Bee Fortress History


Bee Fortress USA's Mission

is to resolve issues adversely affecting honey bees and their keepers.

We feel this can be achieved by ascribing to this brief outline:

1. Admit there is a problem
2. Admit there is a solution
3. Commit to finding the optimum solution
4. Commit to implementing the solution.

Bee Fortress Founder, John Rocheleau, has been an independent inventor since  creating his first HVAC hand tool design, in 1996.

With two exclusive license agreements with Taco, Inc., in 1999, John re-designed how FHW heating system “circulators” connect to boiler system piping, in an industry that had remained unchanged since the advent of electrically-powered circulators.


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.

In business for himself since 1988, by the 2000s John had vast experience in the HVAC industry.

While doing a design-build job worth $200,000, John simultaneously created his own HVAC mechanical products line. When the job was done, 52 of John’s products were installed on multiple HVAC systems in a 6,700 square-foot seaside home. 

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 to attract more pollinators to his vegetable and wildflower gardens. When a friend offered to give him everything that he needed to become a beekeeper, he seized the opportunity to learn something new, while at the same time definitely increasing the pollinator density in his gardens.

John's HVAC Patents, Inventions, Prototypes, Products and Systems.

Bee Hive Shelters

Thinking from the perspective of protecting his colony inside a single bee hive, John made these shelters for his hive:

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 Honey Bee Hive Inventions

Beyond keeping honey bees from freezing in winter, John’s Indoor Climate Controlled shelters for honey bees 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.

Prototyping works, and by experimenting with various hive features, John gained much insight into better hive designs than presently available anywhere in the world.  The positive outcomes of field trials has gone into each new prototype design. Naturally, optimum temperature,  ventilation, and humidity in a bee hive can definitely help a colony produce greater amounts of honey, ample forage available.

Beyond optimum conditions for bees, optimum honey production, assisted by specific hive features and accessories, is a principal goal of John’s.

By developing his Solar-Powered Ventilation Box, John has observed that honey bees self-adjust draft through the home he has provided them with.

Colony Collapse Disorder: The simplicity of the cause of this is unbelievable. John will explain in the near future.

Further developments include a system that kills Varroa Destructor mite colony infestations in less than an hour.

More intriguing, even exciting, developments are coming soon.

A Bee Hive Prototype

In the spring of 2020, John and his friend, Jim, built ten hives to test out in the field, near the New Hampshire Seacoast and White Mountain National Forest.

Presently, in 2021, Bee Fortress hives are in a final year of testing. With application of all that we have learned about honey bees and bee hives, we will launch a brand new product in 2022. Simultaneously, John is applying for certain intellectual property protection, and developing the business of Bee Fortress USA, Inc.

Check back often for the latest news.

Contact us at:, to be considered for product testing.

Jim and John Counting Parts to Be Assembled

Seven Bee Fortress Hives - 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.

Bee Fortress Bee Hives accentuate a beautiful building and landscape, not detract from it. See for yourself – click and drag the arrows on the house image.

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Black Bear Resistant Bee Hive

The One and Only!

John's hives are designed to be an excellent home for bees, that protects the beekeeper's investment.

Contact us if you want to be notified when the Bee Fortress Bee Hives become available to purchase.

Contact Bee Fortess USA, Inc.