Bee Hives

Langstroth-style 10-Frame


Bee Fortress USA's Mission

To resolve issues adversely affecting honey bees and their keepers, with the most technologically-advanced, highest-quality, and most-beautiful bee hives available.

Bee Fortress Founder John Rocheleau, a complete novice inventor in 1996, created his first inventions – hand tool designs that made specific tasks in Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning (HVAC) easier.

With no success at first, in 1997, he abandoned tool designs altogether in favor of new flange and valve inventions for forced hot water heating system circulators, which gained immediate market acceptance.

With two exclusive license agreements in 1999, John became a successful inventor in just 2-1/2 years.

By 2000, John’s inventions began were in supply houses across North America. Today, virtually all circulator flanges stem from John’s original designs.

Who is John?

Listen to 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.

Having received ten patents to-date, John expects to receive many more from his beekeeping innovations, including those on this website.

John's Business Strategy... to create high quality products and systems for clients who appreciate his function and form approach to design.

New in business for himself in 1988, John strived for as many HVAC customers as he could reasonably service.

After only a year, it became clear that taking on everyone who wanted to be John’s customer was a bad strategy. Working up to 80 hours per week, and making not enough money for his high-quality work, John raised his rates. This resulted in the loss of the Nickle-and-Dimers and John’s business finally began to excel as a result of pairing high-quality work with intelligent building owners who recognized the difference between John’s work and that of low-bidders.

In 2005, John created Protech HVAC, LLC and moved to the New Hampshire Seacoast to take on high-end HVAC and commercial refrigeration work, and gained customers like the inventor of broadband modem technology, which pioneered high speed internet connectivity. This a $325,000 project with just one ‘call-back’, a fifty-cent PVC fitting leaked.


In 2017, John became a beekeeper, then an inventor of beekeeping designs.

Some of John's HVAC Patents, Invention Prototypes, Products and Systems.

Honey Bees and HVAC-enabled
Bee Hive Shelters

Bee hives also need proper Indoor Climate Control Methods and Products. John Created The Following Shelter Prototypes/Inventions.

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.

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 First Few Honey Bee Hive Designs

Beyond keeping honey bees from freezing in winter, John’s Indoor Climate Controlled shelters would soon be replaced with hive designs and simpler designs and 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 on the New Hampshire seacoast.

This was a great leap forward in developing the Bee Fortress Smart Hive. Prototyping works, and in doing so, John gained much insight into better hive designs than the run-of-mill Langstroth designs.  The positive outcomes of field trial and error is that John proved that controlled temperature, variable ventilation, and humidity control in a bee hive can definitely help a colony produce greater amounts of honey, all things being equal. With his Solar-Powered Ventilation Box, he also proved that bees will accept mechanical variable ventilation assistance in their production of honey.

John also understands the underlying causes of Colony Collapse Disorder. And, he has developed a machine and methodology for eradicating Varroa Destructor mite colony infestations in, perhaps, less than an hour. More on these exciting developments will be available soon!

The predecessor to the Bee Fortress "Smart" Honey Bee Hive

In the spring of 2020, John and his long-time friend Jim, built ten hives that would resist all that Mother Nature could throw at them: black bear attacks, White Mountain National Forest winds and weather, including the greatest drought in recent times. Robber insects and mammals intent on feasting on brood and honey were disappointed with John’s fortress bee hive.

Jim is a master wood-worker with 25 years experience building Seth Thomas mechanical clocks, and New Hampshire Clocks’ versions of once-standard clocks (before the Digital Era made them obsolete). Jim has helped John to build many prototypes and is an investor.

Jim and John Counting Parts to Be Assembled

Seven of Ten "Smart" Hives Deployed in Spring of 2020

John's "Smart" Hive

Bear-Resistance & Solar-powered Ventilation in 2021

The Ugly, Low-Quality, Vulnerable, Yet Affordable Langstroth Hive

Langstroth bee hives are not pretty, and a high wind or a determined bear can easily smack them down.

The Smart Hive can accentuate a beautiful building and landscaping, not detract from it. Move  the slider in the center.

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A Black Bear knocked over a hive, which led to bear-resistance modifications including steel corners and more ratchet straps.

As of 2021, this lineup of bee hives represented the sum total of hive developments.

Since then, John began to completely re-think his hive designs and designed the world’s only bear-proof bee hive (not shown), and the “Fortress” bee hive was born. Other attributes to this hive include electric temperature stability and solar-powered ventilation. But the biggest achievement is integrated technology that eradicates a Varroa Mite infestation of a colony in an hour or less. Finally, the Fortress hive is virtually weather-proof – rain and snow can’t get into the hive and it is nearly impossible to tip over due to high wind and determined bears.

The Bee Fortress USA "Smart" and "Fortress" Hives are the perfect home for Honey bees!

The Smart and Fortress bee hives are available to meet the demands of two classes of beekeepers:

1 – Ones who want the highest quality hardwood hives with stainless steel hardware. The hardwood line of Smart Hives come with a price tag (around $2,000) that is not for everyone, but for those who want top-of-the-line, most beautiful, most technologically advanced, and highest quality bee hive in the world.

2 – For those whose primary concern isn’t price and who prefer the absolutely best bee hive ever designed: bear-proofing, electrical temperature-control, solar-powered ventilation, weather-proofing and increased honey production, the Fortress hive is available as a one-off and price-discounted in higher quantities. Call for pricing and delivery schedule.

License Agreements for independent use and re-sale are also available in 2022. Contact John to learn more: 800-598-5949 and

Bee Fortress USA, Inc. in the Media

Contact Bee Fortess USA, Inc.