Best Bee Hive For Beginners: Reviews in 2018

There is no substitute of a good hive for a good harvest. But which one you should go for?

There are a lot of manufacturers out there and it's really a hard job for almost anyone to choose the best beehive. In order to narrow it down here, we are with some of the top bee hive reviews that are available now.

We will have a deep insight of each of these hives and I hope by the end of the reviews you will find out the best one for you. So, let's get started.

Top 10 Best Bee Hive Reviews For Beginner Beekeepers

1. Complete Bee Hive Kit, Painted, Assembled, 10-Frame

Short Overview:

Whether you keep bees for commercial purposes or as a hobby, this Complete Bee hive from Mann Lake will be the best option for you when durability is your main concern.

First of all the whole assembly is constructed with superior quality pine timber. This not only makes the hive durable but also makes as good environment inside for the bees.

The smell of pine is pretty much suitable for the bees than any other woods. Moreover, the painted outer surface makes it durable against the weather attack.

A metal covering at the top of the hive protects it from rain and direct sunlight. And again thick timber wall keeps the temperature constant inside the hive which is very much important for the bees to reproduce and conduct other works.

This mega pack contains twenty hive body in total – 10 normal ones and 10 yellow waxed rite cell. This large number of hive body is more than enough for the bees to store honey and go on with their reproduction.

Again this large size can house up to 3 pounds of bee colony inside. Therefore, accommodating a large number of bees is possible without an additional one.

Finally assembling this beehive is pretty straightforward. As it comes with a ready to go pack, all you need is just find the right place to set it up.

Evaluating the quality and endurance, doubtlessly this is the best bee hive that anyone can go for.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable pine wood construction.
  • Total 20 hive body.
  • Fully solid painted outer body.
  • Fully assembled pack.

2. Honey Keeper Beehive 20 Frame Complete Box Kit

Short Overview:

With a two-story construction, this is complete beehive is a perfect one for almost anyone and there are good reasons behind that.

First of all this hive includes 20 hive body – both deep and medium they are installed in two separate sections. Therefore, keeping them separated this hive gives a large space to the bees.

Although this is a two story bee hive, you can add additional stories to it. The great benefit of this is, when the number of bees increases in the colony, you can house them without any additional hive. All you need it to add stories to the existing one. Another great benefit of this system is it saves space.

The frames of this best bee hive come with foundations. This makes it easy for the bees to build up their wax holes. But the great benefit of having this foundation is – bees will always do their job on it and therefore, you will not have any trouble having some wax body here and there indiscriminately.

The roof is also pretty impressive. This has a steel cover over it that saves the hive from sun and rain. But in my opinion, the sunshade of the roof could be wider to resist the inclined attack of the sun and rain.

Must have features are also present in this beehive like the entrance barrier and queen excluder and inner cover etc.

Although everything is good with this hive, the only thing I don’t like about this beehive is the there is no protective cover over the outer surface. This reduces the endurance against weathering.

In a medium budget with a lot more benefits and ease of use, I think this is a good beehive to go with.       

Highlighted Features:

  • 10 deep and 10 medium frames.
  • Ready to assemble with instruction book.
  • Steel plate roof covering.
  • Solid miter joint.
  • Pre-foundation frame.

3. Bee Hive (10-Frame) By ValleyBeeSupply

Short Overview:

If you are just starting out with a new colony the best one for you will be the 10 frame beehive from valley bee supply.

This pack only contains 10 frames. All these frames are deep standards. That means they are for the foundations or the main portion of the colony.

With two deep boxes and three medium boxes, this pack is suitable for both the main colony activity and the storage of honey. A good combination of both deep and medium room is necessary because, while the number grows in the colony, there needs more space for the bees in the lower foundation colony and in the supers for storing the honey.

For rain and sun protection, there is a metal lid that is really necessary for a beehive that is directly exposed to the environment. For quick inspection of the colony activity, there is a screened bottom that can be slide out easily.

But one thing about this beehive I don’t like the some of the basic parts aren’t present in this kit such as the queen excluder and story separator.

I will only recommend you this beehive if you are able to make the necessary parts yourself – otherwise, it better you check the other ones. 

Highlighted Features:

  •  Superior grip for handling.
  • Slide out screen bottom.
  • Two deep and three medium boxes.
  • 10 frame hive – comes empty.
  • Metal sheet cover and entrance reducer.

