No not the hairstyle - carrying on with my bee theme, we now look at the hive. A hive has detachable sections and is exactly like the tiers found in a natural hive but this way you can easily control everything in your hive. So starting from the bottom here is what your hive has;
1. Hive stand - This elevates your hive off the ground which helps on your inspections and also helps with ventilation and also security from unwanted intruders.
2. Bottom Board - This is the base of your hive, there is the entrance/exit for your bees and in here you also will collect any debris and you'll be able to find out if there are any mites or diseases so regular checks of this board are vital.
3. Deep Super - Or otherwise known as the brood box. This the nest where the Queen lays her eggs and the workers will rear the brood.
4. Queen excluder - Placed over the brood box to keep the queen from entering the honey stores. Without the queen excluder the queen would move up and lay her brood. The excluder is big enough for the worker bees to get through but the queen bee cannot fit through.
5. Shallow Super - Not as deep as the brood box but this is placed over the queen excluder. This is fitted with frames, fitted with wax foundation. Once the honey flow increases you can add extra Shallow Supers so that your bees have more to expand into.
6. Inner Cover - This covers the Shallow Super and will have some slots for the feeders for the winter months.
7. Outer Cover - Otherwise known as the roof. This makes the hive waterproof. There is often a metal top which helps to keep the hive warm.
Our hive was bought made but several people choose to build their own although I have heard many stories of this going wrong and people forgetting that the frames will need somewhere square to fit into!
Our queen bee has now emerged from the cell and is now in the excluder so our hive is currently as it should be(e). I've had a few turns at examining the hive and as yet still no stings but I admit I am overly cautious! As I've mentioned my beehive is a community hive as I'm still learning and there is always an experienced beekeeper with us when any of our learning group go. I think this is the best way to learn and could not have done this by just reading books.
I'll take a break from the bee blogs for a bit as I've much still to learn but will follow up the series with the next part being about Inspecting the hive once I've learnt it :-)