Honey bees can be successfully raised in any type of hive, regardless of size, shape, or material; however, all of these hives must be hollow and elevated to properly allow honeybees to make their honeycombs and make it easier when you are harvesting the honey. Depending on how strong you are and how you prefer to harvest honey, there is a different hive type that is best suited for your needs. Therefore, the following gives a brief description on the different types of hives and who each hive may be best for.
Top Bar Hive
Generally, due to the way these hives are constructed and shaped, these hives often weigh less than 40 pounds, making it easier to carry and transport from place to place. Because these hives are frameless, honeycombs form on removable bars, making it easier to harvest honeycombs quickly.
However, a downside to this type of hive is that it requires frequent checkups and maintenance to ensure that the honey is being formed properly and that the bees are comfortable. Another downside is that these bar hives, due to their smaller size, can only accommodate a smaller number of bees.
This is another frameless type of hive, but rather than being horizontal like the Top Bar, the Warre Hive is stacked horizontally. What’s great about this type of hive is that it requires very minimal supervision or maintenance, as the edges of the hive are properly suited in guiding bees to form perfect honeycombs that are easy to harvest. The smaller size, however, like the Top Bar, only accommodates a lesser number of bees so the formation of honeycomb may take longer.
These hives can also be fitted with observation windows in case you do want to check up on your bees regularly, but this is not required.
The Langstroth hive is probably the heaviest of the three types of hives mentioned so far. The reason for this is because they both accommodate a great number of bees as well as hold an immense number of honeycomb.
Even though this hive is large, it requires very little maintenance due to the shape and structure of the hive. However, if you do want to observe your hive through a window from time to time, you’ll be disappointed. Due to the shape of the hive, an observation window is impractical and therefore cannot be fitted on.
All of the hives mentioned have a hollow interior, which is an absolute must in order for honeybees to make a colony in the hive. These hives also have a natural shaping that makes it easier for honey bees to make honeycombs to store both honey as well as larva. Depending on your needs, whether you want many honey bees or just a small amount, and whether you want to constantly observe your bees’ progress, there is a different hive that is perfect or you.
This post was sponsored by the tree service Wichita, KS trusts – Wichita Tree. Thank you for your continued support of safe bee-keeping practices!