From top to bottom, Betterbee offers all of the bee hive components to maintain strong and healthy bees.
Bees raise their young ("brood") in the boxes at the bottom of a hive. There are three equivalent names for these: brood boxes, hive bodies, or deeps (being 9-5/8" in depth). Bees store their nectar - which becomes honey - above the brood. Excess honey for our harvest is stored in the highest boxes, or "supers." Most beekeepers use "medium" boxes for supers. Being only 6-5/8" deep, they are lighter when full of honey than a deep. A small number of beekeepers use "shallows" as supers, which are even lighter.
Below we’ve explained the differences between wood (10 frame or 8 frame) and polystyrene (BeeMax® or Lyson) equipment.
10 Frame Wooden Equipment
Ten frame wooden bee hive components has been the industry standard for over 100 years and is still the most commonly used size of equipment in the US. Ten frame equipment has more space for bees, honey and brood whereas a comparable 8 frame hive will be taller and use more boxes than a 10 frame hive.
8 Frame Wooden Equipment
Eight frame equipment is lighter than 10 frame wood equipment by approximately 20 percent. When full of honey, a full 8 frame medium super will weigh 40 to 48 pounds while a full 10 frame medium will weigh 50 to 60 pounds. Some feel that overwintering is better in taller 8 frame bee hive kits than 10 frame boxes because the cluster can move up more readily through honey stores in a smaller 8 frame hive.
Using all mediums is an increasing trend among beekeepers. Both 8 and 10 frame hives can consist of all medium supers. Medium supers weigh about two-thirds of a comparable deep super. A beekeeper can use 3 medium boxes as a brood chamber and that will be about the same as 2 deep hive bodies.
Polystyrene equipment is available in 10 frame size only and provides more insulation value than wood. Better insulation means less temperature fluctuation and consequently a hive can have a bigger brood nest earlier in the critical spring build-up period.
These hive components are easy to assemble requiring only glue, and do not require winter wrapping. If you are looking for lightweight equipment with high insulating value you should consider BeeMax® hives for your bees.
Lyson bee hive kits features latches for securing hives, an integrated varroa monitoring tray, adjustable ventilation, an integrated entrance reducer/mouseguard and reinforced frame rests and edges.