Alii faciunt ex viminibus rotundas, alii e ligno ac corticibus, alii ex arbore cava, alii fictiles, alii etiam ex ferulis quadratus longas pedes circiter ternos, latas pedem, sed ita, ubi parum sunt quæ compleant, ut eas conangustent, in vasto loco inani ne despondeant animum.
Some make round hives out of withies, some make them of wood and bark, some from a hollow tree, some of earthenware, and others again from the fennel plant, making them rectangular, about three feet long and one foot across, except that, when the bees are too few to fill them, they reduce the size, so that the bees do not lose heart in a wide empty space.
[Marcus Terentius Varro, De re rustica 3.16.15 (trans. A.J. Graham)]