Origination and World Spread of Movable Frame Beekeeping

The production of a movable-frame hive divided the history of hive beekeeping into two distinct phases. This new hive type was invented in 1851 by Reverend Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth in Philadelphia. He was familiar with the Greek movable-comb hive (discussed later under Traditional Movable-Comb Hive Beekeeping) and with some rectangular hives devised in Europe that contained wooden frames for the bees to build their combs in. These hives, however, had only a very small gap between the frames and the hive walls, and the bees built wax to close it. In 1853 Langstroth described how he had often pondered ways in which he "could get rid of the disagreeable necessity of cutting the attachments of the combs from the walls of the hives." He continued, "The almost self-evident idea of using the same bee-space [as between the centerlines of combs in the frames] in the shallow [honey] chambers came into my mind, and in a moment the suspended movable frames, kept at a suitable distance from each other and from the case containing them, came into being" (author's italics). Framed honey combs were harvested from an upper box, and the brood was in the box below. A queen excluder between the boxes prevented the queen from laying eggs in the honey chamber.

The use of hives based on Langstroth's design spread rapidly around the world, dimensions often being somewhat smaller in countries where honey yields were low. Some dates for their first known introduction are 1861, United Kingdom; 1870, Australia; 1878, South Africa; 1880s, India; and 1896, China.

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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