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About

An Incredibly durable, secure, low-maintenance system for beehives in aluminum or solid copper. Full-side observation panels let you watch the intimate life within a hive.  

Langstroth Problems Solved!

Equipping the beekeeping industry with a way to build a faster, easier to build, more durable box is needed globally.  Since Eco Bee Box started, inquiries and orders for the intricately engineered brackets have come from all around the world and every state in the U.S.  Beekeepers everywhere experience the problems found in the Langstroth hive box.

The Eco Bee Box solves nine major problems of the current bee box.  It allows the beekeeper to spend less time and money handling the boxes and more time with the bees.  The Eco Bee Box also allows beekeepers to build boxes like Nucs (nucleus), Queen rearing, Raw Comb, Observation and Swarm boxes in a way not possible with traditional boxes.  

This incredibly durable, attractive, long lasting Eco Bee Box has little-to-no maintenance including no repeated toxic painting.  Currently we have parts to repair, enhance, or replace hives.  This evolutionary leap forward in hive technology makes beekeeping easier and is more enjoyable for the hobbyist, and more profitable for the commercial apiaries.  

Kim Flottum Editor with the Bee Culture Journal said of the Eco Bee Box bracket, "....it’s a great piece of equipment".   

William J. Mondjack, owner of Mondjack Apiaries wrote, "The Eco Bee Box is an ingenious invention.  ...works wonders in saving hive  bodies".

Veldon Sorensen, Ph.D. past Vice President Bayer Crop Science, "These Eco Bee Box corners cut my cost. If I have to replace any part of my hive I just remove the screws and put in a new piece. Before I had to replace the whole hive or spend hours working on an inadequate repair. My apiary will soon have only Eco Bee Box hives.".

Erik Ericksen, a Utah patent attorney not associated with Eco Bee Box said, “This idea is definitely thinking outside the box". And, " I would describe this as a simple and elegant solution to an old problem.”

As a beekeeper since 2002, I know the problems and challenges with keeping bees as a hobbyist or commercially.  We needed a better hive that was sturdy and needed little-to-no maintenance so that a beekeeper can focus on the bees and honey production.  I have worked for years to refine the product so that beekeepers have better options for their hives - the Eco Bee Box.  Years of research and refinement have come and gone and the Eco Bee Box is ready.  

We need your support to get inventory manufactured for our first full season.  

Finger joint or Dado corner
Finger joint or Dado corner
Old Box
Old Box

Problems with the Traditional Finger Joint Box

Up until now, beekeepers use a finger jointed hive box. This joint is difficult to make and even harder to repair. The innate flaws of the box in use today are:

Inability to buy additional parts and replace broken sections 

The most frustrating feature of the current finger-joint box is, each manufacturer has a different jig and specs to build boxes. 

  • It is impractical to take used panels from one old box and use them to repair another broken box.
  • Shrinkage of lumber after the panels are made can cause the assembler of the box severe frustration when box joints don’t go together. 
  • Warping of panels prior to assembly can cause over-whelming stress. 
  • Once assembled, lumber will continue to shrink, causes stress cracks and obvious break down.

Eco Bee Box Solution:

All panels require only straight cuts and can be removed and replaced individually if needed.  Shrinkage is allowed for as well as expansion.  Warping and stress cracks are a thing of the past as the panels are held in a uniquely engineered locking system

Additional cut area where water penetrates into the wood to cause damage verses a strait cut .  

  • Each deep super (standard bee box) has 9 5/8" worth of finger joints on the corners. 
  • These joints begin on a vertical angle, become horizontal, then vertical again, from top to bottom. 
  • For every two inches there are two additional inches of cut area, at risk for water damage. 
  • Cut end grain acts like a wick and absorbs moisture, causing box breakdown.

Eco Bee Box Solution:

All cuts have been simplified, leaving only vertical end joints and less access for horizontal standing water.  

Necessary maintenance of paint to protect and prolong life. 

