Top Beehive Boxes: The Ultimate Winners
Why didn't we include top bar hives or flow hives in our list?
Our list features beehive boxes that we have personally purchased and utilized in our own apiaries. While we don't have any objections to top bar hives, flow hives, or Warre hives, we currently own a Warre hive but haven't yet invested in top bar or flow hives. If we acquire these hives in the future, we'll certainly consider adding them to our reviews.
Why should you trust our beehive reviews?
Our comprehensive beehive list is a valuable resource because all the featured products were bought and tested by us, using our own funds. We have no sponsorships or external pressure dictating our reviews, ensuring complete honesty and transparency. We are Betsy and Pete from Vegas Bees, a professional bee removal company based in Las Vegas.
We own numerous beehive boxes, and among them, Langstroth hive boxes are the most prevalent in our apiaries. However, if cost were not a factor, our top pick would be Apimaye Beehives, which offer exceptional quality and performance.
We recommend 8-frame beehives as they are not only easier to manage, but also gentler on your body. Have you ever experienced the strain of beekeeping on your back and knees? Lifting massive brood boxes and heavy honey supers can be quite the workout!
Heavy hive boxes are no laughing matter. Opting for 8-frame hives can help keep you in better shape and save you trips to the chiropractor. Trust us, we absolutely love them, and they're our go-to choice.
For instance, the Apimaye offers a 7-frame nuc box, which serves as an incredible brood chamber. Want to expand your brood box or use honey supers? You can easily purchase supers and attach them on top. It's all up to you, and the possibilities are endless!
Langstroth hives are widely considered a top choice for many beekeepers, particularly when it comes to affordability.
These industry-standard hives feature well-crafted bee boxes, but it's crucial to maintain them by applying a protective layer of paint or wax dipping.
If you're in a humid climate, maintenance becomes even more critical, as rotting wood can be disastrous for your hive. From our Las Vegas experience, we can attest to Langstroth hives being not only durable but also visually appealing with their wooden color cubes, which we'll delve into further below.
Another advantage of choosing a Langstroth hive is the wide array of budget-friendly bee hive starter kits available. In fact, our beekeeping journey began with a Langstroth-style Hoover Hive starter kit. Years later, it's still standing strong, and our bees absolutely love it!
One reason we particularly enjoy Langstroth hive boxes is the opportunity they provide for personalization.
While we may not be master artists, we love experimenting with vibrant colors and unique designs. Your beehive's appearance is limited only by your imagination.
The brood box serves as a large blank canvas, allowing you to channel your inner Picasso and create your own masterpiece. Painting beehives can be an enjoyable activity, and we encourage you to give it a try.
For the best results, use exterior paint and apply at least two coats to the outside. Remember, it's essential to only paint the exterior, as bees don't appreciate paint inside their hive.
Read our guide to painting bee hive boxes.
This artistic creation is of Martian space bees welcoming Elon Musk to Mars.
The Apimaye beehive is our top pick, and we're eager to share why it rivals the Langstroth beehive (and yes, we'll discuss the cost factor too).
As residents of Las Vegas and Arizona, we're all too familiar with the extreme weather conditions – scorching heat or freezing cold, and of course, the relentless wind. There's rarely a comfortable middle ground.
Apimaye beehives provide exactly what we need in such a climate: exceptional insulation. While they may be pricier than Langstroth beehives, the investment is worthwhile.
To learn more, check out our detailed review of the Apimaye Hive.
We've witnessed honeybees flourish in all the beehive models we've reviewed, and we've also seen them swarm away from every type, which can be heart-wrenching!
Contrary to popular belief, bees don't dislike plastic hives. We understand the skepticism regarding the use of inexpensive plastic for beehive boxes, but the Apimaye is far from a low-quality option. This hive is not only highly durable but also visually appealing.
Sometime the honeybees hate anything you offer them and fly as far from your apiary as they can. Funny stuff (not really). Check out our blog for other fun stories.
We're not trying to influence anyone's preferences. This isn't a debate between top bar hives and Langstroth hives, or any other types. It's great to have a variety of hive box options since one size doesn't fit all, especially in beekeeping!
Choosing a hive box can be a personal decision, and if it was a gift from a loved one or friend, it holds even more significance.
I treasure the brood boxes my boss gifted me, and the honey bees seem to adore them too. Some people might view them as just beehive boxes, but for others, they hold a deeper meaning.
This beehive is simply outstanding. As we mentioned earlier, we're desert dwellers, and these beehive boxes are life-savers in our climate. The ventilation is unparalleled, the screened bottom board is excellent, and the insulation is remarkable.
We've had hives grow so large that our neighbors felt like they were part of backyard beekeeping because of us. That's because our honeybees would visit their yards and swarm around their dog's water bowl, all day long!
There's so much to praise about the Apimaye beehive. When it comes to honey production and harvesting, this hive truly excels.
Our bees are amazing, and we love harvesting honey while always ensuring we leave plenty for our hardworking ladies. We're grateful for the delicious honey they generously provide.
The Apimaye store offers numerous add-ons for honey harvesting. They also carry in-hive feeders, separator bars, pollen traps, queen excluders, frames, smokers, and other products to elevate your beehive and beekeeping experience.
