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So whats the Beeehaus problem?

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marklaverda 

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I am absolutely dismayed at the attitudes of some of the posts on the Beehaus.

Generally the rancour seems to caused due to Omlett:

  • Getting Worldwide TV coverage
  • Encouraging new people to a hobby
  • Modernising and re-designing a hive
  • Selling Beekeeping with modern marketing methods
  • Selling the Beehaus to make a profit
  • Sending many people to bee keeping courses
  • Being technlogically different

What on earth is wrong with all this?
It is a well known fact that in years past many houses had a hive at the end of their garden.
Managing Bees was then part of life, as was keeping chickens and probably a pig for meat.
So my thoughts are that why in a forum set up to specifically champion the cause of a wonderful hobby are so many so vociferous against this new bee hive.
If I was brought to this forum by Google as a potential Beehaus purchaser, (and from my perspective I hope many are) then surely I should be welcomed and not ridiculed, ostracised and generally made to feel I am an overpaid high spending irresponsible short term hobbyist indulging in bee terrorism at the end of my garden against my neighbours.
We collectively should make an effort to welcome and advise others to our fold to enjoy the privilege of keeping and learning from this social insect.

If I can expand on my summaries and my concerns about the negative comments I have read:

Getting Worldwide TV coverage:
Isnt that great? Why would anyone in their right mind castigate the BBC for advertising our hobby and showing it in a positive light? I cannot think of one single reason why the TV coverage cannot be good for beekeeping in general.I would much rather see this than seeing the BBC run a film on Killer Bees or other such overdramatic drivel that has been produced about bees in the past.

Encouraging new people to a hobby
People that visit this forum looking for Beehaus will also see there are perfectly adequate and tried and tested alternatives. This cannot be a bad thing for Beekeeping.
Currently with some of the highly charged aggressive responses I see I would be completely turned off beekeeping. When people visit us here I believe they should be welcomed and shown alternatives.

Modernising and re-designing a hive
So what? Everything we use is redesigned- planes, cars, TVs cameras and now bee hives.It is part of life.Why should a beehive design be pickled in aspic? The detractors almost to a man have never seen a beehaus, let alone worked with one. How can they be fully qualified to comment? I dont know whether the beehaus is good or bad. Like the IPOD taking out the walkman time will tell. If it fails to sell or is a disaster to use then it will fail.

Selling Beekeeping with modern marketing methods
Its about time that beekeeping is professionally marketed to a wider audience.We are all hardened to marketing these days.From baked beans to political parties the successful ones have used the power of marketing. So why not Beehaus?
The days of companies sending out poorly edited photocopied catalogues should have come an end with the Internet and cheap desk top publishing. Yet this stil goes on today with some companies.

The cost and the fact that Beehaus make a profit.
I hope Omlett sell thousands of Beehaus. Anything that brings in lots of new Bee keepers is a good thing. Of course someone is going to bleat about responsibilities, garden sizes etc. Lets be honest most people will not keep bees under any circumstances as they are concerned about stings. We are not exactly talking about the whole of UK here keeping Bees. Bad beekeepers can be prosecuted for nuisance should they not manage their Beehaus just the same as any of us could. The point I am making is that if there was a clever campaign to sell thousands of National or WBC hives would half the detractors have the same objections/ I think not. And as for Beehaus making a profit? I hope they do so , they are around to innovate and develop new product lines for their target markets. Spin offs in innovation always filter through eventually if they are good enough to be commercially viable.

Sending many people to bee keeping courses
I see complaints about the oversubscription on Bee Courses. Life is supply and demand. If bee courses are oversubscribed then more experienced Beekeepers can train to teach basic beekeeping skills, maybe to a basic standard, or to a Beehaus syllabus tailored strictly to the product people are purchasing.
Omlett have a social and corporate responsibility to recommend people to undertake a beekeeping course. As a forum I would prefer that experienced forum members contact Beehaus to partner with them to make this happen. I cannot understand members of this forum kicking off about irresponsibilty of Omlett selling Beehaus as this is no different to Thornes also selling WBC hives to anyone with the cash.Can any objectors give me a reason why it is fine for the establishment to sell beehives and yet not Beehaus

Technlogically different.
Beehaus might work or it might not. I really do not know.Innovation is important and I for one do not want to remain stuck in the dark ages. If Beehaus works and I see one on ebay in the future, maybe I would buy one. I certainly wouldnt pay for a new one and am more than happy with my 2 WBC hives.
Bill Gates once prophesised that the Internet would never take off. It did and he bowed to demand.Some times people power drives innovation and it may or may not be the case with Beehaus.Time and ease of use will tell, I for one am keeping an open mind.


