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Why Our Hives

Why Our Hives?

Our Materials

The finest hives begin with top-quality lumber. We're proud to offer lumber options that are not only ideal for housing bees, but are environmentally conscious and long-lasting. Both of our wood options are FSC® certified. That means they come from forests that are strictly audited to promote growth, protect ecosystems, protect indigenous right, support surrounding communities and prohibit illegal logging. We don’t compromise our environmental standards when we source our wood, and we don’t compromise quality either. Both Western Red Cedar and Sugar Pine are stable, long-lasting woods that provide excellent insulation for bees. Both are harvested just a few hours from our mill in the Pacific Northwest. Whichever wood you choose, you're choosing a hive that is not only kind to the bees, but kind to the environment and the beekeeper. Below are some key points about each wood option.

Western Red Cedar

Sugar Pine

Our kiln-dried, FSC® certified Western Red Cedar is our premier wood option. Although this premium cedar costs more, it has many advantages: excellent strength for weight, natural rot resistance and a beautiful glow. Kiln drying ensures consistent moisture levels to minimize warping and cracking. If cared for correctly, a Western Red Cedar hive can last decades. We usually leave our hives unfinished to weather naturally to a grey patina, or alternately you can seal them with a coat of pure Tung Oil.

Our kiln-dried, FSC® certified Sugar Pine is our value wood option. Pine is slightly heavier than cedar and it doesn’t last quite as long. Even so, Sugar Pine is a very stable wood with few, infrequent knots. It’s strong, durable, and provides great insulation for bees. Sugar pine trees grow very straight, are dimensionally stable (meaning they resist warping, shrinking), and process beautifully through our machines with minimal tearing or cracking, making it the ideal pine species for bee hives. It can be painted or sealed with a coat of pure Tung Oil.

Craftsmanship

CNC PRECISION

We produce thousands of hives at our Portland mill every year using a  keenly precise CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machine. This machine allows for unparalleled precision in crafting each piece of each hive we produce. Our skilled woodworkers ensure that each piece fits together seamlessly, so that by the time it gets to you, it’s easy to assemble and handsome.  We’ve worked hard to streamline the process and ensure the consistent quality of all components.

1" THICK LUMBER

Thicker boards mean a warmer, stronger, and more durable hive for your bees. While most hive makers use ordinary ¾” lumber for their hives, we have hundreds of thousands of board-feet of cedar custom cut to over 1” thickness. We then plane these boards smooth for better rain run-off, easy oiling, and fewer splinters. We do use ¾” lumber on our Langstroth hives to make them compatible with parts from other suppliers.

Stainless Steel Screws

Screws vastly improve the strength of your hive, with or without glue. We specifically include stainless steel screws with each hive for optimum strength.  While it may seem like a small detail, stainless steel screws will last much longer and ensure a stronger hive than a typical nail and glue construction. 

 

Unassembled & Pre-Drilled

Because we use kiln dried lumber, all of our components are pre-drilled, and we use precise rabbet or our propietary comb joint on most of our parts, we are able to offer unassembled hives to our customers. Unassembled hives reduce your costs because they simplify our storage and shipping. Building your hive also allows you to decide whether to use glue or other materials to add strength. We also provide all screws and hardware, along with detailed, color instructions to guide you through assembly. Pre-assembly is available for a nominal fee.

Unparalleled Top Bars

A tidy foundationless hive depends on quality top bars. They are one of the most important factors in bee and beekeeper success. This is why all of our top bars feature wedge comb guides that add bar strength, promote straight comb attachment, need no pre-waxing, and avoid the use of chemical-laden foundation.

 

Strength Without Glue

We designed our hives to have plenty of strength without glue because we prefer to keep our hives chemical-free, including wood glues. While we don't deem it necessary, you may still decide to glue your hive. If you buy an unassembled hive you can easily add glue as you screw the pre-drilled components together.

 

Customer Care & Education

We believe in follow-through. That means that we don't consider our job done once you've purchased a hive - that's just the beginning of our relationship. We want to ensure our customers are happy with their purchase, confident about raising a successful colony and (hopefully!) fully engaged with their fellow beekeeper community. We take a couple different measures to promote these goals, including a full-time customer service team and enthusiastic education team releasing informative content across multiple easy-to-access channels. 

Customer Service

We provide clear, color assembly instructions with every hive we ship out and our customer service team, comprised of beekeeping experts, is here to answer your questions 7 days a week. Whether you have a question about the status of your order, assembly, or anything bee-related, you’re just a click or call away from professional and thorough service. Give them a call at 877-325-2221 or shoot them an email at support@beethinking.com. 

Education

Successful beekeeping starts with education and we want every beekeeper to be successful. That’s why our education team makes strides to continually release rich and informative videos, articles and classes on a variety of beekeeping-related subjects. 

Our classes, taught in Portland, Oregon, are taught by experts in the field and provide a hands-on learning experience in a plethora of subjects. From beginning, intermediate and advanced beekeeping to turning your beeswax into something beautiful, we have a class for anyone ready to learn a new trade alongside a community of eager students. 

Our high-quality videos are regularly produced with beekeepers and bee-enthusiasts in mind. Sometimes reading about a bee behavior or beekeeping practice isn’t enough to fully grasp the wonder, beauty and impressiveness of bee-life. With our videos, real-life bee footage and expert advice will help to pull the whole picture together. Subscribe to our Youtube and Vimeo channels to never miss a video.

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