The Best Frames For A Happy, Healthy Hive

In response to the declining bee population, many average people have decided to begin raising bees as a hobby or to make extra money. Not only do beekeepers increase and care for the bee population, but they also provide delicious honey which can be appreciated for its flavor or used to prevent allergies in people who live near the bees' hive. One of the most important things you can buy as a beekeeper is a great hive, so we are reviewing the BestEquip 4 Layer Langstroth Wooden Beehive along with three others to find out which one is right for you.

 

The Best Frames Comparison Table

What Is The BestEquip 4 Layer Langstroth Wooden Beehive?

The BestEquip 4 Layer Langstroth Wooden Beehive is a wooden beehive which can be used to protect your bees and will make honey retrieval more efficient. The man-made hive will protect the bees from harsh weather and predators, and it provides the ideal structure needed for the bees to live and work together. Like most hives, there is one section for eggs and young bees and another section for honey production. 

The term "Langstroth" refers to the design structure of the hive box. The Langstroth design has been around since 1852 when it was invented by L. L. Langstroth, and it continues to be a favorite for experienced beekeepers due to its effectiveness.

Product Specs  

While the look of a beehive can vary, the core components of most hives are the same. That is why the details are what distinguish one hive from the others. One thing that makes the BestEquip 4 Layer Langstroth Wooden Beehive stand out is the high-quality pine wood. This particular type of wood is strong and durable, so it won't wear down as quickly as a lower quality wood. 

Another key feature is the double-deep configuration. This configuration keeps the queen bee in the brood chamber where she lays eggs and cares for young bees. In a separate compartment called the honey supers, the worker bees make their honey. 

The BestEquip 4 Layer Langstroth Wooden Beehive also features pre-cut finger joints, making it much easier to insert and remove frames, and a metal telescoping roof which keeps the hive dry. For the safety of your bees, there is also an entrance reducer and a bottom board. These work together to keep insects and other predators from entering the hive to steal honey or disrupt your bees.

Pricing  

You can buy the BestEquip 4 Layer Langstroth Wooden Beehive on Amazon for around $200, but it is sometimes sold out due to its popularity.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.     

  • Apimaye 10 Frame Langstroth Insulated Bee Hive
  • Honey Keeper 20 Frame Beehive
  • Ware Manufacturing Home Harvest Beehive

Price

$$

Ease Of Use

The frames slide easily in and out for convenient honey retrieval. The simplicity of the BestEquip 4 Layer Langstroth Wooden Beehive makes it very easy to use. This is a good hive for a beginner or for someone with a lot of bees who values efficiency. Keeping the hive in good condition or keeping bees safe may be more difficult due to the materials used for construction and the lack of added safety features.

Assembly

The BestEquip 4 Layer Langstroth Wooden Beehive does not include a manual, so assembly can be a bit tricky; however, there are videos available online that will guide you through the process. The metal roof is pre-assembled, and once you have seen how the assembly works, it is not difficult to carry out. The pieces are wax coated, so you don't have to paint or seal the wood.

Design Quality

As mentioned previously, the Langstroth design is the most popular, especially among commercial beekeepers. It is very efficient for generating the most honey, and harvesting the honey is very convenient. The simple wooden hive is aesthetically pleasing, and the boxes stack easily. If you are looking for unique features, you may find that this hive is lacking.

Warranty

N/A

Warranty information was not available, but you may contact the manufacturer for more information. 

PROS

  • High-quality pine wood with wax coat
  • Popular Langstroth design
  • Simple and efficient

CONS

  • Can be difficult to purchase due to popularity
  • Difficult to maintain ideal temperature
  • Some parts are sometimes missing upon delivery according to previous customers

The Apimaye hive, like the BestEquip 4 Layer Langstoth Wooden Beehive, is a Langstroth hive. What separates it from the others we reviewed is the use of UV resistant plastic material instead of wood. The plastic material reduces moisture in the hive, so you can prevent the fungal growth that can occur in a wooden hive. Unlike wood, the plastic is also less likely to warp or rot. This makes the hive much more durable, so it will last much longer.

The use of plastic provides more protection for bees in harsh winter months, so this is a great hive if you live in a cold climate. In hot summer months, the UV resistance also keeps the bees cool. The Apimaye has several special features including a pollen trap and a screened bottom drawer which prevents varroa mites. Although it comes with plastic frames, the Apimaye hive is compatible with wooden or plastic frames.

Price

$$$

This hive is available on Amazon for around $$$.

Ease Of Use

This is one of the easiest hives to use and is great for beginners. It functions like other Langstroth hives to provide efficiency and a higher honey yield. The durable plastic material and added features, such as the pollen trap, will make caring for the hive and bees a little bit easier and more convenient.

Assembly

No assembly is required for this hive. The Apimaye is already assembled upon delivery and requires no additional work or painting.