  • We know that paints can cause harm. 
  • Lead paints widely used over the last century are now abandoned.
  • Latex paints have fungicides to aid in duration. 
  • Paints all have a degree of toxins, the older the box the more likely toxins will exist.  
  • Beehive supers are exposed to exterior elements, with high humidity within. 
  • Paint peels and cracks, requiring the beekeeper to sand and repaint. 
  • Respirators are needed as a safety measure. 
  • Paints can be costly and difficult to apply once bees occupy the hive.

Eco Bee Box Solution:

Due to the wood being unable to warp, painting is obsolete.  Eco Bee Box has provided the market with a 100% natural water-proofing protectant.  It can be applied to occupied boxes and easily reapplied as necessary.  Boxes stay well groomed and attractive for years.  

Lack of options when choosing the material to make the boxes. 

  • Most boxes are made of pine and shipped from a main supply company. 
  • Each environmental area has its own lumber adapted to its climate. 
  • Lumbers resistant to weather include cypress and cedar. 
  • Specialized lumbers cost more, defeating the initial cost effectiveness.

Eco Bee Box Solution:

Eco Bee Boxes can be purchased with our standard cedar, or used with local supplies of lumber to build a very sturdy hive.  Local materials can range from reclaimed materials such as fencing to pallets, to lumber mills with deadfall rough-cut to size, to invasive species needed to be cleared out.  

Limitations in box sizes verses what the beekeeper may really want or need. 

  • The beekeeping Industry has a small variety of box sizes, but individual needs by beekeepers can vary greatly. 
  • Nuc boxes and queen rearing hives are specialty boxes that most beekeepers make themselves.
  • If a need is required, such as a 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 … to 20 frame hive or better, the industry is unable accommodate.

Eco Bee Box Solution:

Eco Bee Box is versatile so any size box the beekeeper desires can be made and utilized.  Langstroth, Top-bar, Warré, National, are all forms of beehives  that can be made easier with these brackets.  Swarm boxes, a Nuc box, queen rearing boxes can all be custom made simply, quickly and effectively with the Eco Bee Box system. 

Limitations in thickness and weight of lumber

  • The reason 3/4" lumber and in some cases in Canada 1" is used, is the corner finger joints are more durable with thicker materials.
  • Weight of the box is a factor for transportation, as seen in the national pollination exodus to California. Cost of lumber is based on price per board foot, which equates to higher costs for thicker lumber.

Eco Bee Box Solution:

The standards brackets can utilize 3/4" to 1" materials without much effort.  Future designs will include varying thickness.  

Due to heat & moisture inside the hive, & natural exterior elements, there is a natural tendency for wood to warp.  

  • U.S. and world climates vary greatly, yet boxes stay mostly the same. 
  • There is some variation due to climatic areas, but most still use pine.
  • Due to moisture in the North West, boxes are left unpainted so the lumber can breathe. .
  • High humidity in the Gulf States will decay pine quickly. Cypress is used but is soft and expensive.  

Eco Bee Box Solution:

The carefully designed Eco Bee Box brackets ensure wood can't warp and can be replaced easily if needed.  

Weakened corners (once assembled and used) can breakdown easily 

  • due to nails or screws being inserted like a pin cushion into weak end grain. 
  • Box fasteners are anchored into end-grain. End grain has the least amount of strength as the screw skirts a single layer of tree growth.
  • Some apiarists use long grabber screws, glue and clamps to ensure the box will last. 
  • Many use a polished shaft nail, which is the most ineffective anchor in manufacturing hive bodies. 
  • Secondary factor - wood sweats, resulting in fasteners that rust and wood around the fastener decays. Once this happens the box begins to fail.

Eco Bee Box Solution:

The fasteners of choice in the Eco Bee Box system are screws.  They are inserted like teeth from both sides securing the panels effectively and offer shear strength to the anchor.  The wood is unable to pressure the fastener out and even with future moisture in the wood, the shear strength holds it all intact.

New Exciting Profitable Beekeeping Begins Here!  

