English - Bienenkisten-Forum https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/board/?board=40 <![CDATA[Modifications for colder climate of Sweden?]]> https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/3663/modifications-for-colder-climate-of-sweden#dis-post-23107

First of all, thank you for a very informative website about the bienenkiste!

I live in the "middle" of Sweden and I'm planning on building two bienenkiste this spring.
Right now I have a few Top-Bar hives, and I'm also building two Sun Hives.

Before I start building the bienenkiste I have few questions which I hope you can answer.

1. From your point of view, are there any modifications I should do to the original design (and measurements)
because of the colder climate in Sweden? I'm specifically thinking about increasing the 210 mm height
measurement so that the bees may be able to put more honey "above their heads" as an insulator.
Is this something you think is necessary? This is something we have seen is beneficial in the Top-bar hives.

2. I was thinking of building the bienenkiste with a removable top/lid and managing the hive a bit like a regular Top-bar hive. What is the big benefit with opening the box from underneath? Have you tried building it with a removable top/lid?

Thank you for your time and effort in this project! I haven't seen any bienenkiste in Sweden but maybe soon smiley

Best regards
https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/3663/modifications-for-colder-climate-of-sweden#dis-post-23107 Do, 12 Mai 2016 04:08:26 +0200 https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/3663/modifications-for-colder-climate-of-sweden#dis-post-23107
<![CDATA[Introduction - new member]]> https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/2675/introduction---new-member#dis-post-15398
Central Indiana
United States]]>
https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/2675/introduction---new-member#dis-post-15398 Mi, 24 Dez 2014 10:18:02 +0100 https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/2675/introduction---new-member#dis-post-15398
<![CDATA[What are the differences between the old Kreiner hive and the newer Klein Kreiner hive?]]> https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1341/what-are-the-differences-between-the-old-kreiner-hive-and-the-newer-klein-kreiner-hive#dis-post-6703
1. I've seen some pictures of the old Kreiner hive, and what struck me was that the old hives were often stacked 20 boxes high. You can't do regular inspections "from the bottom" if the boxes are stacked that high, can you? Or can you... if you have some mechanism for loading and off-loading the hives?

Was the old Kreiner hive also inspected from the bottom? How was honey harvested from the old Kreiner hive? Did the old Kreiner hive also come with removeable top-bars?

2. I'm from the Netherlands and I noticed that the word "kreiner" occurs over 200 times in the Dutch beekeeping magazine archives, but unfortunately it turns out that the word "kreiner" used to be a local word for "Carnica", so most of the articles about "kreiner" are not about the Kreiner hive but about Carnica bees. What was the original relationship between Carnica and Kreiner?

3. Good luck translating that web site... the doku section alone is 50 000 words (thankfully 20 000 of them are in repeating segments).

https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1341/what-are-the-differences-between-the-old-kreiner-hive-and-the-newer-klein-kreiner-hive#dis-post-6703 Fr, 28 Feb 2014 06:05:39 +0100 https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1341/what-are-the-differences-between-the-old-kreiner-hive-and-the-newer-klein-kreiner-hive#dis-post-6703
<![CDATA[TRANS-PROJECT: Startseite]]> https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1283/trans-project-startseite#dis-post-6391 http://www.bienenkiste.de/

[For review/checking - KMP]

Beekeeping - simply and naturally!
The Bienenkiste™ ("BEE-nen-KISS-te") beehive project is a non-profit initiative of Mellifera e.V.

We show you a simplified method for keeping bees intended for the part-time beekeeper whose primary interests lie in the enjoyment of nature, a natural curiosity about bees, and the desire to harvest honey for personal consumption.

Project information...

Building the hive: detailed construction plans

[Bild alt="Building the hive yourself")

The Bienenkiste hive is essentially a simple wooden box that you can build yourself. On the front there is a slot that serves as the entrance for the bees. Both the bottom board and the rear panel are removable.

The Bienenkiste blog

[Wird automatisch gefüttert -- da sollten wir für jeden Beitrag (zumindest künftig) eine kurze EN-Zusammenfassung erstellen, die hier eingefüttert werden kann.]
In the December 2013 issue of their monthly newsletter for beekeepers, the regional apicultural institutes lend their support and encouragement to the Bienenkiste hive and "those [beginning beekeepers] whose commitment to keeping bees derives from an interest in ecology, life experiences, and an enjoyment of nature."

