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Hello.

I'd like to share a few of my favourite youtube channels of users of the Alpine hive/ Alpiski/ альпийский улей/ H-108/ Homich/ Khomich-Delon/ Half-Delon, whatever it is you want to call it, since it doesn't have an English name. The little Warré descendant with internal dimensions 300x300x108mm. Which is remarkably like the 18thC Johann Christ Warré predecessor, but framed.


I'd be interested to see channels on the full sized Delon hive too, if anyone knows some. I assume there are many in French. But since this Vladimir Homich variant is Russian and Russian is my hobby, my favourites are Russian & Ukrainian

I was inspired to post this by GregV and little_john's exchange in another thread where Yaroslav Mukha/savvasfly came up. Here are some others:

- Oleksey Medyanyk (Ukraine)
Russian, elsewhere Ukrainian
Basically the grandad of the Alpiski(after Homich himself). I may be wrong but I get the impression he's largely responsible for the growth in popularity of the hive. Has some back-and-forth with Yaroslav Mukha/savvasfly. Has many videos on hive construction (and management, mainly topless). This is part 2, on foundations/set-up.
Invented a nail-less frame design using dovetails for comb honey.

- Simple bee (Ukraine)
Russian
Nice, straightforward videos of Alpiski hives (simple, apart from the robotic router he has for frame spacing rebates lol). Here working a personal record of a fourteen-box/1.9m hive. Sometimes adds English video titles.

- Boroda (Ukraine ...I think)
Russian
Woodworker and bee guy. Started to use Alpiskis after an injury. Demonstrating here getting bees into this small format hive from other formats. Linked by GregV before.

- Sidor Bortnik (Ukraine)
Ukrainian
I like this guy's voice a lot. Uses classic Delon wire frames with an unusual frame spacing top bar. This video is sarcastically called 'Alpiskis are "knocked down" by the wind' (correct me if I'm wrong). It's an example of the hive format standing steady in pretty high winds.

- Rodnaya Paseka (Ukraine)
Russian
Quite a big Alpiski apiary. Here's a video of Valery the owner doing some anti-varroa bee cooking in his bee sauna (10 minutes at 47C/116F).

- The Skupnovs (Russia)
Продажа матки из нуклеуса Russian
Commercial beekeepers who use Alpiskis among other formats. Here's a video of their 3-chambered adapted mating nuc version of an H-108 body.


I hope this is of interest to somebody, some day. I also hope this amount of linking doesn't break forum rules.
 

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Hi Bovis - a very warm welcome.

Good to see someone else from this island paradise (an attempt at humour) posting on here ... :)

My own story with the 108mm boxes is that having seen quite a few Khomich (sp?) videos I made a couple of stacks and found that although the bees adored living in that narrow chimney format, I encountered a problem in that I couldn't figure out any obvious way for those shorter top-bars to happily co-exist with my existing much longer British National top-bars, and so after 2 perfectly successful years I very reluctantly decided to abandon the 300x300mm format.
There was a second problem insomuch as I had completely misunderstood the Delon wire frames, which still allowed comb adhesions to the box side-walls. The Khomich videos had given me the impression that this didn't happen - and I had duly sold myself that idea :)

Although I'm not completely sold on any particular box depth, since that time the 300x300 format has continued to fascinate me, and this year sees my return to using it. The boxes I've made are 225mm in height (the same height as our DN (Deep National) series of frames and which now accept a slightly shorter version of the Gallup frame. It's quite possible that in future I'll make some 150mm boxes (same as our SN (Shallow National) series of frames).

There are not many beekeeping activities which excite me these days, but returning to this format is one of them. FWIW, I've developed three different ways of enabling a working co-existence between the two different top-bar lengths, in addition to the simple 'one-frame-at-a-time' method of cable-tying the shorter frame underneath the longer National top-bar.

BTW & FWIW - this 300x300 format has a history reaching right back to the 17th Century in the hives of Christopher Wren, John Gedde and Moses Rusden - for although their hives were octagonal, their cross-sectional areas were equivalent to a 12x12 inch square-section hive.

This 300x300mm (12x12") cross-sectional area then just keeps re-appearing throughout history: Guillaume de Palteau (1756); Johann Ludwig Christ (1779); Francis Huber (1821); Edward Bevan (1827); the early American Box Hives; the hives of Gallup and Doolittle; Frederick Bastion (1868); and finally Emile Warre, some time around 1920.

Langstroth considered using frames to fit the 12x12 inch cavity on two occasions - the first was in 1852, the second 20 years later in 1872 - but by then Amos Root had captured the market by standardising the hive and frame dimensions which have continued to carry Langstroth's name. Langstroth's only criticisms of the smaller format (on both occasions) were that the use of the smaller frame would require more of them in each hive - thus increasing the cost of a hive, as well as requiring the apiarian to routinely handle more frames. Otherwise he had nothing negative to say about this size - indeed on a couple of occasions he demonstrated a most flexible attitude towards all shapes and sizes of both hives and frames - his interest being more in the principle of the hanging frame rather than it's implementation. His only concern was that each established size should be maintained exactly, so that a purchaser could be assured that all parts of a bee-hive would fit.
'best,
LJ
 

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Langstroth's only criticisms of the smaller format (on both occasions) were that the use of the smaller frame would require more of them in each hive - thus increasing the cost of a hive, as well as requiring the apiarian to routinely handle more frames
LJ, I want to comment that this apparent "increasing the cost of a hive, as well as requiring the apiarian to routinely handle more frames" is supposedly countered by
1)dirt cheap incremental cost of each small frame in material and labour - because the strength requirements on it are low AND it does NOT require any wiring (OR foundation for that matter). ...and
2)true working by a box - most all routine procedures are done by a box manipulation (not frame by frame).

