A queen excluder is a metal or plastic grill serving as a selective barrier between hive boxes. Gaps in the grill permit passage of worker bees but not the larger queen and drones. An excluder placed above the brood nest prevents the queen from accessing the honey supers to lay eggs.
Beehive frames and foundation create a space where bees build wax comb to store food and raise brood. Rectangular frames hold a wax or plastic sheet of foundation embossed with hexagonal cells serving as a base for drawing straight comb.
A hive tool is a multipurpose implement designed for beekeeping. Hive tools come in different designs, but all serve two primary functions. First, hive tools separate and lift hive components stuck together by propolis. Second, they scrape off excess propolis and comb. A hive tool is the most used beekeeping tool.
Set up your beehive in advance so you can install the bees as soon as possible after they arrive. A starting Langstroth hive only needs a bottom board, entrance reducer, one deep brood box, and the inner and outer covers. Adding a brood box between the covers provides room for a top feeder.
Beekeeping protective clothing consists of veils to protect your eyes and face; beekeeping suits and jackets for most of your body; gloves for hands; and boots for feet and ankles. The amount of protective clothing you wear depends on your comfort level and what you are doing with the bees.
There are 3 major types of hives: Langstroth, Warré and horizontal hives like a Top Bar hive. We describe how they each work including pros and cons and why we think you should start with Langstroth.
Every beekeeper needs a bee smoker. We’ll describe this all-important tool and explain how it works, how to light it, when to use it and how to maintain it.
When it’s time to harvest honey, you will need to remove capped honey frames from the hive and leave the bees behind. Here are several methods/devices to use.
Painting beehives is the most common way to protect pine boxes from weather damage. Rain, snow, and sun eventually rot unprotected wood. As a result, cracks may appear, and joints separate. Several types of coating protect wood, but painting beehives is a simple and inexpensive way to extend their useful lives.
A horizontal hive is generally a single-box beehive designed so that honey bees build their comb structures along a horizontal path rather than vertically. We cover the common types you’ll find and their pros and cons.