In an effort to help make urban beekeeping a little easier for humans and a little more pleasant for bees, the folks at Beepods are bringing back a design that has been used for thousands of years. The typical beehive we see used by beekeepers is designed for maximum honey production. A beepod is designed for happy humans and bees instead — though one can still get quite a bit of honey out of it each season.
Core77 notes the benefits: “Instead of typical stacking beehives (Langstroth hives) that are designed to maximize honey production, the beepod is a modified top-bar hive design, a beekeeping technique that has been used for thousands of years. Benefits of top-bar design include higher quality honey and easy inspection and maintenance of the hives. This means pest control and inspection can be targeted. When checking honey combs in a top-bar configuration, the hive itself is not compromised because only parts of the hives are exposed at a single time making for more docile and happy bees.”
Beepods member CharBee Koenen states in an interview with Milwaukee Examiner that beepods can help keep the bees living in them stronger. “True, one can employ the same care and concern for the bees using a stacked box hive and many people certainly do. But from experience, it takes a great deal of time and effort to be as gentle in a model that tears bee’s homes apart by floor and ceiling… So by design, Beepods are less destructive of the bee-space, produce plenty of honey, wax and propolis, while providing a greater opportunity to engage with the bees in a calm un-threatening environment that lets both bees and beekeepers gain from the interaction.”
The design is certainly attractive, and if it is easier to use for both bees and keepers, then it seems like a great option to try. Perhaps our resident bee expert Sami could make a second effort at beekeeping with this instead.
From our friends at TreeHugger, the leading online destination for the news and ideas that are driving sustainability mainstream.
[Top image by Core77]