Note: Contrary to the text found in the article below, Berlepsch may have beaten Lorenzo Langstroth to the recognition of bee space as a consideration to be utilized in the construction of bee hives – by as little as 5 months. Berlepsch was working with Dzierzon on a movable frame hive and is now noted for his perfecting of other’s efforts.
Given that information and publishing was very slow in the mid nineteenth century, it is quite possible that the two men refined the use of bee space as a valuable addition to beekeeping independently and at approximately the same time.
Berlepsch was also, during the same period, working with Dzierzon on a moveable frame hive. However it was the American Langstroth that got it right combining the two features of bee space and removable frame hive which proved to be simple, flexible, and would later go on to dominate managed beekeeping in the United States. <end of note>
In 1851, Reverend Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth invented a better beehive and changed beekeeping forever. The Langstroth Hive didn’t spring fully formed from one man’s imagination, but was built on a foundation of methods and designs developed over millenia.
Beekeeping dates back at least to ancient Egypt, when early apiarists built their hives from straw and clay (if you happen to find a honeypot in a tomb, feel free to stick your hand in it, you rascal, because honey lasts longer than a mummy). In the intervening centuries, various types of artificial hives developed, from straw baskets to wood boxes but they all shared one thing: “fixed combs” that must be physically cut from the hive. These early fixed comb hives made it difficult for beekeepers to inspect their brood for diseases or other problems.
In the 18th century, noted Swiss naturalist François Huber developed a “movable comb” or “movable frame” hive that featured wooded leaves filled with honeycombs that could be flipped like the pages of a book. Despite this innovation, Huber’s hive was not widely adopted and simple box hives remained the popular choice for beekeepers until the 1850s. Enter Lorenzo Langstroth.
Read the full article here: The Secret to the Modern Beehive is a One-Centimeter Air Gap