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Managing a Modified National Hive

The National Hive is the predominant go-to hive for the British Beekeeper but its design is centred around human convenience more than for the benefit of the bees. Over time beekeepers find their own path on how they care for their bees. and for some, this means more consideration for the welfare of the bees. 

The Modified National Hive offers some adaptations that will work more with the bees and even offers ideas for those who may want to convert their existing hives. Together with a more hands-off approach to bee management, the relationship between man and bees can be greatly enhanced. 

  • Start off with a local swarm, preferably originating from a wild colony

  • Depending on the size of the swarm, adjust the volume of the hive accordingly using the divider board

  • Allow the colony to establish over the season and through their 1st winter before thinking about looking for surplus honey

  • Minimise inspections, instead observing the bee’s behaviour from outside the hive

  • Allow the bees to swarm

  • Refrain from feeding the bees or treating them with chemicals or miticides.

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