中华蜂蜜网 2019年03月30日 10时59分17秒
We have kept bees for decades in conventional American Langstroth beehives Two events changed our course The first was try an African top bar hive Being cynics we made the first one as cheaply as possible out of a cardboard banana box
We have kept bees for decades in conventional American Langstroth beehives. Two events changed our course. The first was try an African top bar hive. Being cynics we made the first one as cheaply as possible out of a cardboard banana box. The results were stunning. Our African bee that is normally so quick to turn defense into attack became far more manageable, and produced more honey. The rains came, and the cardboard went soggy. We then forsook our organic ways and researched modern materials for two years.
We adopted corrugated plastic for the hive body, and kept the dimensions of the standard Langstroth frame, designing our own stronger, cheaper wooden moveable frame, to enable us to manouver the brood area. This frame has however a 32m123. wide top, as this is the correct width for African bees, as opposed to the 35m123. in the European races. We designed the first suspended hive after the traditional African round log hive, which has been successful in the African woodlands for thousands of years. " Semper aliquod novis ex Africa". Through serendipity there were two dramatic spinoffs.
Vandalism dropped to zero as the traditional method of stealing is to kick a Langstroth hive or two over of an evening, and wait for the bees to return to the now exposed cluster and suffer from cold. It is difficult to attack a hive 2 meters off the ground, but a pleasure to service it at waist level, or from the back of the farm truck.
The health of our colonies, and their honey production were markedly better than the Langstroths in the same bee yards.
The colony of bees remain together in one hive body, and are not separated into different brood and super boxes. The Queen pheremone, that magical chemical that assures all the colony members that all's well, remains at a high level in the cluster, and so we do not have the development of laying workers in the supers, as occurs in Langstroth hives in winter. Until the arrival of Varroa Jacobsonii in 1997 this was the greatest problem in South African beekeeping. We have not experienced Varroa as yet, although reports of their occurence in South Africa seem to be reliable.
Our standard J.H.H. has a capacity of 250,000 cells, the equivalent of a brood and two and a half Langstroth supers. We only remove and add extra frames when the need arises, and never move the hive unless we are translocating to a new nectar source. The hives, being much the same proportion as a brick, stack very well, and transport excellently. The capacity carries the swarm through All? but the heaviest honey flows, and in any event it is so easy to harvest that this is no proble123. All honey is removed from the back of the box, and the brood chamber is never disturbed, keeping the bees quiet.
Because of the simplicity of construction we have produced a beehive costing only 58% of the equivalent Langstroth, and which is assembled in ten minutes. The equivalent Langstroth takes four hours. Our honey production is over 30% higher than adjacent Langstroth hives as our queens have unlimited breeding space at all times, breeding monster colonies. In fact we are now evaluating a much bigger hive of 400,000 cell capacity to see if we get a dramatic increase of honey per individual colony. This equals a brood and six shallow Langstroth supers in capacity, and should be an absolute winner. It has only become possible because the plastic manufacturers have imported a new medium machine.1321