A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Friday, 17 September 2010

The Hive

This is my first hive (not including the Smith hive mentioned earlier) and I have built it myself. In this picture there is just the hive floor, the brood box, a super and the hive roof.

  • The hive floor is the bottom of the hive and is made from wire mesh so any bee debris and mites that fall will go through it and land on the inspection sheet
  • The brood box sits on top of the floor and is where the bees live. When the time comes I will put a queen excluder on top of this so the queen can't get into the supers and lay her eggs
  • The super sits on top of the brood box and is where the bees store the honey! I read somewhere that it is called a super from the Latin word for above as it sits above the brood.
  • The hive roof goes on the top of all this and seals the hive shut from the elements. It has built in ventilation and is waterproof (with any luck)

To the left is a better picture of the hive floor with the inspection sheet pulled half out. It is bright yellow to help identify fallen mites as they are dark red usually but white in their infancy. The design of this also helps ventilate the hive.

To the right is the brood box and a super both full with frames and a frame on top so you can see the size difference. The frames for brood box are bigger in height but the same width. Their side bars are also wider and this is so they self space, meaning that they are all the same distance apart. The smaller frames in the super sit in metal holders to keep them separate. Hopefully next year I will have pictures of these frames from the supers full of honey!!

The complete hive! In this picture there are both supers and you can see the ventilation hole on the hive roof. If you look at the bottom you will also see the hive entrance block in place. This restricts the size of the entrance thus giving the bees a better chance of fending of any would be intruders such as wasps or hornets. All that's left to do now is preserve it. I have read that cuprinol clear is the best for this as it doesn't contain insecticides which could be harmful to bees!

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