This is the Goodrich OATH, designed by Tony Goodrich from Goodrich Bees and supplied by Sydney Stingless Bees.
While the boxes were originally designed by Tony, there’s been a combined effort with Melissa at Sydney Stingless Bees over the years to improve the design and now all boxes are made by Melissa.
The bottom and middle frame dimensions are 80mm x 280mm x 200mm with an internal volume of approximately 3.2 litres each frame minus the space for internal structures like brood supports, giving a total standard box volume of approx 6.4 litres **minus internal structures.
In 2018 Tony talked about his design at the Brisbane Native Bee Club, describing modifications he’d made to reduce condensation by adding breather holes and a timber block in the base. Tony is quite open about his design and improvements being made along the way. All box makers are continuously making design improvements to their boxes.
The latest addition to this design is the implementation of some double brood dividing/support bars, so there’s dividing bars in the lower box and matching ones in the middle brood box. This helps make a cleaner more efficient division/split. Of course you don’t need to split a colony if you don’t want to. With some small modifications this box could be used for Budding/Eductions.
Black entry tubes
These little black elbows are used in the entry to provide security, weather protection and also it keeps the entry hole clear so the tube can be replaced with a screened off tube to lock the bees up if you need to transport the box.
There’s sort of two versions of this box, just the two boxes sold as the standard OATH and then the version that has the top Honey Super box on top. The standard OATH can be converted and the extra Honey Super box can be added later at any time. It’s recommended that the colony should be left to develop in to a strong healthy colony before letting the bees access the Honey Super. I’d recommend this for any box design.
Tip: If you give the bees too much space they usually seal up or block off excess space so they can maintain their colony more efficiently or securely.
Top Honey Super box dimensions are 55mm x 280mm x 200mm with an internal volume of around 2.2 litres.
The Honey Pot
There’s a couple of options for the Honey Super box. The box comes with a small jar called the “honey pot” which can be placed up-side-down over a access point hole in the lid. Remembering to wait until the main box is full and the colony is strong before giving the bees access to the honey jar. By waiting for the colony to be strong they will more likely construct their honey pots in the jar. If you allow access before the colony has developed they may either block the honey jar off or just fill it with a combination of propolis, honey pots and pollen pots.
Another option is to just leave out the honey jar and give the bees full access to the full top Honey Super. This gives them 2.2 litres of space for their resources.
As far as construction goes, they were designed as an alternative to expensive timber hives, being made from very durable PVC so never need to be painted and not affected by moisture so won’t be subject to mould or rot like timber can be over long periods. The board is thinner than other boxes available but the insulation properties have been reported to be possibly greater.
Tip: A good roof should be used for any Native Bee Hive to keep the sun and rain off.
Compatible with other boxes?
These boxes will mix and match with other standard OATH boxes as they’re the same dimensions of 280mm x 200mm, so if you have an OATH style box you can do divisions/splits with these boxes with no problems.
Getting bees in to the Goodrich box…
This box design has been around for a long time now and there would be a lot out there so I was very interested to see them for myself so i got hold of one and put bees in to it. You can view that article here: https://www.nativebeehives.com/bees-in-goodrichbox/