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    Prerequisites and requirements

    You're responsible

    Assuming responsibility for the welfare of a living creature - be it a cat, a dog, or a hive of honey bees - is an on-going commitment!

    Even though bees enjoy a relatively autonomous existence, you must see to it that the general requirements and a suitable environment for their health and welfare are maintained. Their life cycle is strongly seasonal: certain tasks need to be performed at certain times of the year and cannot be postponed. » The beekeeping seasons...

    Your responsibility extends to your fellow beekeepers. Bees are free-flying insects with a flight radius of several kilometers, which may bring them into contact with neighbouring hives and the potential for transmission of diseases. Thus taking care of your bees isn´t just your own private affair. » What you absolutely need to know...


    Location and availability of forage

    Extensive beekeeping requires a sufficient supply of flowering and nectar-producing plants throughout the growing season, from early spring to late fall. In many regions today where intensive agriculture is practiced these circumstances no longer exist. The Bienenkiste hive is intended for a single harvest of roughly 15 kg of honey per year, with the remaining honey reserved to carry the bees through the winter with only minimal feeding of additional sugar.

    The Bienenkiste hive has been tested in and is recommended for urban areas, which offer a greater abundance and variety of flowering plants than is generally to be found in regions of intensive (monoculture) agriculture.

    Large plantings of single-nectar sources, e.g. oil seed rape (canola) fields or pine forest monoculture, are generally unfavorable, but hard and fast rules as to whether the Bieneniste hive is suitable for any one specific location are not possible. If you are uncertain, it is a good idea to ask a nearby beekeeper for advice before you start. » Bienenkiste Network...


    Commitment, passion

    Although keeping bees with the Bienenkiste hive is easier than conventional beekeeping, it still requires a modicum of effort and study on your part. For our part, we try to provide answers to all of the important questions about successfully keeping bees in the Bienenkiste hive, but that is not enough. You will still need to devote some time to the theoretical principals of beekeeping and honey bee biology. To overcome the nervousness or anxiety that most of us experience when around bees for the first time, you should first acquire some hands-on experience with bees; support from an experienced beekeeper is an invaluable asset. Thus we strongly support local networking efforts and provide the Bienenkiste Network as a means for finding a local mentor.

    Beekeeping is a fascinating and delightful hobby that can easily become a real passion; this is important, as successful beekeeping requires good planning, diligence, and perseverence.


    The learning curve

    Somewhat unlike conventional beekeeping, you will find the first year of keeping bees in the Bienenkiste hive relatively easy: if you start with a strong natural swarm there is little that can go wrong. You won´t harvest any honey and the bees won´t swarm. There is time to enjoy your bees, slowly learn to work them while performing the few interventions that are necessary, and absorb some beekeeping theory. The following year will be busier: The bees may choose to swarm, and there is the first honey harvest. So, take advantage of the first year to acquire the necessary background knowledge and gain working experience, so that you can approach the following year with confidence.

    Most importantly, study thoroughly the information provided here before you acquire a swarm. You should not assume that the beekeeper providing the swarm will help you with getting started. Plan to make contact well in advance with local beekeepers, local clubs, or other Bienenkiste beekeepers for initial advice and practical assistance.
    Networking, discussion



    Swarming is an essential element of the natural reproductive life cycle of the honey bee colony and one of the most fundamental manifestations of its vitality. The choice to support and manage the swarm instinct rather than suppress it (the usual case in traditional beekeeping) is a key aspect of the Bienenkiste concept. Trying to prevent swarming can be difficult (and often frustrating) because you are working against the bees' natural instinct; bees that are allowed to swarm are generally more vital and less prone to disease.

    If you plan to keep bees "the Bienenkiste way", then you need to become confortable with this naturally occurring annual (or biennial) reproductive event. But not to fear, a constructive approach for the benefit of all is possible: Swarm season


    Bee stings

    Honey bees today are relatively gentle creatures, and because the colony structure remains intact when the Bienenkiste hive is opened, our bees tend to remain especially gentle. Even without protective clothing you do not need to constantly fear being stung. But it can happen, now and then, usually because of a careless hand (bees don't like getting their toes stepped on anymore than we do). So, you should prepare yourself for this inevitability. Most beekeepers are not particularly bothered by a bee sting -- it's a sharp prick that can be momentarily painful and will sometimes lead to swelling and itching -- because in most cases the sting was self-provoked, and one quickly gets used to such pointed reproaches from these otherwise peaceful insects.

    Some people are truly allergic to bee stings (beyond the usual swelling and soreness), but this is actually quite rare. If you are uncertain about your own response or a possible allergy, then you should check in advance with your family doctor. For someone with a serious allergy to bee venom, a single sting can be life-threatening unless emergency medical aid is quickly received!


    Information portal: www.bienenkiste.de

    This site is intended as a portal of knowledge for the entire Bienenkiste community. By gathering together in one place the necessary information and actively supporting local networking efforts through the Bienenkiste Network and the Swarm Exchange, we hope to build and to maintain an active and effective user community.

    Please bear in mind that we cannot individually respond to or assist every new beekeeper personally. (Try instead our online Forum...)

    Better yet, make use of our networking recommendations. If there is no beekeeping mentor in your area, perhaps another beginner is willing to work with you. Two heads and a combined effort will make things easier. This is why we strongly encourage you - even as a mere beginner - to register in the Bienenkiste Network, so that others in your area may contact you.
    » Bienenkiste Network...

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    What you absolutely need to know!

    Keeping animals (bees, too) requires a certain minimal amount of basic knowledge and information.

    [Foto alt="What you absolutely need to know!"]

    Please read the following items carefully before getting started!

    - Prerequisites
    - What you absolutely need to know...

    The expense

    Compared with the start-up costs of conventional beekeeping, starting with the Bienenkiste hive is relatively affordable; much of what you need (including the hive) you can manufacture or assemble yourself.

    Mistakes, misfortune, & mishaps

    Everything that can go wrong...

    Forum topics

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    [Hinweis: KMP hat den Beitrag zuletzt am vor 6 Jahren, 7 Monaten geändert.]
      Bienen machen glücklich!