New beekeepers can find themselves intimidated with new terminology and all the parts that come along with beekeeping. Some of them can be self explanatory and some look like an alien contraption. We always strongly recommend taking a beekeeping course or getting a mentor so that you’re introduced to the new terms and equipment you will be expected to use. However, for those of you that want to jump in, here’s a brief overview of the essential parts that go into the house of your bee colony living in a Langstroth hive.
Solid bottom boards are like natural hive enclosures hence beekeepers are able to replicate this easier. The solid bottom board also seals the bottom of your hive from the outside elements.
Screened Bottom Board
This bottom board can come in two varieties: plain screened or with a drawer. Screened bottom board is an excellent way to provide your colony with ventilation during the hot summer months. However, once it cools down in the fall, we strongly suggest switching to a solid bottom board. Screened bottom board with drawer can be used with assisting in varroa mite treatments by implementing a sticky board.
Just as the name suggests, an entrance reducer is used to make the entrance smaller or bigger. This equipment is used to manage the amount of air flow that comes through your hive. If you live in a colder climate this will help with keeping the heat inside.
There are two different types of boxes you will find commonly used: deep and medium. The deep boxes are used as a building block for the house your colony will live in. For a more experienced beekeeper or someone who wants to get the most out of their honey flow they will also use deep boxes. However, for beekeepers that are looking to not lift heavy boxes, medium boxes will be used. The medium boxes are used for nothing else except for collecting honey.
Frames play an important part in organizing your hive. They will hold the colony, brood, and honey. Without the frames bees will build the comb however they like, creating a mess for the beekeeper. There are different sizes of frames and should be used according to the type of box you’re using. Frames are reusable and can be used for a few years before they should be retired.
Can be made of plastic or metal, this is a perforated barrier that is placed between the brood boxes and the honey boxes. Only to be used to separate the queen from the honey boxes so that she does not lay eggs in the honey frames.
Inner cover is mostly used when feeding your bees. The cut out on the inner cover is used for bucket feeders to go overtop of. Inner cover can also be used to prevent bees from propolizing the telescoping lid/top cover.
The telescoping lid helps to protect your colony from the outside elements such as rain and snow. The lid extends over the sides of the beehive. This is the recommended lid for most beekeepers especially if you live in an area where there’s cold winters.
Now that you’re more familiar with what each part does for the beehive, you’re ready to tackle our starter kits. If you feel like you need more information, check out our beginner beekeeping course: The Basics of Beekeeping.
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