This operation has originated two different beehives: the Two Colony Hive and the Combination Queen Rearing Nucleus and Comb Honey Hive.
At this time, we are not selling this equipment. Past aatempts at equipment production have not proven profitable. We have found it is more productive to use this equipment to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers.
The Two Colony Hive is well tested. Johnston’s Honeybee Farm received a 2001 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grant to test this hive and compare its productivity with the standard 10 frame Langstroth hive. This grant was completed in 2004. During the course of this project, standard hives overwintered an average of 0.71 clusters of bees (71%) while the two colony hives averaged 1.49 clusters per hive successfully overwintered. Two colony hives were mainly used to produce nucs and brood for sale to other beekeepers. In 2004, a pair of two colony hives were used primarily for honey production. These two hives averaged 357 pounds surplus of honey and wax each. The eight highest producing hives in our operation averaged 151 pounds. The final report for this grant is a separate page on this web site.
The Combination Queen Rearing Nucleus and Comb Honey Hive will not be for sale in 2016. We will consider producing this hive for sale after sales of two colony hives become more established.
The Combination Queen Rearing Nucleus and Comb Honey Hive received a 2005 Northeast SARE grant that was completed in 2009. This hive serves two purposes. In the Spring, it can be used to produce queen bees for sale to other beekeepers; in the summer, it can be used to produce comb honey or extracted honey for sale to consumers. This hive is not as productive as the two colony hive and is more suited to a beekeeper interested in raising queens. The final report for this second SARE grant has not been posted yet.