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British Standard (B.S.)
Beehives and Frame types

In the categories on the left "Standard B.S." are hives and frames that are manufactured to the correct standard, although there may be minor variations. There will be compatibility between hives and parts made by different manufacturers.

Parts that were not included in the standard or have been designed to be used with B.S. equipment are under "Non-standard B.S. and accessories".

Standard B.S.

The "National" hive is the most popular in the UK and suits non-prolific or native type bees admirably. However, it may not be the best answer if you keep more prolific bees, unless you use the deeper 14" x 12", or multiple boxes for the brood area such as "double brood" or "brood and a half".

The B.S. Commercial hive is also known as "16 x 10" and has a larger volume. It is suited to more prolific bees and is an alternative to "brood and a half" or Langstroth. The external size is the same as the National, although the frame size is different. Some beekeepers use National supers on Commercial brood boxes, others vice versa.

The WBC hive accepts B.S. frames, the same as the National, but has reduced in popularity due to its complexity and cost.

The Smith hive takes frames that are "standard" apart from shorter lugs. It is the cheapest hive with the same capacity as the National, but smaller in length owing to the shorter lugs. It is popular in Scotland and the North of England.

Non-standard B.S and accessories.

The "Rose" hive is effectively a National one sized box, about halfway in depth between a National brood box and super.

The "Rational" is a top bee space National with different designs for floors and roofs that was designed by Dave Cushman.

No open mesh floors were included in British Standards and there has been no standard design emerge, so some are included here for those who wish to make their own.

Roger Patterson.