AZ Hives in Beeshed

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Mabee

House Bee
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Feb 4, 2020
Messages
466
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Location
Scotland
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
8
Thought i’d share my garden set up. I have two (in use) Slovenian AZ hives in our ex summerhouse. I’ve not overwintered them in here yet but both colonies doing really well so far. These hives are designed to go inside sheds and open like a cabinet at the back, the door has a built in feeder. The frames have no lugs but are concave in the top and bottom and sit on metal runners. The fronts are usually mounted directly into the wall but I opted to just put two holes with tubes to the outside which is working equally as well.
The hives need some difference on the outside so they know which is theirs so i’ve mounted some artwork above the entrances but i’ll probably paint something permanent on the shed this winter. The overhang keeps rain off the front of the hives but also creates air flow which helps dry the honey. The last honey I took off was only 17%.
The bees exit the shed through a specially designed window which is open at the top and I can also just leave the door open, they leave pretty quickly, I use special smoke sticks which don’t get as smoky inside the shed.
The bees also have a fence about a metre from the entrance so they fly up and away, my neighbours had no idea I had them till I told them!
Some pics for reference.
 
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It is not necessary to place them in shed. Many here if they are not moving them around in trailers just place more extended roof above. Later in August when I will visit one beek with AZ GROM hives I can take pics of his "setup" of six hives with just little roof above. Standard AZ is a bit cramped, easier and better proven here are GROM.
Now when You post pics.. It is small entrance for the hives, especially when is great forage.. This is my opinion, doesn't be necessary right..
 
It is not necessary to place them in shed. Many here if they are not moving them around in trailers just place more extended roof above. Later in August when I will visit one beek with AZ GROM hives I can take pics of his "setup" of six hives with just little roof above. Standard AZ is a bit cramped, easier and better proven here are GROM.
Now when You post pics.. It is small entrance for the hives, especially when is great forage.. This is my opinion, doesn't be necessary right..
I’d be very interested to see them.

Our shed was not in use so it utilised a disused space so was an ideal solution to keeping bees in the garden. Also, bees in trees don’t require large access spaces, I took a very informed decision when deciding entrance size so far so good!
 
Great to see different hive types. Thanks for the photos.
Be interested to see how they overwinter in the 'shed'. As an ex-summerhouse it looks well finished inside. Is it insulated? I find the temperature in our ordinary uninsulated sheds really fluctuates, particularly in the spring when it can go from really hot one day to freezing the next. Just wondered how the bees cope with that.
 
Great to see different hive types. Thanks for the photos.
Be interested to see how they overwinter in the 'shed'. As an ex-summerhouse it looks well finished inside. Is it insulated? I find the temperature in our ordinary uninsulated sheds really fluctuates, particularly in the spring when it can go from really hot one day to freezing the next. Just wondered how the bees cope with that.
It is fully insulated and damp proofed and I added extra vents, so heat fluctuation not so extreme maybe.
 
As you see I have a bee shed which I built last autumn with 8 nationals. But as you can see from the article below the Americans can do it even better!!!
Robotic Bee Hives
Beewise's Beehome is a high-tech beehive that helps beekeepers remotely monitor and care for their bees. Credit: Beewise
https://www.beewise.ag/
A Robot Beehive Means More Bees and More Honey
A modern beehive powered by solar energy, monitored by artificial intelligence and equipped with a robot arm is coming to the United States.
Beehome, a beehive that holds up to 24 bee colonies (which includes a queen and her 30,000 to 50,0000 offspring), is available to beekeepers from the Israeli company Beewise. About 150 to 200 devices will be put to use in the U.S. by the end of the year, with 1,000 expected by the end of 2022. Most of the devices will be in California, where pollination from bees is vital for the state’s agriculture industry.


Ordinarily, beekeepers must travel long distances to care for their many hives, often not knowing what problems they might encounter when they arrive, Beewise CEO Saar Safra said. But these eight-foot-tall devices allow beekeepers to check in on all their hives remotely 24/7, and perform tasks like providing medicine or food via a robotic arm inside the device.


“It’s kind of a win-win-win,” Safra said. “So the bees win, the beekeepers win and we win, because when I say we, I mean you, right, three times a day on your plate.”


Bees face a number of stressors, including climate change, pesticides and parasites that cause entire colonies to collapse at a rate of about 30 percent per year, according to the EPA. With this technology, Safra said that in tests, the collapse rate decreased to 8 percent per year, compared to control groups that collapsed at a rate of 30 to 40 percent.


