Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cube Hives in Final Configuration

Harvested honey this past week, 17 gallons.  Here's a pic of the yard.

You can see the tan colored cube hives in the front middle. The one on the right is fully decked out and the one next to it is just getting going.


  1. Are you going to build more or is this it for cubism
    Wonderr if the cube hive combined with the vent system of the DE hive would be a winner

  2. Cubism is an art form and really has little to do with cubes and less with honeybee colonies.

    The idea behind the cube hive is driven by a couple factors. First, I wanted the ability to orient boxes perpendicular to each other rather than all frames being parallel in all boxes. Second, a cube has less surface area for the same volume than a rectangular shape like a standard Langstroth style hive. Third, by increasing the number of frames and width of the hive, a hive can be shorter for the same volume. In fact, if deeps are the measure, each box stacked up would be three inches shorter than the equivalent standard hive as my mediums have approximately the same comb surface area as a standard deep.

    As far as the DE hive, I'm not in favor of excessive ventilation. Bees in the wild typically build in limited ventilation situations, and if not, will through the addition of propolis, make it so. Why is this? I don't know. But as it is, the cube hives have similar ventilation to the only picture of a DE hive I have ever seen. There is a smaller sized bottom entrance and a large upper entrance. The smaller round entrance is much easier to defend, and lids/entrances are made easily with good quality plywood. I have noticed no problems with this ventilation regime. In fact, these hives beard little if at all while other hives are bearding all the time.

    I do not yet know how many more of these I will make. Currently, I have about the number of hives I want and am no longer expanding. In the near future, if I do build more hives, they will be standard mediums as I am making the slow conversion. I'm slowly selling off my inventory of deep frames as I sell nucs. The worst of the deeps are trimmed to make mediums and are filled with medium plastic and foundationless frames.