Re-thinking
Bee Hives

Langstroth-style 10-Frame
Bear on Bee Hive

Bee Fortress USA's Mission:

In defense of honey bees utilizing original equipment designs and beekeeping best practices.

Bee Fortress Founder, John Rocheleau, became an inventor in 1996 with hand tool designs that made specific tasks in HVAC easier. In just 2-1/2 years, he signed two License Agreements with a market leader in forced hot water heating for his ball valve and bronze and iron flange inventions. These designs gained immediate market acceptance and are companions to most modern-day forced hot water heating circulators in North America, and in commercial applications internationally.

22 years later, John invented his first HVAC-enabled bee hive shelter. 5 more years have passed and John’s best inventions to-date are coming available in 2023.

1-Hour Radio Interview on Inventing

An interview with John Rocheleau, Indoor Climate Control Expert and inventor, on The Exchange program on New Hampshire Public Radio, FM 89.1. Circa 2000.

John's Business Philosophy: sell high-quality products and systems comprised of Excellent Designs and Materials, Function, Form and Value.
New in business for himself in 1988, John strived for as many HVAC customers as he could reasonably service, and in 2005, he created Protech HVAC, LLC, moved to New Hampshire’s Seacoast to take on high-end HVAC and commercial refrigeration work, and soon, was doing large Indoor Climate Control projects for the likes of the inventor of broadband cable modem technology that pioneered high speed internet connectivity and made its originator $400,000,000 from his Comcast deals; The inventor of Nike sneakers with lights in the soles. The creator of the NASA Mars Rover animations that many have seen on TV. Other wealthy building owners wanted John’s impeccable HVAC systems installations that were “Done Right. The First Time. Every Time. Guaranteed!”

John’s Inventions Studio (right) and some of John’s HVAC work (left).

HVAC-enabled
Bee Hive Shelters.

For example, when John’s first bee colony died when it was 15-degrees below zero, he instinctively knew how to solve that problem, a heating problem, and he set out to create his first prototype for an insulated shelter for his Langstroth-type hive.

Proving the concept with his crude black prototype, he set out to create an insulated, yellow Line-X-coated heated and ventilated shelter for his next honey bee colony. And, as expected, this colony flourished as it basked inside this temperature and humidity-controlled shelter, reaching nearly 4X its original population in just six weeks!

John’s third green Line-X-coated heated and ventilated shelter for his next honey bee colony was a great success, like its predecessors, and helped to cultivate a very strong colony in very little time, since he was able to raise the inside temperature to 80 degrees, while he fed the colony fortified liquid feed, triggering the queen to get very busy laying eggs a month early.

John’s fourth shelter was designed with an insulated, aluminum-clad, Line-X-coated, heated and passive-ventilated, outer home for his fourth colony. As expected, this shelter performed like the previous HVAC-enabled shelters, and the bees populated rapidly and got a jump on the season, despite cold weather and much rain.

Following his experience with four shelters, John realized by adapting a Langstroth Hive to his shelters, how he could morph a hive with a shelter and, simultaneously, created a black bear-resistant, insulated, steel hive that was virtually indestructible and also waterproof.​

John's Foray into making Bee Hives from Sapele hardwood.

Beyond keeping honey bees from freezing in winter, John’s Indoor Climate Controlled shelters would soon be replaced with bee hive designs, and simpler designs/methods for heating and ventilating bee hives. His colony in Rye, New Hampshire, in 2018, produced 32 Quart-size Mason canning jars, and 20 Pint-and-a-half-size jars of honey. That’s 11.75 gallons, or 141 pounds of honey! From just one massive and productive colony of honey bees, in one forage season.

This was a great leap forward for development of what would eventually become the Bee Fortress Smart Hive.

The predecessor to the "Smart" Honey Bee Hive

In the spring of 2020, John and his long-time friend Jim, built ten Smart Hives. While these homes for Italian bee colonies began their existence on the Seacoast, they then moved to the White Mountain National Forest, where harsher weather and black bears influenced the successive designs.

Jim and John Counting Parts to Be Assembled
The "Smart" Bee Hive

Bear-Resistance & Solar-powered Ventilation in 2021

The Vulnerable, Yet Affordable Langstroth Hive as Comparison

Langstroth bee hives are not pretty, and a high wind or a determined bear can easily take them down.
The Smart Hive can accentuate a beautiful building and landscaping, not detract from it. Move  the slider in the center.
compare2 Beefortress_compare_1

A Black Bear knocked over the first Smart hive design. Soon, Steel Corner Guards and more ratchet straps Provided greater protection against Black Bear Attacks.

This hive lineup became the catalyst for hard-to-imagine improvements in hive design, and the Fortress Bee Hive, in wood and steel versions, was created.
The new Fortress Bee Hives are available for shipping summer of 2023.

The Smart and Fortress Bee Hives are Available to Two Types of Customers:

1 – Those who want the highest quality hardwood hive with stainless steel hardware. The hardwood line of Smart Hives come with a price tag of around $2,500, for those who want high-quality, function and form, and exceptional value. Hardwoods include: Oak, Sapele and Black Locust.

2 – Those whose primary concern isn’t price, but wanting the best-of-the-best. Our new Fortress Bee Hive is still a secret, regarding all of the details, but we can say with confidence, it is the absolute best bee hive ever created…for so many reasons.

Both hives are available as a one-off and price-discounted in higher quantities. Call for pricing and delivery schedule.

Contact John to learn more: 800-598-5949 and john@beefortressusa.com.

Bee Fortress USA, Inc. in the Media

Contact Bee Fortess USA, Inc.