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CGI rendering of BS National Beehive, cutaway to show the internal parts.

The Improved National Beehive was a form of Langstroth beehive standardized by two British Standards (in 1946 and then in 1960, before being withdrawn in 1984[1]). The same standard contained the specification of the Smith beehive: these two forms represent the most popular designs used in the UK.

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The National hive, as it usually known, is based on Langstroth hive design principles: a vertical stack of modular components. Its dimensions are generally smaller and notably the brood chamber is shallower than the typical Langstroth hive to suit a less prolific bee strain.

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for The original specification and the associated Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food leaflet[2] detail a floor (now often superseded by an open-mesh floor which allows monitoring of Varroa infestation), stand, deeper standard brood for 1 last update 2020/07/04 boxes, shallower honey Super boxes, a section rack (for production of sections of comb honey), a crownboard and a roof. The main boxes are 18⅛"" (225mm) tall, and the shallow super 5⅞"" (19mm) thick. The original specification and the associated Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food leaflet[2] detail a floor (now often superseded by an open-mesh floor which allows monitoring of Varroa infestation), stand, deeper standard brood boxes, shallower honey Super boxes, a section rack (for production of sections of comb honey), a crownboard and a roof. The main boxes are 18⅛"" (225mm) tall, and the shallow super 5⅞"" (19mm) thick.

BS National standard (brood) box, with frames shown through cutaway (two frames removed, to show detail).

The internal frames are supported on runners on two sides of the box, in a deep rebate formed by the two-piece construction of the sides. Because the boxes are square, it is possible to orient frames in two ways with respect to the entrance, either parallel to the entrance block (''), or perpendicular to it ('').

The National beehive is specifically designed to house frames detailed in the standard. These are 14"" or 5½"" or 432mm) giving them long lugs of 1½"" (9mm) bottom beespace—that is, the top surface of the frame bar is flush with the top of the box, and the lower surface of the frame is one bee space above the bottom of the box. Thus, when two boxes are stacked atop one another, there is exactly one beespace vertically between the frames. However, both top and bottom beespace designs may now be found in use.

Blue: roof. Grey: crownboard Brown: shallow super; Gold: shallow frames. Purple: queen excluder. Red: standard broodbox; pink: standard frames. Lime: floor; green: entrance block. Teal: stand.

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