The Apimaye beehive starts with a Langstroth and takes it to a new level. If you love new technology and want to get into beekeeping, then the Apimaye may be a good option. Managing bee colonies is easier and it helps address the problem of extreme hot and cold weather.
If you’d like to learn more about the Apimaye hive, then keep reading. We’ve created an in-depth guide for this innovative new style of hive.
What is an Apimaye hive?
The Apimaye is a modern hive that stacks boxes vertically, much like the Langstroth. It consists of a bottom board, brood boxes and supers that hold frames, an inner cover, and a top cover. Extras like a queen excluder, top feeder, and entrance reducer can also be used with this setup.
What makes the Apimaye different?
Apimaye hives have insulated walls that protect bees from extreme winters and summers. The walls are made from food grade, UV-resistant plastic that offers six times more insulation than traditional wooden hives.
Bees in Montana, North Dakota, and other areas that get really cold will appreciate the Apimaye beehive. Its insulative properties mimic a thick tree trunk, making overwintering easier.
The hive has an effective ventilation system that encourages air circulation. Air is taken in through the screened bottom board which then rises through ducts and exits through the hive top cover’s louvers. This system reduces unwanted humidity and discourages mold or yeast growth.
Important features of an Apimaye hive
Apimayes provide the beekeeper with some advanced features that make life a little easier. Lets take a look at some of the different components of this hive and how they will help yourself and the bees.
Apimaye brood boxes and supers are manufactured to standardized measurements, like a Langstroth. This means it’s easy to add additional boxes as the hive grows. Like most vertical modular hives, the capacity of an Apimaye can quickly be expanded. Beekeepers looking to produce a lot of honey will appreciate this flexibility.
The boxes used in an Apimaye come ready-made which is a huge time-saver, especially if you’re beekeeping at scale.
Made from hardy, food-grade plastic, the boxes have handy latches that allow them to be securely attached. Strong winds and pesky predators won’t be able to break apart the hive.
The frames are designed to increase beekeeper productivity. Time-consuming tasks like nailing frames together and embedding wax into the frame aren’t required. Instead, the frames can be separated, allowing foundation sheets to easily be inserted. Each frame has male and female parts that are quick and easy to disconnect and re-attach.
Apimaye frames will appeal to beekeepers who are working with a large number of hives. They’re also compatible with honey harvesting and uncapping machines.
Hive top covers
As previously mentioned, the pre-assembled hive top cover is self-ventilating. This is especially beneficial in winter for removing moisture that could otherwise freeze or drip down onto the huddle of bees.
The Apimaye hive top cover is constructed to keep the colony warm or cool, depending on the season. It is double walled with built-in insulation that is ready-assembled and ready to use out of the box.
The telescoping cover does a good job of keeping out rain and snow. It’s also relatively soundproof so the noise from heavy rain won’t unsettle the colony.
The screened bottom board is a useful piece of kit for inspecting and treating varroa mites without chemicals. You can learn more about how they are used as a varroa mite treatment here.
Apimaye bottom boards have a unique grill that helps keep the hive cool in summer. The grill also balances internal hive moisture which helps the honey mature faster. That’s a huge benefit for the bees and beekeepers who are looking to maximize honey output.
Another handy feature of the bottom board is the built-in pollen traps. They collect pollen while preventing injuries to the bee.
Inner cover and top feeder
The inner cover is an essential part of the Apimaye hive’s ventilation system. Its air ducts allow air to freely pass through the hive.
Apimaye beehives include a hive top feeder that sits under the hive top cover. It can be used to feed the bees liquids and solids without impacting the internal temperature of the hive. Beekeepers that buy the full feeder may also choose to divide it into two half feeders.
Using the Apimaye top feeder means you don’t need to fill the feeder as often as other models. You can also re-fill the feeder in a less intrusive way as a screen provides a barrier to the hive below.
To learn more about the Apimaye hive you can also visit their website here.
Advantages of an Apimaye hive
The Apimaye hive addresses some of the issues that face traditional hives. Its focus is on helping bees deal with weather extremes and pests.
- Two layers of thermal insulation moderate heat extremes.
- Eco-friendly materials made from certified food plastic (HDPE) offer antibacterial properties.
- Effective ventilation prevents mold, moisture, and drafts.
- Screen bottom boards to help fight varroa mite infestations.
- Solid boxes that lock together for stability and hive safety.
- Made from rot-proof, termite-proof, waterproof materials that don’t need painting.
- Comes fully assembled offering huge time savings.
- Supers and brood boxes have handles for easy moving.
- Proframes don’t require additional foundations or wiring.
- Standard Langstroth frames are compatible with Apimaye boxes.
Weaknesses of an Apimaye hive
No hive ticks all the boxes so before you dive into purchasing an Apimaye, be sure to note their limitations.
- Expensive up-front costs although the kit comes with additional parts you wouldn’t get from a regular hive.
- Unlikely to be cost-effective for a larger scale operation.
- Frames from Langstroths may block the front vents, so bees lose an exit and entry point.
- Removing the feeder during inspections can get messy if you’re using sugar water.
- Natural beekeepers may prefer something less intrusive like a top bar hive.
Commonly asked questions
Are Apimaye hives worth it?
An Apimaye may cost more than a regular Langstroth or Warre beehive, but the added insulation makes it a super-useful hive in climates that reach very hot or cold levels. If a bigger investment up-front keeps your bees alive through a freezing winter, then it has paid for itself in one season. If you want a cheaper hive with good insulation check out our review of the Layens beehive, a popular option in Europe.
What are Apimaye hives made of?
The Apimaye hive is made from food grade plastic (HDPE) that is durable, anti-static and has excellent insulative properties.
How do you clean the Apimaye hive?
Remove unwanted contamination like European or American foulbrood by disinfecting with soapy water or any common disinfectant.
The Apimaye beehive is a relatively new hive design that goes a long way to addressing the threat of cold or hot weather. As climate change continues to deliver more extreme weather patterns, it’s likely interest in the Apimaye will continue to increase.
If you’re still sitting on the fence about what hive to buy, you may want to check out these 9 types of hives. We look at the strengths and weaknesses of each, so it’s well worth a read.