Media Library

[Bild alt="Scene from the video documentary NYC BEE MAN"]

A picture is worth a thousand words...
Beekeeping in the Bienenkiste is documented in detail in our extensive library of images and videos. Sources of further information can be found in the book recommendations and links to online articles.

https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1283/trans-project-startseite#dis-post-6391 Mi, 12 Feb 2014 03:30:43 +0100 https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1283/trans-project-startseite#dis-post-6391
<![CDATA[Welcome to the Bienenkisten Forum!]]> https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1238/welcome-to-the-bienenkisten-forum#dis-post-6188
The Bienenkiste (pron. 'BEE-nən-'KISS-tə) beehive (think "Bee-Kiss") is still largely unknown in the English-speaking world. Almost all of the literature, published or online, about this relatively new hive and method of beekeeping (although based on a much older one with a long tradition), is in German, which is understandable as the Bienenkiste was developed by beekeepers from the non-profit Mellifera e.V. (Centre for Organic Beekeeping*), located in southern Germany.

Questions are welcome here, and we are working on an English-language translation of the Bienenkiste Website (see the threads in this forum tagged "TRANS-PROJECT").

In the meantime, if you scroll down to the very bottom-right corner of the Bienenkiste Website, you will find a Google-supported drop-down menu that lets you select automatic translation (e.g. into English), which should be enough to get you started.

Just remember that local regulations concerning beekeeping can vary from one country or region to another, so do check first with your local network of beekeepers and/or authorities before beginning. And if you are keeping bees in the Bienenkiste hive elsewhere, do let us know!

Best wishes,


* In German: "Vereinigung für wesensgemäße Bienenhaltung," which I might be tempted to translate as "Centre for a Holistic Approach to Beekeeping".]]>
https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1238/welcome-to-the-bienenkisten-forum#dis-post-6188 Mi, 15 Jan 2014 08:46:45 +0100 https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1238/welcome-to-the-bienenkisten-forum#dis-post-6188
<![CDATA[TRANS-PROJECT: Terminology]]> https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1234/trans-project-terminology#dis-post-6171 Bienenkiste terminology
(Please do propose improvements and/or corrections!)

Data format...
German term | English term (optional) / alternative term [Source, comments, etc.]

Bienenkiste | Bienenkiste (bee) hive
[Note about the name. It is desirable to maintain the "Bienenkiste" name. As a proper name, it should always be capitalized; first mention may require a pronunciation guide (e.g. "BEE-nen-KISS-te). The name "Bienenkiste" may stand alone, but because the inherent meaning ("Kiste" - box) is lost, it is usually best to write "Bienenkiste hive" or similar. To prevent misuse, it may be desirable to consider trademark registration in one or more countries.]

Bienenkisten-Projekt | Bienenkiste (beekeeping) project
Bienenkisten-Projekt | Bienenkiste program [Alt. for ongoing support operations of Mellifera, etc.]

