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Frequently asked questions
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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.)?
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?
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?
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?
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?
[Hinweis: KMP hat den Beitrag zuletzt am vor 4 Jahren, 11 Monaten geändert.]