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Beekeeping/Hive materials

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Question
I am a Mechanical Engineering student at Brigham Young University in Utah. My Senior project team is working on improving a beehive design for a company in Africa. I have been tasked with learning about the materials used for housing bees. What specific material characteristics are required of the hive to make it the most desirable living space for the bees? Are there material characteristics that are known to irritate/repel or especially attract the bees? For example, I would imagine that some polymers would let off fumes that would be offensive to the bees. Anything you can offer would be very useful. Thank you!
Jayson

Answer
The hive consists of wooden frames with a wax foundation. The frames are stored parallel to each other in a bee box. The wood for the frame should ideally be Eastern Pine since it is a more durable wood. You can either buy wax sheets for the foundation or make them yourself. Here is a link on how to make wax foundation sheets: http://www.beesource.com/resources/elements-of-beekeeping/milling-wax-foundation

Also, you can get some ideas from this beekeeping supply website: Miller Bee Supply.

Bees will precisely position their hives as seen on some of these pictures here: http://www.propacificbeeremoval.com/media/photo-gallery/

Hope this helps some. Good luck with your project.  

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Shaun Billings

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I have the knowledge & experience to provide a thorough answer to questions on honeybees & Africanized 'killer' bees. I can cover facts about their behavior, anatomy, impact on our environment, and techniques & methods to removing swarms/hives from structures. Although I am not fully knowledgeable with beekeeping practices, the company I work for relocates the hives we collect to the owner of a local orange grove that needs the bees for pollination. We provide bee relocation services in San Diego, Riverside, Orange County and south San Bernardino.

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My experience include 15 years of studying honeybee characteristics & removing bees from structures throughout southern California. The company I work for, Pro Pacific Bee Removal, was founded in 1999. I have contributed to many bee forums, local & international publications, & beekeeping societies. I would be glad to assist you on All Experts with any of your questions!

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