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.

Honey bee hives.Honey bee hives.

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself before you select the most appropriate bee hive for you.

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 hive.Top bar 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.

Match your choice of bee hive to 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.

Perhaps you have a high wall or hedgerow that could provide shelter?

Bee hives by a wall.If you live in an area that experiences high winds, can you find a sheltered spot for the hives?

Should your health affect your choice of bee hive?

Do you have back problems? Some bee hives can be awkward to put together, and thus could prove more difficult to handle.

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

Some designs of WBC hives for example, can be tricky to dismantle, but are designed to help bees cope with consistently poor weather. 

What is your cash budget for buying a bee hive?

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.  

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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. 

National hive.National hive.

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.   

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