There is an opportunity here for this forum to advance the cause of beekeeping immeasurably through working with Omlett. I fear it is going to be lost We can advise of bee husbandry, correct advertising copy, training, siting, and general forum advice. Omlet can produce a formidable marketing machine. Working together can be a total win- win. As it is, and looked at from a newby perspective there is a whole lot of sniping going on which people (myself included) get totally turned off by.Cant we turn this around?? and fast??

Am signing off now but lets be clear on one thing- I have never ever seen a Beehaus, contacted Omlett or have any affiliation with this product or company. Admin I have noted your response comments on some posters with some disappointment, but I believe in the freedom of design and technlogical improvements. I dont know if the Beehaus will ever be better than my WBC but I do know it deserves a chance and believe it is up to us all to ensure that new potential beekeepers are welcomed to the fold and not ostracised immediately they start to research Beehaus or any other Bee Hive in this or any other Beekeeping forum.
 

VEG 

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Why not post it in the thread about the plastic boxes instead of opening another about the same thing.:cheers2:
 

admin 

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But its new
Its made of plastic
Its different
We have new members who did not want us to laugh at it before seeing it as they had been sold over with the Omlet brand.

I was very harsh to some new posters from the Omlet forum,but even they had to admit they had the same type of attitude from the Practical poultry forum.

Because of the mass media launch we got hit with an influx of Omlet posters over 24 hours that tipped the forum towards looking like a spam attack.

It was at that point I responded and jumped in.
 

Brosville 

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Heavens, where to start?
I bitterly resent that "our" BBC, which is supposedly totally unbiased, and refuses to carry humanitarian appeals "lest it appear biased" gave blanket spam for a new product, on radio, TV and the net - that "Natural England" does likewise (again funded by "us") - this to me reeks of gross manipulation and mismanagement, all to the commercial ends of one company (how DID they swing it?........ probably "all on the square" and entirely straightforward... erhem!)
Then we have use of garish plastic for something that has traditionally been made from a natural, breathing, recyclable and biodegradeable material, often with great craft, by craftsmen - plastic of this type is not easily recyclable, and will probably end up festering in landfill, they are hardly an "eco-friendly" exercise at all.......
Then we have the fact that loads of people who'd apparently never given beekeeping a thought, are suddenly leaping on the plastic bandwagon, all eager to praise equipment they've never used to the skies, and are suddenly dedicated to becoming knowledgeable beekeepers (shall we send the au pair to the classes dahling?)
Then probably the most unedifying of all the aspects - a certain "officer" of a certain "association" visibly slavering through his veil during the TV plugs at the prospect of all those new members , ignorant of the association's machinations with the agrochemical bee killers.
I'll not go into continuing to encourage use of chemically contaminated foundation, or denying the bees the right to build their own comb, and the fact that for most of us who don't live in Hampstead would need a mortgage to afford one..........
Apart from that, they're blooming great!
Next week it'll be garish placcy pig arks with miniature pot bellied occupants....
He did ask.........:)
 
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oliver90owner 

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As one who has not ridiculed it too much - OK, it does look like a large coolbox - I am waiting to see.

Just scanned thru the first ten pages of the omlette forum. Will be looking for the references to Robin Dartington next. If, as I suspected, he is part of it, then he is no mug around bees. He may be seen as quite a bit off the mainstream, but he has been keeping bees for many years.

Having said that, perhaps an overgrown coolbox would be OK for bees. Maybe the disinfected part could be made replaceable. I don't know. The copyright will come in for some scrutiny if sales take off and I would expect there will be a much more cost-friendly plastic beehive on the market relatively shortly afterwards.

Beekeepers do hate change and, let's face it, poly hives were a bit too much of a change when first used. They are relatively cheap and expendable. This product is not. That is my main gripe. There will be those that just buy one because they can and will. They may tire very quickly, they may not. Perhaps the hive will have a fair second hand value and the market could 'settle' down when they pour onto the second hand market. There may be those who genuinely want to keep bees and want one. OK, it is their dosh and they can spend it how they like.

I do think that most serious new-starters will shortly have an alternative and it will likely not be a second 'coolbox'. I have a couple of Dartington's (homemade). They are OK for lots of beekeeping manipulations - some better than the National hive arrangement. I am not, at present, planning on building any more and one may be used for colony expansion (numbers).

