Beekeeping Equipment

A productive apiary with standard bee hive equipment on hive stands. Credit: The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), Crown Copyright

     The modern bee hive was invented by the Reverend L. L. Langstroth, patented in 1852, after his monumental discovery of “bee space”. Bee space describes the phenomenon that if a space less than 1/4 inch is left the bees fill it with propolis (a glue like substance produced from tree sap) and, when a space larger than 3/8 inch is left the bees fill it with comb. The majority of bee hives used today are still based on Langstroth’s design.
      Given the narrow range of tolerance with bee space, hive components must fit together tightly to limit excess or too little open space. Each manufacturer may produce bee hives slightly differently and combining components from different companies can cause problems. Careful research and experience with each company’s components is important before investing in hive equipment. Below are articles to explain a few of the necessary hive equipment.