In the categories on the left "B.S Standard." are hives and frames that were included in the old British Standards. They are, or should be, manufactured to the correct standard, although there may be minor variations. There should be compatibility between hives and parts made by different manufacturers. There have been attempts by some manufacturers to make their own modifications, that in general, haven't been widely adopted. An example is the "Rational Hive", mentioned below.
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. Hives and accessories". There are many more than the few listed here.
The "National" hive is the most popular in the UK and suits non-prolific 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 latter being the term for a brood box and super.
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.
The Commercial hive is often referred to as the "B.S. Commercial", but this is erroneous, as it wasn't included in the British Standards. The external dimensions are the same as the National, although the frame size is different. Some beekeepers use National supers on Commercial brood boxes, others vice versa.
Non-standard B.S. and accessories.
The "Rose" hive is effectively a National one sized box, in depth, about halfway between a National brood box and super.
The "Rational" hive is a top bee space National with different designs for floors and roofs that was designed by Dave Cushman and manufactured by Apex Enterprises.
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.
Originally written by Dave Cushman. Edited and additions by Roger Patterson.
Page created pre-2011
Page updated 02/12/2022