Organic Beekeeping

The natural way to raise bees.

Alternative Hives – Hex Hive® vs Octagonal Hive

I was recently asked to explain the similarities and differences of my patented Hex Hive® and Fragile Planets’ Octagonal Hive in the UK and thought I’d share them with you too.

Both are round environments. Both have peaked roofs. Both have stacking supers. Both use foundationless frames or starter strips so the bees can always build their own comb.

Hex Hive®

Octagonal Hives

The differences are:

The Hex Hive® duplicates the exact shape of the cells in the comb that the bees create – a hexagon.

Every super has it’s own entrance and attached entrance reducer. Separate entrances prevent the bees from being overworked by having to climb super after super to get to the various combs in the hive. And attached entrance reducers mean you never lose them.

The Hex Hive® supers stack on top of each other and can be managed by one beekeeper. Rather than “supering,” or adding empty boxes to the top of the hive, Octagon hives are “nadired,” meaning that empty boxes are added to the bottom. Once a few supers get filled out that hive will get heavy, requiring the help of more than one beekeeper to lift it in order to add a bottom super.

While I understand and agree this is how bees build comb in the wild, it is not practical for the beekeeper to have to lift the whole hive to add a super below. I imagine the moving of the whole hive could also disturb and damage some of the comb.

The Hex Hive® peaked roof also has an attached, ventilated inner cover and a screened bottom box for better ventilation throughout the year.

You can find The Hex Hive® at


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