3 Best Beekeeping Hives: A Buyers Guide

If you want to start keeping bees, you will need a hive. This is where your honeybees will live and build their nest.

It is important for every beekeeper to get a good beehive to protect your bees from the weather and keep them healthy. 

There are quite a few options, so it can be difficult to choose the right one for you, especially if you are only just starting out. But don’t worry, our experts are here to help. 

Looking for a bee hotel? Click here to jump to our best picks.

Top 3 Best Beekeeping Hives – Our Expert Picks

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Wooden Beehive 7 Honeycomb Automatic Honey Bees Hive Bee House Loy House Farm Set Honey Production Beehive Sets Beekeeping Bee Hive
Million Star Beehive, 20-Frames Complete Beehive Starter Kit, 2 Layer Bee Hive with Wax Coated Wooden Honeycomb Foundation Frames (10 Deep and 10 Medium), Beekeeper Kit,Honey House for Beginner
Million Star Bee Hive, 2 Layer Hive Starter Kit, Wood Beehive Box with 20 Honeycomb Foundation Frames (10 Deep and 10 Medium),Metal Roof Honey House Keeping Supplies for Beginners
Performance
Outstanding
Excellent
Very Good
Value For Money
Excellent
Outstanding
Excellent
Rating
-
Reviews
-
-
-
OUR PICK
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Wooden Beehive 7 Honeycomb Automatic Honey Bees Hive Bee House Loy House Farm Set Honey Production Beehive Sets Beekeeping Bee Hive
Performance
Outstanding
Value For Money
Excellent
Rating
-
Reviews
-
NEXT BEST
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Million Star Beehive, 20-Frames Complete Beehive Starter Kit, 2 Layer Bee Hive with Wax Coated Wooden Honeycomb Foundation Frames (10 Deep and 10 Medium), Beekeeper Kit,Honey House for Beginner
Performance
Excellent
Value For Money
Outstanding
Rating
Reviews
-
Image
Million Star Bee Hive, 2 Layer Hive Starter Kit, Wood Beehive Box with 20 Honeycomb Foundation Frames (10 Deep and 10 Medium),Metal Roof Honey House Keeping Supplies for Beginners
Performance
Very Good
Value For Money
Excellent
Rating
Reviews
-

Choosing the right beehive is important to make sure you get from it what you want. Whether you want a hive that makes it easy to harvest honey or one that doesn’t need too much maintenance. 

Our experts have looked at what beekeeping hives are available and chosen the best beehives for you.

Here are the 3 best beekeeping hives that you can currently buy on Amazon. 

#1 Wooden Beehive With 7 Honeycomb Frames

Wooden Beehive With 7 Honeycomb Frames

Check current stock levels, price, and reviews on Amazon

This beekeeping hive kit is made of fine wood, with seven frames in each box. The frames are of a standard size, so they will fit in most other beehives. The wooden beehive has been designed to provide an ideal environment for your bees. 

You will have to assemble the hive yourself, but that is normal with these kits. The instructions that come it with are clear and easy to follow, so even if you aren’t a DIY expert, you can still easily put this kit together.

It comes with everything you need to set up your own beehive, including a queen excluder frame, which keeps the queen away from the rest of the colony. This is needed to ensure that the queen does not lay eggs in the honey supers. You want the queen in the brood box, where the brood should be. Supers are the honey stores of the bees, and you don’t want any brood in there.

An entrance reducer, which helps other bees or insects to get into your hive. This is especially important if your hive is weaker and a stronger hive is nearby. An entrance reducer can also help to regulate the temperature of the hive, especially in winter, when you want to make sure the hive does not get too cold.

You get seven frames with foundations, which are made of BPA free, food grade plastic to last a long time. Per frame, you can expect about three kilograms or 6.6 pounds of honey. This makes this beekeeping hive ideal for commercial beekeepers who are starting out.

The roof protects the hive against rain and other elements and also looks quite nice. The observation windows make hive inspections easy, as they allow you to see your bees without opening the hive. And you can also see when it’s time for your honey harvest. 

This beekeeping hive is a flow hive, which means you can get your honey straight from the hive. Just turn the steel key and watch the honey flow out. You will have a jar of honey in no time. Happy Days!

Flow hives are the best beehives for newbies, so this bee hive is suitable for new backyard beekeepers looking to manage their first colony, but also for experienced beekeepers who look to add to their existing hives. And that’s why this beekeeping hive tops our experts’ list of the best beekeeping hives.

Wooden Beehive 7 Honeycomb Automatic Honey Bees Hive Bee House Loy House Farm Set Honey Production Beehive Sets Beekeeping Bee Hive
  • Made of fine wood and built to last, this kit comes disassembled with simple assembly instructions (English language not guaranteed) and everything (except the bees. Our frames fit into any existing beehive house.
  • ➤ The extraction process is so gentle that the bees hardly notice anything. Our frames make the extraction process for the bees far more stress-free and much easier for the beekeeper.
  • Our Deluxe Bee Hive Starter Kit is an excellent way for the beginning beekeeper to start his first bee colony. No centrifugation, no mess, no excitement, no expensive processing equipment required. Unique beehive house for the automatic honey frame (max. 7 pieces), can be assembled with other super frame kits.

#2 20-Frame Complete Beehive Starter Kit

20-Frame Complete Beehive Starter Kit

Check current stock levels, price, and reviews on Amazon

This bee hive kit is made of high quality cedar wood and is easy to assemble. It comes with 10 deep frames and 10 medium frames. All frames come with foundations, which the bees use to model their own wax onto. 

The frames are made of pinewood which is damp resistant. The foundations themselves are made with food grade plastic and are dipped in 100% bees’wax to promote even layers of comb building. They are black, so you can see easily if combs contain eggs.

The telescopic rooftop has a wooden cap to keep the rain out, which will keep the inside of the bee hive and your honey bees nice and dry, even in snow.

The entrance reducer keeps any unwanted creatures out and helps to keep the bee hive warmer.

It also comes with a queen excluder to keep the queen from laying eggs in the wrong place. The queen excluder can also be used to keep two colonies, with two queens, in one hive, without any conflicts. Although, you might want to look into this further before you give it a go. You don’t want a bee war on your hands.

The hive body sits on a bottom board that keeps the main hive off the ground and away from the wet ground. 

Finally, it has air vents to keep the air circulating, which can help with honey production. This is a very good beekeeping hive for beginners. 

Delivery is quick, you can expect your hive in 2 to 4 days.

Million Star Beehive, 20-Frames Complete Beehive Starter Kit, 2 Layer Bee Hive with Wax Coated Wooden Honeycomb Foundation Frames (10 Deep and 10 Medium), Beekeeper Kit,Honey House for Beginner
  • 🧡🧡2-4 DAYS ARRIVAL🧡🧡 bee hive, bee hive starter kit,beekeeper starter kit. If you have any problem with it, please feel free to contact us, we will offer you better help.
  • 🎁🎁DURABLE WOOD & PAINTABLE 🎁🎁 This outer bee hive box is made of premium natural cedarwood,which is durable to provide more stability and long service life; The honeycomb foundation frame is made of pinewood material to resist dampness; You also can paint any color on the bee hive starter kit. Adding a protective layer of paint works for much longer than bare wood alone can manage and bee house also easier to identify beehives in different states and uses.
  • 🎁🎁LARGER VOLUME🎁🎁 Our bee hive starter kit is a super easy way for beekeeper to begin their first colony of bees.The entire hive measures 56 x 46x 51cm, while the medium box is 42.4 x 15cm and deep inset box is 42.4 x 22cm; Each box holds 10 frames and foundations; Ample space for honey collection. This 20-frame beehive offers a 50% higher capacity than 10 frame wood equipment. Come harvest time, the deep frames generate 20% more honey than that of a medium frame beehive

#3 2 Layer Bee Hive Starter Kit

2 Layer Bee Hive Starter Kit

Check current stock levels, price, and reviews on Amazon

The hive body is made of cedarwood to ensure durability. If you want to make it last even longer, you can paint the bee hive to protect the wood from the elements. It comes in parts, but is easy to assemble.

You get a deep box and a medium box, each holding 10 frames with foundations. The frames are also included.  They are made of pinewood to offer damp resistance, and the foundations are filled with 100% bees’ wax to encourage the bees to build combs quicker.

The telescopic roof is made of galvanized metal to protect the bees from any weather, even snow. This is great, because it keeps your bees cosy, warm and dry.

This bee hive starter kit also includes an entrance reducer to prevent anything apart from your bees entering the hive. And the queen excluder keeps the queen where she should be and stops her from laying eggs in the wrong place.

This is the most expensive of the beehives on our list of the best beekeeping hives, but it’s good quality and has everything you need. Delivery on this is quick, you could have it in 2 to 4 days.

Million Star Bee Hive, 2 Layer Hive Starter Kit, Wood Beehive Box with 20 Honeycomb Foundation Frames (10 Deep and 10 Medium),Metal Roof Honey House Keeping Supplies for Beginners
  • 🧡🧡2-4 DAYS ARRIVAL🧡🧡 bee hive, bee hive starter kit,beekeeper starter kit. If you have any problem with it, please feel free to contact us, we will offer you better help.
  • 🎁🎁DURABLE WOOD & PAINTABLE 🎁🎁 This outer bee hive box is made of premium natural cedarwood,which is durable to provide more stability and long service life; The honeycomb foundation frame is made of pinewood material to resist dampness; You also can paint any color on the bee hive starter kit. Adding a protective layer of paint works for much longer than bare wood alone can manage and bee house also easier to identify beehives in different states and uses.
  • 🎁🎁LARGER VOLUME🎁🎁 Our bee hive starter kit is a super easy way for beekeeper to begin their first colony of bees.The entire hive measures 56 x 46x 51cm, while the medium box is 42.4 x 15cm and deep inset box is 42.4 x 22cm; Each box holds 10 frames and foundations; Ample space for honey collection. This 20-frame beehive offers a 50% higher capacity than 10 frame wood equipment. Come harvest time, the deep frames generate 20% more honey than that of a medium frame beehive

Best Bee Hotels

If you want bees in your garden, but beekeeping is just a step too far for you, or you have children or pets and are not sure about having a whole bee colony in your garden, then why not get a bee hotel instead? 

Bee hotels are structures that provide places for solitary bees to nest. Bees who might use a bee hotel are Mason bees,  Leafcutter bees and Yellow-faced bees.

These species of bees are not aggressive, so having them in the garden won’t your children any harm.

And having bees in your garden means you have pollinators in your garden, and that means your plants will fruit and seed. It is especially important if you grow fruit and vegetables in your garden. 

Top 3 Best Bee Hotels – Our Expert Picks

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Wildlife World Solitary Bee Hive
Buddy Wild Insect Hotel - 28x9.5x40cm Eco-Friendly Bug House for Bees Butterflies Insects in Garden - Kid Friendly Weather Resistant Hanging Bee Home from Natural Wood and Metal Roof
Natures Market Wooden Insect and Bee Hotel
Performance
Outstanding
Excellent
Very Good
Value For Money
Excellent
Outstanding
Excellent
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OUR PICK
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Wildlife World Solitary Bee Hive
Performance
Outstanding
Value For Money
Excellent
Rating
Reviews
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NEXT BEST
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Buddy Wild Insect Hotel - 28x9.5x40cm Eco-Friendly Bug House for Bees Butterflies Insects in Garden - Kid Friendly Weather Resistant Hanging Bee Home from Natural Wood and Metal Roof
Performance
Excellent
Value For Money
Outstanding
Rating
Reviews
-
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Natures Market Wooden Insect and Bee Hotel
Performance
Very Good
Value For Money
Excellent
Rating
Reviews
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There are quite a lot of options out there, so our experts did some research and have complied a list of the 3 best bee hotels. 

#1 Solitary Bee Hive By Wildlife World

Solitary Bee Hive By Wildlife World

Check current stock levels, price, and reviews on Amazon

This bee hotel is made of wood and has accommodation for 24 bees. The trays separate, so you can see the larvae or eggs, and you can also easily clean your bee hotel when your guests have left.

This is great for kids, as they can learn so much about the different solitary bees!

You don’t need to worry about a bee swarm moving in either, because it is designed to attract solitary bees not a bee colony. 

It won’t take up much space in your garden, with a size of 16 x 17 x 18 cm. Place it in sunny position, south or southwest orientation is best, anywhere between ground level and 1.5m and watch your guest move in. 

This is an excellent bee hotel for beginners, as it comes with everything you need and is a good price. No wonder it’s our experts’ top pick!

Wildlife World Solitary Bee Hive
  • SOLITARY BEE HABITAT: This bee habitat has pre-drilled holes to safely attract many nesting bee species, such as leafcutter and carpenter bees. These are a gardener's best friend. Beneficial for the pollination of flowers, fruit, and vegetables.
  • EDUCATIONAL: Watch the bee life cycle! Stacking trays can be opened and examined. The lid opens so you can see inside. Create a natural, eco-friendly "beehive" habitat and enjoy watching the solitary bee's life cycle.
  • SAFE FOR CHILDREN & PETS: Mason bees are friendly, industrious, and non-aggressive wild bees. They enhance the productivity of your garden and attract bees to the habitat, rather than cracks in your patio or home.

 #2 Wild Insect Hotel By Buddy Wild Store

Wild Insect Hotel By Buddy Wild Store

Check current stock levels, price, and reviews on Amazon

This hotel is not just for bees but also for earwigs, butterflies and ladybirds. So you don’t just attract pollinators to your garden, the bees and butterflies, but also some useful predators like the earwigs and ladybirds. They prey on pests like aphids, mites and nematodes. 

And this is great news for any gardener, whether you grow beautiful flowers or fruit and vegetables!

This insect hotel is made of natural materials, such as wood, bamboo and pine cones. The pointed metal roof will keep your guests dry, even in heavy rain. 

It’s a bit bigger, 28 x 40 x 9.5com, but then it attracts a wider range of insects. It can be hung up in the garden, the patio or even on the balcony.

This product comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a free 1-year replacement warranty, which makes it a great buy.

Buddy Wild Insect Hotel - 28x9.5x40cm Eco-Friendly Bug House for Bees Butterflies Insects in Garden - Kid Friendly Weather Resistant Hanging Bee Home from Natural Wood and Metal Roof
  • ECO-FRIENDLY; Our Nature’s Buddy Insect Hotel is made from all natural materials including natural wood, bamboo and pine cones. By providing a home for a range of pollinator insects you can improve the health of your plants (without those pesky chemicals!).
  • BRING NATURE TO YOU; Create a nesting habitat or hibernation spot for a variety of different insects in your garden including Mason (solitary) Bees, butterflies, ladybirds and many more! You can hang your bug home (nails not included) in your garden, on a patio or even on a balcony.
  • WEATHER RESISTANT; Our Insect Hotel comes with a metal pointed roof to keep the British rain and moisture out of the wood and provide a safe shelter for you bugs.

 #3 Wooden Insect And Bee Hotel By Natures Market

Wooden Insect And Bee Hotel By Natures Market

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This bug hotel is the smallest with a size of 14 x 15 x 16cm, and it’s a round shape rather than a house shape. It’s also the lowest price of the three.

It comes ready assembled and attracts bees as well as other insects. Just hang it in a tree or on the wall and see who will move in.

It’s a good option to start out!

Sale
Natures Market Wooden Insect and Bee Hotel
  • Medium rustic effect planter made from durable and weather resistant plastic material.
  • Realistic looking imitation of a traditional oak barrel design.
  • Drainage hole and soil tray on the bottom of the planter.

What Is The Best Beehive For A Beginner?

There are three main types of bee hives, Langstroth, Warre and Top Bar hives. There are other types, but these three are the ones most widely used.

Langstroth Hive

The Langstroth hive is named after its creator and is seen as the most common hive used and probably the one you have in mind when you think of beehives.

This type of hive consists of boxes stacked on top of each other with frames. 

To extend a hive, you add another box with frames. It’s simple, but you have to keep in mind that it will get heavier, the more boxes you add. Some heavy lifting might be involved if you have a big colony.

