Beehive is a natural or human construct (called "Natural Blister" and "Artificial Blossom"), in which bees live. Natural hives typically consist of tree trunks, rock openings or other small natural cavities. Artificial hives are mostly wooden, while in recent years plastic honeycombs and polyurethane cells have been manufactured. The hives are internally made of wooden frames with honeycombs, parallel hexagonal structures, hollow inside and made of wax, which constitute their skeleton. Inside the honeycombs the queen gives birth to the eggs and there grows bee larvae and stores nutrients such as honey and pollen. Artificial hives are designed to harness bees for their honey, candle and other products.
Types of bee hives
Throughout the world, hundreds of years of cell types have been used. The need for uniformity between a beekeeper's honey is self-evident. It is also important to have uniformity in the dimensions of hives in beekeepers in a geographical area (eg a country) in order to facilitate the purchase of beehives. So, over the years, two types of hives have prevailed worldwide: the Dadant blister and the Langstroth hive. In both cells, which will be described below, the space between the honeycomb honeycomb frames should be strictly 6-9mm. If smaller, the bees form "bridges" and weld the frames, which are then exported with difficulty. If the space is greater than 9cm, the bees limit their space to their honeycomb.
Dadant Blister: It is the hive used in the most Western world, but also in America. A Dadant blister contains 10 frames, 37mm from center to center, and internal dimensions 27X42cm. During the development of the bee in the spring, and during the collection of honey later, another floor is added (the so-called beehive, floor or mall), but with a lower height (17cm) with shorter frames. Bees store the honey. The Dadant blister can take more than one beehive.
Langstroth Blister (commonly known as "Standard"): It is less common in the world, but it was established in the middle of the 21st century in Greece, because in our country beekeeping is nomadic and honeycombs of this type are easier to transport. It consists of the mobile base (or the base can be nailed, and so the first floor is called embryo or bumpy), two or more floors (here there is no different in size) and lid. In Australia, the Australian cap is used because of the ease of attaching fasteners and transporting bees without opening the hive. The outside dimensions of the cell are 51cm deep (side view), 42cm wide (front view) and 24.5cm high. The frames used are Hoffman type, with 3 holes laterally, and 448X232mm, 35mm from center to center.
Material of beehive
As mentioned above, depending on their construction, they are distinguished in wooden and plastic. Honeybees remain all year long in adverse weather conditions (cold, humidity, sun), so their materials must be excellent, and there should be adequate maintenance after years.
Wooden Blister: Wood is the most widely used material for making hives worldwide, and so is the case in Greece. Particularly in our country, fir wood is preferred, as the best for the construction of hives and then the lime tree. For the construction of the frames usually used pine wood, as lighter and economical. If the construction wood is of excellent quality and dry, with proper maintenance and initial preparation by the beekeeper, the hive can last up to 20-30 years. Benefits of a wooden hive: - natural material, tested for many years by beekeepers around the world - possibility of easy conversions - possibility of maintenance after many years of wear - economical solution, which can be done by the beekeeper - uniformity of material as most Beekeepers. Disadvantages of woody cell - as a natural material, it keeps moisture, which does not benefit bees - due to its moisture increase its weight after rain, which impedes transport - small differences in the dimensions according to the manufacturer often cause problems of adjustment and non-uniformity - require Maintenance (dyeing, disinfection with a burner, etc.) costing economically but also in time.
Plastic honeycomb: In the last 5 years the plastic hives have also appeared in the Greek market. They are lighter, maintenance-free and already in North Europe they have been in circulation for many years