Beekeeping over the years has developed effective equipment primarily for the commercial apiarists and honey producers.  Extractors, strainers, uncapping tools, and so forth are costly and cumbersome.  Backyard hobbyists currently use similar equipment but in small operations the profits are quickly lost due to costs, time, and bottling.  Unfortunately  bottled honey has a bad reputation due to additives and blending practices universally used making the consumer skeptical on their expensive honey purchase.  Once the honey is produced, uncapped, spun, filtered, bottled and ready for market, sadly the beekeeper settles for less-to-nothing for the bottled honey and immense efforts.

Eco Bee Box Solution:

The Utah Hive was developed for the backyard hobbyist.  Essentially it is a universal box that allows beekeepers to use it as a Nuc, swarm, queen rearing, or comb box.  A Nuc currently is a 5 frame box and is just over an inch wider than half of a full Langstroth box.  Once used, it is set aside and not used again, as with many of the specialty boxes.  Eco Bee Box developed a 4 frame box that serves multiple uses.  Two boxes fit side-by-side are the same dimensions as a regular box.  

Comb boxes set on top of two deep supers.
Comb boxes set on top of two deep supers.

The full inside edge is rabbeted allowing for traditional frames or Eco Bee Box's small foundationless comb frames.  The Problem: Backyard beekeepers typically have 1-5 hives.  Harvest is isolated to fall extraction.  Rental or purchase of an extractor, uncapping tool, strainers, buckets, bottles and so forth are typical and expensive, messy and time consuming.  Solution:  An Eco Bee Box comb box can be added at any time during the season for quick pollen laced honey.  This honey can be used immediately for allergies or personal use.  It takes the bees about two weeks during honey flow to fill the wooden comb filled supers.  If you desire honey, go to the hive, open it take as many comb frames as needed.  Use a butter knife, cut the comb around the edges, drop into a plastic baggy, remove air and zip closed.  Squish completely with your hands, leave on counter over-night.  Next day pop a hole in the bottom of the baggy and squish unprocessed honey out like icing.  Done!  

A double comb box holds 26 frames.  The wooden frames Eco Bee Box developed are a cross between a top-bar hive and a regular frame, so no foundation is needed.  The frames are placed into the box, the bees fill it, it is returned to the beekeeper ready for sale as premium comb with minimal processing and no expense.  You can cut the comb out and reuse the frame or sell the comb in frame.  The consumer gets an uncorrupted product, and the beekeeper saved extracting, uncapping, straining, and so forth.  The most exciting part of the Utah Hive box is that it is modular.  It is set on the hive when the honey flow is occurring and can be removed without disturbing the rest of the hive.  A video is included at the bottom of the page.  

Utah Hive - modular
Utah Hive - modular
Utah Hive with comb box removed
Utah Hive with comb box removed

Eco Bee Box is an attractive and durable and has little-to-no maintenance.  Currently we have parts to repair, enhance, or replace hives.  The evolutionary leap forward in hive technology makes beekeeping easier and more enjoyable for the hobbyist, and more profitable for the commercial apiaries.  

We need your support to get inventory manufactured for our first full season.  

The Idea

I began as a beekeeping hobbyist in 2002 acquiring a number of used vacant hives.  2007 my general contracting  projects died out due to the economy and I was left to find a new form of income.  As I worked full-time with bees my apiary grew.  I developed a profound respect for bee.  

During a trip to California in 2011, I figured out how to supply additional boxes for 150 new packages of bees.  With decades in construction, I was sure there was a way to build a durable box faster with less maintenance. The current beehive box was developed in 1852 by Rev. Langstroth.  The dado, or interlocking corner is a sturdy box design, however the high humidity inside caused by the bees, and the elements outside the box, the dado corner is prone to shrink, crack and warp.  Additionally, the dado corner requires a perfect fit to assemble.  I wanted a better hive that was sturdy and needed little to no maintenance so that a beekeeper could focus on the bees and honey production.  That is when the idea of the Eco Bee Box was created.  

