Pictures - Hive Components

Hive Body / Deep Super

Hive Body / Deep Super

The hive body - also called a deep-hive super, or brood chamber - makes up the first component of a bee hive and contains ten frames of honeycomb. The bees use this lower deep super as the nursery, or brood chamber, to raise thousands of baby bees. The upper supers - medium or small - is where the bees store most of their honey and pollen for feeding when pollen sources are scarce or during the winter when foraging is not possible. In areas where cold winters are more common, beekeepers sometimes use more than one deep hive body for a colony.

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Deep Body Wire Foundation

Deep Body Wire Foundation

The wooden frames contain a single sheet of beeswax foundation (shown here) which is affixed inside the frame like a picture frame. It firmly holds the wax and enables removal of the panels of honeycomb for inspection or honey extraction. Ten deep frames are used in each deephive body.

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Deep Super Frame with Wire Foundation

Deep Super Frame with Wire Foundation

This is a deep super with a wire foundation beeswax honeycomb mounted inside the frame. The wire adds strength to the frame as bees begin drawing comb, or when the frame become heavy with capped honey.

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Medium Super Frame with Wire Foundation

Medium Super Frame with Wire Foundation

Honey supers are used to collect the honey that is being produced by the members of the hive. This super is known as a "medium" super which is 6 5/8" high; this frame has a manufactured beeswax comb insert that for the bees to begin drawing comb to store honey. Like the shallow super, the medium super is a little larger pantry or food chamber, where bees store most of the honey and pollen for their use.

Honey supers are put on the hive after installing the bees and the colony is about 8 weeks old. For second-year beekeepers, honey supers can be placed on the hive when the first spring flowers start to bloom.

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Shallow Super Frame with Comb

Shallow Super Frame with Comb

Honey supers are used to collect the honey that is being produced by the members of the hive. This super is known as a "shallow" super which is only 5 11/16" high and has a manufactured beeswax honeycomb insert that enables the bees to begin drawing comb to store honey. A shallow super is like the pantry or food chamber, where bees store most of the honey and pollen for their use.

Honey supers are put on the hive after installing the bees and the colony is about 8 weeks old. For second-year beekeepers, honey supers can be placed on the hive when the first spring flowers start to bloom.

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Queen excluder

Queen excluder

The queen excluder is normally placed between the hive body / deep super and the honey supers so as to keep the queen in the lower "brood chamber" for egg laying.

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Imirie shim

Imirie shim
Imirie shim

The imirie Shim, invented by the late George Imirie can be 3/4" or 1 1/4" tall. It is placed between the hive body or supers to add extra ventilation over the winter, as well as more space for feeding pollen patties, mite treatments, or queens.

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Bottom Board with IPM Insert


Bottom Board with IPM Insert

The bottom board is placed on the hive stand and creates the entry way into the deephive, or brood chamber. Some beekeepers will use what's called a "screened" bottom board in place of the standard bottom board which improves ventilation and is helpful when monitoring the colony's population of varroa mites using an IPM grid that can inserted via slots on the sides of the bottom board.

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Hive Stand / Landing Board

Hive Stand / Landing Board
Hive Stand / Landing Board

The hive sits upon the hive stand; it is an important for the hive because it elevates it off the ground, improving circulation and minimizing dampness. The stand is made of cypress wood and is resistant to rot; it consists of three rails and a landing board, upon which the bees land after foraging and upon returning to home.

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Inner cover


Inner cover

The inner cover is placed above the top super and enables the bees to enter the hive while helping to reduce exposure for the hive. When the inner cover is being used, the telescoping top cover must be placed so as to ensure that there is an entryway to the slot on the frame of the inner cover.

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Entrance Reducer

Entrance Reducer

The entrance to the hive which is created when placing the deep super on the bottom board enables the placement of an entrance reducer and limits bee access to the hive, as well as controls ventilation and temperature during cooler months. The entrance reducer is placed loosely at the hive's entrance...the two notches reduce the entrance of the hive: the small notch leaves an opening about the width of a finger while the large notch is about four finger widths. The entrance reducer can be removed altogether so as to completely open the entrance. The entrance reducer is primarily used for newly established hives or during cold weather; it isn't necessary in warm weather, except maybe when you're dealing with a robbing situation. In the absence of an pre-cut entrance reducer, grass or sticks may be bundled and placed into the opening to limit access.

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Bee Escape

Bee Escape

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Top feeder

Top feeder

The top feeder is placed atop the uppermost super and the top cover. The screened chamber is open to the super and allows bees to come up and collect sugar water. The inner cover to the hive is eliminated; only the top cover is placed over the feeder to prevent bees from entering and subsequently drowning in the sugar water as there is no place to land while feeding.

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Outer cover

Outer cover

The outer cover to the hive is protected with weather resistant aluminum to prevent pre-mature decay of the wooden cover.

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