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1. beehive, workplace, work
usage: any workplace where people are very busy
2. beehive, hive, nest
usage: a structure that provides a natural habitation for bees; as in a hollow tree
3. beehive, hairdo, hair style, coiffure
usage: a hairdo resembling a beehive
4. beehive, hive, receptacle
usage: a man-made receptacle that houses a swarm of bees
A beehive is an enclosed structure in which some honey bee species of the subgenus Apis live and raise their young. Natural beehives (typically referred to simply as "nests") are naturally occurring structures occupied by honey bee colonies, whereas domesticated honey bees live in man-made beehives, often in an apiary. These man-made structures are typically referred to as "beehives". Several species of Apis live in hives, but only the western honey bee (Apis mellifera) and the eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) are domesticated by humans.
The beehive''s internal structure is a densely packed matrix of hexagonal cells made of beeswax, called a honeycomb. The bees use the cells to store food (honey and pollen), and to house the "brood" (eggs, larvae, and pupae).
Artificial beehives serve two purposes: production of honey and pollination of nearby crops. Artificial hives are commonly transported so that bees can pollinate crops in other areas. A number of patents have been issued for beehive designs.
Traditional beehives simply provided an enclosure for the bee colony. Because no internal structures were provided for the bees, the bees created their own honeycomb within the hives. The comb is often cross-attached and cannot be moved without destroying it. This is sometimes called a ''fixed-frame'' hive to differentiate it from the modern ''movable-frame'' hives. Harvest generally destroyed the hives, though there were some adaptations using extra top baskets which could then be removed when the bees filled them with honey. These were gradually supplanted with box hives of varying dimensions, with or without frames, and finally replaced by newer modern equipment.
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