Home Sweet Hive

Is it a nest? Or a hive?

Layperson that I am, honeybees live in a hive. And others? It’s commonly called a hornet’s nest. And bumblebees “nest” in the ground.

So I was mildly surprised when preparing for this post and came across a more formal definition.

It’s a nest when the bees (any variety) construct it.

It’s a hive when men get involved. The below is a hive – man-made at first, second, and third glance.

Bees collect pollen and make honey to survive the winter (non-growing) season. Man enjoys the taste of honey and has been building hives, collecting the product, and caring for the insects at least back to the Ancient Egyptians.

Modern hives, like those above, use standard sizes and spacing for the frames. This makes the parts inter-changable and harvesting and care easier.

Think you see a lot of bees in the field or orchard or garden near the hive? To my surprise, I learned only 10% of the hive population will be outside at any one time. Think of it! For every bee you see pollinating and collecting — nine more are back at home when they are building the honeycomb, producing honey, and caring for the queen and her thousands of eggs.

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