Beewise charges customers $2,000 to set up the device in addition to a $400 monthly subscription fee.


“After the first month they deploy, they immediately see the returns,” Safra said. “It’s very mechanical and simple: more bees, more honey; more bees, more pollination. So if we can save the bees, not only are we doing something that is important for this planet, we’re actually creating commercial value to beekeepers.”
 
We use some AZ hives, pretty much for fun really but I really like them. The nice thing about them is that the heaviest thing you lift is just one frame at a time.
 

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We use some AZ hives, pretty much for fun really but I really like them. The nice thing about them is that the heaviest thing you lift is just one frame at a time.
If you use them here in the UK, then can I ask you a couple of questions, as I've always liked the idea, but assumed the bees in central Europe must be quite different in their propolis production???

You only remove ONE frame at a time? Pulling it out towards you, side-ways like, but how? Surely the bees will propolise the life out of it?? My bees cover everything with propolis, especially at this time of year! So I don't understand how this hive configuration can work???

And also the wire mesh inner door, surely that too would get slathered in propolis as well???

Maybe my bees are just very heavy propolis users, but yesterday I was inspecting a nuc / hive of 8 frames, only the middle five were brood (I was looking for the queen) but I needed to change my nitrile gloves after lifting out only five frames, I couldn't put down my hive tool, I was so sticky!
 
There not to bad really, I guess it would depend on the bees.

The mesh doesn't get propolised as it's the feeder and technically sealed because of the door at the back.

The frames can get quite stick but Logar make a special hive tool for removing the frames, as the frames are just on two small edges they break free quite easily.
 
The frames are different, they have concave tops and bottoms which sit on metal rods so there are only 6 small points to propolise. The bees propolise the door frame but not the mesh, I did read why somewhere but can’t remember now. I’ll update if I find it.

In Slovenia, where the AZ originates, I believe they only keep Carniolan bees.
 
You are right, the native bees to Slovenia are Carniolan, not sure but I think they are only legally allowed to keep Carniolans . I have built a bee house this year (not quite finished), a mini version , it takes 3 hives, they are 2 chamber hives but I can extend them to 3 chamber. The house can easily be modified to take three more hives. ATM I just have a small swarm in one hive, I didnt have anywhere else to home them, next year job is to get the other hives populated. My original interest in beekeeping came from a holiday in Slovenia so that is what prompted the idea of a bee house. Just a big experiment to see how they work, just a bit of fun.
 

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You are right, the native bees to Slovenia are Carniolan, not sure but I think they are only legally allowed to keep Carniolans . I have built a bee house this year (not quite finished), a mini version , it takes 3 hives, they are 2 chamber hives but I can extend them to 3 chamber. The house can easily be modified to take three more hives. ATM I just have a small swarm in one hive, I didnt have anywhere else to home them, next year job is to get the other hives populated. My original interest in beekeeping came from a holiday in Slovenia so that is what prompted the idea of a bee house. Just a big experiment to see how they work, just a bit of fun.
Two years on. How is it going? I’d be interested to see how you got on with this as thinking of doing the same
 
However... I do still have a bee shed, but I have changed the entrances to work with national hives.
 

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What I found working with AZ hives (my personal experience only, others may have a very different perspective):
  • The frames are fiddly, you can really pee off the bees when you can't quite get it to slot in properly at the back (you can't see into the back easily so have to just get it right), if you need to abandon the inspection for this reason, they will build comb in the space and you'll never be able to get it back in again!
  • The feeders leak, I tried all sorts of methods to seal it.
  • I needed to add various modifications in order to feed fondant
  • I have an extractor that will take full brood frames but if you don't then that could be an issue.
  • The frames will fit commercial hives (with the addition of snap-on frame lugs (from Germany/Slovenia), or Smith frames cable tied inside the frame. All my other hives are now nationals (although I did have commercials at the time), I found it a pain to use different-size frames.
  • The queen somehow got up into the upper chamber and the bees made queen cells up there so they swarmed, this was my deciding factor that they were just too much like hard work and decided to sell them.
  • You can keep any type of hive in a bee shed, you just have to figure out the best way to install them. My current setup is easy and moveable but has so far worked well. This is their second winter in the national, last year they came out really strong.
 

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