Absperrgitter | queen excluder
Ameisensäurebehandlung | formic acid treatment/fumigation
Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Institute für Bienenforschung e.V. | Association of the German Bee Research Institutes [AIB Website - Uni-Marburg]
Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Institute für Bienenforschung e.V. | Association of Institutes for Bee Research [Apidologie / Springer]
Anfangsstreife | starter strip
Auflageleiste | (side) support post
Bauerneuerung | (brood) comb renewal
Bautrieb | (natural) swarm reflex ["swarm reflex" is broader in meaning: "the reflex newly swarmed bees have to establish their colony quickly" - see: http://www.modernbeekeeping.co.uk/p/faqs ]
Begleitbienen | attendants
Beute | hive / hive body
Brut, offene | unsealed brood
Brut, verdeckelte | sealed brood
Brutableger | split [See Michael Bush for the various kinds of splits]
Brutraum | brood chamber
Richtlinien der Demeter Bienenhaltung (und Imkereierzeugnisse) | Demeter standards for beekeeping (and hive products) [Demeter]
Einraumbeute | single brood chamber hive [This includes: Bienenkiste, top-bar hive, Dadant,
Futterteig | sugar dough/paste, fondant
Honigraum | honey compartment [2nd choice: honey chamber]
Königin-Käfig | queen cage
Krainer Bauernstock | Krainer... / Carniolan...? / hive designed by Anton Janša... ?
Kunstschwarm | shook swarm / shake-down swarm [2nd term from Dave Cushman]
Nestduftwärmebindung | broodnest microclimate (including essential scents and hive warmth)
/ Nestduftwärmebindung (nest warmth and scent)
Querleiste | cross bar / cross rail [front, middle, rear] ?
Trägerleiste | top bar [consists of two parts held together by brads]
Trachtlücke | nectar dearth / gap [e.g. "summer gap"]
Traube, Winter-/Bienen-/Schwarm- | cluster, winter/bee/swarm
Trennschied | divider board [Based on term "follower board" from TBH]
Trommelschwarm | driven swarm [driven by tapping or drumming]
wesensgemäße Bienenhaltung | a holistic approach to keeping bees [or biodynamic beekeeping? See http://www.rudolfsteinercollege.edu/beekeeping ]
Weitere Informationen | Related articles [For text columns right; better than "further information" (perhaps)]

https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1234/trans-project-terminology#dis-post-6171 Sa, 11 Jan 2014 10:56:40 +0100 https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1234/trans-project-terminology#dis-post-6171
<![CDATA[TRANS-PROJECT: Startseite » Beratung & Austausch » Fragen & Antworten]]> https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1233/trans-project-startseite-beratung-austausch-fragen-antworten#dis-post-6170

[Needs proof-reading / checking]

Frequently asked questions

Search term: Search Clear
For new beekeepers | For experienced beekeepers | All

Queen excluder
Why is there no queen excluder in the Bienenkiste?

Bees building crooked comb
My bees have started building crooked comb. What can or should I do?

Moving the hive to a new location
I need to move my hive to a new location. It's not a great distance, but the transport will take up to an hour or so. What precautions do I need to take to get the hive ready to be safely moved (avoiding overheating, no angry swarms in my car, etc.)?

Stacking hives
Is is possible to stack one or more of the Bienenkiste hives on top of each other -- like its early forerunner, the Krainer hive?

Bienenkiste courses or workshops
Do you offer courses or workshops on keeping bees with the Bienenkiste hive?

Instead of the oxalic acid treatment (e.g. Oxuvar) to use the product Bienenwohl to treat for varroa? The beekeepers we know are using it instead of oxalic acid.

Width of the top bars for the starter strips
Is the 35 mm width of the top bars a critical dimension? I am having difficulty finding the correct size at the local lumberyard.

Don't I need a certificate or something before I build a hive and start keeping bees?!
It seems like one needs a license for everything these days, but not keeping bees? If the neighbors give us their blessing can we set out a Bienenkiste hive in our backyard and introduce a swarm just like that? Or are there other formalities?

The swarm we hived this year is so strong that they have already fully built out the comb in the brood chamber.
I introduced a swarm into a new hive this year. It is only the end of June, but the brood chamber is already full, and now they are starting to build under the divider board. Should I remove the divider board and hang foundation in the honey chamber already?

Culling drone brood
Why does the Bienenkiste beekeeper not remove drone brood to control varroa? This is a widespread practice among beekeepers.

A "horizontal hive": unnatural?
Feral bees build their colonies in tree hollows -- is the Bienenkiste contrary to nature?

Flight range: How far do bees fly to forage for nectar?
Will my apiary location provide a sufficient food supply?

Health certificate
I received a swarm from another beekeeper, but the local animal health authority wants to see a certificate of health for the bees.

Weight of the Bienenkiste hive
How heavy is the hive when the honey chamber is ready for harvest?

Honey quality in the city
What about air pollution? Is honey from urban bees safe?

New swarm has stopped drawing comb
After having drawn comb beautifully for a few weeks my bees seemed to have stopped. Should I be concerned?

Preparing a small colony for winter
I introduced a swarm in mid-June and have been feeding them with sugar dough (fondant/paste); the brood chamber is now roughly 40% drawn with comb. If the bees are to make it through the winter I should probably continue feeding, but what about during the (formic acid) varroa treatment?

