traditional image of a beehive
Bees have been kept by humans for thousands of years. The traditional image of a bee hive is actually a woven basket called a "skep."
pattern based on medieval tapestry image of a skep
Historically the skeps were used as bee hives by bee keepers until time to harvest honey. The skeps were broken open, destroying the colony, in order to harvest honey.
One of Steve's bee hives
photo by Becca A.
Now-a-days bees are usually kept in boxes with frames that can be removed without harming the bees or the colony as a whole. The boxes and frames also allows the bee keeper to remove only what he needs and leave enough honey for the bees to continue through the winter.
I'm looking forward to our first honey harvest this year!