Beekeeping, a gratifying and captivating experience, or practice. Honey, a product generated by bees has so many nutritional and medicinal benefits to man. Hence, people keep bees for their honey yet; many perceive bees as hostile critters. The negative views of bees come from lack of information about the creatures.
As natural territorial creatures, bees can be hospitable if well handled. With a good habitation, bees will grow well however, if disturbed they will attack. They hate offensive behavior and would attack when provoked; hence, you can avoid such an attack.
However, to help keep the bees friendly, provide them with a perfect environment to thrive. That environment can be created by investing in the perfect beehive. The hive, the bees’ home must not be handled with kids’ gloves. For this reason, this post answers the questions about getting the perfect beehive.
In this post, you shall see varieties of hives from which to choose and learn how to buy one. You shall also read about the types of beehive and how they work.
Top 10 Best Beehive Boxes for Sale:
We opened this post with the best beehive boxes available for sale from which you can choose. Here we have the top ten beehive boxes for you.
Honey Keeper Beehive 20 Frame Complete Box Kit (10 Deep and 10 Medium) with Metal Roof for Langstroth Beekeeping
From the stable of Honey Keeper comes this 20-frame beehive kit. Constructed with every feature to create a successful colony, this hive is made from premium fir wood foundation and white pine wood frames. It has a galvanized metal-capped telescoping rooftop.
This Langstroth style beehive comes with 10 deep frames, 10 medium-size frames and pre-cut frame unwaxed foundations with hexagonal shaped foundations surfaces.
The kit also comes with an inner cover, bottom board, entrance reducer and a queen excluder. This easy-to-assemble hive features a pre-cut finger joint and heavy-duty nails. The hive stands at 23 inches by length, 18-1/4 inches by width and 19-3/4 inches by height.
Complete Bee Hive Kit, Painted, Assembled, 10-Frame, Made in the USA
This Mann Lake 10-frame traditional complete kit features one painted 10-frame 9-5/8 inches assembled hive body and a ten 9-1/8-inch assembled wood frames with waxed yellow Rite-Cell foundation.
It also comes with one assembled painted telescoping cover with inner cover, one assembled painted bottom board with reducer. You most certainly can add a second deep hive body once your bees draw out most of the foundation. Size: 22” x 18-1/2” x 13-1/7” (L x W x H).
Complete Bee Hive Kit, Unpainted, Assembled, Made in the USA
Made in the US by Mann Lake, this 10-frame traditional complete kit features one unpainted 10-frame 9-5/8 inches assembled hive body and a ten 9-1/8-inch assembled wood frames with waxed yellow Rite-Cell foundation.
It has a solid bottom board with an unpainted entrance reducer and telescoping cover with inner cover. Measuring 22-inch length by 18-1/2-inch width by 13-1/7-inch height this hive happens to be made with high-quality pine.
Happybuy H105, 10-Frame (8-Frame Available), Bee Hive
Made with the top-quality pinewood, the H105 features a stylish and beautiful design with easy installation feature.
This Happybuy hive can be compatible with the traditional beehive. This commonly used, safe and convenient hive makes honey collecting easy. Made from high-quality fine wood, the frames can fit seamlessly into any existing beehive house.
Extraction process comes easy both on the bees and the beekeeper. With a clear end-frame view, the honey can be seen when they are ready without opening the hive.
Apimaye 10 Frame Langstroth Insulated Bee Hive Set with Plastic Handy Frames (Plus Orange)
This insulated hive comes from the company called Apimaye and made from food-grade, UV-resistant plastic with anti-static additives.
It features double-layer insulation which helps keep the colony warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Made from plastic, it does not absorb moisture and its active ventilation system resists fungus growth.
This standard Langstroth hive comes with a screened bottom board with pollen trap and drawer.
The assembled hive does not require painting; it’s easy to open, inspect, move or feed the bees and keeps Varroa mites and small hive beetle at bay. Armed with 20 plastic handy frames, this beehive comes handy for both beginners and expert beekeepers.
VIVO Complete Beekeeping 20 Frame Beehive Box Kit (10 Medium, 10 Deep Langstroth Bee Hive (BEE-HV01)
From the stable of VIVO comes the BEE-HV01, a complete 20 frame wood beehive box. As a beginner or professional beekeeper, this hive will help you maintain prosperous colonies. It comes equipped for you to build a Langstroth style hive.
It features an outer telescoping cover with a metal cover, inner cover, medium frame box, 10 medium frames, deep frame box, 10 deep frames, plastic hive excluder, sturdy bottom board, entrance reducer and more.
Ware Manufacturing Home Harvest Bee Hive
Manufactured by Ware Manufacturing, this hive motivates bees to make honey with little or no stress since they build combs naturally. Natural honey providing bees are calmer and require less intervention. Less intervention means little manual labor for the keeper. As a beginner, you will find the hive a great investment.
The hive looks dashing with the functional peaked roof, whitewashed stain finish, and attractive, valuable solid cedar wood structure. This complete hive requires little maintenance and easy to use. It has ventilation control with adjustable airflow and two windows for viewing the hive.
