Langstroth Hive - Design - Specialty Parts

Specialty Parts

The Cloake board, also known as the "bottom-without-a-bottom", is a specialty piece of hive equipment that is installed between two hive bodies of the brood nest. It allows the beekeeper to insert a sliding metal or wood panel, which will split the hive into two parts without having to lift the hive boxes, the objective being to split a single hive into two independent hives.

The queen excluder is a mesh grid, usually made of wire or plastic, sized such that worker bees can pass through, but queens (generally) cannot. When used, it is generally placed between the hive body and the honey supers. The purpose of the queen excluder is to keep the queen from laying eggs in the honey supers, which can lead to darker honey and can also complicate extraction. Many beekeepers reject the use of queen excluders, however, claiming that they create a barrier for workers and result in lower levels of honey collection and storage.

A feeder is most often used to feed granulated sugar or sugar syrup at times of the year when no, or not enough, nectar flow is available from natural sources to meet the hive's needs. There are various styles. Division board feeders have a shape similar to that of the frame, and hang inside the hive body in the same manner as a frame. Entrance feeders are wedged into the hive entrance on the bottom board with an inverted container of feed. Hive-top feeders have the same footprint as the hive body and are placed on top of the hive, but underneath the telescoping cover. Other hive-top feeders consist of an inverted container with small holes in the lid, which are placed either directly on top of the frames, or on top of the hole in the inner cover.

An "escape board" is placed between the brood boxes and the supers to clear the supers of most of the bees. The escape board lets bees exit the supers into other areas of the hive, but makes it difficult for the bees to re-enter the supers. There are several different designs.

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