The combination hive

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The combination hive

Beekeeping without principles

I do not ignore the fact that many hive owners do not manage them according to the principles of apiculture that I have discussed.

They throw a swarm in a hive. In spring they add a super. In autumn they gather the honey from the super. That is all.

Combination hive with its super.

There is too much honey in the brood nest and the bees swarm in spring, lacking room. Or equally, there is not sufficient honey and the bees die of hunger if one does not save them soon enough with a terribly expensive feed.

The bees hatching in the old combs are weak, lack resistance to disease and are a risk to neighbouring apiaries.

Furthermore, the frames in the brood nest soon cease to be mobile.

Logical beekeeping

Modern hives would not suit such beekeepers. They should adopt the combination hive. The combination hive is a skep with fixed comb on which is placed a super with moveable frames. The bottom, or brood nest, may be made of straw, osier or wood.

The domed hive would suit them equally, but I strongly suggest that these hives have only one point in their favour, namely that they are cheap to set up, but they lead to disasters because their combs are not renewed and because the stores are not checked. If the stores are insufficient, the bees

die. If the stores are too abundant, the bees swarm because they lack room. In any case, they go up neither into the super nor the dome, because they do not cross over the honey.

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