• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Slovenian Bee-Hives

 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
Pie
Posts: 3911
Location: Zone 9b
293
bee books food preservation fungi
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Someone mentioned a Slovenian Bee-hive in a comment on Paul's bee hut video so I decided to check it out and they are SO neat!


source:quixotree

Apparently they are basically enclosed bee huts with some sort of work station behind it where you can tend to them and keep your equipment and what not. (Although I couldn't really find a good picture of that part)

They are well-known for their bright colors and their artfully painted front slats. The tradition started many years ago around the introduction of buckwheat cultivation. The paintings were very folksy and often depicted animals taking over humans. There is a whole gallery of Slovenian beehive art here. But here are a few of my favorites from that link:


(fox shaving a man)


(snail chasing men)


(job on a pile of manure)

Anyway, Slovenians believed that the bright colors helped the bees find their home and I just can't get over how cool they are. If only I had any artistic capabilities what so ever.. A girl can dream, right?

Here are a few more cool pictures:


source:gallery of apicultural museum


source:velvet's fullbright blog


source: honeyfingers


 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 131
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
8
bee dog forest garden
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cassie Langstraat wrote:
Apparently they are basically enclosed bee huts with some sort of work station behind it where you can tend to them and keep your equipment and what not. (Although I couldn't really find a good picture of that part)


Hey. The traditional Slovenian beehives are not of the Langstroth type; a single hive does not consist of stacked boxes opening from the top. Instead, the entire backside vertical panel is the door. So entire hives can be stacked upon each other to form one wall of the beehut; and accessed by the keeper from the inside of the hut.

In this gallery, for example, you can see (among other things) the inside of a really large building of this type: http://www.cebelarstvo-dremelj.si/fotogalerija/

And here's a really special example http://cebelarski-muzej.si/tigeli/sl/cebelarski-muzej

The hives seen in the photos you presented, except the first photo, are of the "kranjič" type, several centuries old. You can read a bit more about it here: http://www.angelfire.com/folk/mizarstvo/prod01eng.htm

The hives seen in your first photo are of the Alberti-Žnidaršič type which became prevalent in early 20th century and is, with some variation, still the dominant type in Slovenia nowadays. Usually it takes the form of 2 stories of 10 frames each and it still opens entirely from one side, thus keeping the suitability for installation in bee-huts such as you have encountered.


 
Julia Winter
steward
Pie
Posts: 1685
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
121
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


Here's a picture from the photo gallery linked above, of the inside of a bee building.
 
Julia Winter
steward
Pie
Posts: 1685
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
121
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


A bee hut doing it's job.
 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
Pie
Posts: 3911
Location: Zone 9b
293
bee books food preservation fungi
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Crt Jakhel wrote:

Hey. The traditional Slovenian beehives are not of the Langstroth type; a single hive does not consist of stacked boxes opening from the top. Instead, the entire backside vertical panel is the door. So entire hives can be stacked upon each other to form one wall of the beehut; and accessed by the keeper from the inside of the hut.

In this gallery, for example, you can see (among other things) the inside of a really large building of this type: http://www.cebelarstvo-dremelj.si/fotogalerija/

And here's a really special example http://cebelarski-muzej.si/tigeli/sl/cebelarski-muzej

The hives seen in the photos you presented, except the first photo, are of the "kranjič" type, several centuries old. You can read a bit more about it here: http://www.angelfire.com/folk/mizarstvo/prod01eng.htm

The hives seen in your first photo are of the Alberti-Žnidaršič type which became prevalent in early 20th century and is, with some variation, still the dominant type in Slovenia nowadays. Usually it takes the form of 2 stories of 10 frames each and it still opens entirely from one side, thus keeping the suitability for installation in bee-huts such as you have encountered.


Wow! Amazing knowledge! Thanks so much!
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 302
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The hives look small - like 2 deeps or even smaller. I'm curious how they manage them.
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
they do look nice. I can think of at least a couple of drawbacks, though.

