The Rocky Mountain Permaculture folks came out to my place and took a bit of video. This video focuses on the Bee Hut.
The general idea is that if the bee hive is cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter, the bees will expend less energy maintining hive temperature. And energy equals honey. Plus, if the bees are less stressed, they tend to be less susceptable to mites, colony collapse disorder (CCD), or other ailments.
This bee hut happens to be in bear country, so there is a pos/neg electric fence surrounding it to keep the bears out. The bears like the combo of bee larva and honey. But mostly the like the bee larva.