Popsport Beehive Frames 20 x 16 x 10 Inch Beehive Wooden House Wood Honey Bee Hive House for Beekeeping without Auto Flow Honey
This Popsport Beehive was made of top quality pine wood and weighs 31.31 pounds. It has a stylish and elegant outlook; on top of that, it’s safe and convenient. Does not require heavy lifting and makes no mess – inexpensive processing equipment. Installation and removal of this hive require little effort.
If you are starting out with your first colony of bees, pick this Popsport product because among other things it’s practical and durable.
Goodland Bee Supply Complete 3 Tier Beginners Bee Hive Kit – GL3STACK
From the Goodland Bee Supply company comes, the GL3STACK, a beekeeping kit made to allow the beginning beekeepers to start quickly. It has all the necessary features to build a prosperous bee colony. Made from durable kiln-dried pine, the GL3STACK 10 frame Langstroth design come equipped from top to bottom for easy beekeeping.
It comes with a full telescoping hive cover positioned on top of the hive to shade it from weather elements. It also has one inner cover, which creates a dead air space that keeps the hive insulated from heat and cold. With the GL3STACK, beekeeping will be a breeze.
Official Flow Hive Classic Cedar 6 Frame – Langstroth Style Beehive Featuring Our Patented Flow Tech, Suitable for Beginners & Experienced Beekeepers
After well over 10 years of testing and prototypes by a Father and Son beekeepers, the company called Flow Hives came to being.
The drive by two inventors to have an easier way to harvest honey without harming the bees in the process gave birth to the company. The duo developed the Flow Hive patented technology with which they made harvesting honey fastest and easiest.
The Flow hive makes honey extraction seamless with harming the bees. Made in the US with top quality materials and construction, this hive will last-longer. The hive will be ready for harvest when the frame becomes full. To access the honey, remove the key access cap and pure, untouched, unprocessed fresh honey in a matter of minutes.
What Features To Look For When Buying a Beehive Box
Do not just hit the online or offline market shopping for beehive box as a beginner. No. You need some basic knowledge to help your buying decision. The following should be considered before parting with your hard-earned money:
High Honey and Brood Production Feature:
As a starter, go for a hive that maximizes the production of honey and brood (young bees) while minimizing the production of drone (i.e. non-worker male bee. It does not sting nor gather pollen, but exists just to mate with the queen bee).
Easy Honey Harvesting:
When shopping for a hive, ensure you look out for one that makes for easy harvesting of honey. Why should you buy a hive that makes harvesting like manual labor?
Your supposed hive should have features that make the use of standardized equipment and accessories. If your supposed hive makes it easy for you to share hive accessories e.g. brood and honey frames, then you buy it.
Furthermore, the hive should come equipped for ease of addition of more frames in case the bees have used up available frames.
Design of the hive:
The design of the hive you buy should be taken seriously. Consider where you live before buying, some areas are prone to excessive temperatures or other climatic conditions.
For instance, some designs allow bees to have access to the right temperature and ventilation. Make sure you protect your bees from natural elements like rain, cold, temperature changes, wind, snow etc by shopping for the hive the good design.
The best kind of hive makes for smooth working on the hive with minimal disturbance of the bees.
The components with which hives are built differ – various kinds of wood. For best result, go for a hive made with high-quality material.
At times, the need might arise to move your hive from one place to another, for certain reasons. Hence, do not buy a hive that you cannot move conveniently. An easily assembled and disassembled hive will be easier to transport.
This feature should go hand-in-hand with the above point; however, we decide to make it a point nonetheless. What use will it be if you buy a hive that needs a ‘NASA engineer’ to set it up? Meaning, get a hive that you can seamlessly set up, hives with interlinking wooden component should do the trick. Also, the hive must come with a simple step-by-step installation manual.
This point comes at last deliberately, like the saying goes: “cut your coat according to your size.” With all the features mentioned above, if your budget does not cut it, then buying a good one will be a problem. Your budget happens to be a huge determinant factor in what you buy. If you have the financial muscle, then buy the best hive available on the market.
Types of Beehives
After considering the features to look out for when buying a beehive, it becomes imperative for us to discuss the types of beehives available.
As a beginner, knowing the types of beehives available confronts you as the first job. On the other hand, selecting one that suits you best becomes the other job.
There Are Four Types Of Beehives Available And These Include:
The Langstroth Hive:
This type of hive happens to be the most common of the three. Named after its inventor, Reverend L. L. Langstroth; this hive looks like a chest of drawers. The core principle of this hive remained in use for well over 100 years because of its effectiveness.
The hive makes the bees use available spaces – when the space in the hive is too small the bees seal it off with propolis (a waxy substance from buds used as cement by bees). However, if the space becomes too wide, the bees make more honey storage space.
This hive looks more like a mansion, it comes in variations with the stacking of boxes forming part of the hive. The hive features larger lower chambers used as the nursery of the bee colony – the brood. The lower chambers need to be large to supply enough space to populate the colony and keep enough honey for the winter season. It also features a smaller chamber, the upper chambers.
