What is a beehive: how it looks and types of bee houses, device and names

What is a beehive: how it looks and types of bee houses, device and names

A beginner beekeeper needs to learn a lot of different information about insect houses and their families. First of all, you need to understand what a bee hive is, what varieties there are. The choice depends on various factors - the climate of the region, the materials used, the breed of the selected individuals, the manufacturer. Some designs can be made by yourself.

What is a beehive and what does it look like

Beehive is a closed structure, an artificial dwelling designed for honey bees. Houses come in different types and types, depending on how it is arranged inside.

Attention! Colloquially, the term is used to describe a nest of domesticated and wild individuals. But the scientific literature defines a clear boundary - "nest" is the habitat of wild insects, and "beehive" is used to define the dwellings of domestic bees.

In nature, families for a long period inhabit caves, tree hollows, build houses on branches and other places. Separated families prefer to settle near the parental "home". More details in the video.


Beekeepers are constantly improving the design of bee houses, so new varieties of houses appear and old options are improved. Initial classification:

  • non-separable - rarely used, made of large size, difficult to transfer from apiary to apiary (these are usually designs of old types of hives, modern ones are significantly different);
  • vertical - mobile, collapsible, allow you to control the number of individuals in the family, move the home from place to place (important when you need to change the place of nectar collection due to the flowering of trees and plants);
  • horizontal - small, recommended for beginner beekeepers.

In apiaries, several familiar designs are most often used - dadanovsky, rue, alpine, cassette and beehive-lounger. Each has distinctive structural features, advantages and disadvantages.


This type of bee house is used more often than others. Features of the structure and functional nuances:

  • vertical housing;
  • recommended production material - spruce;
  • inventor - French beekeeper Charles Dadant;
  • suitable for growing families with a large number of individuals;
  • Use 12 frames and double wall insulation (for cold regions or wintering).

Some beekeepers come to the conclusion that the Dadan frames are too big, some recommend updating the design of such a bee house.

Rue hive

This variant was developed by beekeepers over 150 years ago. The design is simple, the frames are more convenient than those of the Dadan type structure. Benefits:

  • easy to make at home;
  • the number of bees is growing faster than in other houses;
  • collecting honey above;
  • you can optionally form a family with two queens at the same time.

Attention! Hives are easy to transport. But for beginners, it can be difficult to keep track of filling the home with honey, which leads to hypothermia in the winter and death of individuals.

Alpine beehive

This variant was developed by the Frenchman Roger Delon. The structure is multi-hull - this means that the beekeeper can install several buildings on top of each other at the same time. Features:

  • Accepted measurements - 30 cm by 30 cm;
  • vertical type structure;
  • nothole horizontal, 0.7 cm;
  • light weight (with filling, the weight is about 20 kg);
  • easy care - clean the structure, collect honey.

The structure of the dwelling allows you to maintain a microclimate. The disadvantages include a significant number of frames (requires up to 48 pieces). It is difficult to assemble a package with queens and family.

Cassette Hive

The main advantage of cluster dwellings is the reduction in the incidence of insects due to the thin walls of the buildings.Due to this, melliferous individuals can control the microclimate on their own. This version of the bee house is used in areas that are not suitable for breeding bees.

Attention! A feature of cassette bee hives is the assembly of cases in a vertical and horizontal position. Thanks to the collapsible composition, the hives are easy to move from one apiary to another and take care of the insects.

Hive-lounger - sectional view

Externally, bee structures of this type are similar to chests, in which the upper part leans back. The side walls are thicker than others, insulated with pillows. The main feature is the horizontal placement of the nest, the elongated body. One can accommodate two families, separating them with a separate partition. Benefits:

  • Easy to clean cases;
  • location of honeycombs allows you to quickly replace them;
  • ensures the right level of insect performance;
  • you can quickly breed bee colonies.

However, in such houses it is required to think over the ventilation system separately. For some buildings, frames are used vertically.

Selection rules

A beginner beekeeper needs to decide on the choice of a suitable method for breeding bees. The type of structure of the bee hive is of decisive importance. You need to study the main requirements and rules. For a small apiary, you can use do-it-yourself dwellings. More in the next video.

Size and number of frames

The productivity of insects depends on this parameter. More often than others, Dadanov's options are used with a size of 47 cm by 30 cm. Such elements work on different types of bee dwellings - from multi-hull structures to horizontal sunbeds.The next most popular frame size for bees is 47 cm by 23 cm. They are usually installed on structures with several cases.

Attention! For the reduced type, it is more difficult to find suitable bee sets. Therefore, beginner beekeepers are advised not to experiment with the first apiary and families, but to purchase standard dadan blocks.

It is important to calculate in advance the number of frames in a purchased or manufactured bee hive. For the Dadana dwelling, 12 pieces are bought per building, for sunbeds they form a set of 20 or 24 frame elements.

According to climate features

Some regions are less adapted to beekeeping. Nuances to consider:

  • in case of early frosts in the territory (permanent or probable), it is necessary to install buildings with thick walls or with the possibility of insulating structures (for example, double-walled with thermal insulation along the side walls);
  • if adverse conditions are considered the norm in the region, you need to be more careful about the size of the buildings (especially if the dwelling consists of several elements);
  • for warm regions, you can choose any type of hive.

Dadan's option is suitable for beginner beekeepers - you can insulate, it's easy to find the constituent elements.

Based on material

Some time ago, it was possible to make a bee house only from natural materials - branches, straw, cork, clay and others like that. Timber structures appeared in regions with low temperatures. Requirements:

  • dry;
  • no mold, cracks, rot (other similar damage);
  • the surface is smooth, knots will need to be removed - such elements interfere with the movement of insects, can damage the legs and wings of bees;
  • also there should be no chips, roughness;
  • recommended part thickness up to 5 cm (other thicknesses are required for some designs).

Attention! Despite the fact that many new and diverse materials have appeared, wood remains the most suitable. Wood helps to create a microclimate as close to natural as possible, to ensure normal air exchange.

The most suitable wood species are spruce, willow, linden, poplar and cedar. Reeds, sandwich panels, fiberboard, plywood are used well. In most cases, it is necessary to additionally process the details of wooden elements with sandpaper.

By manufacturer

There are quite a lot of modern manufacturers of various groups of goods for beekeeping on the market. In each region, you can find a suitable supplier. For example:

  • Zukunft Bienen from Germany - production of horizontal and vertical bee houses (Finnish manufacturers are also popular);
  • from Russian - "Pcheloulik" in the Krasnodar Territory, "Bee Equipment Plant" in the Republic of Bashkortostan, "Rural Technologies" from Moscow, many others;
  • Handicraft (at home) production is also widespread - most types of hives can be assembled by yourself, so experienced beekeepers can make dwellings to order or retail.

When buying a house, a beginner beekeeper is recommended to choose simple designs, small in size. When choosing, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  • necessary to evaluate in advance the possibility of carrying hives, maintenance costs;
  • breed of selected bees - some have specific behaviors, so it is recommended to purchase certain options for hives (it is important to study the features and recommendations of beekeepers in advance);
  • length of the honey season in the region.

Attention! In regions with a cool climate, the honey collection period is rather short, so there is no need to purchase multi-housing stationary housings for large bee colonies.

Hive is an artificially created habitat for bees, which is set up to collect honey and other bee products. There are different design options that differ in size, materials, internal structure. It is necessary to familiarize yourself with the climate and the requirements of the selected insect breed in advance.

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