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Tennessee Valley Beekeepers Association

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Hive Components
Anatomy of the bee
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Hive Components

(UT Extension)


Traditional hive parts are made from wood.The design and dimension of hive parts are based on the concept of bee space.Bee space was first recognized and promoted by the Philadelphia minister Lorenzo Lagstroth in the 1850s, when he introduced what is commonly known as the Langstroth hive.


A standard hive includes a bottom board, a hive body and tow containing frames, several honey supers containing frames, an inner cover and an outer telescoping cover that fits on top.The terms “hive body” and “super” are functionally interchangeable.They are both basically wooden boxes.Normally the “hive body” refers to the larger box placed directly above the bottom board, usually associated with the brood production area.Supers are the boxes that are normally placed above.Supers are available in three sizes, a deep is the largest, a medium, and a shallow, the smallest size.