So that is a theory.
This season 2021 (fingers crossed!!) I will finally test these ideas for myself, God willing.
Excited.
 

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Hello everyone! I am a new member here.

My name is Elena, I'm a Russian Sebirian by birth.
I have been beekeeping here in the UK for just over two years (on WBSs).
Last winter I built five Alpine hives, and four of which are populated now.

I am really excited that I found someone who have a local experience with Alpine Hives.
 

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Hello everyone! I am a new member here.

My name is Elena, I'm a Russian Sebirian by birth.
I have been beekeeping here in the UK for just over two years (on WBSs).
Last winter I built five Alpine hives, and four of which are populated now.

I am really excited that I found someone who have a local experience with Alpine Hives.
Welcome here.
Do share your experience and pictures!
 

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Thank you, hope Bovis would mind posting my pictures here.

I started on a BS 14" x 12" brood box frame size WBC hive - and I still like it a lot.
But I also love experimenting - l try to find my way in balancing some "heritage" techniques and modern approach to beekeeping.
Last winter I built five Alpine hives, four of which are populated now. At the time when I was making them I didn't find anyone beekeeping on this type in the UK, although the other compact-formats like Warre and its modified variations are quite popular here.
My version of Alpine Hive is h-120mm box, brood and supper, with h-110 mm frame, 300mm x 300mm format of the chamber. 8 frames per box with a Hofman sidebar. The floor is mesh and I adopted Warre's gable roof with a cloth mat on top and saw dust isolution quilt.

This year was a rollercoaster with transferring the bees from BS standard to Alpine Hives, further swarming and appearing one of the colonies queenless ... plus the devastating spring... It was a great boot camp!
Nowadays they seem to be settled, having 5-6 boxes, and are working on producing honey.

I am a big fan of comb honey and I look forward to having a humble crop of framed comb honey at the end of this month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's brilliant to see the interest here! I haven't checked this thread in ages and it's quite exciting to see some real Alpine users about.

I'm pleased to hear you're back on the small format, little_john, and I wasn't aware of how broad the use of the foot footprint was, historically. Thank you for the information. The plan I got quite obsessed with was Christ's.

Thameside Honey, thank you very much for posting your pictures. With little_john, at least TWO people in the UK using the Alpiski, imagine that! Your equipment looks very well built. It's almost strange - I also settled on 120mm depth when building these, since I had no real practical reason to stick to 108.
Did you combine supering and putting boxes below over the season? I'm interested in everyone's experience of the shallow format in local conditions. Did you do much in the way of management for swarming?


I built 24 Alpiski bodies over the 20/21 winter and ended up feeling pretty knackered by frame building and not very pleased with the quality I'd managed. I didn't actually put this equipment into use this year!
At the very end of winter I set off on a new scheme, after getting fed up of the dark nights at the table saw, and built several hives that required only a ruler, hand saw and screwdriver. Based on minimum cuts on easily locally available timber, they are almost identical to the box type that Sam Comfort is known for. So, still in the small format club, with Alpiskis ready for next year (probably) .

Anyone in thread, and anyone who passes by, if you keep any sort of record of your experience with this hive style, I'd love to see it. I'll be especially interested to hear the coming winter stories.
 

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Hello.

I'd like to share a few of my favourite youtube channels of users of the Alpine hive/ Alpiski/ альпийский улей/ H-108/ Homich/ Khomich-Delon/ Half-Delon, whatever it is you want to call it, since it doesn't have an English name. The little Warré descendant with internal dimensions 300x300x108mm. Which is remarkably like the 18thC Johann Christ Warré predecessor, but framed.


I'd be interested to see channels on the full sized Delon hive too, if anyone knows some. I assume there are many in French. But since this Vladimir Homich variant is Russian and Russian is my hobby, my favourites are Russian & Ukrainian

I was inspired to post this by GregV and little_john's exchange in another thread where Yaroslav Mukha/savvasfly came up. Here are some others:

- Oleksey Medyanyk (Ukraine)
Russian, elsewhere Ukrainian
Basically the grandad of the Alpiski(after Homich himself). I may be wrong but I get the impression he's largely responsible for the growth in popularity of the hive. Has some back-and-forth with Yaroslav Mukha/savvasfly. Has many videos on hive construction (and management, mainly topless). This is part 2, on foundations/set-up.
Invented a nail-less frame design using dovetails for comb honey.

- Simple bee (Ukraine)
Russian
Nice, straightforward videos of Alpiski hives (simple, apart from the robotic router he has for frame spacing rebates lol). Here working a personal record of a fourteen-box/1.9m hive. Sometimes adds English video titles.

