Beekeepers and other honey production workers use different terms that can sound confusing to newcomers. One common area of confusion is the difference between hives and honeycombs. Both play critical roles in honey production, but they’re not the same. Here’s how to distinguish between beehives and honeycombs.
What Is a Beehive?
A beehive is a home for bees. It’s a box-like structure that contains frames where bees live, store honey, and raise their young. Hives come in different designs and styles, from simple wooden boxes to more complex designs with multiple levels or ventilation systems. Usually, beekeepers will intervene in the honey production process by entering the hives for inspections. Some of these assessments include checking on the bees’ health, adding or removing frames as necessary, and harvesting excess honey.
What Is a Honeycomb?
A honeycomb is a bee-made structure made of wax. It consists of hexagonal cells that the bees fill with honey, pollen, and brood (also known as bee larvae). Honeycombs are key hive components that provide storage space for the bees’ food and brood. When harvesting honey, beekeepers typically remove the frames, which contain the honeycomb, and harvest the honey by spinning or crushing the honeycombs.
Honeycomb is also a wonderful sustainable material for making candles, homemade lotions, and food products.
How Are Hives and Honeycombs Related?
Hives and honeycombs both have their own functions within the beehive, but they’re deeply interconnected. Bees use the hive as a home, and honeycombs provide the structure for food storage and brood rearing. The hives also help beekeepers maintain healthy bee populations.
Why Does the Difference Between Hives and Honeycombs Matter?
Understanding the difference between hives and honeycombs can help us develop a better understanding of and appreciation for the complexity of bees and their honey production. It can also inform your choices as a beekeeper, a consumer of honey products, or an environmental advocate. Learning about hives and honeycombs can deepen your understanding of bees’ vital role in our ecosystem.
Hives and honeycombs are essential for honey production and beekeeping. Understanding the differences between them can help us appreciate bees’ role in our ecosystem.
If you’re interested in tasting raw honeycomb, check out Crystal’s Honey for a pure, flavorful experience straight from the hive. Every purchase of our natural honeycomb for sale supports ethical beekeeping practices. Enjoy the sweetness of nature!