Hive Info- The Basics

Shown to the right are parts of a beehive. It is a pretty basic picture. The hive stand shown is optional. If you set your hive on cinder blocks or another type of stand, it is not needed, as its purpose is to keep the bottom board up off the damp ground. You will notice this picture does not show a varroa tray and screened bottom board either. Having taken a beginner beekeeping course myself, I really thought it was a necessary piece of equipment until I researched it. And then I looked to see what large operations are using- surely they would be using such a state of the art piece of equipment that helps to monitor and control the beekeeper’s (and bee’s!) biggest enemy, the varroa mite. I could not find a commercial operation using them. In theory, I believe they work great. Mites fall off and down through the screen and can’t climb back up to the bees. Will they make you not have to treat for mites? Absolutely Not!  But, as part of a plan of integrated pest management, they have their place. Do your homework and know why you are choosing the bee equipment you choose- it will save you some money!

You can find a hundred different opinions on how to do something on the internet. Your best information will be supported with evidence. Learn from college and university beekeeping research. Their methods are usually cost effective not to mention tried and true. Take advice from beekeepers in your climate. Here in NY, good reference materials come from Cornell University and the University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota has a nice website (follow them on Facebook for good information too) as well as a low-cost book about “Beekeeping in Northern Climates”.

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