- Boroda (Ukraine ...I think)
Russian
Woodworker and bee guy. Started to use Alpiskis after an injury. Demonstrating here getting bees into this small format hive from other formats. Linked by GregV before.

- Sidor Bortnik (Ukraine)
Ukrainian
I like this guy's voice a lot. Uses classic Delon wire frames with an unusual frame spacing top bar. This video is sarcastically called 'Alpiskis are "knocked down" by the wind' (correct me if I'm wrong). It's an example of the hive format standing steady in pretty high winds.

- Rodnaya Paseka (Ukraine)
Russian
Quite a big Alpiski apiary. Here's a video of Valery the owner doing some anti-varroa bee cooking in his bee sauna (10 minutes at 47C/116F).

- The Skupnovs (Russia)
Продажа матки из нуклеуса Russian
Commercial beekeepers who use Alpiskis among other formats. Here's a video of their 3-chambered adapted mating nuc version of an H-108 body.


I hope this is of interest to somebody, some day. I also hope this amount of linking doesn't break forum rules.
That first video looks like a good faith attempt at making a beehive bear proof. Just think if you made the boxes out of oak or yellow pine then clamped them down to cement foundations.
 

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That first video looks like a good faith attempt at making a beehive bear proof. Just think if you made the boxes out of oak or yellow pine then clamped them down to cement foundations.
Alright, so single possibly, double maybe, but hives of that size. All I am seeing is a lot of destroyed equipment, and some rather hostile bee’s if a bear shows up.🤣
 

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Alright, so single possibly, double maybe, but hives of that size. All I am seeing is a lot of destroyed equipment, and some rather hostile bee’s if a bear shows up.🤣
I agree , but I must say yellow pine is one of the toughest woods out there. And I'm half tempted to put little nubs at the corners of each box to interlock them kinda like legos. Then if you clamp them down to a concrete foundation??? Or maybe even use angle steel on each corner of the hive. Hmmmmmm???
I'm going to come up with a bear proof bee hive sooner or later. :)
Maybe. Then become rich!!!!!!! LOL
 

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Seeing as this is the Alpine (108mm) Hive thread - I'd just point out that the issue you're not addressing regarding bears is that of weight.

If you make stackable hive boxes out of 'standard' concrete, they're going to be bl##dy heavy to lift. If you use Perlite(tm) - expanded volcanic rock - or similar to make them lighter, then there would be no anti-bear advantage over wood.

So - if you're going down the 'concrete' route to deal with bears, then I'd suggest an immovable single story hive, complete with foundations and rebar sunk into the ground, bolt-down roof, and so on ...

If you choose to stay with a more conventional hive set-up, then I'd suggest the use of a strong fence with several thousand volts attached to it. :)
LJ
 

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I'm pleased to hear you're back on the small format, little_john, and I wasn't aware of how broad the use of the foot footprint was, historically. Thank you for the information. The plan I got quite obsessed with was Christ's.
Hi Bovis.
I think I may have 'over-egged the pudding' a little by saying that the American box-hives were 12 inches square, as it is almost certain that there would not have been any uniformity exercised in their construction. It would have been better, perhaps, for me to have said that this was the size recommended by the leading authorities of the day, such as Moses Quinby.

Incidently, Quinby made a most interesting observation regarding British beekeeping: "After deciding what kind of hive we want, the next important point is the size. Dr. Bevan, an English author, recommends a size "eleven and three-eights inches square by nine deep in the clear," making only about 1200 inches, and so few pounds necessary to winter the bees that when I read it I found myself wondering if the English inch and pound were the same as ours." ('Mysteries of Beekeeping', 1859, p.42)

I find it interesting that what he wrote back then is just as true today: that the size of colonies (and therefore their hives) are - generally speaking - much smaller over here than in The States. (Or at least, in many States).

Quinby then proceeds (page 44) to recommend hives 12 inches square, each way, to provide a volume of 1728 cubic inches at latitude 42 degrees - with a volume of 2000 inches (achieved by 12x12 x14 deep) recommended for more northerly States.

I'm not sure from where Quinby got his idea of Bevan's size of "eleven and three-eights inches square ...", as Bevan is quite specific about hive sizes in his book, 'The Honey-Bee', 1827, p.83
CHAPTER VII. BEE-BOXES.
There has been some difference of opinion as to the most suitable dimensions of bee-boxes. I prefer those of Keys, which are twelve inches square and nine inches deep, in the clear.
(underlining = author's emphasis)

And on page 96 (when considering straw hives):
"The most approved size for a storifying straw hive is nine inches high by twelve inches wide, in the clear, the diameter being the same from top to bottom.

I don't suppose we'll ever know how Quinby made such a simple mistake (not that it's a HUGE one) - maybe he measured an already (slightly incorrectly) built Bevan Hive ?

Trust all is well with you ... ? 24 Hives - that suggests serious intentions ... !
LJ
 

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Here you go - entire point of the CVHs - ANYONE keep bees with them.
Here is a busy mom-beekeeper.
 
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