Boody and frames
Langstroth - Designed by American Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth,
acclaimed for the "discovery" of bee-space - that mysterious amount of
space which bees will neither fill with propolis or comb. This is the
most widely used hive design in the world.
The Langstroth BeehiveThe Reverend Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth created this beehive and received a US patent for it in 1852. It is the most common beehive in use around the world.
Dadant - Designed by American (emigrated from France) Charles
Dadant and most commonly found across Europe, northern Asia and parts of
South America. It is a close second for "world's most popular hive".
Dadant hiveThe Dadant hive is in interesting beasty. C.P. Dadant experimented with many different dimensions of frame during his beekeeping. At one point (1868) he recommended, in France, to adopt a frame size of 12x13 inches. In years of experimenting, however, he found that larger combs had hidden benefits. They give the queen more room to lay, for she is loathe to cross the frame-frame boundaries vertically. Thus a deep frame is of benefit and as wide as is practical.
His own apiaries were standardized on ten Quinby-dimension(18 1/2 x 11 1/4 inches, spaced 1 1/2 inches) frames. He later admitted that he would move to the Langstroth width were it not for his significant investment in the Quinby volume. And, indeed, that is the size of frame current associated with the name Dadant.
The 11-frame modern "Dadant" hive is more properly called Dadant-Blatt (Blatt being the fellow who pioneered the Quinby depth with Langstroth width and spacing) or Modified Dadant and is sometimes also called the Langstroth Jumbo. Fear not, they are all the same hive.
It's a curious side-note that while much thought and experimentation went into choosing the brood frame size, the height of the honey frame was chosen as the most efficient given the size of knife used by Mr. Dadant for decapping honey for extracting.
At time of this writing, the Dadant-Blatt hive is the most common beehive dimension in the world, followed closely by volumes varying only in the number frames. Langstroth hives are catching up fast, however, due to lower cost because of the narrower planks required for the brood box.
For historical reference, I suggest a good read of the Dadant System of Beekeeping (C.P. Dadant, 1920). See also The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture (A.I Root, E.R. Root), page 365 of the 1917 edition.
WBC - Designed by Englishman William Braughton ****. This hive
type is almost exclusively found in UK and only then in the apiaries of
hobbyists who mostly use it because its sloping sides beautify their
British Standard National - Essentially designed by committee and
refined over several decades, this is the "standard" hive in use in UK
and has little following elsewhere in the world.
Smith - Designed by Scotsman Willie Smith. This is, essentially, a
smaller and simplified UK National. Use is almost exclusive to UK; most
frequent in Scotland.
Layens - Designed by French botonist Georges de Layens. This has great popularity in France and Spain.
Warré - Designed by French monk Émile Warré. This hive has some
following in France and gaining popularity amongst experimenters in UK
and the Americas (both North and South).
Voirnot - Designed by French monk Jean-Babtiste Voirnot. This
hive is popular in parts of Spain and France. However, this popularity
has dwindled in favor of the Dadant and Layens hives.
Adansonian - Design by Belgian professor Roch Domergo. This is
another not-popular hive, but it is distinctive in two ways: 1- It is
designed specifically to house the smaller African honeybee (Apis
Mellifera Africanus) and, 2- It is the most recently designed hive on
this list, having been concieved in 1980.
Newton - I have no idea who designed this hive, presumably a man
named Newton. This, also, is not a popular hive type. It's distinction
is having been designed specifically for the Asian Hive Bee (Apis
Cerana). It is notably smaller than the other hives, as befits a bee
colony with populations notably lower than the European honey bee.
Skep - Since I live in a place where it is permitted to keep bees
in this type of hive, I will build one. These are virtually extinct in
North America (legal issues), but can still be found in Africa, southern
Asia, South America, the Indian subcontinent and, rarely, in Europe.
Zander - Commonly found in Germany. It's a vertical, sectioned, framed hive. Still looking for some history on this one.
Segeberger - Found mostly in a limited area around Segeberg, Germany. This is a vertical, framed hive.
Bienenkiste (bee-box) - An old German horizontal beehive finding
new interest among hobbyists. It is worked either from below or the rear
of the hive, dependant upon the goals of a given intrusion.
Die BienenkisteThe Bienenkiste is a modern incarnation of an old folk hive from Germany. These simple hives were designed to be virtually maintenance free. They provide plenty of space for a large cluster of bees and a separate honey compartment which can be robbed by the beekeeper with little risk of disturbing the bees.
Essentially an horizontal box, about a meter long and 1/3 meter tall. The front 2/3 of the box contains the cluster and the back 1/3 the honey reserve for the beekeeper. The two sections are partially separated by a board running the full width and most of the height of the box, leaving a space for the bees to crawl underneath for access to the rear.
Honey is harvested through a removable board at the back of the hive, allowing the beekeeper to remove the filled combs. Once removed, the honey can be strained from the wax. This leaves plenty of wax for candles, varnish or other uses and plenty of honey for the table. German beekeepers report average harvests of 14-18 kilograms honey and one and one half to two kilograms wax, after cleaning. Little propolis is found on the combs or anywhere else in the back portion, so the wax starts quite clean right from harvest. The separator board largely limits brood rearing to the front portion meaning few, if any, left over crysalis material. Perfect comb-honey!