Larvae/dead bees in front of hive
In July/August or possibly during or following treatment with formic acid there are noticeable number of larvae or dead bees on the landing board or ground in front of the hive. Are these bees sick or is this a reaction to the varroa treatment?

Larven/tote Bienen vor dem Flugloch
Im Juli/August, evtl. auch während oder nach der Ameisensäurebehandlung liegen auffällig viele Larven oder tote Bienen vor dem Flugloch. Sind die Bienen krank oder vertragen sie evtl. die Ameisensäurebehandlung nicht?

Tilting the hive makes the bees aggressive?
Tilting up the Bienenkiste hive until it is "standing on its head" seems unnatural and stressful. Doesn't it make the bees aggressive?

Dimensions given for the hive
Are the dimensions given in the construction drawings critical, or are small variations possible?

Is it necessary to use foundation in the Bienenkiste hive?
Why is foundation used in the Bienenkiste hive (honey chamber)? Is it necessary?

Open-mesh floor
Many frame-hive beekeepers today use an open-mesh floor, why not the Bienenkiste hive? Should/can one add one?

Oxalic acid and brood
Why must the hive be brood-free before applying the oxalic acid dihydrate solution?

Price of the hive
Why is the Bienenkiste hive from the (non-profit organization) Mellifera so much more expensive than the typical frame hive?

Footprint of the Bienenkiste hive
How much space do I need for keeping bees in the Bienenkiste hive? What about when I open the hive?

Can I also use Thymol or Apiguard for treating varroa?

Removing the divider board before beginning summer varroa treatment
This weekend, when it's supposed to be cooler, we want to start the formic acid vapor treatment, but the brood chamber is full of comb and the bees have started drawing comb in the honey chamber. To make matters worse, some of the comb appears to be attached to the floor of the hive. What should we do to avoid damage? Do we really have to remove the divider board before beginning treatment? Should we remove the excess comb?

Treatment of swarms for varroa
Do I need to treat my newly introduced swarm for varroa before brood rearing begins (as is sometimes recommended)?

Treating varroa using heat-vaporized oxalic acid
Has anyone tried treating a colony in the Bienenkiste hive using the Varrox vaporizer (oxalic acid)? The vapor is supposed to be gentler but at the same time very effective, and there is no need to open the hive; the outdoor temperature is also not as critical.

Monoculture crops (e.g. rapeseed) and migratory beekeeping
Is the Bienenkiste hive suitable for regions of heavily specialized agriculture (monoculture) or migratory beekeeping?

Honeydew/forest honey
In the area around my site (near the edge of the forest) there is presently a lot of honeydew and melezitose being brought in by the bees. Can they overwinter with this honey?

What do you mean by "holistic beekeeping"?
What distinguishes the "holistic or whole-colony approach to keeping bees"? Why is the Bienenkiste hive particularly suitable?

What type of wood is suitable for building the Bienenkiste hive?
Why do you recommend white pine or spruce? Are other woods acceptable?

Just how easy are the various elementary or basic beekeeping methods?
How much prerequisite knowledge is necessary with the various simplified methods of beekeeping? How much specialized knowledge does one have to learn in order to sucessfully keep bees over the long-term?

How do I switch from my traditional hives (with supers and removable frames) to the Bienenkiste hive?
"I started keeping bees ca. 8 weeks ago with 2 swarms that I introduced to a Langstroth/Dadant/etc. hive, but I'm finding the hive a bit of a struggle. Is it possible to switch now and move my bees (sooner rather than later) into the Bienenkiste hive?"

Overwintering small colonies
A swarm introduced to a new hive late in the season, as well as an artificial swarm, may be slow in building out sufficient comb in preparation for the winter. What can the beekeeper do to improve the bees overwintering chances?

https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1233/trans-project-startseite-beratung-austausch-fragen-antworten#dis-post-6170 Sa, 11 Jan 2014 10:01:49 +0100 https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1233/trans-project-startseite-beratung-austausch-fragen-antworten#dis-post-6170
<![CDATA[Informationen auf englisch?]]> https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1149/informationen-auf-englisch#dis-post-5885
ich habe immer wieder Anfragen nach englischsprachigen Informationen über die Bienenkiste. Da ich selbst im Moment überhaupt keine Zeit habe, englischsprachiges Material zu verfassen oder nur zu recherchieren, möchte ich hier mal fragen, wer vielleicht schon Texte, Blogbeiträge o.ä. in englischer Sprache hat?

