Beepods don't look like your average beehive. In fact most people (even beekeepers) in the US are unaware of any hive design other than the stacked box hives. Here is a descrption of what makes a Beepod.
Lid or Top Cover
This protects the inner chamber where the colony resides with a vapor barrier from wind, rain and snow while providing year round ventilation and insulation the hive in extreme conditions.
This is the bee's home, the place where the bees live and expand their colony. It was designed to look like a cradle as it is where you'll nurture your bee colony and your relationship with bees.
Beepods have 3 entrance holes on all four sides. You decide which one to use based on site placement, then close the others with the plugs we provide. Use the three plugs with handles to seal up the hive during chemical spraying times In spring and Fall, When the weather gets cold, the wasps and robber bees get frisky. You'll want to put in all but one cork to reduce access to the hive.
Wooden Top Bars are placed together across the top of the cradle and sliding Follower Boards enclose the area to create an inner chamber for the bees to begin their colony. This is the basis of the Kenyan Top Bar hive.
19" Bars are machined for easy handling and with a pointed bottom edge that is dipped in Beeswax. Bees instinctively begin building wax honeycomb down from the bar. A thin vent space between bars is machined for ventilation.
Narrow Bars used to expand the space between bars for honey combs. Combs for storing honey is often drawn wider than the Top Bar. Spacer bars allow you to expand the inner chamber enough to give the bees space to move between wider honey-filled comb.
Screen Bottom Board
The mesh screening on the bottom of the cradle provides ventilation and mite protection. Moisture accumulates without air circulation and that can bee devastating. Bees will clean mites off their backs and with an open mesh floor, the mites fall through and cannot jump back on the next bee.The mesh screen also provides much needed protection from critters.
Beneath the Screen Bottom Board, a set of slatted wooden vent boards provide an easy-to-use, adjustable ventilation system that regulates moisture and cool temperatures in your hive by between 50 and 100%. In coldest winter, have the vent bars partly open, i hot summer simply remove them and allow the air in via the Scrren Bottom Board.
Raising the Cradle to working height eliminates bending while you work. It also brings the bees and vents off the ground reducing moisture. Wooden legs are easily attached and strong, with machine bolt fittings. (optional ground fastening footings are available for windy or intruder-prone conditions)
Mite Board & Sugar Sifter
A solid board can be purchased separately to check for mites. The safest method is with Powdered Sugar. Dust each bar's comb using the sifter, then add sticky paper or vaseline to the top surface of the bottom board and substitute it into the vent board slot. In the morning take the board out, place it ontop the bars and you'll see exactly where you've got problems.
Beepod Hive Tool
We made a special tool for working in Top Bar Hives like Beepods. It has a long neck to reach deep into the cradle space. The tip has a 2in blade for scraping, pryinf and stinger removal. The handle end doubles as a bigger pryer for sticky supers
The first ten bars of food you remove from the beepod are to be saved for the Bees. Anything after that is yours to consume. So the HarvestBox is where you can store the bars in a sealed-up environment. The HarvestBox also doubles as a swarm catcher and a TBH transport box. Essential if your colony needs splitting or transporting brood to another beepod.
We've found the typical beekeeper gloves to be too klunky and thick to work with. As welders and tinkerers, we found TIG welding gloves are perfect for the bees. Lightweight, thin, white and no stings. Get two—one for you and one as a spare in case you need it.
Hive Inspection & Observation Forms
We've developed some Hive Inspection and Observation Forms. Easy to use, comprehensive and a good way to involve guests or students We'll send you a 10-pak set of each. (Four in a set)