What are the Different Types of Beehives
Although beehives were originally created only by bees, humans have found ways to make
artificial ones to acquire both honey and beeswax. There are several models available made from country to country.
You have to understand the roles of each bee to build the right structure that will cater to the needs of the
entire colony. Different types of beehives may be made, depending on the purpose of the beekeepers.
The Traditional Type
Traditional beehives are created in the most direct way. The bees are simply enclosed without any thought about
the internal structure. The bees begin constructing by themselves in the allotted space where the comb can be made.
In this kind of setup, if you remove the comb, you will most likely destroy it since it is connected in a
fixed-frame way to the enclosure. Harvesting is generally done by destroying the hive, compared to the modern
beehive wherein removable frames and structures are given to harvest more easily.
Traditional methods involve baskets positioned over the hive for bees to fill it with honey.
These are replaced after some time by boxes of various sizes. During traditional methods of harvesting, the hives
are taken by compressing or crushing the honeycomb, although the approach leads to more beeswax compared to
Currently, the fixed-frame kinds or traditional beehive is no longer done. These are banned in some nations as
well, since these can be very unhygienic. Bees are not checked for diseases and parasites can destroy the colony as
Basic Traditional Kinds
Skeps are a type of hive created from baskets. These usually have one entrance point at the bottom part for
bees, with no internal structure. The basket limits the ability to check the sanitation of the bees inside. When
harvesting, the entire hive is destroyed and the bees, either driven away or killed.
Hives are generally made of clay and began from Egypt and the Mediterranean. Long clay cylinders are usually
stacked in uniform rows. Harvesting is done by smoking the clay jars and driving away the bees from the hives. The
bee gums are found in hollow gum trees. Sticks are connected to the honeycombs to easily pull out the bees during
harvest period. Bees are usually killed by sulphuring. A container full of burning sulphur is inserted into the
hollow entrance to kill the bees.
The Modern Type
Modern beehives are created from rectangular and square boxes that have good ventilation and not limited by
floors and ceilings. The frames of the hive are hung in a parallel manner, with materials and sizes used mainly
based on the weather conditions that the bees are in. A bigger frame and hives are suggested to properly store the
bee food during cold season.
Langsroth hives are characterized by the removable frames that allow people to pull and inspect these to check
for potential infection of parasites and other diseases. It is very easy for the beekeeper to take out and divide
the hives into the next colony for them to reproduce. The thin rectangular creations are created using the wax
placed inside for the bees to begin with. Wires reinforce the structure, keeping it stable when extracting honey
without harming the bees. Langsroth hives can be reused and can boost the production of honey.
Top Bar Hives
Top bar hives are very simple and cost-effective to make. These are among the most common because of the solid
feature. To bar hives follow the same means of removable frames and providing enough space for the bees. Bees
create honey by staying along the top bars set up. The top bar can be located since it freely hangs. The hive does
not have a foundation compared to the Langsroth. After every harvest, the bees need to rebuild the combs. More
beeswax is provided compared to honey with this type.
Observation hives are another type but are not usually used for productive beekeeping. The catenary hive has a
very unique structure, while the glen hive is heavily built. The Stewarton hive can be distinguished because of its
octagon shape. Different hives may have special features although the main purpose and function is radically the