Vielleicht können wir hier Beiträge und Links auf Beiträge sammeln.

Vielleicht hat auch jemand Lust, eine qualifizierte Antwort an Thomas Harant (e-Mail-Adresse im angefügten Brief, Mail bitte CC an mich) zu schreiben?

Liebe Grüße und eine schöne Adventszeit
Euer Erhard

https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1149/informationen-auf-englisch#dis-post-5885 Fr, 13 Dez 2013 01:10:17 +0100 https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1149/informationen-auf-englisch#dis-post-5885
<![CDATA[Translating the BK-Website into English]]> https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1152/translating-the-bk-website-into-english#dis-post-5842
1) Best to start with the main articles, e.g. the sections "Projekt-Info" and "Anleitungen", and then proceed from there.

2) When a page is largely complete, post a draft version here in the English-language forum.

- a) Start a new thread for each section, one entire Web page in a single posting (we may later move these into a subforum),

- b) use a consistent subject line based on the bread-crumb navigation, e.g. "Project-Info->Einführung->Überblick",

- c) Include a link to the original text as first line in posting.

- d) Include same bread-crumb (see 2-b) as second line in posting.

(See my example here.)

3) By placing these in the Forum here, they become immediately available to readers and can be further discussed/edited, if necessary.

4) When a certain critical mass has been achieved, and Erhard has time, then the English articles can be moved, one batch at a time, into a set of English-language CMS pages.

Sound good? Na, dann, an die Arbeit und viel Spass! smiley]]>
https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1152/translating-the-bk-website-into-english#dis-post-5842 Fr, 06 Dez 2013 10:43:18 +0100 https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1152/translating-the-bk-website-into-english#dis-post-5842
<![CDATA[Beekeeping interventions and treatments during the year]]> https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1150/beekeeping-interventions-and-treatments-during-the-year#dis-post-5836
Treatment -- as in the frame hive, it is necessary to treat for varroa mites. The Bienenkiste-Imker (BK-Imker) does this with formic acid vapour in late summer, immediately after the honey harvest, and then once more just before Christmas when the colony is brood-free, using an oxalic acid and sugar solution that is dribbled onto the clustered winter bees.

In the late summer or early fall the BK-Imker also provides additional sugar (sometimes with honey) as necessary to ensure that the bees have sufficient reserves to survive the winter.

The BK-Imker practices swarm management during the swarm season (roughly May-June in central/northern Europe). This is not necessarily done not to eliminate swarms, as is traditionally the case with many beekeepers, but to stay informed about the timing and progression of the prime swarm, and then afterward to reduce or eliminate after swarms.

In those colonies that have sufficiently built out the comb in the brood space (usually by the beginning of the second season, but sometimes already in the first year), foundation (sheets of wax impregnated with the hex comb pattern) on bars is added to the honey 'super' (the room at the rear). This usually is done between the time of the cherry and the apple blossom, i.e. the latter half of April. The honey harvest, then, is usually toward the end of July.

Beginning in the springtime (it appears that I've gone backwards here chronologically) the hive is inspected much as is done by traditional beekeepers, except that here no combs are normally removed as the hive is designed for minimal management. I would also say that as a rule inspections do not occur as frequently in the Bienenkiste as they do with a frame (or top-bar) hive. Instead more time is spent observing behavior on the landing board at the front.

So, I hope that helps answer some questions. Perhaps you should first try to digest the German material via Google-Translation (or similar) and then ask further questions, in this thread if appropriate or in a new one, as necessary.

Best wishes to you from Berlin,

https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1150/beekeeping-interventions-and-treatments-during-the-year#dis-post-5836 Do, 05 Dez 2013 12:28:33 +0100 https://www.mellifera-netzwerk.de/forum/thread/1150/beekeeping-interventions-and-treatments-during-the-year#dis-post-5836