This is a new experimental 5 gallon bucket beehive designed to provide safe housing for a colony of bees.
This hive was not designed to be harvested for honey, but for pollination. Honey is just a side effect of the real service bees provide by spreading pollen from plant to plant.
One must consider rainfall and hive defense when designing a beehive.
When we had bees, they were under constant attack by wasps. This is why having just one or two tiny bottleneck entrances is preferable to having a hive full of holes. Bees also need to keep dry and warm, or they will go very sluggish and stop pollinating.
Although this particular hive was not successful in attracting bees, the idea is sound and could work provided the right tweaks to the model.
I won’t go into the instructions on how to build this beehive here, as it’s been already laid out well by the inventor himself on Instructables.
Update: A reader brings up some excellent points about why this hive doesn’t work and how to design one that does. He recommends the book “Honey Bee Democracy” to anyone interested in learning about designing their own hives. You can read his comments below.
Update 2 (2017): It’s becoming increasingly clear around the world that many different pollinators like bees are in decline. There are many underlying problems that contribute to this, among which the emergence of monoculture is a very important one.
The bright side to the problem is: You can help the insects that pollinate our plants survive! When you place a bee hotel near your garden, you’re helping solitary bees survive in our increasingly unfriendly environment and in exchange these bees reward you with the pollination of flowers in your garden. You can make one yourself, or you can buy one for a low price on Amazon.