The Beehive Redesigned: New Hive for Urban Bees

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Not content with having reinvented the modern chicken coop, the folks at UK-based Omlet are now launching an entirely new design of beehive, and it's creating quite a buzz. (Sorry!) According to the New York Times, it's all part of a massive growth in urban beekeeping. Natural England, a UK government conservation agency, will be installing one of Omlet's new hives on its roof in central London. The Beehaus is being billed as the next step in innovation in beehives for the 21st century. (The standard Langstroth hive has remained pretty much unchanged since the start of the 20th century.) Featuring triple insulation for winter warmth and summer cool, a guarded, wasp proof entrance, good ventilation, and more space than your average hive - the Beehaus looks like an attractive concept.

At £500 (about $750) for a starter kit, it ain't cheap by any means. But I know from my own experience of installing a beehive, equipment costs are expensive in beekeeping - and if this design is as good for bees as it says it is, it should pay back pretty quickly.

Proponents of low tech, 'natural' beekeeping and top bar hives may find the idea of a fancy new hive somewhat absurd. After all, bees have been making their own hives since, well, since they were created - but anything that encourages beekeeping in the town or country can only be a good thing in my book.