British Standard Beehives
Naming Hive Parts, and the Make Up of a Hive
From the ground up at right we start with Laura Rooney who has placed
two plastic milk crates on the ground to act as a
stand, on which to build the
rest of the structure.
The Next item is the floor (bottom board in USA).
This is fitted with a removable entrance block.
The brood box is then placed squarely on the floor... The illustration shows the box being placed in position with the frames parallel to the entrance, this is known as warm way, but it does not affect the temperature.
The left hand picture is of Sara Reynolds showing a frame
fitted with beeswax foundation.
There is already one frame installed in the brood box which in this instance is set 'cold way'.
There are many types and styles of frames in use in UK. Most of which are illustrated with dimensions on the page B.S. Frames, another page describes some special frames that are used for disease control or breeding purposes.
The frame that was already in place in the last picture had
been placed in position by Laura Malone after she had demonstrated and
described it in a similar fashion to that which is the subject of the
The onlookers have been edited out of the pictures for simplicity and clarity, you must imagine an audience of two dozen school children.
Here we can see the queen excluder being positioned on the
top of the brood box. The leftmost picture is Éadaoin Carroll with the
one in the other picture being placed by Tracey Marrett.
Queen excluders are of many types and construction, the one used in the picture is a wire type excluder manufactured by the Herzog company.
Other types of excluder can be seen on the Queen Excluder Types page.
Next in sequence is the
shallow box or honey super,
here one is being positioned on top of the queen excluder by Claire Travers.
The placement of shallow frames in the super is not illustrated but takes a similar form to insertion of brood frames discussed earlier.
One super is shown, but in practice a colony may need many such shallow boxes to contain the honey crop.
The leftmost picture below indicates that a couple of shallow frames were demonstrated and placed in position.
The next stage is usually the addition of a
crown board (also known as
a 'coverboard' or in USA an 'inner cover').
In this case an alternative is being demonstrated and shown by Una Rogers and Robyn Finlay. This is a glass quilt and the term stems from a time when it was common to use cloth quilts or burlap sacking to close off the top of a hive.
The glass quilt shown here has two panes of glass with a central wooden strap that has a feed hole bored in it. There is another, less common, type that has a single pane of glass that has had a feed hole cut in it's centre. Perspex (Plexiglas) can also be used as well as various double glazing materials.
To cap our hive we use a
roof, which our American cousins
refer to as an 'outer cover'. The two pictures are of Stephanie
Larkin carrying the roof and Rachel Gorman having placed one in position.
The main function of the roof is weather protection. It is sometimes known simply as a 'lid'.
There are a few other parts to bee hives that have not been covered on this page, they can be accessed via British Standard Beehives.
Written... 16-19, 31 May 2002