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What is a Bee Box?
A Bee Box is a craftable Structure that uses Bees to accumulate Honey that can be harvested. Today’s bee boxes are designed to keep the bee colony healthy and to make it easy for a beekeeper to take out honey without disturbing bees too much. Finding the right bee box can be hard work, but in the end, it is worth it. Good quality bee box will last longer, and your bees will love it
A honey bee box is made up of a hive stand, bottom board, hive bodies (brooder), smaller boxes called honey supers, and a cover. The lower hive body is separated from the supers above by an excluder.
First, a note about supers: The word “super” is short for “superstructure” and it refers to a box that goes on top of the regular colony. It usually refers to the boxes in which honey is stored. However, lots of people use the word “super” for any of the boxes.
Choosing Bee Hive Boxes – what to consider?
Before you commit your hard-earned cash to the purchase of a bee box, consider these:
Does the hive allow the use of standardized equipment and accessories? Having one that allows you to share hive accessories such as brood and honey frames can be a plus. It should also be easy to add more frames when the bees have fully utilized available frames.
A good one should make it easy to harvest the honey.
An ideal beehive makes it easy to work on the hive with little disturbance of the bees.
Choose a hive that inhibits drone production and maximizes the production of honey and brood.
The bee hive box chosen should have a design that provides your bees with the right temperature and aeration. The bees should be well protected from elements of nature such as rain, cold, and temperature changes.
Features of Bee Hive Boxes
This is the stand that lifts the hive off the ground, and may have an angled landing board for the bees. While you don’t need a technical ‘hive stand’, you will need a stand of sorts to prop your super off the ground. A small table or bench built to fit your honey bee box will work, if you’re looking for a home-made substitution.
This is the flat piece of wood that serves as the base for your beehive. The bottom board can either be solid or screened, the only difference being that screened bottom boards are better at keeping out pests and have an added bit of ventilation. Your bees will come and go from an entrance in the bottom board.
An entrance reducer is a small piece of wood used to adjust the size of the hive’s entrance and controls ventilation and temperature during cooler months. They are used more frequently during the winter months when other animals, such as mice, will try to enter the hive for warmth. During the summer, especially at the height of nectar flow, you can remove it to maximize honey production.
This is a flat panel of wood that is crossed by other small strips of wood, forming a flat rack. It is layered between the bottom board and the brood chamber, to provide ventilation, make access of the brood chamber easier, and prevent the bees from forming ladder comb. A slatted rack is an optional addition to your box, but it is well worth adding if you’re able.
Hive Bodies/Deep Super:
The deep super is the large box that the bees build their hive into. This is the place where the eggs are laid and the brood is raised. Each deep super comes with either 8 or 10 frames. You can have two deep hive bodies (one for the brood or family, one for the food) and then continue with the honey supers. In cold weather locations, a bee colony can survive with only one deep hive body
These are the frames that are individually inserted into the deep super. The frames hold foundation, which is the wax and wire base that the bees use to start their own wax building. You will need 8-10 deep superframes, depending on the size of your deep super.
The queen bee isn’t involved with the actual production of honey, so you place the queen excluder between the brood and honey production. This is a flat rack that has small holes for the worker bees to use, but which are too small for the queen to use. Excluders come in plastic or metal.
This is where the surplus honey is collected. This is a large box placed on top of the deep super, with the queen excluder sandwiched between the two. You need to leave the honey in the deep hive bodies for the bees to survive. Supers are identical in design to the deep hive bodies but are slightly shallower. It is normally easiest to work with shallow or medium-sized honey supers, otherwise it can become too heavy to lift the box full of honey. You’ll only need one honey super during your first season of beekeeping but can add two or three for the upcoming seasons.
Honey superframes are panels of wood or plastic that are inserted vertically into the honey super. These are where the bees build their wax and honey and can be removed from the super. You can easily inspect and work on the frames because they’re removable. Frames are either ‘shallow’ or ‘medium’ to match the size of the honey super you are using, and have a foundation similar to that in deep superframes.
The inner cover is a tray with a hole and small notch used for ventilation. Screened inner covers have gained popularity because they provide great ventilation with no fuss. Inner covers have two sides – one for fall/winter, and one for spring/summer.
Just like the roof on your house, the outer cover is used to keep adverse weather conditions from interfering with your bee box. You can extend the life of your hive by attaching a weatherproof material like aluminum flashing to the top of the roof
Beehive box for sale
There are many bee boxes for sale, and it might be hard to choose which one to get, for both beginner and experienced beekeepers .The bee hive boxes you choose will hugely affect your potential for growth as a beekeeper. The best bee hive boxes for sale above each offer great features, benefits, and price for cheap bee boxes. Check all of them and decide what is the best option for you and your obligations
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