Hello, bee enthusiasts! Today, we're diving into the world of apiculture with an inside look at the Langstroth beehive, the most popular beehive design used by beekeepers worldwide. Let's explore its parts and understand why it's a favorite among beekeeping communities.
1. Hive Stand - This is the base support for your hive. It keeps the hive off the ground, reducing moisture and deterring pests.
2. Bottom Board - Sitting atop the hive stand, the bottom board is the floor of your hive. It comes in two types: a solid board for better insulation and a screened version for improved ventilation.
3. Entrance Reducer - A small piece of wood placed at the hive's entrance to control ventilation and access, it's particularly useful for protecting against robbers and helping maintain the hive's internal temperature.
4. Brood Box (or Deep Super) - This is where the queen bee lays her eggs. The brood box houses frames where bees store honey for feeding the larvae and where the new bees are raised.
5. Frames and Foundation - Inside the brood box and supers, these rectangular frames hold the foundation — a guide for bees to build their comb. They can be made of wood or plastic and are essential for easy honey extraction and hive maintenance.
6. Queen Excluder (optional) - Positioned between the brood box and honey supers, this mesh barrier allows worker bees through to store honey but keeps the larger queen from laying eggs in the honey storage area.
7. Honey Supers (Mediums or Slims) - These are similar to brood boxes but are used primarily for honey storage. Supers come in different depths: shallow or medium.
8. Inner Cover - Placed on top of the uppermost super, the inner cover provides insulation and proper bee space, aiding in temperature control and preventing propolis from gluing the top cover to the supers.
9. Outer Cover - The roof of your hive! It shields your bees from the elements. Options include a telescoping cover that overhangs the sides of the hive, or a migratory cover for those moving hives frequently.
Understanding each part of the Langstroth hive is essential for successful beekeeping. Each component plays a vital role in the life and productivity of your bees. At Waterford Bee Company, we're here to support your beekeeping journey every step of the way!