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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I have been reading the forums today to catch up and to pick up little words of wisdom. Besides it is snowing again and can't do much outside. My question is has any one tried a bee house like the ones in the Netherlands? I have read older books on beekeeping that said keeps would bring hives into the basement of houses to overwinter. I am wondering if it would yield better survival rates overwinter. The cost would be greater but if you had less die off you would recoup the cost rather quickly. Just wondering.
 

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I believe there are some BS members from the Canadian western provinces that do this. One, Ian, winters hundreds of colonies in a specially built building. If you do a search on the words "indoor wintering" I think you will turn up threads from a few months ago on this topic. Ian is an especially good writer, and his blog about his honey and bee operation is very good reading. He wrote a very memorable picture of his bees in their winter building - he describes what it's like after all the bees are loaded in, and then after all that hard work is done, turning off the light and fan and just standing there and listening to the low steady hum of all those bees stacked up together, safe and protected for the winter.

I'm in northern NY and there have been times this winter when I wished my bees were inside, too! (But they were well insulated and wrapped up, and seem to have survived, OK.)

Enjambres
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info. Will check him out. I would be kidding myself if I said I wasn't worried about the weather here. Seems like a long time to be in a small box wit out even a good bathroom break;-)
 

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I may be wrong but I think is a big difference between indoor wintering in large environmentally controlled buildings and year round husbandry in a European bee house.
 

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In the Croatia / Serbia region of the world, the beekeepers use the A-Z Hives which are permanently built into a bee house building or motor trailer and are worked from the back of the hive horizontally rather than vertically. This means that only the front entrance face is out in the cold and the body of the hive is in an area that could be heated if necessary. I am quite surprised that more of you beekeepers in the colder climate of North America and Canada, especially hobby beekeepers, do not use this hive as it really does make sense for over wintering of bees. Could also to used for pollination if permanently built onto a trailer, and pulled to site when needed without all the handling problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the reply guys. b2bnz what you speak of is more in the line of what I was thinking of. Permanent placement with in, as you say, building or trailer. It would solve the Bear problems and malicious intent. I have more of the bear threat than theft. Been searching for rough plans for ideas but haven't found much, just a few pictures. This winter hasn't given in yet. The Maritimes are bracing for another Northeaster with accumulations of any where between 25 and 90 CM that's 10 to 35 inches roughly depending where you are in the Maritimes. The winds will be from 50 to 125 KPH. Sounds like spring is finally here .
 

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If you Google 'A-Z Hives Images' you will be able to see a number of pictures of bee houses, bee trailers and the A-Z hive it self to give you an idea of how they work.. If you look hard enough you can find web pages from Slovenia and the construction of the hive and even the sale of this type of hive. The bee house has the ability of keeping the bees and the beekeeper warm during winter. Happy hunting
 

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In the Croatia / Serbia region of the world, the beekeepers use the A-Z Hives which are permanently built into a bee house building or motor trailer and are worked from the back of the hive horizontally rather than vertically. This means that only the front entrance face is out in the cold and the body of the hive is in an area that could be heated if necessary. I am quite surprised that more of you beekeepers in the colder climate of North America and Canada, especially hobby beekeepers, do not use this hive as it really does make sense for over wintering of bees. Could also to used for pollination if permanently built onto a trailer, and pulled to site when needed without all the handling problems.
How does one super these hives for honey production?
 

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If you do find plans and one can use the system for honey production would be kingdom enough to post the plans? Thanks.
 

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The hive is just the same as a Lang hive but worked horizontally instead of vertically. You still have a brood box, a queen excluder and one or two honey supers above. When it is time to harvest, you open the back of the hive a slide the frames out horizontally and extract.
Best to find a USA importer and buy one as a sample if you were thinking of making a few to try out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I have been doing some research on these hives and they look (to a complete novice) to be very buildable. A bit different tecnique of tending them but if you start off with this system you would be learning right from the start how to manipulate them. When I find enough info I will post what I have found. Snow today again. calling for 20 to 30 cm's and high winds. I would think pulling the frames out of the hive horizontally you wouldn't roll bees as much. What do you think?
 
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