Sunday, May 29, 2011

From the ground up

Last week my bees were bearding, which means they were hanging out on the outside of the hive. Being new to all of this I didn't know what to make of it so I looked online and found that bees will do this for a number of reasons. Maybe they are hot or it's humid in the hive or possibly they are getting ready to swarm. So I ordered another hive just in case. I was planning on getting another hive this fall anyway so I just got one early

I thought today I'd start photographing the pieces of my hive and assembling them for the benefit of my followers that don't have bees.

This is the hives stand. I'm putting my hive on cinder blocks so I don't really need this but I think it makes the hive look complete. It's only real purpose is to get the hive up off the ground.

This is the screened bottom board. Some bottom boards are solid this one allows for ventilation and allow debris to fall through. The white board you see has a grid printed on it. That's for checking for Verroa mites. The Grid helps you keep track of where you have looked

Here's the bottom board on the the hive stand.

This is a super. It's just a box with no top or bottom.

This is a frame. There are several types and sizes of frames but you match the size to the size of your super. I have medium supers.

This is foundation. I'm using pure beeswax foundation but there are plastic frames and foundation. The black lines you see are wires imbedded in the wax for support.

See how thin the foundation is?

Here's the foundation in the frame. The foundation has the hexagonal shape of the comb cells embossed into it just to give the bees a start. I'm not sure why it's made like that bees already know how to make that shape.

This is a super with the frames in it. I'm using 8 frame supers. Some beekeepers use 10 frame supers.

Here's the super on the bottom board. If I were actually setting up this hive I would put another super with frames on. One for brood and one for honey. Then add another later when the bees had drown out and capped most of the cells.

This is the top board. Think of this as the ceiling of the hive. Notice the notch in the back? That's for ventilation if needed. I can slide the top forward or back to open or close this.

The top board in place.

This is the top to my hive notice it has a ceiling built into it? Most hives just have a flat top. Mine are english garden style so they have the pitched copper top.

This is it all put together. Again if I were actually setting this up I'd have a second super on it.


  1. Thanks for going step by step. Makes more sense to me now.

  2. That is really neat! I'm so glad you are enjoying this!