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Last order day is Sunday 17th December for delivery before 25th December.

© National Bee Hive Boxes, Widths & Uses

National bee hive widths
We have National Bee Hives available in five widths offering a great flexibility of management techniques.
 
Standard Width Bee Hive
460mm external width x 460mm, 422mm internal width.
These are industry standard - 18 1/8 inches square externally.
Beginners note that although there is space for 12 frames in a standard width hive it is not advisable to do so.
If the first frame is covered in bees they can be rolled and injured against the hive wall and adjacent frame so we always advise using 11 frames and a Dummy Board.
The Dummy Board is thinner than a frame so it is easily removed to create a gap so the first occupied frame can also be easily removed.
 
Long Bee Hive
920mm external width x 460mm, 882mm internal width.
These are exactly twice the width of a Standard Width bee hive with space for 24 frames and a dummy board.
The hive can be used for one colony horizontally to avoid weight lifting.
It has a central divider so the colony can be artificially swarmed or split within the same hive.
Alternatively, using the central divider, the hive can be used for two colonies each benefitting from the insulation of the other.
 
6 Frame Bee Hive
258mm external width x 460mm, 220mm internal width.
These can be used as nucleus hives with space for 6 frames and a dummy board.
A full size colony prefers a minimum of 6 combs (Ribbands 1953) so the 6 frame width allows these hives to be built up into full size colonies.
This can provide an alternative management system using these smaller lighter weight boxes.
The internal width also allows the use of standard 4 pint feeders.
 
5 Frame ½ Bee Hive
229mm external width x 460mm, 191mm internal width.
These are exactly half the width of a Standard Width bee hive with space for 5 frames and a dummy board.
These can be used independently as nucleus hives but the ½ width allows them to also be used in conjunction with Standard width equipment.
Two ½ hives under one standard width roof for example.
½ Standard Shallow boxes can also be used on standard width and long hives so avoiding weight lifting.
The Standard Deep and Extra Deep can be used as part of queen rearing, the Morris Board method for example.
 
3 Frame 1/3 Bee Hive
153mm external width x 460mm, 115mm internal width.
These are exactly a third the width of a Standard Width bee hive with space for 3 frames and a dummy board.
These can be used independently as nucleus hives but the 1/3 width allows them to also be used in conjunction with standard equipment.
Three 1/3 hives under one standard roof for example.
A 3 frame nucleus creates a stable colony for queen mating whilst using a small number of bees.

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