Roy shared an informative email and a picture of his newest hive project, the Slovenian hive, “[I am] installing new Slovenian hive cabinets in our building dedicated for Slovenian hives. After the bees are installed, the heaviest thing I will pick up would be a frame of honey.”
The type of hive is also called the AZ hive for Anton Žnideršič (1874–1947) who designed this style of beekeeping in Slovenian. In essence, this hive design uses the Langstroth frames, but discard the supers. Instead of supers, a cabinet holds the frames.
Roy is showing the front of his Slovenian hive where the bee entrances are located under a roof. By the way, Roy’s hive is a work in progress in his image. The beekeeper accesses the hive from the back and only handles frames. This design avoids manhandling heavy supers.
The AZ hive enables beekeepers of maturity or with physical limits to practice the apiary arts without shoulder or back or leg strain. Melissa Caughey wrote an article, The Slovenian Beehive Arrives in the US, and she reports that “The bees remain calm. A total inspection of the hive can be made quickly if desired. The bottom level can be visited frequently, unlike the Lang’s bottom deep. The beekeeper has absolutely no tasks that require lifting of more than one full frame of honey at a time.
Also, because the hives are protected from weather and high noon sunlight. The insulation factor from being stacked on and next to one another is significant and can result in improved winter mortality rates. The rear screen windows combined with two hinged vents on the rear door also allows for good ventilation and a reduction of humidity in the summer.”
Caughey also shared this observation about honey harvesting, “The process is much simpler. Frames are easily and quickly withdrawn and replaced. Due to the concave edges of the frames that rest on 3 stainless rods in the hive, there is very little propolis with which to contend. Slovenian beekeepers use an electric frame sweeper with very delicate brushes to remove bees and honey quickly and safely. The bees are returned to the hive from the sweeper bucket.”
An online search for “Slovenian hive plans” produces several websites that support beekeepers who want to improve the efficiency of their beekeeping.
Please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 318.264.2448 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Also, you can be on the “beemail” email list by emailing your request to the address above.
“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”
“Mention of trade names or commercial products and services in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”