Beekeeping 101 - Types of Beehives
The history of bee hive and hive equipment development is colorful and detailed. There was a time when the beekeeper had to choose what type (or types) of hive was to be used. The equipment would not interchange with other styles of the day. Men the early Langstroth-styled hives, were not completely interchangeable. Langstroth, himself, made alterations as did later designs that copied the Langstroth hive. Bee hives that are manufactured in the US are interchangeable (for the most part). Wood joint types used to assemble the hive components are a major difference among manufacturers. Another variation is the quality of the wood used as hive components. Naturally, cost is a factor.
Ten-frame hives are pretty much the standard though there are some nine and eight frame hives out there. Some beekeepers use 4 or 5 frame nuc boxes to over-winter their colonies. Some beekeepers will simply build a box to their liking and use top bars rather than drawn frames and let the bees create their own comb.
Honey bees are able to adapt to most living arrangements, be it a man made box, a hollowed out tree or the walls of a house.