HIVE SIZES explained – brood and hive supers – beekeeping 101
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Our new video is out for this week! We thought we would discuss the hive body sizes, which every beekeeper must consider sooner rather than later. The hive must be practical not only for the bees, but also for the beekeeper, so the size of your brood box or your honey supers will be essential.
We recommend to every new beekeeper or anyone looking into starting their first hive or two, to first seek assistance by reading beekeeping books (we have an extensive beekeeping library on our website http://www.mahakobees.com/store.html), and most importantly, to join their local beekeeping association, bee club or just seek a group of like minded people that have had experience and can share their experience with you in your geographical location. They will in most cases be happy to assist and guide you in the right direction. To get started in beekeeping though, you will need the basics: beehive, bee suit, beekeeping tools, bee smoker, and either a package or a nuc with bees and a new fertilized queen bee.
Your first bee hive will most likely be a small nucleus hive with 5 frames, with three to six thousand bees, colonized on 4 or 5 full depth frames. Brood boxes (the bottom box where the queen lays her brood) will in most cases be a full depth hive box. You may need one or two of these depending on your location. Then you may choose to use a queen excluder with honey supers above your brood hive boxes. These will depend on the size you are willing to carry. A honey filled full depth honey frame can weigh up to 3 kg (6lb), with 10 or 8 frames in the box. The frames plus the box itself can weigh up to 40kg (90lb). SO it gets HEAVY! You have been warned! But it is the most efficient ways to get excellent honey production if that is what you are trying to achieve. You can then use an IDEAL honey super, or the HALF honey super. What ever you do, find out which one suits you the most, and stick with that size. Standardization makes every beekeepers life much easier. The hive is much easier to manage as the bees expand, swarm, and shrink in numbers for winter.
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