Materials
Materials

The Eco Bee Box Basic Bracket was made first and is currently available in aluminum, in shallow, medium and deep sizes. This bracket is simple to use, and quick to assemble.  No glues, nails, fillers or box clamps or jigs needed.  Creates a very sturdy box with a panel that can be replaced if defective.  A Deluxe Bracket was engineered in aluminum and copper and is available in shallow, medium and deep sizes.  

Basic and Deluxe styles
Basic and Deluxe styles

Again, no glues, nails, fillers or box clamps or jigs needed.  Creates a very sturdy box with panels that can be replaced if defective and protects the corners from hive tool damage.  All our equipment universally made to interchange with our engineered Locking Clips.  These clips simply attach to the boxes through existing holes and screws and secure the hive from bottom board to top cover.  This feature is essential as moving a hive without them need straps or then will open and bees will flood out.  Another benefit is to prevent loss of bees due to accidental or intentional knock overs. Another part developed is the Metal Frame Rest Rabbets, made in aluminum and copper.  The current rabbet in the beehive is made to support frames of honey.  These frames are glued to the rabbet by the bees requiring the beekeeper to break them free to harvest or inspect.  At times each beekeeper has pried the heavy frames out off of the rabbeted edge resulting in box damage.  This metal rabbet solves that unintentional damage and ensures the box can be used without discarding.  Additional rabbets are available as replacements to damaged boxes, reclaiming boxes otherwise discarded.  Last, the Water-Proofing Treatment was added, creating a 100% all natural coating for any beehive, enhancing the natural beauty of the hive by pulling out natural grains in the lumber.

Stainless steel locking clip secures the hive.
Stainless steel locking clip secures the hive.

The Observation Hive

The Eco Bee Box Observation Hive had it's debut at the 2013 North American Beekeeping Federation Convention and Trade Show in Hershey PA.  Introduced to the market was our naturally water-proofed cedar strait cut box, set in Deluxe copper brackets, with Copper Frame Rest Rabbets AND equipped with clear view windows for enjoyment or study.  The current observation hives used in schools or institutions hold one to four frames and allow the viewing of both sides of the frame.    This type of Observation equipment is costly, does not usually allow for a colony to survive the winter, and is different from all current equipment in use by a beekeeper.  Our equipment inter-changes with contemporary equipment and allows the bees to collect sufficient storage for winter activities and spring build-up.  The Eco Bee Box Observation Hive can be a single acrylic clear panel, to a completely clear box.  These hives can be inside a home, office, or school with access through a tube to the outdoors.  These clear panels must avoid direct contact with the sun as temperatures and humidity could escalate.

Observation Langstroth hive
Observation Langstroth hive

Painting No Longer Needed - No Toxins Required

Traditional boxes require lots of maintenance, including repainting. Eco Bee Box has a natural treatment that is water-proof and applied onto the lumber. Lumber of choice is cedar, as it can best withstand the elements. With natural treatment there is no need for paint laced with fungicides to be used on the box. Years ago paints had lead and boxes were coated with it for many years. No longer do we have to expose the honey bee or honey to toxins due to water-proofing.  Painting a box is of the past. 

Natural water-proof treatment
Natural water-proof treatment

There are over 200 million boxes in use across the U.S. that fall into disrepair and are discarded annually.  A deep beehive box requires 5.5 feet of  3/4" material.  If you include the cutting waste, and convert to a cubic square foot, a deep beehive box takes .45 cubic square feet of material to produce.  If we can reduce the loss of a box by replacing one panel, imagine how many cubic feet of lumber will be saved annually.

Here are a few YouTube videos showing how the box is assembled and used.

Risks and challenges

Eco Bee Box did not plan on supplying lumber for the boxes, however many beekeepers want a finished product, or at least access to a finished product. For these beekeepers, Eco Bee Box will supply cedar wood panels for our box material which is acquired from the western U.S. Cedar will be the standard plank material as long as cedar remains accessible.

