I have no experience with beekeeping, but I’ve been homesteading for a few years and after watching a video by Leo S last month on his horizontal hives, I’m eager to get started on this adventure of beekeeping. We think we’re a bit late this season on catching a swarm and starting our colonies (is this an accurate assessment? We live in a North Carolina) but are planning on buying some of his horizontal hives and traps for next year.
I read a series of russian books Leo edited (the Ringing Cedars) where a system of natural beekeeping is described. I’m wondering if Leo or anyone here has followed these guidelines and if it’s worked for you?
Copying the exerpt I just found online for those who haven’t read the book:
“You need to make the hive in the shape of a hollow block. You can either take a log with a hole in it and hollow it out to enlarge the cavity, or use boards from a deciduous tree to make a long hollow box 120 centimetres (approx 4 feet) long.
“The boards should be no less than 6 cm ( 2.36 in) thick and the inside measurements of the cavity at least 40 by 40 centimetres (approx 15 ¾ in).
“Triangular strips should be inserted into the corners where the inner surfaces meet, to make the cavity somewhat rounded. The strips can be just lightly glued in place, and the bees themselves will firm them up afterward.
“One end should be fully and permanently covered with a board of the same thickness, with a removable panel at the other end. For this the panel needs to be cut in such a way so that it fits neatly into the opening and sealed with grass or some kind of cloth covering the whole bottom.
“Make a slit or a series of slits (to provide access for the bees) along the bottom edge of one of the sides approximately one and a half centimetres (approx half an inch) wide, starting 30 cm (approx 1 foot) from the removable panel and continuing to the other end.
“This hive can be set on pilings anywhere in the gardenplot — at least 20–25 centimetres (approx 8-10 in) off the ground, with the slits facing south.
“It is even better, however, to set it up under the roof of the house. Then people will not interfere with the bees flying out, and will not be bothered by them. In this case the hive should be aligned horizontally at a 20–30 degree angle, with the opening at the lower end.
“The hive could even be installed in the attic, provided there is proper ventilation, or on the roof itself. Best of all, though, attach it to the south wall of the house, just under the eaves.
“The only thing is, you need to make sure you have proper access to the hive so you can remove the honeycomb.
“Otherwise the hive should stand on a small platform, with an overhead canopy to protect it from the sun, and can be wrapped with insulation in winter…”
Many have followed these guidelines with success and happy bees. However, as pointed out by some before, there are legalities in some areas that require removable frames and that can be tricky in this style of hive although some have fabricated a sort of hybrid and maybe more are to be created.
Heres a blog with the best pics showing the Anastasia hive constructed.
I am personally designing and prototyping a Warre, Perone, Langstroth fluent, Anastasia inspired bee hive. But I'm not releasing any details in the public sphere yet. Others are undoubtedly working on the next best naturlist beehive. Im a fan of the "Freedom Hive" and other work done by Mr. Somerville. Backyard hives, hexogonal top bar "cathedral hive" is another marvel.
I wish you the best and I'm happy to find someone posting on this subject not all that long ago!
As it so happens. We are also in NC state.
There's a way to do it better - find it. -Edison. A better tiny ad: