Why a new hive?

The birth of the JHH goes back to 1994 when Tim started teaching Crispin about beekeeping. We were poor at the time and Crispin sold honey to help pay his studies at university but the Langstroth Hives we had, were not sufficient and thus we wanted to expand operations, but lacked the funds to simply purchase new hives. We started looking for an inexpensive alternative, yet had inertia against not using Langstroth Hives as they are what modern beekeeping is designed upon.

We came across designs for a Top Bar Hive and made a few but the limitations to a commercial operation were obvious and they did not suit what we wanted to achieve. Regrettably we did not have access to the internet, and the information about hive designs pre 2000 was very limited, so out necessity to a problem we had, we set about designing a hive that would suit us. Crispin was studying Entomology and both Tim and Crispin have always shared a deep love and interest in natural sciences, so we started observing bees with a different angle. Our attention changed from honey production and simple ease of harvesting, extraction and marketing, to more ‘what do bees require?’ ‘how does a colony work?’ ‘How can we make things better for bees and what will be the result for us as beekeepers?’


Tim and Crispin actively planned and studied bees, their needs and our needs as beekeepers. It was simply a case of starting to make something to overcome the limitations in hive designs as we identified them. The JHH was not designed as a tool for rural development. It simply fits that role perfectly and somewhere in its development we choose to apply our research into helping poor people have a better life with beekeeping. But the JHH is just as good being transported from nectar source to nectar source, extracted in centrifuges and used in pollination contracts. We know this as Rupert’s Honey have done it all before.

From 1994-2016 the JHH has gone through countless changes, new thoughts, experiments and study. It is not changing much anymore as we feel the design is fairly well on, but our eye is always on innovation, adaption and progression and that’s applied to our techniques in colony management as much in the way the JHH is built.

It’s a great hive to work with, crosses over the ease of a Top Bar Hive with the efficiency of a supported frame hive, and has many more advantages.

A short word on patents and copy right. We have done 22 years of thinking behind this hive and we are proud of the way it works. So often people get some of the advantages and why we have done what we have, but its been rare that they see all the thought behind the design. So we are writing a website that gives a huge amount of information on this hive, simply so people don’t have to guess anymore If that means that others want to copy the design and use our thoughts, so much the better. If Crispin knew what he does 22 years ago and had got it from the web, the JHH would look like it does today and he would have saved thousands of hours in mind bending debate with his father! Read all you want and ask anything you are not clear about, we will help where we can.