Beekeeping/WBC Hive< Beekeeping
The WBC hive is a double-skinned hive named after its inventor William Broughton Carr. Although it is presently used only by a minority of amateur beekeepers in the UK, it is the design that most people would immediately recognise as a wooden beehive, having a pitched roof, short legs, and multiple storeys with sloping sides, giving it a pagoda-like appearance. The WBC was one of the first designs to use the British Standard brood frame, and as such the frames it uses exactly the same frames as the more common "National" hive. A full WBC hive has the following components:
- A pitched roof, typically covered with metal. The roof gables usually feature a cone escape to allow stray bees to escape, and this is often mistaken for the main entrance in illustrations.
- Outer "lifts" with sloping sides. The lowest lift features a "porch" with "slides" which can be pushed across to block the entrance.
- Inner boxes which are broadly similar to the "National" hive, but slightly narrower and made of thinner boards to a simpler design
- A floor with short legs, usually splayed. The front back half of the floor is level, and the front half slopes downward and extends out beyond the lifts. The sloping floor creates a gap underneath the front edge of the brood box which forms the main entrance
- The design is attractive
- It is often argued that double-skinned hives like the WBC provide better insulation for the bees from hot and cold weather. However, this has not been proven by research
- When disassembling the hive, the lifts can be used as a stand for the supers, keeping heavy lifting to a minimum
The WBC is often dismissed as a "Victorian Monstrosity", for the some of the following reasons:
- WBC Hives have more parts than other designs and some of them are complex and hard to manufacture, making it expensive
- The hives are difficult to move, as the inner boxes are often not completely beetight and the entrance is hard to block.