Bee Fortress Smart
Bee Hive

Coming in 2021.


Bee Fortress USA's Mission

The mission of Bee Fortress USA is to resolve issues adversely affecting honey bees and their keepers, with the most technologically-advanced, highest-quality, and most-beautiful bee hives in the world.

Bee Fortress Founder, John Rocheleau, has been an independent inventor since 1996. (John’s other HVAC and invention-related sites include,,, and

A complete novice inventor and technician from the Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning (HVAC) trade, John created his first inventions – hand tool designs that made specific tasks easier to complete – following 16 years as an HVAC technician.

Then, in 1998, he abandoned tools altogether, in favor of new flange and valve inventions that didn’t need task-specific tools to install, and that provided a better way to isolate circulators for repair or replacement. His Forced Hot Water (FHW) heating circulator flanges and flanged-valves gained immediate market acceptance, becoming the new standard in FHW and potable water heating systems. By 2000, his inventions began to appear in supply houses across the United States, where plumbing and heating contractors purchased them to install in commercial and residential buildings.

With two exclusive license agreements with a market leader in 1999, John not only became a successful inventor in just 2-1/2 years, with no prior experience in product development, or engineering basics ever studied, he positively re-designed how FHW heating system “circulators” connected to boiler system piping, in an industry that had remained unchanged since the advent of electrically-powered circulators and pumps and pipe flanges.

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

John's Story of His First Invention Development Odyssey...

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 wanted 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, since John worked up to 80 hours per week, and made very little money for his highest-quality work, the same quality that had rubbed off on him by his first employer – Tenney Fuels, Inc. Tenney was a coal and oil company founded in 1941. Tenney’s quality heating systems installations and service were gold standard, right next to those of Ferns Energy Centers – founded in 1937. Both of these Old School companies had helped to positively influence John’s earliest steps in his career path to HVAC mastery today.

A few years ago, while designing and building $200,000 worth of HVAC systems in a 6,700 square-foot seaside home, he simultaneously created a brand new mechanical products line. When the job was completed, he had 52 of his own products installed on multiple HVAC systems of his own design and construction. 

See “Protech HVAC”  and “Pictures And A Thousand Words” PDFs.

John enjoys the second-greatest number of installed products – of his own invention – on the HVAC systems he designs and builds. Only pipe and fittings makers can boast to having more products on his systems.

“Pictures and A Thousand Words” tells this story.

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 experience. Robber insects and mammals intent on feasting on brood and honey were disappointed with John’s fortress of a 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 the Bee Fortress Smart Hive, unquestionably the best bee hive to date – for bees and beekeepers alike. The Bee Fortress Smart Hive will be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2021.

Jim and John Counting Parts to Be Assembled

Seven of Ten Smart Hives Deployed in Spring of 2020

Let’s face it, with age, 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. See for yourself with the slider in the house image.


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A Black Bear knocked over a Smart Hive, though it could not get into it. Which lead to How to make Bee Fortress Smart Hives black-bear resistant and Wind-proof.

The Ultimate Bee Hive

Bee Fortress "Smart" Hive

The Bee Fortress Smart Hive is the perfect home for bees, designed to yield the highest colony bee-count and the highest honey production Potential of any hive design. it protects the interests and investment of the beekeeper.

As with all of inventor, John Rocheleau’s inventions, they are designed to meet high standards of aesthetics and utility, or function & form. Thus, he infuses these two ingredients into the design and construction of the Bee Fortress Smart Hive.

The Smart Hive is 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 Bee Fortress Smart Hives come with a price tag that not everyone will want to spend: depending on options, between $2,000 and $3,000 for a complete, top-of-the-line, most beautiful, most technologically advanced, and highest quality bee hive in the world.

2 – For those who prefer a more affordable hive, or one-off components that work directly and interchangeably with their existing Langstroth and Flow Hive equipment, we offer a lineup that includes white-painted, and spar varnished Eastern Pine (softwood), with galvanized steel hardware.

Actual prices will be made available in the first months of 2021. We’ll soon be ready in 2021 to build one-offs, or 100 hives, to fulfill your requirements.

We have many new product designs in the works for keeping bees, so stay tuned for upcoming information about these unique, never-seen-before, products for bees and beekeepers, alike!

Our full website and product offerings are coming soon.

Contact us if you want to pre-order the Bee Fortress Smart Hive™ and/or hive components, or to be notified when they become available for purchase.

Contact Bee Fortess USA, Inc.