Deep Hive Body
Deep Hive Body
The deep hive body. It is sometimes called a deep super, hive body, a deep, and hive chamber. Unless you live in the deep south where winters are very mild, you will need two deep hive bodies on your hive. Our midwest winters can be challenging on bees and so we always overwinter with two deeps and a Winter-Bee-Kind on each hive. The winter-bee-kind helps to insulate the top, while providing the food the bees need in the winter along with upper ventilation to prevent excess winter moisture. Watch our video showing bees in the winter eating the food.
This is where your bees will live and raise their young. This is where the queen will lay her eggs for new worker and drone bees. This is where the hive will store their own reserves of honey and pollen, their food source.
The standard and common size for a deep hive body is: 19 7/8" in length, 16 1/4" wide and 9 5/8" in height. A deep hive body is heavy when it is full of bees, honey and pollen. Therefore, some beekeepers choose to use the medium size super for hive bodies. The dimensions of the medium super is the same except for the height. It is 3" shorter, with a height of 6 5/8". If you choose to use medium supers for hive bodies, you will need to plan on using 3 supers if your winters are cold, and 1-2 supers if your winters are mild. We will assume your winters are cold and you plan to use two deep hive bodies on your new hive.
Here's what a deep hive body looks like. The hive bodies we manufacture have rabbet joint corners. This reduces the "raw edge" exposed to the weather. We also use exterior glue on all corners and 8, hand driven 8 penny nails per corner! We also place nice size handle holds on all four sides of our have bodies. Our deep hive bodies have been specifically designed to provide exact bee space needed in the deep hive chamber.
It is a common practice to use 10 individual frames per hive body.
Wood frames with plasticell foundation works very nicely. The plasticell is a hard plastic about 1/8" thick and is coated with real beeswax. Before we place the foundation and frame in a hive, we spray sugar water (1 part water, 1 part sugar) onto the foundation to speed up the time it takes for the bees to draw out the comb. The foundation already has the comb cell pattern embossed on both sides, making the bees' job much easier.
Some beekeepers use real beeswax foundation and use wire to hold it onto the frame. This was the common practice for many years. However, today, plasticell is a much simpler foundation method and is just as good in our opinion. Look at how nice this frame and plasticell foundation looks! Our bees love it.
Also the millimeter size of each cell in very important. The larger the size of the cell in the foundation, the larger the cell will be drawn out and the larger the bee will be. So, we use foundation that is specifically 4.9 millimeters. This aids in allowing the bees to seal their brood slightly sooner and thus helps control the spread of mites.
It is important to remember that if you live where winters are cold, two deep hive bodies are needed so that plenty of honey, around 60 pounds, can be stored for the bees to survive the winter months.
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