4. VIVO Complete Beekeeping 20 Frame Beehive Box Kit (10 medium 10 Deep)

Short Overview:

This complete pack from VIVO contains pretty much everything that you need to start a new colony or relocating an existing one.

First of all, the whole assembly is constructed with New Zealand pine. Although the wood quality is good, the problem is that the timbers aren’t painted and therefore, they are prone to weather attack. Therefore, if you want a long lasting service from this beehive, you need to coat it with wood preservative.

Also, this complete hive contains both deep and medium box and the deep boxes. Therefore, this is capable of giving space to the bees for their regular colony activity and storing honey. There are also, 10 deep and 10 medium frames in this pack so you needn't have them separately.

Just like other bee hives, this one also has telescopic roof cover and metal sheet protector. This is essential to protect the hive from bad weather and other agents. They have also introduced the queen excluder in this hive which is a must to keep the reproduction activity of the colony the deep boxes.

Finally, the assembly procedure of this hive kit is very straightforward. If you have a little expertise you can set this up within an hour and if not, there is set up manual for you.

Only two thing that is missing in this kit is the entrance reducer and the slide out tray and therefore, sometimes you can face some problem with this bee hive. But you can make them easily if you have some timber and a little expertise.

Evaluating the features and other conjunctive things, this will be a great hive for you if you are just starting out with bee keeping or love old style practices.

Highlighted Features:

  • 10 deep and 10 medium frames.
  • Queen excluder for activity control.
  • Pine timber construction.
  • Telescopic roof with the metal cover.
  • Plastic foundation sheet for ease of the bees.
  • Strong bottom bord.

5. Welliver Outdoors Standard Mason Bee House

Short Overview:

We keep bees for honey. Right?

But not always. If you have a little knowledge of gardening then you must have heard of the mason bees. They are more active than the honey bees and hence have a great contribution to pollination.

Therefore, if you have a garden full of flowers and fruit trees, keeping mason bees is profitable for you.

 For those of you thinking about to keep mason bees in your garden, Welliver mason bee house is a great opportunity for them. This thing is very rare and hence thanks to Welliver for their unique idea.

Although a standard mason bee hive has bamboo tubes, this comes with paper made ones. This mason hive contains 50 paper tubes – enough for housing bees for a home garden.

The border walls are made of thick timber members that are enough to withstand the weathering environments. On the other hand, this is also possible to attach a roof at the top. Not only that it protects the hive form the rain but also gives it a nice look.

 In a very affordable budget, this is doubtlessly a good opportunity for any gardener to get the most out of their garden just by housing a colony of mason bees.

Highlighted Features:

  • Roof attachment for weather protection and good look.
  • 50 pcs of paper made tube.
  • Thick timber construction for durability.
  • Enough tube durability for one year.

6. Complete Bee Hive Kit, Unpainted, Assembled, Made In The USA

Short Overview:

Are you going to keep bees for the first time? Don’t know how to set up all the things? Them I will recommend you better choose this hive from Mann Lake.

As this one comes completely assembled, needless to say, that this is will be the best bee hive for beginners. But this is not the only reason behind that.

For the first couple of months, this is essential for a newbie to learn the characteristics and then to move to the bigger step. And for this, it’s a good option to start with. You can also use this hive when you replicate a new hive from an existing one.

This small pack contains 10 deep frames in a deep box. That means this hive is only for the normal activity of the bees not to store additional honey for you. The overall construction of this hive is strong and professional.

The bottom board is made with plywood and there is also an entrance reducer just above it. The upper telescopic cover also makes it possible to attach another story or super to it. Again a metal sheet off will keep it protected form.

Putting these all together, there are only two reasons to go for this pack – having anew colony that is small in number and starting keeping bees for the first time. Otherwise, consider the other items and keep reading.   

Highlighted Features:

  • 10 deep frame installed in the deep box.
  • Pre-foundation rite cell for the ease of the bees.
  • Comes completely assembled.
  • Professional quality durable construction.
  • Telescopic roof and metal plate lid.
  • Entrance reducer for unauthorized species.

7. Complete Honey Super Kit, Painted, Assembled, 10-Frame

Short Overview:

If you have an existing hive with a large number of bees and you think it’s time to have some honey from them, then you are going to need a medium frame containing box. For this reason, this complete honey kit from Mann Lake is a good extension to consider.