So, to avoid sounding repetitive, we truly believe the Apimaye is the best beehive for us.
Langstroth hives are undeniably popular, and for good reason. They're affordable and yield fantastic results, plus they're a delight to paint, adding a splash of color to your backyard! We thoroughly enjoy giving the brood boxes a vibrant makeover.
Hoover hives, on the other hand, don't require painting, as they come wax dipped. Their dark, shiny wood finish looks striking.
When our friend Gary first saw the hive, he assumed it must have cost a fortune. However, that wasn't the case. In the past, they even offered fully assembled hives with free shipping – those were the days.
Hoover hives provide the best value for money when it comes to Langstroth beehive boxes. We purchased the complete kit, which included a brood box, honey super, bee suit, smoker, hive tool, telescoping hive cover, solid bottom board, inner cover, and wax-coated foundations. They were quite generous with the wax, unlike some other companies today.
We were pleasantly surprised to see that the solid bottom board was waxed as well. This attention to detail is truly impressive! And let's not forget the classic bee logo on the front – it's a charming touch that we adore. Kudos to Hoover Hives!
You've earned our vote as the top choice for Langstroth wooden beehive boxes.
Bee Castle ranks a close second, offering a delightful hive.
We opted for the 8-frame configuration, which we absolutely love. The hive is more compact, and a bee colony has thrived there for over a year.
As a Langstroth hive, Bee Castle boasts impressive quality. The boxes are coated in wax, dipped in beeswax, and the frames are waxed, though not as generously as Hoover Hives.
We always use foundations with our beehives, as foundationless beekeeping doesn't quite resonate with us. It's simply a personal preference.
Bee Castle offers a beginner beekeeper's complete hive kit, but we didn't go for it. We have a surplus of extra items from previous purchases that are still in storage!
We only purchased the brood box and honey super set-up. Assembling them was enjoyable, and this charming hive came together seamlessly. We highly recommend the Bee Castle beehive for anyone seeking an 8-frame option.
Our experience with it has been fantastic, and a delightful honey bee colony, which originated from a bee removal we conducted in Las Vegas, now calls it home.
MayBee Hives are quite similar to Hoover Hives and Bee Castle. Though they're the least expensive option, they still provide a sturdy beehive box.
An 8-frame MayBee beehive box managed to catch a wild swarm, which has remained there for over a year! Are they the best beehive for capturing swarms? Not necessarily, as swarms can be unpredictable and do some peculiar things. Luck always plays a role. For instance, we once rescued a small Christmas swarm.
MayBee Hives are also wax-coated and feature an adorable honey bee image on the front. It's these little details that make a difference to us. They demonstrate that a company doesn't have to produce a plain-looking beehive, adding character to what might otherwise be a mundane hive box.
MayBee Hives are an excellent choice, and their complete beehive kit includes everything you need to start beekeeping. Most Langstroth hives come with, and sellers often include, a brood box, medium honey super, bottom board, inner cover, metal-covered top cover, queen excluder, entrance reducer, and frames.
Purchasing a beehive kit package offers a variety of useful beekeeping items, making it an outstanding value.
We want to clarify that our focus on certain bee hives doesn't mean we're overlooking the others.
The renowned beekeeper Dirtrooster, whom we greatly admire, got a top bar hive for his father. Here is a video of them inspecting it, which will provide a comprehensive look at the hive and help you understand what it's all about.
Regarding Warre hives, they offer a pleasant setup, and we find them enjoyable to have. This spring, we plan on acquiring another one to see how quickly the bees can build it up. When pollen and nectar begin flowing in Las Vegas, it lasts for months like a tidal wave!
We've already prepared an ideal location for the Warre hive, and we're excited to see how it progresses. Naturally, we'll maintain a blog post documenting their journey.
We believe that many beekeepers will be interested in observing the bees build comb in this unique hive. Additionally, conducting hive inspections through the peek-a-boo windows will be an entertaining experience for everyone.
If you are a new beekeeper you may want to buy a package of bees from a company that specializes in selling them.
This is a good option for most people and we have done it in the past. They are expensive but shop around on the internet, some places will offer deals.
Our advice is to go with Italian honey bees from a reputable company. Check their reviews from past customers and their return policy if the queen arrives dead.
It can happen and we want you prepared for anything. Buy from a pro always.
They are all great beehives, which your bees are going to love. Most beekeepers may tell you wooden Langstroth beehive boxes are the best, and they are right for many parts of the country.
Here in the desert, we run with one brood box, and the Apimaye makes this easy for us. Especially the screened bottom board opens and closes quickly and the same can be said for the entrance reducer. This is important and helpful when we go from hot to cold at a moment's notice.
The choice is yours, my friend, and luckily we sell some of the products we reviewed. If money is no object, give the Apimaye a try. If you are tight on cash, MayBee is the way to go. With any of these hives, you can't go wrong.
Betsy and Pete
We were trained by a master beekeeper and have completed hundreds of bee removals and bee swarm removals.
We are constantly educating ourselves and working with other bee removal experts on new ways and methods of beekeeping and bee removal. It is important to us that we are always up to date on honey bees and the newest bee control insights.
We have the skill and expertise to get the job done and save the bees properly and safely. Here is our bee removal guide.