Sunday, February 7, 2010
The Langstroth Bee Hive
The Langstroth bee hive is actually a working replica of the honey bee’s natural home, a hollow tree. This hive is a series of stacked, hollow wooden boxes arranged vertically like a standing tree. In keeping with the honey bee’s natural design, the bee hive has a small entrance located low on the hive. For protection from the weather, the bee hive has a cover. Bee hives have a bottom board which serves as a floor. There is often a landing board at the entrance, which is similar to a porch on a home. Honey bees select natural cavities in trees which are large enough to have space below the combs of the brood nest. This space serves an important role in protecting the hive from many parasites. Mites which fall from the brood nest are devoured by beneficial ants in this space. The modern screened bottom board, like the one shown in the picture, serves the colony the same way by allowing parasitic mites to fall from the hive to be eaten by ants.