It may eventually cause the standard brood frame to go severely out of fashion. But, there again, not everyone wants (or the bees need) a 14 x 12 framed box. Most colonies in a Dartington are probably, mostly, more easily managed than in a National. The hive design is not perfect, but it has it's good points. It's obvious drawback is that it is just not very mobile (portable). The two most obvious drawbacks of the coolbox seem to be cost and material of manufacture........portability may have been improved....

I simply would not spend half a grand on an enclosure for bees. Simple as that.

Regards, RAB
 

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I don't see the problem as being free PR, inovative design, technologically different, or bringing more people to bee keeping.
It's the mudding of waters by confusing issues of conservation, bee decline, and being "Green".
As to the mentoring/education issue, an apt analogy would be the Governments handling of the swine flu pandemic, setting up a hot line 3 months after the horse had bolted (Even it's own select comittee critised it over this).
Omlett knew the product launch date and if they'd really been interested in being corporately responsible they'd have had a mentoring and education program in place prior to the launch, rather than being forced into shoe horning one together due to the hue and cry of current bee or currently prospective bee keepers.

And comparing Omlets marketing to Thornes selling WBC hives or any other type to all and sundry is like comparing selling mini's and farm tractors. Only people interested in buying farm tractors locate places that sell them.
 

marklaverda 

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Brosvile:

I bitterly resent that "our" BBC, which is supposedly totally unbiased, and refuses to carry humanitarian appeals is
Agreed this is a disgrace but that should not prevent the BBC from transmitting content on other topics.I think this has done our hobby a service and has for one increased the interest in this forum.
I believe it will also increase sales of more traditional hives, after all these are cheaper.

"lest it appear biased" gave blanket spam for a new product, on radio, TV and the net - that "Natural England" does likewise (again funded by "us") - this to me reeks of gross manipulation and mismanagement, all to the commercial ends of one company (how DID they swing it?........ probably "all on the square" and entirely straightforward... erhem!)
I dont understand this. Are you suggesting that there has been something underhand with the BBC? I may be reading this the wrong way so please, for my benefit can you clearly explain what you mean.

plastic of this type is not easily recyclable, and will probably end up festering in landfill, they are hardly an "eco-friendly" exercise at all.......
Agreed. I would not have one ( or their chicken coop) in my cottage garden, but would definitely have a Beehaus painted camoflage green and brown in my woods if it works.
Am not sure if they are recycled plastic or not. This is a perfect example where I believe that feedback from us can help redefine the product environmentally and therefore increase Beekeeping interest in general.
Then we have the fact that loads of people who'd apparently never given beekeeping a thought, are suddenly leaping on the plastic bandwagon, all eager to praise equipment they've never used to the skies, and are suddenly dedicated to becoming knowledgeable
beekeepers (shall we send the au pair to the classes dahling?)
I am not praising the product, and most people havent seen it and seem to want to know more about it, not praise it. All I am saying is I am keeping an open mind, and people that have visited the forum seem to want to know more about it. Have you ever seen one or worked with one Brosville? I havent so I will keep an open mind. And I certainly would not spend the best part of 500 quid on one, and if people do then all the best to them

Then probably the most unedifying of all the aspects - a certain "officer" of a certain "association" visibly slavering through his veil during the TV plugs at the prospect of all those new members , ignorant of the association's machinations with the agrochemical bee killers.
Like many Beekeepers I dont know what or who you are talking about. Again perhaps you could make your point more clear.

I'll not go into continuing to encourage use of chemically contaminated foundation, or denying the bees the right to build their own comb, and the fact that for most of us who don't live in Hampstead would need a mortgage to afford one..........
What has this got to do with the Beehaus? Sorry am not clear of where chemically contaminated foundation links to this post and in any event surely people are free to spend as much or as ittle as they want on their hobby.

Apart from that, they're blooming great!
I wouldnt agree they are great and like I said I would not have one in my garden, though I do have a WBC in my garden.

Next week it'll be garish placcy pig arks with miniature pot bellied occupants....
Maybe there will be a demand?? I dont know, and again I would not have a plastic pig ark in my garden

He did ask.........
Then please give better clarification in your answers but thanks for you response
 

Poly Hive 

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Why am I skeptical?

I repeat the comment I made on the chicken forum. The worst that chickens can do (excepting disease) is to peck your ankles.

Bees can and do kill.

There is a wee difference there.

Omlet may well have a wonderful marketing system and good luck to them.

However luring folks into beekeeping with the mantra is all easy peasy with no problems at all is frankly misguided at best and downright dangerous at worst.