Design Quality

This hive has an excellent design. No detail has been overlooked as it is packed with special features. It is made with the popular Langstroth configuration and also has added convenience and safety features.

Warranty

The Apimaye hive comes with a 1-year manufacturer's warranty.

PROS

  • Good temperature control in all weather
  • No assembly required
  • High quality hive with many unique features

CONS

  • High price
  • Does not have the classic look of a wooden beehive that some desire
  • Use of plastic is not as environmentally friendly as wood

The Honey Keeper 20 Frame Beehive is very similar to the BestEquip 4 Layer Langstroth Wooden Beehive. Unlike the BestEquip hive, you will need to finish or paint the wood on the Honey Keeper once it is assembled. It is made with white pine wood but does not have a wax coat. It has a larger capacity, holding 20 frames instead of only 10.

Like the BestEquip hive, the Honey Keeper features a metal telescoping roof, pre-cut finger joints, and an entrance reducer (a method for separating the queen from the honey compartment). In addition, an inner cover is included which helps manage the temperature of the hive a little bit better.

Price

$

The Honey Keeper hive can be purchased on Amazon for around $$$.

Ease Of Use

This is a simple Langstroth hive with few added features. This makes the hive easy to use but will also create a need for more hive maintenance in order to protect bees and keep the hive in good condition. 

Assembly

Assembly is required, but users have reported that it was easy to execute. It only requires nailing the pieces together. After assembly, the hive should be painted or finished with some tung oil.

Design Quality

This simple Langstroth hive is designed for those seeking a basic hive with a classic look. It has everything needed to get a hive started and will provide a safe and convenient home for your bees. It does lack the added features of a more expensive hive and is made with lower quality materials, but the overall design will meet the basic needs of most beekeepers. 

Warranty

N/A

Warranty information is not available, but you can contact the manufacturer to inquire.

PROS

  • Large capacity
  • Low price
  • Full kit includes all necessary components for a beginner

CONS

  • Lower quality than some other hives
  • Lacks unique safety and maintenance features

Unlike the other hives we reviewed, the Ware Manufacturing Home Harvest Beehive is not a Langstroth hive; it is a Warré hive. This type of hive is especially useful in northern climates where the weather is colder because new boxes are placed on the bottom of the hive instead of the top, providing more warmth for the bees. The Home Harvest hive is made from cedarwood which is very durable and helps with insect repellant.

The Warré design is also more natural for the bees due to the way the honeycombs are supported. Rather than building their honeycombs in a frame, the bees are able to freely build them on top-bar frames at the top of the hive. This natural design is said to reduce stress in the bees and reduce the need for intervention from the beekeeper, providing a more low-maintenance colony. While this is closer to the way a bee would naturally construct the honeycombs, it also makes it a bit more difficult to harvest the honey.

One unique feature of the Home Harvest Beehive is the ability to watch your bees while they work or peek through the observation windows to check on them. This is fun and also prevents the need to open the hive as often. Less frequently opening the hive will allow for better temperature control and increased safety for you and for the bees.

Price

$

This hive can be purchased on Amazon for around $$$.

Ease Of Use

This type of hive is a little trickier to use than a Langstroth, but we still didn't find it to be extremely difficult. Honey extraction, in particular, may be harder, but other things may actually be easier due to the particular design of this hive. For instance, it is easier to check on your bees due to the observations windows.

Assembly

It requires assembly, but it isn't difficult. The wood is already stained with a white-wash, so no painting is required. 

Design Quality

The Home Harvest hive is made in the Warré configuration which some beekeepers prefer due to the more natural honeycomb formation. The hive is also very aesthetically pleasing with a white-washed cedarwood and slanted roof which also functions to prevent rain from coming into the hive. The observation windows provide extra convenience, and the hive is designed to keep the colony warm during harsh winters, so the design is especially useful in cold climates.

Warranty

This hive includes a 90-day warranty.

PROS

  • Low price
  • Aesthetically pleasing slanted roof and white-washed finish
  • Natural design reduces stress for bees and colony maintenance for beekeeper

CONS

  • Warré design is not preferred by many beekeepers
  • Honey may be more difficult to harvest

Conclusion

The BestEquip 4 Layer Langstroth Wooden Beehive is a great hive if you are looking for something affordable that will meet the basic needs of you and your colony. Whether you are a beginner looking to start small or a commercial beekeeper in need of several hives, this hive will be a great home for your bees.

The simple design and assembly make it easy to set up and use. It has a classic look and is made with high-quality wood. If you are looking for more features or if your bees will experience extreme temperatures, you may not be completely satisfied with this hive. Temperature control can be difficult due to the materials used and the lack of an inner cover. It is not flashy, but it has everything needed to care for your colony. Many experienced beekeepers prefer a good value over unnecessary features which is one thing that makes this hive so popular.

We give this hive a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

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