BEEKEEPERS CREATE 'THE KEEPER'S HIVE' TO MAKE HOBBY MORE ACCESSIBLE - 6abc Philadelphia

George Datto The Keeper's Hive Winterthur Museum Apiary with One Queen Keepers

"Our primary design goals were ease of use and improving colony health. I believe we achieved those goals."

-George Datto, Co-founder

George manages 70 hives at seven apiaries and is President of the Chester County Beekeepers Association in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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LANGSTROTH WITHOUT THE LIFT!

You can now inspect the brood, check for mites, and feed the colony...

 
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    As a new beekeeper, I love the opportunity to view the brood chamber without lifting supers. The Keeper’s Hive was easy to manage through my first full year as a beekeeper. I could find the queen quickly and the ease of lifting the full honey supers was unparalleled. I also managed a 10 frame medium super, deep brood Langstroth and the Keeper’s Hive is a much better experience all around. Would love it if all of my hives were Keeper’s. Happy beekeeper, happy bees.  

    -Sheena

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    When I first got into beekeeping, I discovered that the standard 8 or 10 frame brood boxes and honey supers used on Langstroth hives were challenging for me to lift. I didn’t want to hurt myself, or hurt the bees by accidentally dropping a box because it was too heavy. With The Keeper’s Hive, I know I can complete a whole inspection without any heavy lifting at all. This is both easier on my body and less disruptive to the bees. And when it comes time to pull honey supers, I know I can lift them comfortably. All of this makes beekeeping more accessible and enjoyable to me.

    -Leela

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    I always look forward to sitting down to inspect The Keeper's Hive. It almost feels like I'm taking a break, but I'm still doing another hive inspection! Actually quite marvelous! It's nice to be seated on the side of the hive away from the entrance out of the way of the bee's flight path. The easy access into the brood chamber without any heavy lifting and simply sliding each frame toward you for inspection is so much easier on the beekeeper as well as the bees.

    -Lynn

 

There's Really No Comparison

No other hive offers the same benefits:

Comparison chart of different hives

...So what are the downsides?

To inspect the brood you will sometimes have to entirely remove 3-4 frames in order to slide out the rest, versus revoving one frame at time as with Langstroth. If you are concerned about resting frames on the ground, we recommend storing them in a "quiet box" during inspections - a deep nuc works great!

When removing and replacing frames, the observation window, or frame guards, there is an increased chance that you will squish some bees. Squished bees are somewhat unavoidable in beekeeping, but this issue can largely be addressed with a little extra care and the use of a smoker. In our experience and in the experience of those who are currently using these hives, this has not been a major problem.

Aside from that, most of the differences between our hives and other designs come down to preferred management styles and beekeeping goals. We believe that for the average beekeeper the benefits of our hive system vastly outweigh the cons, but we'll let you be the judge.

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