As a beekeeper, one thing that I consider important for the survival of my honeybee colonies is their health management. Considering the fact that I use no chemicals or medicine on my bees I have to rely on an alternate environmentally friendly approach to maintain their health. I accomplish this by participating in a (IPM) Integrated Pest Management program. IPM is not one but a series of methods used to control the various pests that can affect the beehive. These methods involve a combination of biology, genetics and use of various mechanical and physical devices. If you are interested in more information on IPM go to UmassEdu.
Because I consider beehive ventilation to be a very important factor in bee health I have focused my attention in incorporating two such physical devices into my hives. The first is a (SBB) screened bottom board and the second is a (VIC) ventilated inner cover. Both devices work in conjunction with one another and assist the bees in removing stagnant hot air and moisture out of the hive. In order to create air circulation the bees fan their wings which in turn causes a current of air to circulate in and out of the hive.
All of my hives presently are constructed following the standard Langstroth hive design which most people are familiar with here in the United Sates. The picture of the four hives above shows the basic setup of the hives. For information on plans for constructing hive components you may want to visit BeeSource.com and navigate to the "Build-It-Yourself" page. You will also find plans for constructing a SBB and a few other interesting pieces of equipment.
The basic standard hive is composed of a "base" or alighting board, a bottom board, usually two stacked brood chambers, an inner cover and a "telescopic" or outer cover. The honey suppers used to collect honey for human consumption are usually installed during a honey flow. Bees access the inside of the hive usually through the larger bottom entrance and/or the smaller vent hole on the inner cover. The upper vent hole is usually located on the front edge of the inner cover and is approximately 3/8" in height by ~2" wide.
To view (VIC) ventilated inner cover design and construction click on Ventilated Inner Cover.
To view (SBB) screened bottom board design and construction click on Screened Bottom Board.
To view assisted heating design and construction click on Assisted Electric Heating.
To view information on joining and overwintering hives click on Overwintering Beehives.
The following icon will take you to the Beemaster.com webring site to access other beekeeping web sites and information.
This web page was last updated on March 2, 2011.