seasoned beekeepers and beginners alike. Third is no tall stacks of hive boxes. Next, easily removed inner covers (waffle and baffle boards) mean that each hive box is opened only as needed, which keeps the bees calmer. These covers also provide insulation and isolation between adjacent hive boxes but allow bees to easily navigate between boxes via bee ways and through channels.

Fold-Hives use central entrance hallways to efficiently route all bee traffic to appropriate destinations like exit ramps on a highway. Another cool advantage is our built-in pollen trap with removable tray that makes harvesting this important protein source for winter feeding an easy routine.  Other options include attic feeders, observation windows, detritus trays and our exclusive combhoney cup harvesting system.

Smart-Frames System
Honeycomb Hive’s secret sauce and main differentiator, other than design, is the Smart-Frame System. This is what makes our system remarkably integrative. Crafted to allow 3/8” bee space below, all around and above, these frames allow bees freedom of choices and also improve air circulation.  All Smart-Frames also feature knurled-knob adjustable spacers to allow beeks to tweak their frame spacing with a twist of the wrist.  Whether for small cell work, brood boxes, overwintering or honey production, frame spacing adjustments are easy and no tools are needed.  (variable from 1  1/8”  to  1  1/2”)

The Honeycomb Smart-Frames System includes frame types that accept wax or plastic foundation, comb honey cups, queen excluders, foundationless frames and follower boards. Together with divider boards, these hive tools comprise our Smart-Frame System and are exchangeable in all Honeycomb Hive types.

Comb Honey Harvesting
If you are an experienced beekeeper, imagine a harvesting system that makes you three times more money per ounce than your liquid honey, with a product that only requires a label:  Our Smart Combhoney Harvesting System means less work for beekeepers, requiring no uncapping, no extracting,  no homogenizing,  no filtering,  no pumping,  no mess, no blending and no bottling honey.

New Beekeepers save money from the get-go with this practical system, as there’s no need for an uncapping knife, a pricy extractor, honey filters, wax processing, or bottles or jars.  Instead beeks put their own labels on smart-sized cups of pure, raw comb honey resulting in their own premium comb honey  product that generates three times the financial returns for a third of the work.

Join our Journey. Share Links to Grow our Community. Help make Fold-Hives happen!

Tighter Spaces mean Happier Bees

Experienced beeks know that bees thrive in close quarters. A common practice, especially with small colonies, is to crowd them to fewer frames by using follower boards. Our Fold-Hives boxes are sized just right and enclosed by inner covers. The resulting ratio between available comb and cubic inches of hive space creates tighter spaces. This means bees don’t have to work quite so hard to maintain optimum cluster temperature.

Quicker Full Hive Inspections

The easy folding action not only helps beeks by offering full hive access with less lifting. It also allows quicker inspections with far less disruption. Since each side opens independently, beekeepers can selectively access portions of their Fold-Hive without disturbing the other side. Even if their entire hive is opened flat for full hive access, inner covers keep the bees in each hive box cosily contained until that specific portion of the hive is opened for inspection. This means the bees can calmly carry on with their business.

Better Insulation and Ventilation

The way Fold-Hives nest together means that each hive box is better insulated by the doubled walls. We’ve also added insulation board to each roof section, making Fold-Hives interiors more energy efficient. Our goal is to reduce the amount of bee-hours required to maintain cluster temperature. Ventilation is enabled in Fold-Hives via bee channels and through ways which allows air to slowly filter through each hive box to exit via attic vents. This action helps maintain drier, healthier bee environs.

FOLD-HIVES

Questions & Answers

Are Fold-Hives available for sale anywhere yet?2018-03-17T20:21:07+00:00

Not yet.  We are just bringing Fold-Hives out of the prototype phase and into production.  We’re preparing for our first production run for early spring 2018.
For now, at least until we finalize manufacturing details, Fold-Hives will only be available as early release versions to backers and beta-testers on INDIEGOGO.

How do Fold-Hives compare to standard rectangular beehives?2018-03-17T20:12:24+00:00

Size wise, Fold-Hive boxes contain slightly more comb area than a Langstroth Medium with 10 Frames.  As for appearance/aesthetics, the feedback is they are clearly better.

When Fold-Hives are opened won’t uncapped nectar leak out?2018-03-17T20:14:56+00:00

Good practice means leaving the hive alone as much as possible during strong honey flow, but even if one needs to open their FOLD-HIVE before honey is capped, it’s unlikely to spill. The frames rotate less than half way so they’re never upside down. Honey is viscous so it flows slowly. Typical inspections are five minutes.

How does one move these hives?2018-03-09T20:55:45+00:00

Pretty much the same way you would move a stack of rectangular hives. Strap them well and move with a couple of backs and/or a two wheel dolly.

These hives don’t look typical. Do they work with regular hive frames?2018-03-09T20:55:45+00:00

No, they don’t. Typical hives are rectangular stacked boxes. Typical frames are rectangular leaving corners and margins outside the cluster. Fold-Hives frames will not fit in typical hives, nor will their’s fit ours.

Ask Us / Tell Us

Have a question? Want to let us know something? Want to learn how you can help us succeed?

We love to hear what you have to say or provide any additional information. Our success depends on all of us working together. All comments and questions are welcome. Your questions & comments really do help us to help the bees!

Use the form to the right & we’ll be back to you right away.

Sign Up to Join Our Journey.

You’ll receive updates and special offers only available to Honeycomb Hive followers. You’ll be in on the ground floor. You get first dibs on specials and receive the inside scoop before the public does.

Discover Our Vision

Find out the why, what, where, when and who. Review the facts and reasoning behind our design decisions. Check out compelling statistical evidence about what helps and what hurts honey bees.

Challenge Our Thinking

Maybe you disagree or have some different ideas. Perhaps we missed something or you suggest that we consider another way of looking at things. We value and need your candid, experienced perspective.

Contribute Your Feedback

This is about gathering a group of like-minded people to exchange ideas. We’re building a community with a purpose. We need your passion, suggestions, encouragement, support & even criticism.

Volunteer

Maybe you love to research. We’ve more questions than answers! Love social media and perhaps can help grow our community? Are you into analysis? A blogger? Know some important beeks? Let’s talk!

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Post or Email us your comments, ideas, suggestions and even your criticisms. We really need you to help us get this right!