Shipping will be standard USPS service with tracking numbers. If problems occur, then UPS, FedEx, or DHL will be used. For larger shipping services we use CargoLink International, this is also ideal for "drop shipping".

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    A telephone call from the inventor/founder of the Eco Bee Box.

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    4oz tin of Natural Water-proofing protectant for hive boxes. Made with 100% natural oils including beeswax. Enough to coat 4-5 boxes.

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    A Deluxe set of 4 shallow aluminum Eco Bee Box brackets, including screws, instruction book, key tag, and pamphlet.

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    A Basic set of 4 shallow aluminum Eco Bee Box brackets, including screws, instruction book, key tag, and pamphlet.

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    A Basic set of 4 medium aluminum Eco Bee Box brackets, including screws, instruction book, key tag, and pamphlet.

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    A Basic set of 4 deep aluminum Eco Bee Box brackets, including screws, instruction book, key tag, and pamphlet.

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    A signed 5"x7" color photo of a beautiful progressive modular copper Eco Bee Box observation hive.

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    Eco Bee Box t-shirt with bee box cartoon. Comes in medium, large, and x large.

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    Eco Bee Box Deluxe deep (9 5/8") box with aluminum corners, aluminum rabbets, and cedar panels, 4 stainless steel locking clips. Natural water-proof box protectant included.

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    5 Deluxe sets of 4 shallow aluminum Eco Bee Box brackets, with 5 sets of Deluxe aluminum rabbets for the traditional end, including screws, instruction book, key tag, and pamphlet.

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    Deluxe deep (9 5/8") box copper corners, copper rabbets, and cedar panels, 4 copper locking clips. Natural water-proof box protectant included.

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    Utah Hive Split Shallow Comb Deluxe aluminum boxes 8 1/4" wide in cedar. This package includes 2 side by side shallows that are the dimensions of a standard Langstroth box. Modular components for hive. These boxes have the entire inside edge with rabbets. These boxes can be used as Nuc, Swarm, or comb boxes. Frames can be standard length, or width for comb honey. A full set of 26 comb frames (short distance) will be included. 4 stainless steel locking clips included. Includes Natural water-proof box protectant.

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    5 Deluxe sets of medium aluminum Eco Bee Box brackets, with 5 sets of Deluxe aluminum rabbets including screws, instruction book, key tag, and pamphlet, and cedar cut and ready to assemble.

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    5 Deluxe set of 4 deep aluminum Eco Bee Box brackets, with 5 sets of Deluxe aluminum rabbets, including screws, instruction book, key tag, and pamphlet, and cedar cut and ready to assemble.

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    2 Deluxe sets of deep copper Eco Bee Box brackets, & 3 Deluxe sets of medium copper Eco Bee Box brackets, with 5 sets of Deluxe copper rabbets, 2 deep clear acrylic view panels for rabbet end, 6 sets of copper locking clips, including screws, instruction book, key tag, and pamphlet. Lumber not included.

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    Educational Observation Hive - A 4 deep naturally coated cedar beehive with deep deluxe aluminum corners, 8 aluminum deluxe frame rail rabbets, cedar one piece top cover & cedar bottom board, suggested frames, 20 stainless steel locking clips, 2 clear windows (2 fronts). Ready to assemble, instructions & screws included.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Premium Show Hive - A 4 deep naturally coated cedar beehive with deluxe solid deep deluxe copper corners, 8 solid copper deluxe frame rail rabbets, 20 copper locking clips, 6 clear windows (3 fronts, 3 sides), three cedar panels custom carved (Eco Bee Box logo, a bee, and a skep hive), 30 custom made top bar frames 30 wood frames with natural foundation, a custom Eco Bee Box cedar one piece top cover, a cedar bottom board, top copper entrance reducer and cedar bottom entrance reducer. Signed by inventor/CEO. Eco Bee Box t-shirt. Signed 5x7 photo. Natural water-proofing treatment included. Phone call. Free shipping.

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Funding period

- (35 days)