Honey bees need a good residence to flourish and they never bear any offensive conduct. If you are new to the...
Different Types of Beehives
One of the first decisions that you will be making as a beginner beekeeper is the type of beehive you choose for your bees. We will discuss the most popular types of beehives available in the market, along with their benefits and disadvantages. The choice of the beehive will greatly depend on your comfort when working with these hives. It is always good to get a first-hand experience about these hives from other local beekeepers before you choose the most suitable type of beehive for you.
1. Langstroth Hives
The most popular beehive that you will find is the Langstroth hive. It was developed by Rev. Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth in 1851. The current design of the Langstroth hives allows you to easily scale the size of the beehives. It can be accessed without hassles making bee management relatively easy for beekeepers.
It is a vertical hive where the bees will either build upwards or downwards. The hive is made up of boxes that are stacked vertically on top of each other. The lower box is the largest of the boxes where the main colony is formed. These large boxes are usually the brood chambers where the colony can populate itself and also manufacture adequate honey to survive the cold season. You will need at least two brood boxes. The total number of brood boxes will depend on your colony strength.
The upper boxes are called the honey supers. This is where honey is being collected for you to take away. The bees will fill these only after the lower chambers are full.
· It is used by most beekeepers so you can get adequate information from local beekeepers about this type of a beehive.
· Parts of this hive are easily replaceable and available online or at your local beekeeping stores.
· It is durable and low-maintenance.
· Many beekeepers feel that it is not a natural way of beekeeping. Since you may use a foundation to help the bees build a comb, it takes away the ability of the bees to draw out a comb according to their requirements.
· The whole beehive can be very heavy. Moving them will require considerable effort.
2. Top-Bar Hives
While it is still not used by many beekeepers, this type of a hive is gaining popularity because of the ease with which you can handle it. It is also considered to offer beekeeper’s with a natural design for the bees to draw out their combs.
· Easy to inspect the colony
· Does not involve a lot of heavy lifting
· Offers a more natural environment for the bees to draw out the comb
· Bees are not disturbed a lot when carrying out inspections
· Since the number of beekeepers using this hive is relatively less, you may not be able to get the first-hand experience about using this type of a hive.
· Since it does not have supers, you will have to use your experience to figure out how much honey to leave behind and how much to take away.
3. Warre Hives
Another type of a hive which is gaining traction among beekeepers is the Warre hive which was designed by a French pastor, Emile Warre. This hive mimics the hollow of a tree which is used by wild bees to build a colony. The frames are foundation-less, which makes for a natural comb. The boxes are added to the bottom of the hive instead of the top like the Langstroth hives.
· Ideal for naturalists. It is designed to copy the hollow of a tree where bees naturally build their combs. This type of hive also provides adequate insulation for the bees to survive cold winters.
· It helps the bees enjoy a relatively intervention free environment
· It is easy to maintain.
· Since the bees build the hives naturally, this type of a hive does not make inspections easy.
· Since the boxes will be added at the bottom, you will have to deal with some heavy lifting of the top boxes.
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