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Jackson Bee Hive

For a basic catalogue

This is Bee Ware's Jackson Hive Logbook

BeeWare would like to introduce the Jackson hive logbook for all beekeepers.

You will find pictures of the different events and processes as well as notes & tips to mention as I go along. This is much like an online experiment of what to expect using a JHH.

Feel free to request experiments. Add recommendations and check my Beekeeping BLOG for even more detailed info.

Now Agents for Jackson bee hives!

Welcome To Our JHH Logbook


Jackson Horizontal Hive R450 each

  • 14 June 2006 - The set up
  • 28 June 2006 - The swarm catching - CLICK HERE
  • 1 August 2006 - 1st Rains but no colony ...yet - CLICK HERE
  • 25 October 2006 - We have 2nd & 3rd rain and a Colony - CLICK HERE
  • July 2007 - Fatal incident with veld fire on smallholding & the 2 Jackson hives burn to ashes
  • End of September - we will begin the Spring Experiment again!

  • Welcome To the JHH Logbook - October

  • The Jackson hive is based on the top bar hive design however it has some unique modifications.
  • October 25th
  • Last Sunday I held my monthly beginner beekeeper's course and aside from the theory we spent 1h30m in the field at the smallholding. I had removed an empty TV box from Rooihuis Kraal (Centurion area) where bees had moved into about 3 weeks prior. They were very laid back and calm bees. A good colony to keep and split int he near future.

    So, after the theory, we fired up the smoker, suited up and prepared to work with the bees. We found that the bees in the cardboard box were quite resourceful. They built the comb on the inside of the box under one of the inside flaps. When it rained during the week before the course, the comb was actually still well preserved and the colony had survived.

    We opened the bee box and proceeded to puff smoke into the box. After a few minutes of waiting and eagerly checking what state the colony was in I opened the cardboard box. Beautiful. Seven newly built comb next to each other and a fair-sized swarm. They were very calm after using the smoke. Working with them on a steady basis with smooth movements and thinking each step through before acting on it made this transfer a pleasure.

    I had two trap boxes prepared before we started the transfer. One is a half Langstroth hive and the other is a Jackson hive trap box. We split the comb we took from the swarm colony between the two trap boxes. I ensured that we place comb with young eggs in both trap boxes in the reality that only one or none may end up having a queen. The colony would then create an emergency queen from the young eggs.

    Queen cells will be present after 3-4 days in the case of no queen. Sixteen days after this procedure the first queen bee will emerge and kill the others. She then goes on her mating flight three days later when her wings and mating organs are mature. By the 23rd day there should be evidence of the queen bee laying eggs.

    After having transferred this swarm colony, I decided to open the Jackson hive to see what was happening with it and I am happy to report that there is a resident colony in it! They are using the front entrance which is a 80% cut along the short end of one side. They have built on 4 of the frames so far and had started to build bur comb - comb not on a frame - where I had not placed any frames.

    I had only placed 5 frames in the box when I first started the JHH logbook. I didn't have any wax foundation sheets at the time and so I left the rest of the frames indoors. I forgot that I had not placed the frames back into the JHH with starter strips. So thankfully there was not much of it and it was quick to clean up.

    We smoked the front entrance of the JHH and the bees reacted at first. After a few minutes we opened the lid and "Voila!" 4 frames packed with comb. Bees inside the JHH but on the outer frame reacted as we opened the lid and I sent two puffs of smoke towards this exposed side of the outer frame. To my surprise the bees moved straight away to the adjascent frame and left the cavity of the 'back' of the JHH all to us. It was a pelasure. No hassles with hundreds of bees being exposed and then darting for you.

    I quickly moved the bricks under the box to the bracketed corners so that when the box is full of honey the support is where it should be - under the brackets. I placed the other 20 JH frames back in with the help of the course delegates. Bees huddled at the front entrance but not to the extent that I have seen Langstroth hive colonies. Usually Langstroth colonies gather together on the outside wall of the brood box on either side. Not with the JHH.

    I would recommend any beginner beekeeper to incorporate a Jackson Horizontal hive in their starter kit as well as a Langstroth hive so that a comparison of the two can be made. Most beekeepers are led to believe that the Langstroth is the only way to go. I'm definitely testamony against that.

    I will be keeping a close eye on the hive now as I am particularly interested in the honey harvest results. I expect to be able to harvest from the Jackson hive in about 6 weeks time. This will mean 25 frames will be full and about 10 of these will include full frames with honeycomb to be harvested. Bear in mind though, that all Jackson bee hive frames are full frames and therefore will hold about 4Kg of honey per frame compared to the super frames in a Langstroth which may hold up to 3Kg but usually more like 2Kg.

    Did you know that the average harvest per bee hive in South Africa has declined by more than 50% over the last 30 years? In the seventies, honey harvests were recorded at 32Kg on average. Now, one can expect an average of only 15Kg per harvest.

    Jackson Hive Entrance Feeder top view

    This is the JHH site for the logbook experiment.

    Be sure to check the next insert.

    Next, I will be commenting on the further ease of use or otherwise using the JHH as well as the productivity of the colony over a 6 week period. I will also present photos.


    [Bee Gloves] [Bee suits] [Hive Tools] [Bee Hives] [Smokers] [Blue book]

    [Wax foundation sheets] [Queen excluders] [Bee brushes] [Honey knife] [Extractors*]

    ** Call to discuss your needs. Go to Contact Us!

    Becoming Protected - Use gloves

    Generally, beeekeepers use gloves every time they are at the apiary. You can do an external inspection of a hive which does not require any gear however this is only recommended once you have gained confidence in handling bees and with the appropriate precautions.

    Which Gloves?

    For work with bees which requires a finer tactile control then a leather glove is recommended. Usually used when working with the queen or planning queen-rearing exercises. From R1600 a pair

    The Bee Smoker! The honeybee pacifier. One of the best tools for calming an aggressive colony. Whenever working with bees, especially in the brood chamber remember to smoke them. Galvanised Smoker with heat guard


    The Smoker is
    R360 each

    Place your order for 'THE' book on beekeeping also known as the Blue Book titled Beekeeping in South Africa. Click on order for more info.


    Just about any work with bees and the hive can be done using PVC gloves. As mentioned above, it comes down to preference in most instances. One may also like to use inner gloves with these as the pvc tends to make your hands sweat and smell of rubber. From R150 a pair

    PVC Bee Gloves

    Get the beekeeping equipment. Essential equipment is available from our office in Midrand. Hives, hive tool, protective clothing & smoker make up the need-to-have list. Click here

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