Summerhawk ranch mason jar beehive review 2019-03-13T11:58:15+00:00

Today I’ll tell you about these modifications:

Apimaye Thermo Hive with Plastic Frames

Apimaye Thermo Hive with 10 Plastic Frames

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Apimaye Thermo Hive with Wooden Frames

Apimaye Thermo Hive with 10 Wooden Frames

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Apimaye Thermo Hive

Apimaye Thermo Hive without frames

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Apimaye Thermo Hive with 7 Plastic Frame Nuc

Apimaye Thermo Hive with 7 Plastic Frame Nuc

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What is mason jar beehive?

Mason jar beehive is a hive where bees build honeycombs and fill them with honey directly in a jar located in the upper part of the hive. Thus it is possible to get pure honey in honeycombs without uncapping, extraction and purification.

New step in “beekeeping for all”

Beekeeping is the dream of many homeowners, however, even for city dwellers, the life of bees is of interest, as something mystical and primitive.

But the first blow is half the battle. In order to begin without having experience working on the apiary and without and ancestor-beekeepers, one must, first of all, begin attending the beekeeping classes, buy beekeeping equipment, and so on. And what if you realize that it’s none of yours? It will be a regret concerning the time and money spent. And even more so – what to do if there is no time initially?

Fortunately, over the past ten years, beekeeping has taken steps forward of the development of backyard and urban beekeeping. In the new hive types, there are everything exhaustive that is needed for a beginner (read – amateur) beekeeper.

One of the simple solutions is a mason jar hive. Theoretically, you can build one yourself. And although appetite comes with the eating, this cannot be said about DIY mason jar hive. During the study of this issue on the beekeeping forums, I saw many future beekeepers despaired halfway and did not even become “beginner beekeepers”. These are the forever “future”, but never “novice” beekeepers.
Therefore, I favor the idea of mason jar beehives, but it should be a ready-made solution. In addition, for women – mothers, grandmothers, who obviously will not bother with the hive building – it will be a good beekeeping gift.

bees in the thermo hive

The colony is thriving – Apimaye Thermo Hive was built in accordance with best thermoregulation practice and pest controls

Honey Jar Hive by SummerHawk Ranch 

At the moment, there is only one ready-made mason jar hive on the market – it is Summerhawk Ranch Beehive. And it is really eye candy! It seems to me that even if you put aside its functional use, Summerhawk Hive would be perfect as an independent decoration of the backyard.

But first things first, including pros and cons.

Apimaye Thermo Beehive design

Thermo Hives are represented by the following designs – 10 frames and 7 frames.
At the same time, 10 frame beehives are presented in three assemblies – without frames, with wooden frames (more expensive) and plastic (the most expensive option).
Any of the bundles come in either orange or white – your choice. The price, by the way, doesn’t depend on color.

Apimaye Thermo Hives design

10 frames and 7 frames Langstroth hive

Apimaye Thermo Beehive colors

Orange or white hive color

Apimaye 10 Frame Langstroth Thermo Hive with Plastic Handy Frames Review

Apimaye 10 Frame Langstroth Insulated Bee Hive Set with Plastic Handy Frames
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The use of the hive is very simple and comes down to the following steps: choose a productive hive, add a shim to top of the hive, place wooden holed or cutout board on it, put mason jars with wax starter strips in holes, put empty box over jars and place lid over hive with jars. Finished when jars are full- comb is drawn and capped. Then remove jars with bees and leave jars out overnight. Thus bees will return to the hive. Fill remaining space in jars with honey. That’s all!

apimaye top feeder

The main advantage of this hive, in addition to the design and simplicity of use, is own comb honey. It has an amber color of different shades and the bright yellow honeycombs that involuntarily attract attention. The taste of this honey has a characteristic “honeycomb” flavor.
The only drawback of comb honey is honeycomb fragility – honey quickly flows out of the damaged comb. But since the bees themselves pack honey in glass jars, honeycombs are well protected from damage.

apimaye handy frames

How does mason jar beehive works?