Having said that they have based their new wonder product on the far from mainstream product called the Dartington hive. Which as far as I know is not available from any manufacturer. Now that might just tell you something.

Beekeeping is a tad conservative as you will discover. I use poly hives which in Europe have been mainstram for over 20 years and in the UK are pretty much viewed with suspicion. Welcome to beekeeping...LOL

PH
 

victor meldrew 

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Dysons spring to mind :cheers2:.
Could it possibly double up as a state of the art vacuum cleaner ? after all it's being marketed in the same over simplified way !.
Like polyhive I have no objections to newbies or their opinions just as long as they know enough about bees to form one ?, rather than jump in all guns blazing with pseudo knowledge dredged from advertising blarney !.
The press from my locality contacted me within a couple of hours of the bbc broadcast ,trying to illicit an opinion. I declined but did deign to mention that IMHO, the inciting of all and sundry to rush out and buy to latest garden accessory complete with bees, armed only with the zeal of the newly converted wouldn't help to solve the situation created (in part) by the same kind of advertising techniques used by the agro- chemical industry .
Yes we need new beekeepers, no we don't need an influx of newbies attracted for the wrong reasons after all the path to ruin is paved with good intentions .
The irony being 'the bees will suffer at the hands of the ill equiped inspite of their doubtless good intentions.

John Wilkinson
 

Poly Hive 

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Actually John the Dyson is a very good piece of kit, we have one for the hotel and it replaced four others.

I other wise completely agree with you.

PH
 

victor meldrew 

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Actually John the Dyson is a very good piece of kit, we have one for the hotel and it replaced four others.

I other wise completely agree with you.

PH
Hi, I was referring to the lurid magpie effect :svengo:.
John.w
 

marklaverda 

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I think my main point is being missed here. People visiting here to get advice on the Beehaus/ Beekeeping in general will be put off by sometimes completely irrational opinions not based on fact, or experiences with the equipment.
Not one of the 'Beehaus experts' on this forum have even bothered to attempt to advise people to look at alternatives, but are happy to pull a product apart based on heresay and opinions without seeing the item or its correct details. Worse still some members of this forum appear to belittle potential new interest and I find this totally offensive.
No professional will comment on any product without a survey and understanding of the item, whether it be a house, car, patient or beehive.
So what right has any of us to do so to this equipment without at least understanding clearly how it works.
I do not know if Beehaus works or not, and I believe some of the comments in journals and on the news can create dangerous situations. Has anyone here contacted Beehaus to enquire if what is communicated is their official policy? Journalists will slant matters to make good copy.
All I am saying is why dont we welcome new interest and work with Omlet to understand their product and social responsibilities before we put anyone else off beekeeping for good.
PH you own a hotel and would understand more than anyone the importance of a warm welcome.So why are we not doing that here??
 

Geoff 

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Quite agree with you Mark. Some of the original criticisms of the Beehaus have been answered as more information has come out. A lot of 'environmental' things are made out of plastic eg. most of the compost bins offered through the councils are plastic and so are the vast majority of wormeries and the green cone digestor is plastic.
My only objection to the Beehaus is the colour. However I am now moving towards getting a poly hive and it will be painted green so it blends in.
 

Poly Hive 

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Not one of the 'Beehaus experts' on this forum have even bothered to attempt to advise people to look at alternatives, but are happy to pull a product apart based on heresay and opinions without seeing the item or its correct details. Worse still some members of this forum appear to belittle potential new interest and I find this totally offensive.

Some things do not require to be seen, please see below.

No professional will comment on any product without a survey and understanding of the item, whether it be a house, car, patient or beehive.
So what right has any of us to do so to this equipment without at least understanding clearly how it works.

A beehive is a beehive, it needs to meet certain standards to work well. Note well the well..........please.


I do not know if Beehaus works or not, and I believe some of the comments in journals and on the news can create dangerous situations.

I have read thier web site.

Has anyone here contacted Beehaus to enquire if what is communicated is their official policy?

See above.

All I am saying is why dont we welcome new interest and work with Omlet to understand their product and social responsibilities before we put anyone else off beekeeping for good.

Their social responsibilites are precisely my concern. They are merrily saying beekeeping is great fun and every one can do it. Errrr not a good idea.

PH you own a hotel and would understand more than anyone the importance of a warm welcome.So why are we not doing that here??

Ok you have mentioned me so here I reply. My warm welcome in my business is paid for. Sad possibly but true.

The product you are so keen to stand up for has in my eyes, and I talk for myself alone, a problem or three that I can see WITHOUT seeing the kit. Before you bridle please read on.

