I've been thinking this winter: with all the concerns over hive temperature during the winter (and in the southeast, the summer heat too), is there a better way to shelter our bees than the 3/4 inch thick wood that makes the hive bodies? Here's my premis: what is the natural hive like for bees? Is it a hollow tree? If so, are the bees better suited, then, for a hive of better insulative qualities than we offer? If so, what are they loosing by being wintered (and summered) in a lumber hive? If anything, how could we alter our hive designs to "give it back" to them?
Some of you have a library of knowledge on the history of beekeeping. Has this issue come up before? In England where they use the inner hive/ outer hive parts, does the extra layer of woodware make a difference in the temperature of the hive?
What thoughts does everyone have on this?