Special Thanks for all your feedback. The Treatment-Free facebook group gave me the most feedback on my hive design. More than all the other groups combined.
Why Every Beekeeper should test one of these boxes
Do wild bees survive as treatment-free, this hive is designed to test that. Do large, well vented hives encourage veroa mites? This little box is the first treatment-free test hive. Put it out, comes with swarm attractant and see what happens (and let us know).
Special message to a great Bee Group on Facebook
I won a swarm trap from Wes Luther March of 2021. I wondered what I would put bees in, if I caught any. Since I’m older, I wanted to go horizontal and not a woodworker, the best I could buy (at the time) was going to run about $400+$100 shipping. Someone in the Layens TF group asked if there was a Poly-Layens. That inspired me to look in that direction. I knew I needed insulation – from Tom Seeley‘s work with wild bees. Bought a few cooler shipping boxes and tried to figure it out.
I consider this a starter hive for people experimenting with honeybees. Like a bird house, bees may move in, they may not. Its cheaper than a package of bees. It is designed as a Treatment-Free hive, based on the best science we could find. I hope you will get one for yourself and compare it to what you already have. Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.
I just hit the button going live on Indiegogo. Shareable link: https://igg.me/at/Ez-Bees
If you’d like to try one (or not) you can help us reach our goal to get at least 100 out in the field yet this spring. They will come primed with 2-part polyurethane (unlike most poly hives). I have seen no deterioration after almost a year outside but you can add more paint or even fiberglass the exterior if you really want a tough long-lasting hive.
Inside is rough plywood (to stimulate the bees to build propolis coating). There is one entrance, no vents, per Derek Mitchell‘s work on high humidity fighting mites. Twelve Layens frames with movable divider boards so you can make a 6 or 7 frame swarm trap and then have a nice 12 frame hive after they move in. We’re including a bit of lemongrass oil in the hive. The size of the swarm trap and the size of the 12 frame full hive match Tom Seeley’s optimum hive sizes for attraction and sustainability.