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Building a Beehive From the Ground Up

So you’ve decided to become a beekeeper? Awesome! Well, you are going to have to do some basic things first. Like, build a beehive. Some suppliers may sell these in kits, however, for the sake of assuming that you want to do this all on your own, let us go over it piece by piece.

The most common type used is the Langstroth beehive. Its basic parts include the bottom board, supers, frames, and covers. Beekeeping in New England includes a long winter and the hive must be built to sustain enough wax, honey, and baby bees to make it through.

Piece by Piece

  • The Hive Stand: Your hive needs to be 18-24 inches off the ground. It can be cinder blocks and treated wood or even just pallets. It should provide ventilation and needs to be level.
  • Bottom Board: This is what forms the bottom of your hive. It can be screened, slatted, or solid. Screened helps with ventilation and pest control.
  • Entrance Reducer: This is exactly what it sounds like. It is a small piece, preferably metal, that fits between the bottom board and the first deep super. It is meant to keep robbers and mice out of the hive.
  • Slatted Rack: This is optional but can be put in next for the sake of extra movement space and ventilation. It also helps keep the hive cool in the summer.
  • Supers: These are separate boxes each used for different things. Some deeper than others. The deeper ones are used to hold the brood (babies) while the shallower supers will hold wax and honey. Honey can be very heavy, thus the use of the more shallow super.
  • Foundations: These are made of wax and wire. The bees use them as an example of how to build their own cells to fill with wax, honey, and brood.
  • Frames: Frames are a rectangle and hold the foundations. These are what you use to pull the honeycomb out of the hive.
  • Queen Excluder: This too is optional. It has smaller holes so that the worker bees can move throughout the hive but the queen bee cannot get into the super that holds the honey and lay eggs there.
  • Inner Cover: The inner cover sits on top of the uppermost super. It has a side hole for bees to enter the hive and another hole on the top.
  • Outer Cover: The most common is the telescoping, it fits over the inner cover and hangs down over the upper super. This design makes it more weather resistant which can be very useful in New England weather.

So now you’ve built your hive! As you learn more you may want to investigate adding other parts or changing your configuration to suit your own needs, but it’s good to start with the basics. At Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham, we think the tried and true methods are a good way to start. The continuous efforts to maintain and build our bee population is important on a global scale. We are proud to help support the local beekeepers’efforts. We also maintain that protection of the bee is important to us within our treatment services and our technicians are trained to be kind to bees. We’d love to tell you more about it while we are scheduling your tick and mosquito control treatment plans with us. 

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