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  • Tomas asks about this with respect to the Bienenkiste. First, let me say that if you do not already have some knowledge and/or experience in keeping bees, either through another beekeeper (mentor), or a class, or intensive reading, then you should attempt to acquire such! Basic information about the life cycle, requirements, treatment and handling of bees should be available in most any language (or from a more experienced beekeeper). It is true that most if not all of this information specifically addresses beekeeping using removable-frame hives, but having such general knowledge will make it much easier to address questions and provide information here (without having to write an entire book).

    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,

    Kevin [Hinweis: KMP hat den Beitrag zuletzt am vor 5 Jahren, 8 Monaten geändert.]
      Kevin M. Pfeiffer - Berlin (Mitglied, Imkerverein Kreuzberg e.V.) - Imkerbuch - Stockwaage - Visitenkarte