The structure or home in which Honeybees live and reproduce is called the beehive. Beehives can be both man made i.e. domestic and naturally made by bees in their natural habitat. Man made domestic beehives are also called apiaries. The most vital building material of beehives is wax. It is best to describe a beehive as a hexagonal house of bees. Another interesting name for these shelters is ‘honeycomb’. Bees use their honeycomb to store honey and food. Let us check out the two types of bee hives.
The natural Bee hives are composed of many Honeycombs. Each honeycomb is placed parallel to the other and is equally spaced. The beehive is placed a few meters above the ground and has a single entry point which is generally below the beehive. The nests are about 300 meters apart from the parent colony and each nest on a tree is used for many years until destroyed. Honeybees do not have a particular preference for a single tree. Honey and pollen is stored on the upper part of the comb and below it are the worker and drone brooding cells. Cavities are layered by a plant resin called Propolis.
Man made beehives are of several types. They are generally either movable or fixed. Langstroth’s beehive is one of the first beehives in which one could check each hive without disturbing the bees. It was made of movable frames and each frame could be checked for peculiarities, if any. Various shapes and sizes of hives are now available like Segeberger Beute, Normalmass and Frankenbeute of Germany, Langstroth hive, Modified Commercial and Modified Dadan. British Modified National Hive is used in Britain.
Hives should be taken care of and proper feeding should be done. Most colonies die because of starvation, therefore for proper beekeeping you need to take proper care of the bees and the hive.