As backyard beekeeping continues to rise in popularity, there’s no reason the traditional beehive can’t take on a more modern and functional design. With this idea in mind, Duluth-based Jon Otis of Lake Superior Honey Company approached Loll Designs to create an improved version of the beehive. Aptly named the Bee Hive, this apiary combines the functionality of classic human-made hives with a sleek and durable product sourced from post-consumer recycled milk jugs.

blue backyard beehive

The partnership between Lake Superior Honey Company and Loll Designs means the final products must meet the standards of both companies: mainly functionality, quality and aesthetics. Lake Superior Honey Company maintains a high standard for its honey, insisting on 100% natural, 100% raw and 100% free-foraged, meaning the bees are unstressed and honey is produced in limited quantities for quality. The horizontal top-bar beehive had to live up to the company’s expectations. Equally, the essence of Loll Designs’ product lineup is based on function and durability, so the duo spent two years developing a beehive to be proud of.

Related: Urban Beehive Project creates a buzz around honeybee education

gloves resting on a white beehive
green backyard beehive

The end result offers a lockable flat roof for weather resistance and bear deterrence, longer legs for a more ergonomic design and a reinforced box for long-lasting use. The Bee Hive is made from recycled HDPE. Because this material was new to the traditional beehive design, it went through many variations before the final product emerged. Loll Designs reported that while propolis will stick to the plastic, it comes off easily during cleaning. After two seasons with the Lake Superior Honey Company, the process ensured the bees respond to the material well.

beekeeper pulling out tray of bees and honey from a beehive
orange backyard beehive

The Bee Hive is available in five color options: white, sky blue, sunset orange, leaf green and driftwood gray. The housing includes an internal separator that can be moved as the colony expands. The current production timeline is eight weeks, and products are available on the Loll Designs website.

+ Loll Designs

+ Lake Superior Honey Company

Images via Loll Designs

beekeeper lifting the lid off of a beehive