Bee Hives – What Are the Main Parts of a Bee Hive?

If you’re interested in getting into beekeeping, one of the things you’ll definitely want to learn about are the main parts of bee hives. Not everything that you see out there on the Internet is really required, and there are certainly lots of options. This article gives you a quick background on the parts you’ll need to get started and what you can wait on.

Since there are a number of components to most hives, one way to start this discussion is to work from ground up, starting with the hive stand. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but it just needs to keep the hive off of the ground. I like using blocks of cinder since they’re pretty inexpensive and last, or you could use wood. Whatever you use, it will be used to support the bottom board, which is the foundation of the hive. This is where the opening to hive is placed.

On top of that sits the main part of the hive – the hive body. This is also commonly called a “super”, and a hive will usually have one or two supers. They come in different depths (from shallow to deep). Inside the supers are the frames, which are removable and carry the wax foundation into which the bees build their honeycomb. Anyway, most supers will hold ten frames, but there are some that hold different numbers. It doesn’t matter too much, as long as it doesn’t get too crowded – I’d just recommend sticking to a number that’s easy for you to manage. One optional component that I’d like to mention now is the queen extruder, which is used to trap the queen where you want her to lay eggs.

Now is where things get interesting. Above the hive body is the honey super, where the majority of the honey is stored (you were probably wondering when we’d get to that part, right?) My advice here is not to use one that is too deep, because they can get heavy when fully loaded with honey! Above the honey super I usually recommend putting an inner cover to act as an extra buffer of space between the honey super and the outer cover of the hive, but this step is optional. What is required however is that outer cover, which protects the hive from the elements (you don’t your bees getting rained on!)

Well that should be enough to point you in the right direction with your new bee hive! The truth is that bee hives and beekeeping are loads of fun, and always a new adventure each season. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

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