When is a hive a hive?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by d.magnitude, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Sometimes I'm asked "how many hives do you have?", and this question is getting tougher to answer. Clearly, people consider a colony of bees in 10-frame equipment a "hive". Usually, if it's in a unit of 5-frames or less, it's called a "nuc".

    I've got some nucs that are stacked 5 frames on top of 5 frames. In the extreme, I had a stack of 4 nucs boxes stacked for a total of a 20-frame colony. At what point do you start calling it a "hive"? The width of the box seems to be a dumb criteria. What do you say?

    The reason I ask is that sometimes I go to meetings at a neighboring bee club. The Pres. always starts the meeting by going around the room and having each person say who they are, where they're from, and how many hives they have. I'm not crazy about this practice anyway, because it gives give an inappropriate weight to people's opinions in the room (number of hives does not equal knowledge).

    -Dan
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    A hive is a bottom, one or more box, and a top.

    A colony is a queen, workers, and brood, with stores.

    I would count them that way and if I had two colonies and 40 empties, I would tell them i had 42 hives. Then ask if they wanted to know how many colonies I had. Let them see their own ignorance.
     

  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've got 4 hives. One of them lives in the stump of an old beetree. Got to get them out before I invite the inspector over. Well I've got 4 colonies,but I do have about 20 empty boxes in the shed. How many hives do I have???
     
  4. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    I tend to use similar terminology Iddee. A "colony" is a "family" of bees (for lack of a better term. A "hive" is the home we put them in. I also tend to call supers, brood chambers, and hive bodies all "boxes".

    At the moment, I have 11 hives (w/ bees) and 19 nucs (w/ bees, and hopefully soon queens). I guess that makes me a 30-colony beekeeper all of the sudden, but I don't feel like it.

    -Dan
     
  5. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    Ahh, but isn't a "nucleus hive" still a hive?

    noun 1. a shelter constructed for housing a colony of honeybees; beehive.

    2. the colony of bees inhabiting a hive.

    3. something resembling a beehive in structure or use.

    4. a place swarming with busy occupants: a hive of industry.

    5. a swarming or teeming multitude.
    6. The place that Mark goes to get stung.

    OK, I made up #6 :lol:
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    dan said:
    "sometimes I go to meetings at a neighboring bee club. The Pres. always starts the meeting by going around the room and having each person say who they are, where they're from, and how many hives they have"
    sounds like an A.A. meeting to me......but a B H A meeting instead......(bee hoarders anonymous):lol:

    i'm with iddee, let them see their own ignorance. seems there are more intelligent questions that might be asked.

    dan also said:
    "it gives give an inappropriate weight to people's opinions in the room (number of hives does not equal knowledge)".

    i agree, misleading and unfortunate, some folks might think or have the impression it does, 'the more you have the more you know'. i know a beek that buys 15-20 packages every year and hives them, well if you can call it that(shouldn't even 'have' bees)....and i know another beek that keeps maybe 4 or so every year for the past 30 years, who do you think knows more about keepin' bees?