Mann Lake 10 Frame Hive

Product Name:Mann Lake 10 Frame Hive
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10-Frame Complete Painted Hive Kit

When it comes to beekeeping the amount of information can be overwhelming. Sometimes it causes people to decide against beekeeping because they feel overwhelmed, or think they don’t have time Beekeeping is a great and exciting hobby with many rewards. You will learn a lot of this information through OJT or “On the Job Training”. For people that want to start beekeeping and learn about honey bees its best to start beekeeping. Before getting started though you will need some beekeeping equipment. When it comes to  equipment your hive is going to one of your bigger investments and one of your more important pieces of equipment. The reason the hive is such an important piece of equipment is because it is the home of your bees.  The hive is made up of a few different pieces all serving their own purpose. The hive is made up of the following; bottom board, hive body, frames, inner cover and telescoping cover.

The bottom board of the hive is what the hive body sits on. It creates a floor for the hive, and is shaped in such a way to create an entrance in the hive when the hive body is set upon it. There are two styles of bottom boards, a solid bottom board and a screened bottom board. There are debates on which is better than the other. I personally have solid bottom boards and my bees have done fine, but I have heard a lot of people espouse the benefits of screened bottom boards. Some of the benefits include better ventilation, varroa mites fall out of the hive, and making hive cleaning easier on the bees.

The hive body is what makes the bees feel at home. Bees build the hive in hollow caverns, like the inside of a hollow tree. The hive body creates a standard sized hollow area for the bees to build their hive. It is close to what they would prefer in nature, but allowing the beekeeper the benefit of standard interchangeable equipment. Hive bodies come in three sizes. A deep hive body which is 9 9/16 inches tall. Deep hive bodies are commonly used for the brood box or the bees house to store their honey and raise bees. Medium hive body is 6 5/8 inches tall. Medium hive bodies are used in two ways. Most commonly they are used to place on top of the brood box for the bees to fill with honey. The last hive body type is a shallow 5 3/4 tall. People will rely on deeps or mediums to fulfill multiple task in the hive, but a shallow is really only good for the bees to store honey. I would not advise buying shallows for beekeeping equipment. If you happen to inherit some from a beekeeping friend that is fine, but they are really uncommon. If you are young and in good shape I would advise standardizing your hives with deep hive bodies. Just be aware that when full they will weigh up to 70 lbs.

Inside the hive body you will have between 8 and 10 frames. This will be determined by the size of the hive body most hive bodies are 10 frame hive bodies. If you are looking for lower weight you may want to go with an 8 frame hive. Almost all hives available to the public will have removable frames. This is required by law in most locales so that hives can be inspected for communicable diseases like American Foul Brood, and European Foul Brood. Removable frames also allow you to supplement a weaker hive with provisions from stronger hives since in all but a few cases (top bar hives, and warre hives) hive parts are universal. Typically the frames will have foundation, which will be made out of plastic or wax. The kind of foundation you choose is up to you. The honey bees will use this foundation to create cells. You can get foundationless frames where the bees draw fresh comb. Foundationless frames have gained popularity in recent years. For beginning beekeepers you may want to stay away from foundationless because it can be hard to manage if the bees build burr comb or cross comb by building connected comb across multiple frames. The comb is drawn out into hexagonal cells. These cells serve many purposes for the bees; they lay their eggs and raise the bees, store pollen, and store nectar that is turned into honey. 

The Inner cover goes on top of all you honey supers (hive bodies). They typically have a hole in them this allows the hive to breathe so that hive doesn’t get condensation in it. Honey bees hate being wet. Ventilation is extremely important in the winter time. The bees will maintain a higher ambient temperature in the hive than than the outdoor temperature. The bees have to do this to prevent the brood from dying. We have all seen the condensation on a cold coke in the hot summer. If there was no ventilation on the hive that condensation would build up on the ceiling of the hive and drip back down on the bees, potentially killing the brood. In the summer, ventilation helps keep the hive from overheating. The flurry of activity in the summer time coupled with the hotter outside temperatures can make it challenging for the bees to cool even a well ventilated hive. So proper ventilation is important for the hive to maintain homeostasis in all weather conditions.

The telescoping cover keeps the elements out and sits atop the hive. Normally covered in sheet metal, this allows the inner cover to ventilate the hive but keeps drafts from drawing out warm air on cool days. It keeps stuff from falling in the hive like sticks from trees, bird droppings. It also keeps pests and predators from being able to reach bees on the top frames of the hive.

Mann Lake HK170 10-Frame Traditional Complete Hive Kit, Painted Wood-Frames, 9-5/8-Inchlangstroth-hive

This is an awesome kit. It comes with everything you need to get started and its already assembled. The hive is built and assembled right here in the USA, and is made with high quality pine. This kit comes with the following; 1 deep 10 frame hive body, 10 9 1/8 inch frames with waxed Rite-Cell foundation, a telescoping cover and inner cover, bottom board and entrance reducer. The fact that this kit is assembled will save you hours on gluing, nailing, and finishing the hive body and frames. The frames already have foundation installed for your convenience.  The Rite-Cell foundation is extremely durable and will with stand many years of use. Also, it is impervious to the dreaded wax moth. The entrance reducer is an important tool to have for your hive when they are first installed so that they are not using as many worker bees to guard the entrance to the hive. It makes a smaller opening at the hive. This is also a great tool when overwintering bees since their population will be much smaller. The hive body on this hive is considered a deep hive body measuring 9 5/8 inch. deep hive bodies are great for the bees to store honey or maintain the “brood nest”(Baby Bees). The hive body is constructed with finger joints for added durability and strength. The hive body comes painted and adds to the durability of the hive. Since a hive is exposed to all the weather elements it is important that you have some sort of finish on your hive so that your investment lasts for years to come. You may want to add another coat of paint to this hive in order to protect it from the elements. What really sets this kit apart from others is the entrance reducer. Most kits don’t come with one and you have to improvise or go without. 

Pros

  • The kit come assembled saving time and convenience to the process.
  • The kit comes with all necessary pieces to house your bees including the baseboard, inner cover, telescoping outer cover, deep hive body, frames, and foundation
  • The Hive body is already finished to withstand the elements.
  • Comes with an entrance reducer to help your new honeybee hive get established, and to assist with overwintering.

Cons

  • One downside of this kit is that you could may be able to piece a hive together for cheaper; by individually sourcing each piece and assembling the hive and frames.
  • Once the bees have drawn out most of the comb in your hive body you will need to purchase more hive bodies to allow the hive to grow.

If you are looking for a great hive to get started beekeeping this would be a great first choice. Mann Lake has been around for years in the bee business and make excellent products.

10-Frame Complete Painted Hive Kit

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