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National Hive

National

The National hive, sometimes called the British Standard National (but British Standard no longer exists) or Modified National. This single walled hive is widely used by beginners as it has long lugs on the frames which make the frames easier to handle. The brood box takes 11 frames 14” wide by 8½” high. It is most convenient to adopt a self spacing Hoffman frame and take up the space left in the brood box with a dummy board.

HIVE DATA NATIONAL NATIONAL 14×12 W B C COMMERCIAL
Brood frame 14″ x 8½” 14″ x 12″ 14″ x 8½” 16″ x 10″
Super frame 14″ x 5½” 14″ x 5½” 14″ x 5½” 16″ x 6″
Frames / brood box 11 11 10 12
Cells / brood box 54,000 80,000 49,000 80,000
Lug length 1½” 1½” 1½” 5/8″

This amount of comb is adequate for a moderately strong colony but not sufficient for a very prolific colony. However, you can always use two brood boxes, which may make colony inspections more difficult but provides more convenience for swarm control and other hive manipulations.

Alternatively you could use a ‘brood and a half’, that is, a brood box plus a super used for brood (not recommended as the two frame sizes are not interchangeable) or you could upgrade to 14” x 12”, a Deep National. The extra depth yields a comb area similar to a Commercial (see 14 x 12 and Commercial pages).

This model of hive therefore has plenty of options to suit your beekeeping.

Nationals usually have a flat roof which can be turned upside down and used to rest hive parts on. The hive is square so hive boxes can be warm way or cold way, i.e. frames sit parallel (warm way) or at right angles (cold way) to the entrance.

The majority of National hives are bottom bee space but they can be manufactured with top bee space.

Diagram of National hive
The National hive

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