All the bee hives I have ever seen were rounded or in protected places like hollow trees. Then I saw this up in a tree in Montgomery. It looks like the bees didn’t bother to put up any defenses or walls, maybe because it never gets very cold. I noticed that many of the houses in the Deep South are also open to the elements.
BTW – I would not have seen this bee hive except for a stranger telling me about it. I found the people of Alabama extraordinarily friendly and open. People at shops and restaurants talked with me and were very happy to tell me about their town.