Swarm management ability is limited, at best. There just is no easy way to access the broodnest. Then again, there's a strong argument in favor of just letting the bees be bees and leave them alone. The volume of the hive does not allow for enormous populations that commercial honey producers aim for. Let them swarm. Capture the swarm and hive it in another hive - perhaps another bienenkiste? - and increase your hive numbers. When the colony dies out, scrape out the old comb and repopulate. The labor requirements for the hive are so minimal, this is really the perfect lazy beekeeper's hive.
Disease management is likewise limited. Again, without easy access to the broodnest, the common techniques of disease control are not practical. The hive promoters recommend organic acid fog treatment, through either the entrance or from the honey chamber, for treatment against varroa. Probably the best method is let nature run its course. Let the bees fend for themselves. They can and will adapt to the presence of parasitic mites, given time. Other illnesses are likely to be less prevalent simply due to fewer intrusions by the main honeybee predator: the beekeeper. Remember, disease is dis-ease. Allow the bees to live at their ease and they will thrive in almost any circumstance. Eventually, any given hive will lose its population. This is perfectly normal and natural. Just clean out the hive and repopulate with a package or swarm.
Full details and construction plans can be found at the home of the bienenkiste movement on the web.
http://www.bienenkiste.de/ (site in German language)
Kerkhof - Designed by Canadian Herman Kerkhof, this is basically a
double-hive consisting of two colonies in Langstroth nucleus boxes with
a shared honey storage area. There is a complex ventilation system
throughout. It has recently come back into commercial production - with
modifications - by a New York beekeeper, under the moniker "H3".
Hinterbehandlungsbeute (rear-access hive) - This German
contraption is an odd combination of horizontal and vertical hive. The
framed combs are arranged as a vertical orientation, yet the beekeeper
accesses the interior of the hive from the horizontal aspect. It also
appears that I will need a cabinet-maker's precision to construct this;
Golz/Bremer - This framed, horizontal, two-chamber hive hails
from Germany. The original design, by Wolfgang Golz, has the combs
oriented perpendicular to the entrance ("cold-way"). John Edwald
Bremer's primary modifications are to reorient the frames parallel to
the entrance ("warm-way") and change the frame size.
Quinby - This American beehive is extremely similar to the
book-hive used by Huber to make his famous - and still often referenced -
observations. Essentially, it's a series of frames lashed together with
end-boards to enclose the whole mess. How he ever managed to achieve
any profitability with these as a commercial beekeeper, I'm not sure
I'll ever understand, even after reading his book!
Internal(Length, Width, Height)
Internal(Length, Width, Height)
Dimensions(Length, Width, Height)
|Dadant||450 x 380 x 320 mm|
450 x 380 x 170 mm
| 470 x 24 x 300 mm|
470 x 24 x 163 mm
|Layens||345 x 345 x 405 mm|
345 x 345 x 215 mm
| 364 x 24 x 397 mm|
364 x 24 x 207 mm
|Warré||300 x 300 x 210 mm||300 x 300 x 210 mm||None|
|Adansonian||320 x 320 x 320 mm||320 x 320 x 320 mm||332 x 31 x 318 mm|
|Newton||238 x 229 x 162 mm||238 x 229 x 162 mm||254 x 22 x 140 mm|
|Trunk||varies||varies||None and/or varies|
|Voirnot||380 x 380 x 380 mm||300 x 300 x 210 mm|
|Voirnot (correct measurements?)||350 x 350 x 360 mm|
350 x 350 x 160 mm
| 330 x 13 x 300 mm|
330 x 13 x 150 mm
|Name / prey||A||B||C||D|| cross-section |
|MW b / h|
|Alberti leaves Stock||420||270||1134|
|Worksheets spoils of Empire Section beekeepers||223||370||825.1|
|Badisch all (Vereinsmaß)||237||210|
|Brown cal measure|
|Dadant brood chamber||435||300||420/270|
|Dadant Honigraum(ΜΙΣΟ ΠΑΤΩΜΑ)||435||160||410/132|
|Dadant type American||460||270||1242|
|Dadant leaf frame||435||300|
|Dahte wide honeycomb||347||225|
|Dahte high honeycomb||223||360|
|Danish trough prey||310||260|
|German Normal 1 1/2||370||311||350/308|
|French Congress prey||362||362|
|Helvetia box (brood chamber)||360||300||344||270||934|
|Helvetia box (Honigraum)||360||150|
|Yugoslavian special size||400||300|
|Master Stock from Schulz||350||240|
|Austria. wide honeycomb||426||225||922|
|Rheinische Ideal prey (Schneider)||250||420|
|Spühlerkasten brood chamber||385||335||370||310||1147|
|Swabian camp prey (Alsatian)||272||362|
|Swiss high honeycomb||270||340|
|Swiss Stock (brood chamber)||288||361|
|Swiss Stock (Honigraum)||288||177|
|Schleswig Holstein mobile hive||310||260|
|Sträuslis- Dadant- Alberti frame||435||300|
|Wiener Club Stand||250||420|