I bought these second hand and it's been a learning curve but I really do like them... There are a couple of issues that are annoying but I have sorted out for the most part.
The supers are not positive enough in placement and I found I needed a ratchet strap around them horizontally to avoid and gaps between them. I'm sure this would be an easy design fix.
Also a removable/adjustable mesh floor so you could use various size frames and could clear out dead Bees would be helpful
A centre bar holding the legs together at the bottom would be comforting especially when 8 supers are loaded up...
My bees seemed to winter better in the Beehaus than my Nationals using less resources and being stronger colonies in the spring.
I would recommend these but just be aware they are different and will take a little adjusting to when splitting, and combining and when adding a swarm.
Omlet Says: Hi Chris! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such an in depth review.
Customer feedback is extremely helpful to us as we are always looking for ways to improve our products. I will pass your comments onto our product design team for future reference.
Have it all put together but no bees coming until next summer so cannot review performance. Looks like it will do the job! I really like the minimal plastic packing, all the cardboard went straight into use as mulch on the garden.
Received the beehaus some time last year, immediately assembled it and the frames. I also played around with it before the bees went in just to ensure i know what everything is and of course I made sure I can operate it.Unfortunately you only know how the bees deal with it once the bees are in. Unfortunately the bees are exploiting all the gaps the beehive has. Most notably the gap between the Green sides and the Grey entrances. I put weatherstrip in there when all the bees were inside (evening) and that's at least solved. The other issue is that the supers don't seem to sit on the hive properly (silly little knobs to keep them in place) so I can see bees (and robbers) going in between the green sides and the grey supers. They also manage to get in where the bungy cord goes in the green lid! Although these things are resolvable and I will spread the weather foam/tape everywhere, I wish I knew this when the hive was empty. At the price I feel that the weatherstrip I'm putting on now should either be supplied or already on the product. Anyway my Nuc arrived and they are currently doing well and they seem to be doing very well. Lets hope the rest of the season is stress free?
I really like the Beehaus. The height is good and I think it will be easy to use. We have yet to put bees in it for several reasons. The first being that it is too early in the season and it has been so cold to move bees.
Secondly...there were areas where we felt we could improve the insulation. Having read lots of discussion about the Beehaus and noted the sometimes derisory comments....we contacted other Beehaus owners. Some now only use theirs for storage...others have sold it on.....others commented knowledgeably about the faults and improvements that could easily be made.
So here is what we have done with our Beehaus.
We took out the linings plastic in the walls and inserted Sheepswool insulation....all along the walls. We were careful to reinstate the inner walls to ensure the seals maintained there integrity.
We cut queen excluders which fitted under two of the honey boxes...instead of one. This means there are fewer places where bees can get around the edges and therefore fewer places where the queen can get into the honey boxes. As we could see that the single queen excluders offered less than a perfect fit. In general..we don't use queen excluders in our other hives...which are all poly hives. The brood areas are given sufficient space to expand as needed. We are hoping this is true for the Beehaus...in that sideways expansion will negate the need for queen excluders. For this first season, though, we intend to use the exclude
We are investigating the value of filling the roof with foam insulation in regard to increased weight to lift it off.
Personally I like modern equipment..in general, it is easier to use and does a better job than traditional or old design. I also have an opportunity to have a Dartington wooden hive...so will run a comparison, which I know has been done before but everyone looks after their bees in different ways.
Of course, the price of the Beehaus is a drawback. This one is a gift...an indulgence. For most beekeepers...who want to make their own hives out of scrap wood.....well it is not for them.
We were also attracted because of our experience with the two chicken houses we have...a green cube and a purple eglu. These are proving to be good choices...our chicken are free range....they wintered well in them...and we live on an exposed hill.
I intend running an interference free Dartington and would very much like to run a Beehaus along the same lines...as comparison to colony survival. Sadly funds don't stretch atm and there are very few secondhand for sale either. Still....perhaps we might be lucky to find one for sale.
I hope this review is helpful to you
I kept bees 30 years ago in a WBC and I decided to restart this year with the beehaus. I liked the look and the concept of two in one or one large insulated hive. I was a little surprised as to how big it actual was and how heavy. The first hive that was sent was slightly 'out of true' and so the top boards would not stay in
place, but there was no quibble from omlet who replaced it immediately. The service was excellent, and I now await my nucleus, hopefully my bees will like it as much!
The design on this hive is extremely well thought out. From the legs, the side-by-side hives (2 hives in 1), the insulation, wasp guard, the list goes on! The staff at Omlet are excellent - always there for help and guidance. The only reason I haven't given 5 stars is because of the following: Firstly, I didn't realise there would be any hammering or screwing together and secondly because as a novice bee-person, it's very confusing as to what should be put together and when. Now I know that I only needed to put together the Beehaus itself and wait for the delivery of my bees. The rest of it - new frames and supers can all be made up once the bees are in situ. Therefore the directions could be a little clearer at the start. Apart from these little gripes it's all good and I await my bee delivery!
The beehaus was very simple to put together, despite the delivery driver not offering any help whatsoever. The design and bright yellow colour are proving to be of great interest to the girls at our school and we're looking forward to introducing beekeeping into their curriculum once the bees are settled in. And of course collecting the honey!
It was nice to see that the queen was already marked for us and I'm pleased to say that in the few weeks we've had our colony they are very busy bees building comb, eggs, larvae and honey. So far so good :)
We are pleased with the Beehaus, the only adverse comment is that the roof does not locate securely without the supers being in place. We are both tall and the working height is great. The bees seem very content.
A new product to accompany my existing dartinton and other hives, will be a lot more interesting with bees in.
Good design,, but I would have expected insulated panels on the end of the supers. I have also a miss aligned super side panels which cause the compartment to twist and not sit square. It would appear that the holes are out of line. I also have a concern that the inspection panel in the base could blow out in a strong wind as it just sits in position, this could have been a tray which locked making it more secure and easy to inspect. thanks grahame