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Disability Beekeeping.

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Abloodygoodbloke 

New Bee
Joined
Sep 13, 2020
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I'm disabled.....

But don't class this as a disability, more of a challenge to do certain tasks.

I've only my Left arm, and have 1 TBH & 12 National hives with no issues i cannot get around.

But i agree, Beekeeping should be promoted.
I have been thinking about taking up beekeeping for a while and again have just the left arm so although I can generally find a way round most things was a little concerned I might not be able to with hives. Thanks to this post I am now certainly going to be taking it up :)
 

Honey Junction Ltd 

House Bee
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
349
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19
Location
shropshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
173 national & 100 commercial
I am disabled, physical & mental, but see it as a motivator, "I can do it". Would never try and deny anyone having a go. Advice is always offered free, may not be always strictly correct but will be what works for me and after forty years off & on with the little critters some things do sink in.
This year I have also had a social distant apprentice, no money changed hands, he wanted to learn and I needed help.
 

Mellifera Crofter 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 17, 2010
Messages
1,372
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69
Location
Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
45
I have been thinking about taking up beekeeping for a while and again have just the left arm so although I can generally find a way round most things was a little concerned I might not be able to with hives. Thanks to this post I am now certainly going to be taking it up :)
A frame grip (or tool grip) might be useful for you.
 

Hachi 

Drone Bee
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,772
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105
Location
Wiltshire
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
My club has disabled access for those that need it but being disabled myself I often focus people that not all disabilities are those that you can see. Its interesting in this day and age the govt doesn't do more to move on from the stereo typical implant that disability means either a chair or a white stick.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
10,882
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593
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
I have been thinking about taking up beekeeping for a while and again have just the left arm so although I can generally find a way round most things was a little concerned I might not be able to with hives. Thanks to this post I am now certainly going to be taking it up :)
I've only just found this thread ...there would be difficulties with one arm and conventional beehives where lifting roofs and supers off really does require two hands - but - this is surmountable with a Long hive.

I am not disabled but I started out with a Long Hive and appreciate the ease with which inspections/manipulations can be carried out. Mine is a Long deep hive with 14 x 12 frames which can be a bit heavy to lift but it would be possible to create a long hive with smaller frames such as standard nationals or even smaller ones.

Depending upon where you intended to site your hive(s) you could even consider building a hive like the Zest hive - but using shallower frames. The zest hive is made from ultra lightweight insulation blocks which can easily be lifted with one hand.

A sliding or hinged roof on either type of hive would permit inspections without needing to lift cumbersome roofs and has been said a frame lifter might make one handed beekeeping very feasible.

Have a look at my Long hive which may give you some ideas and there's a link to the Zest hive site which may also give you food for thought. Where there's a will ....


 

abm 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
217
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14
Location
Mansfield
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
7
I have been thinking about taking up beekeeping for a while and again have just the left arm so although I can generally find a way round most things was a little concerned I might not be able to with hives. Thanks to this post I am now certainly going to be taking it up :)
I tried a TOP BAR HIVE, very easy to manage.
 

charentejohn 

New Bee
Joined
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
54
Reaction score
8
Location
Central France
Hive Type
warre
Number of Hives
2
I have warre hives (just as not intending to harvest) and they have the advantage of the smaller boxes and so less weight. They come with or without frames and normally have the long strip handles so good and solid to grip. With larger hives it often helps to have two people to manipulate them anyway.
There are some clever tools for separating boxes, I saw a version of this somewhere for 200euros, as ever can't find it now
Possibly someone could make it for less. The dimensions for it are here as are loads of other ideas and designs. Beekeeping with the Warré hive -- Lifts

Can be used for inspections by lifting a box and using a mirror (David Heaf's method) to look up into the bottom of the box.
I am in france so no state inspections so something to consider in the uk ?
Means individual boxes can be removed while the others stay in place, so no 'jenga' effect. So just one 35x35x20cm box to work on at any one time.

If you watch the video you can see how it separates enough to insert or remove a box from anywhere in the stack. Removing the top box for harvest (the Warre way) with this would mean lifting it up and putting the top cloth over the exposed box so bees are calm inside while the top box of honey is removed. Then lift the stack to add an empty box below (ideally just 3 maybe 4 in total).
The thing with this is that it is stable and controlled, should not suddenly move or overbalance.

I am making one for myself simply because they say the bees hardly notice as the stack stays in line and no putting various bits on the floor etc. Basically one box goes into the air and one is removed or added, all very calm and controlled.
 

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