This hive extension contains 10 medium frames. The good thing about these frames it that they have foundations. Therefore, it's easier for the bees to continue building cells over them. This also limits their activity within the frame.

All the frames and the box is of standard size. And therefore, this will fit with your existing hive. The frames are assembled in the hive and therefore this kit is ready to go with just after you have them.

For adding a quick honey storing extension to your hive, this is the most suitable thing to go for.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fits with standard Langstroth hive.
  • Medium frames attached to the medium box.
  • Wax coated foundation. 
  • Comes completely assembled.

8. Wildlife World Interactive Mason Bee Management System House

Short Overview:

Ever think of a palm-size bee hive? The mason bee house from World Wild LTD will change your thought.

This is primarily build to the conservation of wildlife. But you can also use this one to house the mason bees in your garden.

This house has 24 tubes to house the bees. Although this is relatively small, a small group of mason bees is capable of taking care of pollination of any home garden.

The tubes are attached with long bolts and this is possible to change the number of stories. A wooden roof gives this house protection from the weather and thick timber provides endurance.

Because of having remarkable compact size, this is possible to set this up in almost any place that you have got. Setting up this small house in your garden can be a start of great contribution to wildlife conservation.

Highlighted Features:

  • 24 tube holes.
  • Wooded roof for weather protection.
  • Thick timber construction for endurance.
  • Detachable parts can be changed in number.
  • Small convenient size for the ease of set up.

9. Ware Manufacturing Home Harvest Bee Hive

Short Overview:

If you are looking for a great utility and a good appearance, then I’m pretty much sure that you will love this awesome bee hive from Ware Manufacturing.

First of all this one contains one deep box and the space that is provided is more than enough for a medium colony to grow in number and do their regular activity. But this thing is common for the most of the bee hive and doesn’t make it stand above the crowd.

The reason why this is superior to most of the bee hive is it provides a good environment for the bees by proper ventilation. The upper insulated box has a cloth covering and it makes a fine air flow throughout the hive.

Slightly inclined peak roof protect the hive from rain and sun. This also facilities viewing the colony activity by opening removable panel.

Another great thing about this hive is, while other hives are built from pine, the manufacturer used Cedar instead. Normal cedar is more durable than the treated pine.

This is the reason the manufacturer claims a long lasting durability of 10 years. But for that, you have to coat it with preservative and protective paint.

For enough facility of the beekeeper and the bees, I will recommend you to give this hive a try.      

Highlighted Features:

  • Airflow controlling facility.
  • Activity viewing window.
  • Cedarwood construction.
  • Peaked wooden roof and sturdy base.
  • Whitewashed stain finish.
  • Screened base.
  • Two deep hive box.

10. BestEquip Beehive 20x16x10 Inch Wooden Honey Beehive

Short Overview:

Keep bees as a hobby? Then I think you will love this fancy beehive.

The very first thing you should know about this bee hive is that it's not designed for the production of honey rather for the breeding and normal activities of the bees.

But don't think that is not able to benefit you by giving some extra honey. As this is compatible with regular frames, you can harvest honey if you want.

This hive is also compatible with the flow frames (a Newly designed advanced frame that can be used to extract honey without opening the hive and disturbing the colony).

Although these frames aren’t included with this pack, you can have them for some bucks. One thing about the flow frame that needs to be mentioned that, with flow frame, it became possible to take the honey from the hive without any special equipment. All it requires to turn the knob of the frame.

The great thing about this hive you can observe the colony activity through the viewing panel glass. They can be opened by turning the knobs. Another great benefit of angel view is you can easily see when the honey is ready to be taken.  

The construction and appearance of this bee hive will impress anybody. An inclined wooden roof and sturdy bottom base makes it so much stable and gives endurance against the bad weather.

Although it doesn’t come assembled with the proper installation manual and some kit, you can install this one easily.

For a good appearance and ease of use, this is the perfect bee hive for anyone to add an extra dimension to apiculture.

Highlighted Features:

  • Can hold 7 pcs of flow frame.
  • Compatible with conventional frames.
  • Clear end frame view of colony activity.
  • Strong pine wood construction.
  • Easy maintenance and harvesting.
  • Easy inspection of honey production.
  • Wooden roof and sturdy base.

