Plastic Bee Hives Boost the Beekeeping Buzz

Plastic bee hives with bees

People are jumping on the beekeeping trend, aided by new types of plastic bee hives.

The Paris Opera House has had a plastic beehive for years. So has London’s famed food emporium, Fortnum and Mason. And since the White House added a plastic beehive to its South Lawn, Americans have started installing plastic bee hives at their homes, too.

Why? Well, other than being a rewarding hobby, perhaps it’s because bees are on the decline, and Americans (and others around the world) want to pitch in and help.

The Benefits of Bee Keeping

U.S. farmers depend on bee pollination for approximately $15 billion worth of food crops, and pollination is estimated to be responsible for up to 25 percent of the food Americans eat.

Some scientists calculate that the domesticated honeybee population has declined approximately 50 percent in the last 50 years. Others suggest that some fruits and vegetables could disappear from our food supply unless actions are taken to slow the decline.

Plastic Beehives Make Beekeeping Easy

A new predominately plastic beehive called Beehaus now makes it easier to practice beekeeping at home, even in urban areas. The plastic structure makes it convenient to place hives in small gardens and on rooftops. Beehaus is about the size of a large foam cooler, stands waist high and has a plastic lid that makes it easy to inspect the entire hive.

The plastic beehive parts are easy to clean and impervious to woodpeckers that can damage wooden hives. Layers of plastic create pockets of air so bees can maintain the 95 degrees they need to live, work and grow.

While it’s unlikely that backyard and rooftop beekeeping will ever supplant large commercial beekeepers, beekeeping hobbyists now have a convenient beehive option that can go more places—made possible by plastics.