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Sun hives -build for bees not for humans

 
David Livingston
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http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/sun-hive-guenther-mancke.html

Could the Sun hive be the hive for your bees ?

David
 
David Livingston
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First course in the USA http://healdsburgshed.com/events/sun-hive-workshop/

David
 
David Livingston
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Inside the Sun Hive


David
 
Dominik Riva
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bee forest garden fungi
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Well, I'm in the process of becoming a bee keeper my self and this hive looks daunting and complicated to work with.

As it stands right now I will go with the traditional french/US design called dadant as this is what my mentor uses.
 
David Livingston
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I think the idea Dominik is that you don't work with the bees , you let bees do there own stuff . It's a much different philosophy than that practiced by the majority of beekeepers . I have some Dadants as well but I use them in a light touch manner . I just visit them twice a year once to give them a " hausse " that's a super in French and the other time is to remove it and take a harvest if any . The only other thing I do is collect swarms .
That's it I don't have masses of kit I just crush and strain the honey for my own consumption . No feeding no treatment no fortnightly inspection no bother bees seem happy . They are out today on the plums and little yellow forest flowers . Go girls go !
 
Dominik Riva
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It looks like traditional beekeeping will be what I will learn from my mentor.
Checking up on the hives on a weekly basis for pest control and learning in the beginning.

As I am a lazy bastard at my core, I suspect me to adopt a more hands off approach after my apprenticeship.
 
Jason Padvorac
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It looks really cool, though it also seems at a very early stage of development. One comment that gives me pause is that it does not require artificial swarm suppression techniques. From what I understand, swarming is how colonies reproduce and rejuvenate, and while swarming may offer some superficial inconveniences to the apiarist, it actually is a sign of a healthy, vital colony. Suppressing swarms is a harsh management technique -- but not having swarms suggests that some other kind of suboptimal circumstance may be occurring.

From my research (not experience, yet), the Warre hive seems to be the bee-friendliest setup, and also is very keeper friendly. Warre put a ton of research and development into hives that would provide the optimal conditions for the thriving of bees, and while meeting those criteria, make it workable for keepers. You can read all about it in the book "Beekeeping for All", which you can download at http://warre.biobees.com/ .

Notice -- optimal *conditions*, not shape. In nature bees sometimes build free-hanging colonies, other times tuck themselves into hollows of who-knows-what kind of shape. The important things are to make it possible for the bees to adjust their airflow/temperature/humidity as they need without expending too much effort, and to be able to guard their colony, and not be forced into unnatural spacings for things, and etc. This can all happen in a fairly ordinary-looking box.
 
David Livingston
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I don't think that for the sun hive supression of swarms is an issue because a)it's frankly impossible to do and b) being a fairly big hive with no queen excluder ( no queen excluder in the warre either ) it does not produce that many swarms ( similar to the Perone probably for the same reason - lack of population pressure in the brood area )

David
 
Rob Browne
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Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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From what I have seen of these hives (only on the video) I reckon once a hive gets big and strong you would be constantly chasing swarms. The inability to expand the hive will force swarming.
 
David Livingston
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Hi Rob
You would think so at first thought but I am advised thats not the case either for Sun hives or Perone hives both of these are at the top end of natural hive size . When looking at the size of the hive it's the brood area that counts .
There obviously must be an optimal size for hives ( with only one queen ) smaller hives would reach max bee density much more quickly and more often thus swarm more often and with smaller swarms

David
 
Rob Browne
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Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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Possibly David but its no where near as big as a four box Lang deep and I have quite a few hives of that size. If they were restricted to say, only two boxes there would be swarms everywhere. Anyway, time will tell.
 
David Livingston
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http://www.naturalbeekeepingtrust.org/#!sun-hive/c10d6

More information here
David
 
David Livingston
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I asked the great beekeeper ( although I doubt she likes the term beekeeper ) Heidi Herrmman about the Sun Hive and Swarming and her reply was interesting .
She said " One aspect people frequently get quite wrong: the sun hive, if properly built, is fully inspectable. However, sunhive beekeepers are not wont to waste their time chasing queen cells - swarming is welcomed amongst holistically inclined beekeepers."
So I was maybe wrong yes you may get lots of swarms . Is that such a bad thing ?
 
Rob Browne
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Depends where your hives are located as to whether swarming is good or bad. Sure it is the natural way for hives to reproduce BUT we have changed the game plan since that bit of evolution. There are not as many suitable natural hive locations as we tend to log out the larger trees and maintain our gardens more. For this reason most wild swarms end up dying. Isn't it better to house them? If you live in an urban environment then swarms tend to cause a certain level of panic in the residents which causes problems when they find out you keep "dangerous" bees in your backyard. Isn't it wiser to house them before swarming?

Just some thoughts.
 
David Livingston
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Actually most swarms in the wild die .if you do the math if they did not we would be up to our eyes in the little darlings as the numbers would increase exponentially .

David
 
David Livingston
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I prefer to catch the swarms after they leave the hive . Much less work and if they can find a " better " home than one of my empty hives spread through out the land I steward then so much the better.

David
 
Rob Browne
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Catching a swarm is the best way but I am not around enough to ensure I catch them so usually its an earlier split or nest expansion for mine. Its just how it is in my situation but I ageee a swarm is best to start a hive with.
 
kevin hancock
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Hi guys

quite new to the forum so I will do a little "HI " first

HI

great to see all the interest in bees,

I have built a bee hive specifically for bees, and then figured out how to then get some excess honey (if the season we good) out.

http://ecape1820.tripod.com/alternativebeehive/

so in a nutshell you can have a look on my website for more info , but basically, it is designed to be build from scaffolding board. (they are untreated, to a certain standard as peoples lives will depend on them not falling, standard size ex)

I use new limber as one key aspect is one needs to not have one or two expensive (time or money) in an apiary but have 7 to 10 times as many spread out all over.

The Rationale

Conventional Beekeeping  is:
few expensive hives
concentrated
with reduced and controlled diversity.

HAH Beekeeping is:
for the same money 10 times as many hives 
dispersed all over
with a natural uncontrolled diversity.


In keeping with “Permaculture” and “forest gardening”, a system should be pretty self-sustaining without to much intervention after it has initially been established. So it is with the HAH bee hive system.

two or three visits a year and that's it. or if you prefer just the bees, once they are in just leave them until the hive falls apart in quite a few years!! no other hive can say that , I don't think.??

any how , if you have read up to here thank you for your time and I hope you found it interesting and compelling.

Kevi H

 
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