But frames for this type of hive tend to come in standard sizes, so you can interchange them easily and buy frames from different manufacturers. 

Warre Hive

The Warre hive is also named after its creator, a French priest. This hive is often called the ‘natural’ hive, as it mimics the natural habitat of bees, such as a hollow tree trunk. 

The boxes are all square and the same size, so that the inside looks like that hollow tree trunk that bees love so much. 

The frames are normally used with top bars, which make the bees build their combs downward, as they would in a natural habitat. Warre hives also don’t come with foundations as it is designed for the bees to build their comb they way the like, again to make it more natural. 

Warre wanted to keep bees as natural as possible, so the less intrusion the better, and that’s how he designed this hive. And as the boxes are smaller, they are easier to move. 

However, smaller boxes also mean less honey.

Top Bar Hive

The top bar hive is the oldest hive type we know. It consists of one box with a cover, which is normally mounted on legs to make it easier to access. 

You can’t add any more boxes to this type of hive, but that means that it won’t get too heavy to lift.

The box is covered with top bars, from which the bees build their combs downwards. Top bar hives don’t use frames, bees can build their combs as they want. Like the Warre hive, this is a more natural way of beekeeping.  

To inspect the hive, you lift one of the top bars, which means the bees on the other bars are not disturbed. However, as there are no frames, honey cannot be extracted using the centrifugal method, which makes harvesting the honey a bit more involved.

As a beginner we would recommend the Langstroth for the following reasons:

  • It’s the most common type of hive used, which means they are easy to get and won’t cost the world. 
  • More people use them, so there are more people who can give advice, which is great when you only start out
  • Because you can extend the hive by adding boxes, you can get more honey from one hive
  • You can use frames, which you can move between hives if you need to boost the brood in one hive, for example

There are some disadvantages, such as the potential weight, but this can be solved by buying an 8 frame hive rather than a 10 frame one. 

This hive type does not encourage bees to build their hive naturally. However, you can get frames without foundations for this type of hive, which will make it more natural beekeeping. However, we would recommend that you start off with foundations, until you are a more experienced beekeeper.

Langstroth hives can also be used as a flow hive, which means you don’t have to take out the frames to harvest the honey. Flow hives have frames that can be split. You insert a key and turn it, the frame splits and the honey flows out. 

This is a great method to harvest honey for beginners, as it is easy and non-intrusive.

Our Picks For The Best Beekeping Hives In The UK:

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Wooden Beehive 7 Honeycomb Automatic Honey Bees Hive Bee House Loy House Farm Set Honey Production Beehive Sets Beekeeping Bee Hive
Million Star Beehive, 20-Frames Complete Beehive Starter Kit, 2 Layer Bee Hive with Wax Coated Wooden Honeycomb Foundation Frames (10 Deep and 10 Medium), Beekeeper Kit,Honey House for Beginner
Million Star Bee Hive, 2 Layer Hive Starter Kit, Wood Beehive Box with 20 Honeycomb Foundation Frames (10 Deep and 10 Medium),Metal Roof Honey House Keeping Supplies for Beginners
Performance
Outstanding
Excellent
Very Good
Value For Money
Excellent
Outstanding
Excellent
Rating
-
Reviews
-
-
-
OUR PICK
Image
Wooden Beehive 7 Honeycomb Automatic Honey Bees Hive Bee House Loy House Farm Set Honey Production Beehive Sets Beekeeping Bee Hive
Performance
Outstanding
Value For Money
Excellent
Rating
-
Reviews
-
NEXT BEST
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Million Star Beehive, 20-Frames Complete Beehive Starter Kit, 2 Layer Bee Hive with Wax Coated Wooden Honeycomb Foundation Frames (10 Deep and 10 Medium), Beekeeper Kit,Honey House for Beginner
Performance
Excellent
Value For Money
Outstanding
Rating
Reviews
-
Image
Million Star Bee Hive, 2 Layer Hive Starter Kit, Wood Beehive Box with 20 Honeycomb Foundation Frames (10 Deep and 10 Medium),Metal Roof Honey House Keeping Supplies for Beginners
Performance
Very Good
Value For Money
Excellent
Rating
Reviews
-