Buying A Bee Hive: What To Look For?

In the world of apiculture, a large verity of the hive is available. There are numerous manufacturers are in this industry with their readymade hive and this is needless to say that not all of these is suitable for a beekeeper.

That is why one should keep the following things in consideration while choosing a bee hive.

Box Types and Number

Langstroth hives are widely used and they can have two different types of boxes or frame – the deep ones and the mediums. The first one is for the reproduction of the bees and other activity and the mediums are for storing honey.

Basically, it's the medium where harvesting takes place. The number of these boxes depends on the number of bees in a colony as well as the keepers need from the hive.

If you want your colony to grow in number, simply go for those which have more deep boxes and if your main intention from the hive is honey, then it's better to go for those have the medium ones.

Harvesting Facility

Generally, Langstroth hive users harvest their hives once or twice a year. Although this is because the hives are full at summer and spring another reason or the less frequent harvest is this is it takes a little bit effort to handle this type of hive and also the colony gets disturbed during harvest.

Therefore, if you think a Langstroth hive is not a good option for you, you may consider the flow frame hive. These hives allow harvesting the pure honey directly from the hive without any special instrument. This eliminates the cost of extracting machines and other equipment.

The other type of hives that are available doesn’t give the same amount of facilities in harvesting like these two.

Construction and Assembly

Normally bee hives are constructed with pine timber. But some manufacturer offers Cedar also. Cedar is strong compared to the pine. But if the pine is well treated, it will handle the job with almost same durability.

It's better to have a paint coating over the outer surface for protection against weathering. Although most of the hives don't have it I will recommend you paint it yourself.

If you are a beginner, I will recommend you prefer items that come assembled or easy to assemble. Make sure hardwires are included in the pack.

Necessary Kits

Apart from the main hive body, some kits are necessary for a complete setup. Like – queen excluder for limiting the activity of the queen within the deep frames, entrance reducer for preventing the wild species of bees to enter the hive and telescope roof as a passage to the bees. Most of the bee hive includes frames of both medium and deep size. This will be better if they contain the wax coated hex foundations. So it's wise to keep these small features in the count.

Type of Hives: 5 Main Types We Found

There are various types of hives that have been used for apiculture such as log hive, skep, Langstroth, mason etc. Each one has a special facility and different ease of use.

1. Langstroth 

Langstroth hives are used widely by both commercial and non-commercial beekeepers. They are easy to use and can be enlarged as need. Although the construction is a bit complicated it functions well for both commercial and non-commercial use.

2. Skeps 

Skeps are used in the ranches where bees are kept commercially but this method isn’t that much efficient and scientific. They last about a year and there is only one part of this type of hive that is used by the bees for both storing honey and other activity.

3. Log Hive

People also use log hive for their vintage look and usually harvested after a couple of years. This is simply made by carving a wood log cylindrically.

4. Mason House

Mason Houses are generally used for the housing of the mason bees and there is no intention to take honey from them. This is mainly for wildlife conservation and pollination of flowers in the garden.

5. Flow Frame Hive

A new type of hive – called flow frame hive is also available. This simply lets to harvest honey without opening the hive and disturbing the bees. This became possible by producing premade cells to the bees and when it’s time to harvest all it requires is just to split the cells.

How Does a Bee Hive Work?

A bee hive works providing two facilities to the bees – colony reproduction and honey storing. The mechanism is pretty simple and you can have a better understanding of the following.

Colony Reproduction Facility

The deep boxes contain the deep frames. In these deep frames, the queen lays eggs and the news is nurtured by the worker bees. This is just attached at the bottom of the hive. There is also an entrance reducer in this part. It prevents the unauthorized species from entering the hive.

Honey storage

Generally, the upper medium boxes are used for honey stores. They are separated from the lower deep one by the queen excluder. There is a telescopic entrance just for the worker bees to enter into this section for their work.

Protection from the Rude Environment

A bee hive protects the bees from the harsh environment during the storm. It also helps the bees to maintain a favorable environment inside the hive.

Final Thoughts,

The products that we have featured in this bee hive reviews have the proven record of good performance. We tried to feature hives of all types from Langstroth to Mason house.

Finally, I will suggest you to prefer those will be comfortable for you to manage as well for the bees to reproduce and gather honey.

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