Honey Bee Hive
What Are Your Options For Selecting, Buying Or Building Your  Own?

....a few ideas...

Whether you wish to buy a honey bee hive, new or used, or build your own, here are some tips and suggestions, as well as links to free downloads.

What Kind Of Beekeeper Do You Want To Be?

Do answer this question because it will influence your choice of bee hive.

If you want to allow bees to build their own honey combs, to the size and shape they naturally require, then consider a top bar bee hive, of which there are a number of designs.

There are certainly suppliers of top bar bee hives, but you may also wish to consider building your own. If this is the case, take a look at these top bar bee hive plans.

The image below shows a top bar bee hive.

Top bar bee hives are commonly used in Natural Beekeeping practice, which seeks to keep synthetic chemicals out of the hive, and strives to work in harmony with the natural behaviours and habits of the honey bees – this is very much a growing area of beekeeping. Author of ‘Keeping Bees’, Paul Peacock notes that with Top Bar Hives: “you get honey as it used to be”.

If you have decided to follow traditional methods, then you may decide to opt for a Langstroth hive, National, Dadant or WBC hive – depending on where in the world you live.

The Suitability Of Your Environment
Do you live in an area of high winds?  If so, definitely opt for a wooden hive, and be sure to site it in an appropriately sheltered spot. Although it is possible to purchase polystyrene and PVC hives, you may find these to be too light, and the risk of damage (or parts blowing away) may make these hives a very unwise investment.

Your Health
Do you have back problems? Some bee hives can be awkward to put together, and thus could prove more difficult to handle. Some designs of WBC hives for example, can be tricky to dismantle, but are designed to help bees cope with consistently poor weather.

Your Budget
Although you may prefer to save time and buy a bee hive, if money is tight, you may like to consider building your own. Some bee hive designs are quite simple and you can build a bee hive if you have fairly basic carpentry skills. Again, take a look at these
bee hive construction plans – they are free to download, and you could save quite a lot of money. On the other hand, you may be willing to purchase a used honey bee hive. Check out this article on purchasing used beekeeping equipment.  Certainly you may see honey bee hives for sale in your local newspaper.  If you decide to purchase used beekeeping equipment, it will need to be thoroughly cleaned, because risk of disease must be eliminated before you add bees to their new home. You should also ensure all hive components fit properly together. Again for more information about how to clean and disinfect used beekeeping equipment, along with tips for buying, go here.

You may also like to ask your local beekeeping association whether they have relationships with suppliers who will offer discounts for purchases of beekeeping equipment. Alternatively, your beekeeping association may also have members with a honey bee hive for sale - perhaps because they have decided to reduce the overall number of bee colonies they wish to keep. 

The image below shows a WBC hive, used sometimes in the UK.

Go from Honey Bee Hive Buying Tips to:

Varroa Mite
Information about treating Varroa Destructor.

Organic Beekeeping
How easy is it to become an organic beekeeper, and what does it mean in practice?

Beekeeping Books
Favourite books about beekeeping.

How To Start Beekeeping
Main links to information resources for keeping bees.

Gardening For Bees
Supplying nectar and pollen for your bees.

Honey Bee Hives
More information about the different kinds of hives available.

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