Home » Get Started » Which Hive?

Which Hive?

 

Which Hive?

There is a bewildering selection of hive types to choose from.  How do you decide which one is right for you, especially if you are a Beginner?

In the East Devon area there are mainly four types of hive in use by hobbyist beekeepers, and as you are more likely to obtain bees on frames from one of them we will consider these four types.

They are:   National,   National 14 x 12,   WBC,   Commercial

There are a few beekeepers in the East Devon area who have moved away from the complexity of the National hive construction but who still wish to retain the same brood area as a National. The Smith hive fulfils these criteria.

The Langstroth, Jumbo Langstroth and the Dadant hives are of North American origin and have been through a number of changes and modifications since their inception in the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. They now use frames of the same width and the Jumbo Langstroth frame will fit a Dadant brood chamber but the hive cross sections are different and Dadant hives often have wider brood frame spacing. The majority of hives are top bee space but there are regional differences, for example the Buckfast Dadant is bottom bee space.

These pages describe some newer types of hive which are based on the National 14 x 12 frame.

They are:  Dartington Long Deep Hive,   Omlet Beehaus

These hives have been designed for a variety of reasons which are outlined in the text. They are also made with modern materials unlike traditional wooden hives.

Top bar hives take many forms and their origins date back hundreds of years. The Warré hive is a top bar hive, usually referred to as ‘The People’s Hive’ in France where it was designed by Abbé Émile Warré (1867 – 1951) and described in his book Beekeeping for All.

As the hive does not use conventional frames like the other hives described so far the calculation of the number of cells available for brood in each hive box is approximate.

The original Kenyan top bar hive was introduced by the ‘Bees for Development’ programme and designed to be easily constructed with cheap local materials by beekeepers in Kenya and other African countries.

Traditional Long Hives are represented here by the Leyens Hive, introduced by George de Leyens and described in his 1897 book ‘Keeping Bees in Horizontal Hives’. It uses large frames all on one level, similar to the Dartington and Beehaus hives, but differs in management techniques. The hive is enjoying a revival in the USA and Spain.

Click on the sub-page links at top or bottom of this page to find out more about each type of hive.

 

News & Events

US beekeepers sue over imports of fake
asian honey.

Read the article HERE.

Marks and Spencer project threat to honeybee diversity?

Good thing or bad thing? You decide. Read the article HERE.

Liquid gold: beekeepers defying Yemen war to produce the best honey

Read the article HERE.

Fungus creates fake fragrant flowers to fool bees

Fungi have been discovered making fake flowers that look and even smell like the real thing, fooling bees and other pollinating insects into visiting them.

Read the article HERE.

Spiders Can Fly Hundreds of Miles Using Electricity

Scientists are finally starting to understand the centuries-old mystery of “ballooning.”

Read the secrets HERE

Making a beeline: wildflower paths across UK could save species

Conservation charity aims to help restore 150,000 hectares of bee-friendly corridors to save the insects from extinction.

Read the article HERE.

Bees force plants to flower early by cutting holes in their leaves
Hungry bumblebees can coax plants into flowering and making pollen up to a month earlier than usual by punching holes in their leaves.
Bees normally come out of hibernation in early spring to feast on the pollen of newly blooming flowers. However, they sometimes emerge too early and find that plants are still flowerless and devoid of pollen, which means the bees starve.
Read the article HERE.
Pesticide made from spider venom kills pests without harming bees
Funnel-web spiders have neurotoxins in their bite that can kill an adult human yet they might turn out to be our allies if the small hive beetle ever reaches the UK.
Scientists at the University of Durham and Fera Science think the spiders may provide the weapon we need to stop the beetles.
The spider venom contains a cocktail of ingredients and one of them – Hv1a – is toxic to most insects, including the small hive beetle, but does not seem to affect bees or humans.
Hv1a needs to be injected to be effective. Just swallowing the toxin is ineffective as it is degraded in their gut. To get round this the team have bound Hv1a to a molecule from the common snowdrop which effectively carries it through the gut barrier.
In the laboratory the team fed the “fusion protein” in a sugar solution to beetles and their larvae. Within a week, all the beetles and larvae were dead.
Next step was to put beetle eggs on bee comb with brood, and spray with the compound. The honeycomb and bees survived virtually untouched, but most of the new beetle larvae died.