Thank you for your inquiry. I hope you do not mind my anonymous reposting of your questions here in the Forum so that others may benefit and/or contribute additional answers.
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.
Increasing the height is not advisable, because it increases the risk of comb breaking. In the Bienenkiste, as in other horizontal hives, honey reserves are largely stored at the rear, behind the broodnest. It is recommended that in the coldest part of the winter (from mid-January until early spring, when the new brood nest is getting started) that an insulating blanket or pillow be placed across the top of the hive; this precautionary measure is in part due to the large horizontal surface area (greater heat loss). In your case I would definitely do this, something with a good insulating factor, between "roof" and hive; I would probably also extend the blanket to hang over both long sides of the hive to increase the overall insulating ("R") factor of the hive in winter. As far as other measures, you will have to consider how beekeepers in your region handle other hives to get them through the winter.
In your situation, I would also want to have accurate weight measurements so that you can check for sufficient reserves in late winter or early spring (now).
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?
"Managing" is the key word here. The Bienenkiste is not intended to be used as a manageable hive in the modern sense of removable frames. Quite the contrary, in the Bienenkiste the colony's brood nest remains intact and undisturbed; the beekeeper does not add, remove or re-arrange frames (with rare exceptions -- it is possible to remove frames, but generally not necessary).
Of course, a certain degree of supervision on the part of the beekeeper is still possible and necessary (not the least attention to the Varroa problem). This is why we work the Bienenkiste "from the bottom". It allows us the best possible inspection access to the colony (presence of brood, swarm cells, etc.) without pulling frames.
We do, however, harvest the honey frames from the honey room -- essentially an attached super at the rear of the hive; this same compartment also serves for varroa treatments and for feeding.
So, to more specifically address your last question, a removable top would not only make for a very unstable box (the bottom is already removable). It would also serve no purpose within the Bienenkiste concept -- you would be better off staying with a fully managed frame hive such as the top bar.
I hope that answers your questions, at least in part.
[Hinweis: KMP hat den Beitrag zuletzt am vor 3 Jahren geändert.]