Beekeeping hives: A Key Aspect of Beekeeping

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Beekeeping hives: A Key Aspect of Beekeeping

One important aspect of beekeeping is knowing about beehives. Beehives have a lot of stringent qualifications that must be maintained in order to ensure its efficiency. Of primary concern is the ease in which the beekeeper can remove surplus honey. It should not be hard for him to remove what has been left. Also, it should be easy for the bees to store honey, as well, particularly after the collection of the surplus. It should be conveniently positioned, for the beekeeper’s own comfort.

A good beehive should be durable, lasting many seasons. It should serve to protect the bees, rain or shine, in all kinds of weather.  It should have enough space and room, or at the very least, it must allow expansions to be done on it, in order to accommodate population increase in the colony and their food. In terms of structure, the entrance of the beehive should be large enough for the bees to freely enter and exit through it, yet it must be small and easy for the bees to maintain their defense against possible enemies.

Centuries ago, honey collection meant the destruction of entire bee colonies, as hives, were crudely destroyed in order to collect honey. Beekeeping was greatly revolutionized in the 18th and 19th centuries, when man began to discover ways to preserve the bees themselves, while still partaking of the harvest.

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This method was perfected by Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth. He is credited as being the first to take advantage of the “bee space” or the short area in between the wax combs, which the bees will not block with wax. This space was instead used as a passageway through which they can freely enter. Langstroth designed his movable comb hive, which involved a series of wooden frames, constructed within a rectangular hive box.

The correct space between successive frames is carefully maintained. Here, the bees build parallel honeycombs, but without attaching them to each other, or to the hive walls. Thus, the beekeeper is able to slide any frame out of the hive and inspect it. This ensures that the bees and the comb are not harmed nor are the eggs, larvae and pupae within the cells. The honey can be extracted without destroying the comb, as the combs with honey can be gently removed and afterward, it can be returned to the bees in a good condition, ready again for the bees to refill.

Present- day beekeepers still use the designs developed by Langstroth, adding only a few modifications. Charles Dadant, another pioneer of beekeeping, also developed his own design, which allowed bigger space and room for bee colonies. It consisted of a large, deep brood chamber with plenty of room for the queen to lay, and shallow supers for honey storage.

Both Dadant and Langstroth hives are still widely used all around the world in modern beekeeping, as well as other types of beekeeping hive designs. All beehives are generally square or rectangular  and use movable wooden frames. They are made of a floor, brood-box, honey-super, crown-board and roof. Common materials for hive construction include cedar, pine or cypress wood. No matter which design is involved, the beekeeper must always keep in mind not only the bees’ own comfort and convenience, but his own, as well.

 

Debbie Miller is an Expert beekeeper and has been enjoying her beekeeping interest for many years now.  To learn more about beekeeping hives and to get a Free 10 part Beekeeping Mini course, please visit her website at

To learn more about beekeeping hives and to get a Free 10 part Beekeeping Mini course, please visit her website at

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