The Dadant Bee Hive
The Dadant is a French design that’s most popular in Europe, while the very well-known Langstroth hive is far more popular in the United States.
The larger bottom box (also called a brood box) has the bottom board under it that gives a landing board to the entrance of the hive, and its mesh underside allows for good ventilation throughout the brood box and boxes placed on top of it. This box contains the body of the colony, and the fertile queen will be laying eggs in this chamber Spring and Summer for 3 to 4 years. The female workers will work tirelessly, feeding and caring for the larvae, bringing the food stores in, taking care of security, and cleaning everything up during their 5 to 6 week lifespan.
This all happens in the brood box on 10 removable frames where the workers build a perfectly made honeycomb, using wax excreted from their bodies. This honeycomb provides extremely clean nursing chambers for the larvae, honey and pollen food stores for winter that are all capped and securely stored with breathable wax (for unborn bees) or non-breathable wax (food storage).
The smaller box above it is called a Super, and this can be added when the colony in the bottom box has reached a good strength. This contains 9 smaller frames that will be the harvestable honey chamber by placing a mesh (Queen Excluder) between the 2 boxes that’s too narrow for the larger bodied queen to pass through and continue her egg laying life’s mission, which at its height will be a thousand eggs a day. The mesh allows all the workers to pass freely through, so they use the box all for honey storage, and this is the box that can be optionally harvested without affecting the development of the hive.
Several Supers can be added depending on the progressive development of the colony, with just the one Queen Excluder on top of the bottom box.
On top of that is the top cover that gives security (no 2nd entrance to guard) and help to perverse the colony’s ideal temperature that the bees will maintain.
On top of that is the outer cover to keep the rain out.