The person-made dwelling of a honey bee colony known as a beehive. Inside this construction every colony carries on day by day life and prepares for the chilly Winter months forward. Bees are born, bees die and hopefully the colony prospers. In america, sq. containers stacked vertically are the most typical hive type. Nevertheless, horizontal beehives are additionally favored by some beekeepers. Why do some beekeepers really feel that these are the only option for his or her colonies?
Honey Bees in Vertical or Horizontal Hives
Bees do the identical factor whatever the orientation of their nest. To know the wants of bees, we should think about their way of life. Wild colonies reside in hole timber and different cavities – although some individuals nonetheless think about this to be a beehive. The bees are simply doing their very own factor with none human intervention.
The comb sheets discovered inside a honey bee colony include thousand of hexagonal beeswax cells. This makes up the construction of the bees’ nest and is important to retailer all of the sources wanted by the colony.
Bees are laborious employees and do a terrific job of constructing honey from plant nectar. Most often, beekeepers are in a position to harvest the surplus honey with out harming the colony’s likelihood of survival.
A colony could make a house inside any cavity of the appropriate dimension. If they don’t seem to be pleased with the association, they are going to go away the hive and search for higher lodging.
Normal Langstroth Hive
Essentially the most generally used kind of beehive in america is the Langstroth Hive. Developed by Rev L Langstroth within the mid 1800’s, it’s comprised of a number of sq. containers of various heights.
Beekeepers add extra containers because the colony grows and desires more room. A Langstroth hive can get fairly heavy and tall by the top of the season.
Inside every of the containers, picket frames maintain sheets of beeswax basis. These function a information to encourage the bees to construct out comb contained in the frames. When accomplished correctly, the beekeeper is ready to take away the frames and examine the colony for illness or different issues.
These hives are in a position to maintain massive colonies and are straightforward to stack and transport. This makes them a favourite of honey producers and migratory beekeepers.
Forms of Horizontal Beehives
In some elements of the world, different hive types are widespread. One instance is the usage of horizontal hives. Not like the vertical Langstroth, a horizontal hive is designed to permit the colony to broaden horizontally as an alternative of up.
There are a number of various kinds of horizontal hives in use in the present day. These three are the most typical.
- Prime Bar
- Lengthy Langstroth
Additionally, generally known as the KenyanTop Bar hive, they’ve been used for hundreds of years in undeveloped nations. They’re nonetheless used in the present day. In a location the place precision carpentry instruments and ability could also be missing, they’re straightforward to construct. The highest bar hive may be put collectively utilizing supplies regionally out there.
As a substitute of rectangular wooden frames, this hive makes use of high bars solely. The honey bees construct comb from the highest bar down. A beekeeper can nonetheless take away the frames for inspection however the comb shouldn’t be as sturdy. Care should be taken to keep away from breaking the honeycomb.
Horizontal (Lengthy) Langstroth Hives
The “Lengthy Langs” give a beekeeper a little bit of the most effective of each worlds. As a substitute of sq. containers in a stack, one lengthy field holds the colony. Top-of-the-line options of the lengthy Langstroth hive is that it makes use of regulation deep hive frames. They may even match into commonplace hive containers.
That is nice as a result of it permits straightforward manipulation of the brood nest throughout hive inspections. It’s also straightforward to share frames between different hives as a result of every thing is a uniform dimension.
Georges de Layens is a number one authority on beekeeping in Europe. He approaches beekeeping from a sustainable superb that focuses on utilizing native bees and a sure hive type. His hive holds 20 massive layens frames (13″ x 16″). His technique is printed in his ebook – Protecting Bees in Horizontal Hives.
It includes a minimalist method to hive administration and could be very attention-grabbing. Nevertheless, it is very important be aware – he’s utilizing native survivor bee inventory – not bees which are bought in bulk from suppliers.
It’s straightforward to see that there are some particular benefits to utilizing horizontal beehives in your apiary. Some beekeepers really feel this can be a extra pure method to honey bee administration. Different benefits embody:
- No heavy containers to carry
- Basis is optionally available
- Much less tools to retailer
Bins (additionally known as “supers”) of honey can get very heavy. A full field can simply weigh between 50 – 100 kilos. This heavy lifting is tough for some beekeepers. Not having to maneuver heavy containers for hive inspections is an enormous plus.
Some hives of this sort enable the bees to construct comb from supporting high bars. No basis is installed to function a information. This protects the beekeeper money and time.
With a typical beehive, the additional containers (honey supers) are faraway from the hive at harvest. These should be saved someplace till the following season. An extended hive doesn’t usually have honey supers.
No trendy hive is ideal and even lengthy hives have some drawbacks and drawbacks.
- Elevated frequency of inspections
- Harvesting honey shouldn’t be as straightforward
- No queen excluder wanted
- Tougher to maneuver the entire hive – heavy
Due to the format of the brood nest, horizontal hives usually require extra frequent inspections. That is primarily to make sure that the queen has room to put and discourage the swarming impulse.
If the colony is feeling crowded, it’s harder to maneuver sideways previous massive frames of honey. Beekeepers with horizontal hives assist the bees by monitoring for crowded circumstances.
In lots of apiaries, honey is harvested in small frames. They weigh much less and are straightforward to deal with. After honey extraction, the empty wax comb is usually saved for the colony to make use of once more.
In horizontal hives that solely use high bars, extraction shouldn’t be doable. The beekeeper should use the lower and pressure technique and the colony should rebuild the entire honeycomb every season. No queen excluder is used which is perhaps an excellent factor however this implies you’ll have extra bee brood in your honey.
On a regular basis duties within the bee yard are simpler for the horizontal hive beekeeper. No transferring heavy containers to look contained in the one under. Nevertheless, if you need to transfer the entire hive – it cannot be damaged aside into a number of items. The hive as an entire is heavy!
Horizontal Vs. Vertical Beehives
Everybody needs solely the most effective hives for his or her bees. Within the argument for horizontal vs vertical beehives, which one is finest?
As with most issues associated to conserving honey bees, I don’t assume there’s a clear reply. To a level, it will depend on your beekeeping objectives. In case your foremost goal of conserving bees is to provide honey, stick with the normal Langstroth hives. Honey manufacturing is far simpler to manage in the usual arrange.
For these serious about having bees for enjoyable or backyard pollination, both kind of hive works properly. There are beekeepers who strongly really feel that the horizontal hive is extra pure. I’m unsure I fully agree as a consequence of the truth that bees in timber construct up and down – not out and again.
Nevertheless, I can see some sturdy benefits to this technique of beekeeping. If the beekeeper is as much as the problem of extra hands-on administration.
For brand new beekeepers, I advisable staying with the business commonplace Langstroth hive for a few seasons. Then it’s possible you’ll determine to experiment with different varieties of hive administration. Until you’ve got a neighborhood fingers on mentor (acquainted with lengthy hives), it’s a more durable journey to go alone.