The product is based on the Dartington hive. Sorry but no recomendation as far as I am concerned. No UK manufacturer makes them. Now why would that be I wonder? No demand perhaps?

The product can be adapted to have two colonies at once in it. Again not a plus point in my eyes. In my experience multiple units under one roof tend to have the unhappy result of becoming one unit.

If this was made out of styrofoam I might be kinder. If it was of a standard design with a proven history then I might be more interested.

I certainly am not laying out £465 odd pounds on a novelty.

For that I can buy 20 poly Nucs or brood boxes. Or if you really want the reality of the maths I can buy some 5 complete hives as can every one else.

And beekeepers are famously keen on their pennies.

Not the answer you hoped for no doubt but that is the reality. I am very concious of my social responsibilities where my bees are concerned. I am very concious of the fact that if it goes wrong it can be fatal and not necessarily to the beekeeper but to the neighbours.

People are very odd about bees. Firstly they (mostly) think bumbles are honey bees. I have had this commment so often.... On seeing an Observation hive. "Thats no bees mister: that's wasps"

2ndly they want to change the environment to manage them.

Phone call. "My hedge is covered in bees and I'm worried about my kids being stung."

Beekeeping is a bit more complex then hen management.

PH
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi PH,

Worse still some members of this forum appear to belittle potential new interest and I find this totally offensive.
I'm afraid that denouncing an object that has not had any write ups about how it can benefit us or otherwise, will always bring criticism, as that is 'human nature'.

I don't see that anyone should feel offended by the actions of others.

Regards;
 

wbchive 

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One advantage of this hive for the beginner is that it's really two hives in one, so come next May they'll be able to do the swarm control without having to buy another hive. I ran a Dartington LDH for five years and everything Robin Dartington claims for it is true. Swarm control is straightforward and it works. The honey boxes (supers) are light. I stopped using it because there was rarely any honey in the supers. Those 14 x 12 frames are so huge that all the honey stays downstairs and it's a pain having to scrape them down and press the honey out of the waxy mess. They are also unwieldy and quite heavy when covered with bees.

This hive could be a good thing if it encourages new beekeepers and they are supported by their local associations.

Steve
 

OXFORDBEE 

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To paraphrase: Those 14 x 12 frames are unwieldy and quite heavy when covered with bees

Does this counteract the objective of having small easy to lift supers. Am I correct in thinking that two 14x12 frames full of honey will be the same weight as full super?
 

oliver90owner 

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Re 14 x 12 frames with stores.

Yes, they are weighty but not seriously so. I have not yet extracted any, but they will just have to be done tangentially in the spinner. No real problem.

Doubt if I extract any this year - they will likely be popped into other hives to bolster the winter stores as necessary, as I am looking simply working for more colonies at the moment.

I don't know of anyone who would carry more than one frame, full of stores, unless they were in a box. The Dartington design included 5 off half supers and 2 off 'carry boxes' (basically similar to the 1/2 supers but deep enough for the jumbo frames and with a floor). I knocked some up as part of the assessment of the system and have put open mesh floors on them, made a couple roofs and will use them as nucs with appropriate insulation. Other than that they have only been used for moving a colony so far - a lot lighter than carting a full 14 x 12 National brood over rough ground!

But the plastic hive brigade will need something into which they can transfer frames, sooner or later. Nothing is supplied with the hive so far -a good marketing ploy, keep it simple now and sell the extras later? That is unless the hive is going to be treated as a National and the extra 50% only used for swarm control. Someone (James?) will be shortly reading the beekeeping guide booklet that accompanies it and enlighten us as to whether they recommend operating it as a National or as a Dartington.

Might clear up the mess where lots are saying it is not a Dartington. I think it is but await the evidence one way or the other.

Anyhow, in reply to wbchive, one of mine has had two National supers on it during part of the summer. One has been well stocked with honey and the other was 'wet' frames for cleaning, after extraction, but they started to fill a couple of the frames before I removed it. There is less aggravation in pushing together the supers, if National, rather than squashing bees with those 1/2 supers.

I am amused that the net information has not even been proof read properly. They actually refer to the honey bee as a greenfly (or very similar)

If you don't believe me look at

http://www.omlet.co.uk/guide/guide.php?view=Bees

Just for the sheer h*ll of it I printed the page so I have a hard copy when someone denies the error ever existed.

I daresay someone will point out their mistake and it will be corrected very shortly!

Regards, RAB
 

OXFORDBEE 

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they will just have to be done tangentially in the spinner
That all depends if the frames will fit in a tangental extractor.
 

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