The apartment beehive is the way to create a bond between honeybees and humanity, a way to study and get closer to the bees life, a way to save the bees.
I have created the apartment hive with the intent that everyone, every single person, child or adult, to be able to take care of the honeybees, with the intent that children can see and study bees’ life at school or at home easily, with the intent that everyone can benefit of the bees and bees product therapeutic properties, with the intent to be a better tool for the researchers that study bees life, and non the less to help beekeepers control the bees during the winter or cold weather.
(Double box apartment beehive image)
Beekeeping has been a tradition for thousands of years. The honeybee is the only insect in our world that has been domesticated and produces human food. Although working with bees had been always kept as a myth and scare away for many people. I as a child was running away from my grandfather’s bees not to be stung just because I did not want the other children to laugh seeing my swollen face. And it had always happened, until I learned not to run from the bees and to love and understand them.
Now, we have a way to grow bees in our apartment, house, office, school or farm, a way to save the bees and to have the bees making honey for us without having to interact directly with them, without having to wear a protection mask and open the hive to take the frames out. You don’t have to be a beekeeper to do all of these. With the apartment hive we just watch them, listen to their buzz, enjoy their benefits, learn from them, treat them more as pets, love them and understand their life, their way to create the perfect society. It is in their gene to be perfect, bees were having that perfect society while humanity was fighting to discover it.
A little bit of honeybees and beehive history
In ancient times people were chasing wild bees and stilling their honey. Slowly they had brought the bees close to their habitat and started to make hives for them. There are archeological proofs dated 2500 B.C. about it. First hives were made of clay and straws and even today people still making them in some parts of the World.
(Clay and straws beehive Image)
First book about beekeeping is dated 1790 and written by Della Roca.
In 1851 Lorenzo Langstroth (1810-1924) had invented the vertical modular hive.Charles Dedant brings improvements to it reducing the top modules in half.
(My vertical beehives image)
In the same period of time, G Layens had invented the horizontal hive.
(My grandfather’s horizontal beehives image)
In 1857 Iohanes Mehring had invented the press for wax foundations and in 1865 Franz Hruscka had created the first centrifugal honey extractor.
(Frame image and extractor image)
We have been trying to understand the bees, to learn their language and how they communicate, bees anatomy, how they fly, how they process the nectar into honey, how they make wax. We learned that everything bees do is a benefit for men and humanity. In the process of flying from flower to flower to collect nectar, bees are pollinating the flowers. Without pollination we won’t have crops, we won’t have enough to eat. As a matter of fact 17 different American states have declared the honeybee as the state insect.
And more about the honeybee. Out of 20,000 species of bee in the world, only six produce honey. 85% of the bee species are solitary.
The hornets is one of the biggest bees killer in Asia. Twenty hornets can decimate a full hive of 50,000 bees in only one hour. The Japanese honeybees have developed an effective collective defense mechanism, they wait for the hornet to enter the hive and, all of a sudden a large number of around 500 bees surround completely covering it. Then they begin quickly vibrating their flight muscles which causes an increase in temperature to just a degree above the limit supported by the hornet resulting in the death of the hornet.
The mites are the worst parasites which usually get attached to the back of the bees and suck their blood. The Russian bees are more versatile in grooming each other, that way helping to kill the mites.
(Bee with mite image)
More facts about the honey bees.
A honeybee strokes its wings about 11,500 times a minute (almost 200 cycles per second) constantly, and can fly at 9-15 miles per hour (14.5 – 24.0 kph). It changes the speed and direction with the angle of the wings vibration. The middle eye is the gyroscope and the antennas are used for direction.
A worker bees which is an adult bee, weigh 121 mg. Its brain is about a cubic millimeter (1.6 x10-5 cubic inch) but has the densest neuropile tissue of any animal.
How far can a bee fly? Fueled with 30 mg of honey it can fly about 34 miles (60 Km) before running out of fuel.
Bees fly a maximum of 6 miles (10 Km) away from the hive in search for flowers.
A bee fly 10-15 trips/day, sometimes up to 150 trips/day. It needs an average of 1600 round trips in order to produce 1 ounce (28.35g) of honey.
To produce 2 pound of honey (approximate 1 Kg), bees travel a distance equal to 4 times around the earth.
We all love honey and shouting laud “SAVE THE BEES”. We all understand the important role that bees play in our life.
And still not many of us are doing the right thing. Well, now is the time, now everyone can save the bees, no need to be a beekeeper to do it, no need to wear a protection suit and buy all special tools. Treat the bees as your friends, as your pet. You will be amazed how friendly they are. Once the live in the same house with you and hear your voice every day and smell you every day, miraculously you become part of their life and they become part of your life.
Let them out to fly freely and they will come to great you, to rest on your head or on your face. They won’t do anything wrong to you because they know that you are their friend. If they will be able to speak our language, they will talk to us.
But we are smarter and can translate their language.
First apartment beehive
You can build your own apartment beehive or you can purchase one from beesqueen.ca that comes with a stand and a cleaning box. Next step is to get the bees. The box takes two full size Langstroth frames which allow space to 1 – 2 Kg of bees. Any beekeeper can help you with two frames with bees and a queen. Loading the bees for the first time is the only direct interaction with the bees and that is a simple and fast procedure. Remove the top wall, release the top frame spacers, insert the two frames with bees.
Make sure that the queen is there.
Put back the top frame spacer and secure the top wall with the small side latches, double check that everything was done properly and no space was left uncover, and the shutter for the bees entrances are closed. In less than one minute you got your first apartment beehive loaded and ready to go.
For transportation attache the stand on top of the box and secure it with the side
I treat my bees with respect, they always travel on the rear seats with the seat-belt on.
The queen is a real queen.
Next we will show the potential of an apartment beehive.
The apartment beehive is a modular beehive which means that multiple boxes can be stack one on top of the other or one beside the other with the option to be connected. Each box can accommodate two dip Langstroth frames. Some of the boxes can accommodate two flow frames, and this specific boxes are slightly different in order to adapt to the flow frames width and accessing.
The apartment beehive is the beehive inside house, it is the latest most modern scientific design of an urban beehive, the easiest way to do urban apiculture. This is the safest way to raise bees in your apartment, without direct interaction with the bees. It has never been easier to grow bees and benefit of their main product: honey