Beehives: Choosing a beehive

For a beginner and a professional, beekeeping will be impossible without beehives. A beehive is an enclosed structure; a human-made beehive is usually made of wood. Bees live and rear their young ones in the hives. Modern beekeepers purchase bees boxes, which typically have every part needed to rear honeybees successfully. Standard beehive boxes have different compartments, each of which has unique functions. Some parts are designed for honey production, another to keep the Queen, a general place for the bees to live, and a couple of other activities. The act of rearing bees in a wooden beehive dates back many years, and for different purposes. In some regions of the United States, beehives are used to transport bees for pollination. In Africa, the use of fixed bee hives for producing honey is a common trend. Some use straw hives, mud hives, and other means. The motive for rearing ranges from honey production to apitherapy treatment as well as many other reasons. By and large, since beehives have transcended to modern times, some types of beekeeping hives are common today.

Types of beehives

The Warré Hives, Langstroth, and top horizontal bar are common beehives in recent times. Each of the beehives is examined below.

The Warré Hives

The Warre hive
Beekeepers in recent years are employing the use of the Warré hive. The hive is structured with vertically arranged boxes using the top bar as comb and support. A significant advantage of the hive is the ease of creating room for a growing bee colony by adding extra boxes. Boxes are fitted underneath the existing hive to give room to the bees in a natural pattern. Bees construct honeycomb down from the top bars in each box segment.

Horizontal top-bar beehive

The horizontal top bar beehive
The horizontal top-bar has similarities with the Warré Hive. While the Warré Hive is termed the top vertical bar, the top horizontal bar is quite different. The bar is a large long wood box supported by stands. The stands give an elevation such that the box is not touching the floor. The horizontal top-bar being the oldest design, is also easier to use. The design doesn't require the use of frames to help bees create honeycombs.

Langstroth Hive

Langstroth Hive
The Langstroth hive is the commonest type of hive used by beekeepers today. The hive has intricate parts for various uses. First is the roof with an outer and inner layer to shield the bees from scorching sunlight and rain. Next is the "queen excluded" part, which makes identifying the Queen easy. Another compartment is for honey production. After that is the brood chamber for the queen to lay eggs and nurse young ones.

Maintenance of bee hive

A beehive needs to be maintained for it to last long. So in your beehive plans, include the maintenance measures necessary. Here are some:
  • Paint your beehive box (a reflective color is ideal)
  • Place the hive within a place with adequate windbreak measures
  • Install a shield to provide shade and prevent rain
  • Be quick to repair damaged parts

The takeaway

As you prepare to start a bee farm or small scale beekeeping, check the types of beehives available and choose one before purchasing the bees. Additionally, keep the maintenance procedures in place to ensure the hive lasts long.

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