jim schrieb am 24.12.2014, 05:48
Thank you for the welcome. Sorry about posting three copies of your message
[ Already taken care of -- Mod.
Thanks for posting. We don't get much English-language traffic here. The Bienenkiste is unique, I think, in that its target group is the "weekend beekeeper" who enjoys the experience of keeping bees and harvesting their honey, but doesn't want to (yet) get drawn into the "big hobby" aspects of extensive hive management, selling honey, etc. There's a saying (German, I think) that the honey is often the reason people start keeping bees, but just as often the reason that they stop.
The other target group, of course, is the beekeeper looking for a more "natural" hive system -- though not to imply that other hive systems are unnatural. The intact hive (individual combs are almost never pulled) offers, again, a unique perspective in that the beekeeper gets a sense of the colony as a collective organism (the so-called "bien"); it's a nice complement, in my opinion, to traditional frame systems (which have the advantage of offering a close-up view of life in the comb).
The Bienenkiste is very similar to what you would call a "fixed comb hive" and in some places in the States these are forbidden by long-standing regulation. Strictly speaking, the combs in the Bienenkiste are not fixed, as they can, in fact, be removed if inspection is required, but this is perhaps still a grey area -- as you pointed out, the hive is more or less unknown in your part of the world.
There are plans in the works to improve the internationalization of the Bienenkiste Web site (including navigation, etc.) and expand the offerings of English-language materials, so do check back later this year.
Best wishes and merry Christmas,
Kevin (birthplace Sioux Falls, SD)