Apimaye 10 Frame Langstroth Insulated Bee Hive Set with Plastic Handy Frames
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Bees, flying into the main hive, fall into the jar, taking it for the internal space of the hive. You can attach a strip of wax foundation directly in the jars, which serves as a pointer to the bees where the construction of the honeycomb begins.
When the bees fill the comb with honey, you can pull out the jars.
Such honey harvesting simplifies the work of the beekeeper – no need to pump out anything, using extractors etc. Everything is already laid by nature. Of course, bees have to work hard, but the wax in the jars works out to be natural and healthy because 100% honey is obtained only when the bees themselves build honeycombs and seal them. Centrifugal (extracted) honey, which is obtained when pumping on a honey extractor, can never be of the same quality as comb honey. It is believed that if the frame is sealed with wax at 1/3, the beekeeper can already extract honey. But at the same time, only nectar remains in the rest of the comb — immature honey with high water content. During extraction, honey interferes with this water and when it comes out, it’s diluted honey with already different edibilities. The main condition of 100% honey is maturity, well-aging. In the case of mason jar hives there is no need to hurry – the bees themselves will do their work and leave the honeycomb.

apimaye thermo hive entrance

Mason jar beehive tips

Apimaye 10 Frame Langstroth Insulated Bee Hive Set with Plastic Handy Frames
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You need to set up mason jars at hive a week before the main honey flow. If you will set it earlier, the queen bee will lay eggs in the newly constructed honeycomb. If you are late, the bees will not complete the honeycomb in jars.

The hive box must be tightly covered with opaque material so that daylight does not enter the hive. Otherwise, the bees will look for a way out of the jars and the honeycomb construction will stop. If bees build up comb in the jars unevenly, then you can swap jars. When the bees fill the constructed honeycombs with honey, you can remove the hive box and pull out the jars of honey.

Not without justification, it is believed that observing bees in such a “transparent” hive can help the beekeeper to determine diseases the bees suffer from. Close observation of the life of a bee colony is not only an excellent method for teaching young generations of beekeepers but also a great opportunity for scientists to observe the life cycle of bees.

In such a system, the jar can be used to transport combs. Thus, in the described system of production of jar honeycombs, all conditions are created for the formation and storage of sealed combs in jars, as well as the availability of a safe and stable environment for the work of bees, and, as a result, the absence of insects and pathogens in honey.
About 400 bees deal with building honeycombs inside a jar in about one month. After the bees have sealed honeycombs, they leave the jar and all we have to do is to seal the jar!

And the best thing about in all of this is that each jar is different from the other and is filled with pure natural honey in the form it exists in nature!
Each jar represents a mini-hive, where 450-500 bees worked, creating unique honeycombs. In each jar, we see a reflection of the process of building honeycombs.

Sometimes bees glue honeycombs so carefully to the bottom that partially honeycombs at the interface are damaged, and honey droplets flow into the damaged areas. In order to remove honey droplets, I recommend putting such jars on the hive entrance after bees evening flight out, and they will carefully transfer the spilled honey into the hive.
The jars with honeycomb cleared of leaked honey droplets should be covered with plastic lids and put away at the warehouse. Usually, I take jars with honeycombs in the evening before sunset. I don’t use bee smoker, because bees usually go to the hive themselves when I put the jars on the landing board.

I tried to install jars on all bee colonies. But I did not succeed. The bees died, and the jars remained empty. Also tried to make special squares in the frame, then pulled them out and treated friends. One beekeeper suggested an idea to me, which finally put all my thoughts in order. Not every bee colony is able to build honeycombs. For this, you need to take only strong and healthy colonies. And the second secret – honeycomb detuning occurs only when there is a young queen bee in the hive and good honey flow. If there is no honey flow, the bees will not work.

apimaye thermo hive entrance