Understanding the Beekeeping Hive
The beekeeping hive is an essential part of beekeeping. A natural bee hive created by bees can generally be found in trees. However, as a beekeeper, you will need an artificial bee hive. In fact, with the many different pesticides found in society today that are harmful to bees, an artificial can be a much better alternative for the bee. The artificial is similar to the natural bee hive in that it has cavities.
Deciding to Construct or Purchase a Bee Hive
Constructing a bee hive is not a difficult task. When you make your own, it can be constructed to your specific needs. There are many different plans available on the Internet that will give you step by step instructions on how to make them.
If you are not interested in making your own bee hive, you can buy online or from a local beekeeper. It is important to purchase the right type that will fulfill your purpose for beekeeping. The majority of beekeepers are involved for the honey or simply an interest in the life of bees. In order to prevent the spread of any diseases, it is recommended that you purchase new equipment rather than used.
Understanding the Natural Bee Hive
In order to understand what type of artificial bee hive you will want, it is important to understand the role of the natural bee hive. Different types of bees prefer different types of hives. The genus Apis bees make nests themselves or will use other sources, such as:
-Other natural formations
Other bees live in hanging bee hives constructed of parallel honeycombs. The upper cavities of the hive contains honey and the lower portion contains pollen. There is only one entry point which is guarded by the bees.
Artificial Bee Hives
- Mud and Clay Bee Hive – This type was more traditional years ago in Egypt, Italy, the Middle East, and Greece. They are long, cylindrical structures made of dung, straw, and unbaked mud. They are generally stacked on top of each other to allow shade for the bees that like to live in the lower parts of the hive. Clay and mud hives are not as common today.
Top-Bar Bee Hive – These hives are inexpensive and simple- perfect solutions for backyard beehives.Top bar hives have been used in developing countries for many years because of their ease of design, low maintenance and low cost. These hives use a top bar with no foundation, bottom or side. The bees simply build their combs hanging from the top-bar.
Skep Bee Hive – Skeps were baskets made from coiled dry grass or straw. As with a natural hive, there is only one entry point. Often a basket is woven on top, connecting to the main skep. This allows the beekeeper to remove the honey without disturbing the bees or the honeycombs.
- Warre Bee Hive – This type of hive was created by Abbe Emil Warre. They are made from boxes lined up vertically. The top bars support the comb. This type of bee hive is common among those taking on beekeeping as a hobby.
- Langstroth Bee Hive – This is the most common hive. It was invented by Rev. Lorenzo Langstroth in 1860 and still serves its purpose today. These hives are made out of wood or plastic crates. They are glued closely together and filled with wax combs. The combs are arranged where a narrow passage is created for the bees to pass through. These hives are interchangeable. This makes it ideal for beekeepers, as they can change the size of the hives.
Despite the variety available, the Warre and Langstroth bee hives are still the most common today.
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