The Freedom Hive

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The “Freedom” hive is a new development by Bee Kind Hives for 2016.

It has the advantages of using log hives but weighing only 17kgs, can be hoisted easily into trees or put on a tripod stand.

The hive body is a 12 sided cylinder with a volume of 55 litres.

I make the hives from Western red Cedar which is a light durable timber with good insulation properties.

The sides of the hives are a combination of wood/compressed shavings/wood to give thick warm walls.

Below is a selection of images describing the hives.

More pictures will be added in posts as the year develops as hives are put up in trees and hopefully populated by bees.

Looking down into the hive, showing the three layers.

inside a freedom hive


The body with top ring and top board.

The top board has a “depriving ” hole which allows for a super, or small skep to be added.If it is a good year, a honey crop might be possible.

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The hole is covered initially when setting up a new colony.


A freedom hive on a stand with a conical straw hat or”hackle”.


Close up of hackle with ceramic hackle cap.



15 thoughts on “The Freedom Hive”

    1. Yes in theory. Bees like us, prefer a position that is sheltered and facing South East to get the morning sun (northern hemisphere). They can be put on stands but I am busy putting them up about 3m in Oak trees. More posts will follow on how this done.

    1. The price is on the website. A basic hive is £550 and £150 is for legs and a hackle, straw hat. Delivery and help setting it up is possible depending on location,

    1. Hello Dolly, Not at present but if you were able to work out the shipping ,I would be happy to.
      Best Wishes

  1. Matt,

    I would be interested in purchasing the plans for your Freedom Hive and to begin making them available in the USA. I have spoken to Heidi Hermann and she thinks that if it is alright with you it would be a wonderful thing to get them in use in the US. I also sent you an email on 09/09/2016 with regards to this.
    Thanks for your time and consideration.


  2. Are these allowed in the US? My understanding is that the frames or combs must be removable for inspection for disease/pest control in order to be considered “legal” hives.

    1. Hi Leslie
      Living in England I have to say I don’t know the laws in the US but then I would suggest that the bees don’t know either. What we are trying to do is give the bees a habitat where they can survive through natural selection away from the manipulations of Humans. So in a sense you are not a “beekeeper” if you put up a log hive and bees make the decision to move in by themselves.. They are wild creatures and should be treated the same as if we put up an owl box. There are many people who are doing this already in your country or have them occupy their buildings. Have you come across Micheal Thiele, Gaia bees?

    1. Hello Tom,
      I don’t put any sticks or top bars for the bees to draw comb as I assume that the bees wouldn’t have it in a wild hollow tree and so let them decide how they want to arrange their comb. When I set up the hive I do place some old brood comb in the top board which is in line with the entrance holes. However I have noticed that the bees pull this down and grow fresh comb attaching it to the top board.
      I have also put some spales about 8″ down for them to grow comb round which might help in supporting it. This again probably isn’t necessary as it wouldn’t be in a natural hollow.
      I hope this helps,
      best wishes

  3. Hello, How is the floor of the hive constructed? Do you have a removeable “varroa” drawer? Do you have a mesh installed? Kind regards. Erik.

    1. Hello Erik,
      The floor of the hive is solid wood, which can be dropped to clean if necessary. I do not treat any of the hives for Varroa, and I don’t have significant winter losses or cases of DWV. When I look at the floor occasionally I don’t see significant numbers to worry about..
      The bees originate from wild swarms which may have already adapted to living in balance with varroa. I also don’t keep multiple hives in one area which also helps reduce the spread of diseases.
      I hope this helps answer your question.

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