Patrick hinted at one: the individual colonies can't grow very large because of the small size of the hives.

additionally, putting so many colonies so close together can have some rather negative ramifications for pathogen transmission and colony health, particularly if one is trying to avoid treatments.
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 131
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
8
bee dog forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cassie Langstraat wrote:Wow! Amazing knowledge! Thanks so much!


Well, not really... I'm only starting out as a bee-keeper but I do have the advantage of living in Slovenia
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 131
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
8
bee dog forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
tel jetson wrote:they do look nice. I can think of at least a couple of drawbacks, though.
Patrick hinted at one: the individual colonies can't grow very large because of the small size of the hives.
additionally, putting so many colonies so close together can have some rather negative ramifications for pathogen transmission and colony health, particularly if one is trying to avoid treatments.


Both good points. When starting out as a beekeeper I decided to go with LR exactly because the management seemed more straightforward without the constraints ineherent in the AŽ system. I can't really comment on how to best manage a non-extensible hive because I have no experience with them. But the very long tradition of beekeeping in Slovenia shows that it's feasible.

As to bee health, I'm not sure there is anybody in the country (that I have heard of - could be important) that practices zero treatment. Even organic acids are only used by a small minority of beekeepers (below 10% if I recall some documents correctly). Personally I'm learning to work with formic & oxalic acids but it's my first year and, I'm told, a particularly bad one at that concerning varroa infestation. The swarms were housed at the end of May; after a 20-day formic treatment in July/August two of our 3 hives (LR 2/3) are OK but one seems to be under heavy attack.

In any case, AŽ has remained predominant in Slovenia and is considered to be a part of national folklore despite actually being of German / Italian origin. World-wide the LR system and its variations has a 90%+ share; in Slovenia, AŽ has such a share and LR is an exotic minority. There is a trend toward its adoption but it's a slow one.

One thing you also need to consider is that the social and economic situation of a beekeeper is different in Slovenia vs. the US.

* In the US, as far as I know, beekeeping is, for the most part, an enterprise, a commercial venture; also, income comes largely from pollination.

* In Slovenia, the concept of paid-for pollination does not exist. Although there are large commercial beekeepers, "large" means at most let's say 300 hives. The predominant situation is 5-20 hives managed by a person of advanced age according to the guidelines of the previous generation, producing honey for the family and neighbors, with any surplus being more of a problem than an opportunity. A problem that is then solved by a guy coming round with a van, paying a super low price, taking the honey, pouring it all together from various sources and selling it on who knows where.

Despite that, Slovenia is the homeland of the Carnica bee strain which is both economically important and a component of national pride. Efforts continue to preserve and advance it. The number of bee families in the entire country remains at about 150.000. Carnica queens are exported all over the world and are considered excellent for their docility and production.

This thread on beesource.com might be interesting concerning the AŽ system: http://www.beesource.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-255405.html
 
Aljaz Plankl
Posts: 384
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Carnica queens are exported all over the world and are considered excellent for their docility and production.

Hej Crt.
Thanks for good answers on behalf of Slovenians.
I'm lucky i moved one year ago to a local region where Dremelj family is living.
Was sycthing around their beehut on picture below twice this year before sunrise... and had a good chat with the guy.
Apis mellifera carnica queens are his main income being amongst top providers for the whole world.
I can forward questions to him, so post them if any of you would like to know more about bees, queens, beehuts etc...
Aljaz

 
Paul Phillips
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Aljaz Plankl wrote:
Carnica queens are exported all over the world and are considered excellent for their docility and production.

Hej Crt.
Thanks for good answers on behalf of Slovenians.
I'm lucky i moved one year ago to a local region where Dremelj family is living.
Was sycthing around their beehut on picture below twice this year before sunrise... and had a good chat with the guy.
Apis mellifera carnica queens are his main income being amongst top providers for the whole world.
I can forward questions to him, so post them if any of you would like to know more about bees, queens, beehuts etc...
Aljaz




I've searched and searched everywhere for some decent woodworking plans to make these AZ style hives, and the best I can get is a front / side cad drawing with just about zero helpful information for woodworking...

If you are still able to could you ask him if he has any woodworking plans to guide me in making my own AZ hives?

Thanks
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic