A beehive of bees

sauna para desinfectar una colmena

The bees and their organization is something that has captivated many researchers. They form a very well organized social community with which man has taken advantage of them for thousands of years, extracting their raw honey, royal jelly, wax and propolis from them. The core organisation is a beehive, which we will look at in detail below.


  1. What is a bee hive?
  2. Types of beehives
  3. How to make a hive of bees?
  4. The bee sauna
  5. Where to buy a hive of bees?
  6. Breathing bee hive air

Summary: The beehive is the home of the bees. There are also, if you are a lover of beekeeping, bees and their honey. Here in our shop in Las Rozas de Madrid you can buy fantastic honeys: heather honeyeucalyptus honey, rosemary, thyme, orange blossom, manuka, acacia….

Other related articles: The 5 best honeys in Spain. Raw unpasteurised honey. Where to buy quality raw honey?

1. What is a beehive?

In the past, more than a century ago, beehives were simple containers of wood, cork or straw, where bees built their combs and lived as they pleased. Some of these hives can still be seen in museums or in a honey shop, like ours.

These old hives worked relatively well, the swarms were well extracted, they were relatively cheap and the bees were very comfortable in them.

In spite of all these advantages, they have great disadvantages in a more modern beekeeping, which has made these old beehives disappear, because they produced little honey, the inspection of the beehives was very complicated, they easily maintained infection foci and did not allow faster and more modern working methods.

Hence, in 1951, a new hive of moving frames, invented by Langstroth, appeared. A much more useful beehive and much simpler to manage for the beekeeper.

Elements of a hive

The hive is at the end a rectangular box as seen in the photo and inside with numerous combs, as can be seen in the photo. The hive consists of the following elements.

  • Bottom, platform or base
  • The body, which is on the platform
  • Hives are raised, as the bees fill the hive with honey.
  • Coverer
  • Roof
  • The pictures: where the combs are placed
a beehive


Picture 1: Beehive

2. Types of hives

For the convenience of the beekeeper, he should work with a single model of hive. The model explained above varies in size from country to country.

  • Voirnot hive, its frames are 33 cm x 33 cm
  • Alsatian hives: their frames are 316 x 386 mm
  • Bastians hives. Frame 240 x 320 mm

then there are minor modifications to these.

How to make a beehive?

A beehive is very simple to make, but if you want to take beekeeping a little more seriously, we do not recommend that you make your own beehives.

If you want to make a beehive yourself, all you have to do is make a large rectangular box and take a queen bee to nest there. This way, you will have a hive, but with very low honey production and with great difficulty to treat them against infections.

3. How to make a hive of bees?

A hive of bees is very simple to make, but if you want to take beekeeping a little more seriously, we do not recommend that you make the hives yourself.

In case you want to make a hive yourself, you have nothing to do but to make a large rectangular box and bring a queen bee to nest in it. In this way, you will have a hive, but with very low honey production and with great difficulty in treating them against infections.

4. The bee sauna

One of the problems beekeepers face is the varroa. A small mite that transmits disease to them and weakens them by feeding on the blood of bees

A new invention by the German Richard Rossa may be the solution to end the varroa mite that is killing bees worldwide. This new invention consists of placing a sauna in the beehive itself.

This sauna for the bees, on the one hand, would act against the varroa and on the other hand it creates a welfare effect on the bees. In addition, this sauna is very beneficial in the part of the hive where bee larvae hatch. Therefore, a better welfare and improvement of the state of the hives also has more benefits for the beekeeper, since it increases the production of honey.

The heat that this sauna provides contributes to the improvement of the bees’ condition, as the heat strengthens and vitalises them, makes them more agile, more sinful and cleanses them. Also, the heat gets the queen to lay more eggs and therefore the hive increases in population. These are all signs that the bee sauna enhances the well-being of these insects.

But what does the bee sauna consist of? The bee sauna is a technical apparatus with a plug that weighs about 18 kilos, which is placed inside the beehive providing heat inside it. With this apparatus, the brood chamber is heated to 42ºC for three or four hours, resulting in the death of the varroa mites. This treatment is usually done two or three times a year, although there are different programs and treatments.  In queen bee hatcheries, five to seven treatments are applied per year

a) Survival of varroa in the sauna

Varroa mites do not survive the bee sauna. Also, as in men’s bodies, sweating in the sauna strengthens the immune system. But the question we are now asking ourselves is: does this also happen with bees?

The sauna, as many studies indicate, strengthens our metabolism and we can see this same effect in bees with the naked eye. According to the beekeepers who have used these treatments, they have been surprised and excited by the effects of this new sauna for bees, seeing their beehives strengthen.

An irrefutable fact of the benefits of this bee sauna is that after the applications of these treatments, there is an increase in the number of bees in the hive, a greater activity of the queen bee and a strengthening of the hive as a whole.

But how did this idea come about? Richard Rossa, the inventor of the bee sauna, looking for solutions to save his hives, started treating his bees with acid. However, this caused considerable damage to their hives. After this failure, he looked for other alternatives and among them he chose to apply heat. At the same time, the effectiveness of heat for varroa control had been known for more than 30 years, but no viable system had yet been found for its application until Richard invented this bee sauna.

With this new varroa treatment, the entire hive can be treated in a more nature-friendly way and could be a replacement for other treatments.

5. Where to buy a hive of bees?

When buying a hive of bees, it is best to go with a Denomination of Origin or with a beekeeper. I would also seek the advice of a veterinarian for any legal requirements that may be needed.

6. Breathing hive air

There is no scientific evidence, but according to many beekeepers, hive air can cure many diseases. According to them, with such treatment, we can cure the following:

  • Respiratory diseases (bronchitis, asthma).
  • Chronic headaches
  • Immunodeficiency problems
  • Chronic rhinitis

As we have indicated this is not proven, it is the opinion of a group of beekeepers. These beekeepers also assure that at least 30 or 40 sessions are needed to start noticing the effects.

For this treatment, the api air device has been developed, which allows you to inhale the air from the hive in a very comfortable way.



El periódico SWR: http://www.swr.de/

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