Sunday, September 27, 2015

Beehives No. 3...

Further to our previous post: Bees, Boles and BearsBeehives 1 and Beehives 2, this post is to share an exciting new form of beehive which is minimally invasive on bees at the time of harvest, and so much easier to harvest from. No more masks and spaceman suits. The modern apiarist is about to change...

First though, we had planned to make some ornamental beehives for the potager garden or orchard. The beehives we previously had on the farm have moved on, but we still want to have honey bees as they need protection, and we need them to pollinate all our fruits trees and provide our guests local honey.   We had decided to essentially build a more decorative version of the standard Langstroth hive that most people would be familiar with.

I came across these photos of some ornamental hives that have been built for the rooftop of Fortnum and Mason in the middle of Piccadilly which I liked and planned to model our new hives on....

I love the design of their hives, as well as that F&M colour. The shape reminds me of a diagram I found of an antique beehive...

The langstroth hive has been the standard type of hive for eaons. Although they are better for a colony than a woven skep, which can only be harvested with the compete destruction of the hive, their time has come to an end...

The flow frame is perfect for novice apiarists like ourselves because of the ease with which you can harvest the honey.

One just inserts a tube and cranks a lever and away it flows...

Here is a video clip explaining how this new system works. We will definitely be supporting Flow Hives.

We plan to have the best of both worlds - we will buy three complete flow hives and then add ornamental woodwork to the outside, such as creating a little front porch over the main door; and paint them a similar colour to the F&M hives (actually a duck egg blue to match the trellis obelisks in the potager).

We already have a friend who can get us a swarm of bees.

Now we just need to decide where at Willowbrook to make our bee garden. Perhaps Spencer's Corner, or Little Hollows?


  1. Thank you to Simon who wrote:

    Hi guys.
    Excellent choice of hive! I'm very envious. I can't wait to see it all set up.

    I accidentally clicked the wrong link and sent your comment to oblivion my mistake. Thank you for following.

  2. Harvesting the honey is actually among the least of the stresses that bees face today, and many beekeepers are anxious that people who go for the flow hive, often for only the best reasons, do not understand the more critical skills necessary for bee care.

    1. We are lucky to have a couple of friends who are beekeepers, who will help us in the right direction. Everybody has to start somewhere - and we are very keen to do the best by all our animals - Bees included!

  3. Oh how I wish to have a hive of my own one day. I fell in love with F&M's hives when I spotted them at the Chelsea Flower Show some years back (in photos as I did not personally attend) - they were designed specifically for F&Ms garden there. Their color, eau de nil, is also sublime.

    Looking forward to seeing your hives in situ.


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