The Long/Horizontal Hive:
This hive was developed from the Langstroth hive but modified to be longer. It looks more like a bungalow kind of structure and ideal for people old people, disabled peoples and those not given to heavy liftings.
On this structure, everything exists on one floor or level. Bees as organized social animals keep the brood near the entrance of the hive and the honey far away into the hive.
This hive type, in many cases, come with an observation window. The window makes checking the bees easy and without disruption of frequent opening.
The Warre Hive:
The Warre (War-ray) was constructed in such a way to look like a hollow tree. A French chief monk, Emile Warre conceived and birthed Warre Hive design to solve the problem of keeping bees with little or no interference. The hive mimics a tree and its square boxes looks slightly looks cylindrical.
Initially, this hive has only bars, which give the bees the liberty to build the comb they want in the way they choose. The bees in this hive build downwards. Unlike the Langstroth that boxes are added above, with the Warre hive, boxes are added below the existing brood boxes. The hive now features a quilt box which aids ventilation and regulating temperature and humidity.
Top Bar Hive:
This hive happens to be the cross between the Warre and the horizontal Langstroth hive. Closely resembles the Warre Hive, the Top Bar Hive looks natural; shaped like a comb. The trapezoid-shaped hive comes flat at the top where they are attached to the roof or ceiling and then narrowed downwards.
Since the top bar hive looks like a comb, the bees seldom attach the comb to the wall of the hive which makes extraction seamless.
How Does A Beehive Work?
For us to know how a beehive works, we must know what the inside of the hive looks like and the roles of the bees on the inside of the hive. The hive, an enclosure where the honey bees lay their young. It’s either you call it an apiary (i.e. a man-made structure) or beehive where the colony lives.
Inside The Beehive
The inside of a beehive looks like comprehensively hexagonal structures consisting of the matrix or network of cells. The cell-matrix or honeycomb hold food i.e. pollen and honey stored by the bees.
Roles In The Beehive
Bees are social animals; they live in a colony with hierarchy, which controls free flowing of the hive. At the top of the structure, we have the queen bee, the leader of the colony. The queen bee has the responsibility of reproducing with the worker bees to produce the drones. As a practice, when a new virgin queen bee emerges, the old queen bee will leave the hive.
The queen has followers called the worker bees. The workers gather pollen and nectar then carry them back to the nest. The worker bees’ responsibilities also include storage of supplies, care of the queen, care of the babies, cleaning and maintaining inside of the hive. In fact, the worker bees ensure the hive runs smoothly, effective reproduction and maximum honey production.
Furthermore, other worker bees have the responsibility of supplying water to and protection to the hive members.
Around early March to mid-July, the swarming takes place, especially once the bee population multiplies. Swarming sites get created to keep the hive from overpopulation. Also, if the queen gets too old or unhappy, she leaves with selected workers which can happen if the hive becomes too hot or too small.
The workers search for new hive location with the period and create new hives and colonies in the process. The affords the existing structure to survive and keep the bees reproducing continually. Thus, make for the normal and efficient functioning of the hive thereby yielding honey throughout the year.
Q: I Want To Enter The World Of Beekeeping; How Do I Find Bees?
A: Getting bees for your hive can take place in three different ways:
- Buy at your local store: You can buy a package of bees from local stores around you. It usually comes containing a thousand bees and a queen. Tipping the package into your brood box then nurture the while the build their colony.
- Catch yourself a swarm: If you are an experienced beekeeper, then you can use this method.
Q: Is Beekeeping Laborious Enterprise?
A: Beekeeping, a physical and outdoor work can be strenuous if you lack the right tools and techniques. With the right tools, just anyone can keep them – even disabled people. There are full-sized, medium and small, whichever one you suit you best, buy!
Q: What Is The Equipment Required By A Beginner To Start?
A: The basic components include bottom board, hive boxes, frames and foundation, an inner cover and an outer cover. You can also buy protective clothing, a hive tool, entrance reducer, winter protection, queen excluders, bee brush, and a smoker.
Q: Will Bees Sting Me? If They Do, What Will I Do?
A: Beekeepers get stung at one point in time. Well, it does not matter if you get stung but what you should learn is how to remove the venom sac and stinger immediately. That can be done effectively by lifting it out with your fingernail or any fine-edged tool. Do not squeeze the venom sac while at it, else it would push the venom into your skin.
Normally, it should be a minor injury like the pain of a needle. It will not leave permanent damage but might cause the skin to swell at the sting area. It often becomes itchy for a few days. You can put ice on the sting area or make a poultice with baking soda.
However, with time, beekeepers tend to build tolerance to stings. Veil your face often because the face being a sensitive place to be stung. Nevertheless, if you are allergic, then totally avoid being stung because it can be fatal.
Now that you have the needed information about beekeeping, go today and buy your first beehive box. Choose from the array of beehive kits explained here using the features explained to pick the best one for you. Honey from bees has medicinal and nutritional value, why not turn your home to honey-producing one.
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