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How to Build Bee Hives | Beekeeping
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How to Build Bee Hives


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Honey bees generally construct their nests in a cavity that attaches its upper part to the combs. The nest sites which are also known as hives are more often not accessible to the person who wants to gather honey. In case a colony is accessible, it might destroy the cavity as well as the combs to gather the hive products. How to build bee hives and manage them is based on manipulating the comb so as to adjust the space required for the colony or inspect the condition of the colony. Therefore, it is essential to construct bee hive that separates the brood nest from the honey stores, allowing separate access to each area.

The different types of hives and the method of building bee hives are as follows:

1. Fixed-comb hives: These are man-made cavities which can be bark cylinders, hollowed-out logs, clay pots, basket of straw, wooden boxes, bamboo or wicker, metal cans, wicker containers that are plastered with mud or drums. Hives can even be carved in the mud walls of houses.

In case of fixed-comb hives, the honey bees are attached to the combs directly at the upper surfaces of the hive generally to the sides. The space between the combs is left by honey bees naturally while they construct them. These hives cannot be replaced as it is possible to remove comb only by cutting them. This process can kill the bees.

The advantages of fixed-comb hives are that material required to build them are readily available and are free of any cost. The bee wax produced by this method is very high. The disadvantages of this hives are that they cannot be replaced and it is not possible to examine the condition of hive and manipulate them. Production of honey by this type of hive is limited and is of low quality.

2. Moveable-comb hives: These types of hives allow for attachment of the comb as they have a series of bars at the top. These bars are spaced so as to provide the honey bees
sufficient space to build a comb which can be centered on each bar and to spare a bee space between combs. This type of hive can be built from many materials, like bamboo, straw, metal, mud-plastered baskets or wood. Wood is considered the best choice for the top bars. The width of the top bars is very essential part. Generally, the sides of the hive are slopped about 120 degrees. This limits combs attachment to the hive’s side and thus removing them is easier without breaking them. These hives are also called intermediate or transitional hives because they present beekeeping technology which is economic as well as advanced form of hive making.

The advantages of moveable-comb hives are that they can be removed and replaced without destruction. This helps in beekeeping. These hives control swarming and help in increasing colonies with easy methods of queen bee rearing. They are simple and economic to build and produce high beeswax. High quality and quantity of honey can be harvested through these types of hives.

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3 Responses to “How to Build Bee Hives”

  • Mike Calvert says:

    Hello,
    Hoping you are well and blessed! I am considering building an apiary. I am a total novice. I live in a very warm climate, South Florida. I used to see tons of bees, but haven’t seen too many in recent years. I like honey and will retire in a few years and would like to do this as a hobby. I am handy with wood work and have confidence to build a Bee Hive if given good plans to follow. I have heard a little about a Bee dying off problem in the US and that there is some controvercy about the size of Bees, something about 5/16 verses 3/8 of an inch and that being a part of the hive that relates to the size of the Bees being made? Also something about a stomach virus in the larger bees occurring because of their larger size???
    If you could send me any information you may have along with any good advice, I will appreciate it and send you a jar of the first honey I gather, should you send me an address to send it to! Thanking you in advance for your time and expertise!
    Many Blessings, Mike Calvert

  • Tod says:

    I too live in SW Florida and have a business that allows me to goto propreties that have bees on them. I am a complete novice but would love to take the colonies and start my own. Any information would be appreciated on the viris warning in the larger bees.
    Thanks,
    Tod cole

  • Doyle says:

    I am interested in beekeeping but am a total pre-novice i know little about raising bees, but have a wild bee colony in a tree across the road from my house. how can you transfer the bees to your own boxes?
    I live in Polk co. Fla.

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