Old English hyf "beehive," from Proto-Germanic *hufiz (source also of Old Norse hufr "hull of a ship"), from PIE *keup- "round container, bowl" (source also of Sanskrit kupah "hollow, pit, cave," Greek kypellon "cup," Latin cupa "tub, cask, vat;" see cup (n.)). Figurative sense of "swarming, busy place" is from 1630s.
of bees, etc., "to form (themselves) into a hive," c. 1400, from hive (n.). Transitive sense, "to put (bees) in a hive," is from mid-15c. Related: Hived; hiving.