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BEEHAUS

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Just read this with interest and we are looking forward to seeing it. Wondering about it being blow torch proof?

We wouldnt swap anyway but I could see it would be of interest to the urban bee keeper with fashion sense.

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Surely the point is that it wouldn't need to be blow-torch proof, because you could disinfect it by other means - steam clean, pressure wash etc. It's impossible to disinfect a wooden hive without blowtorching - just like a wooden chicken coop - but there'd be other ways to clean this.

 

I'm even visualising being able to put it in the dishwasher, if it comes apart!

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Exactly, Olly. I can't imagine that Omlet would have designed the Beehaus without taking all this into account and having researched beekeeping thoroughly, so sorry m100 - i'm not convinced you're right!

 

I will be very keen to see the beehaus and find out what the differences are about keeping bees this way. When some omleteers met at Harlow Carr we went to a bee-keeping talk and asked questions about the idea of a plastic hive. If I recall the chappie couldn't think of a reason why it wouldn't work and that it might be easier to keep clean.... have I recalled that right everyone?

 

How prophetic was that talk and all our jokes about beelus? :lol:

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You can already get polly hives, and whilst they have a lot of advantages the biggie is they can't be blow-torched clean; the only other thing is ...formic (maybe..?) acid which would damage plastics. I'm not sure that dishwashing /power washing would do anything other than dislodge the crud (you wouldn't power wash medical sharps and re-use them) the bacteria of AFB (and to a lesser extent, EFB) form spores which are very difficult to get rid of. Red mite is the main chicken-house-bourne pest and of course powerwashing would get rid of that, but am just not sure is same for bacteria.

Having said that....AFB and EFB are reasonably rare in the UK though, and people with polly hives do manage (replacing them if all else fails).

What I don't get is the advantage over a polly hive. Maybe they are easier to move to the heather?

Also, I do like my hives not to look interesting or eye-catching in case of vandalism /theft. They're jsut sited somewhere more vulnerable to theft than in a garden.

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If it makes folks take up bee keepng then its a success. Im sure they have done there reserch and opinion will be split like those who prefer wooden chicken houses.

 

I cant see any of the established Cheshire Bee Keepers rushing in to buy them but Im sure we will view it with interest and an open mind. You never know!

 

I can see it appealing to new keepers though which is a good thing. Bee keeping is definatley becoming more popular. Looking forward to seeing it.

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Very interesting! And surely, if you had some nasty bug to get rid of, then a hard core disinfectant, like what I uses to get rid of Giardia from my house, would work? I use Zoflora because it has quaternary ammonium compounds in it, which seems to do the trick (and is also brilliant at killing the stench). Just make sure it dries before letting pets near it. I don't see how that could be any less effective than a blow torch, which is only denaturing the bacteria through heat.

 

I'm really tempted, because I like bees and I think it's terrible that they're dying out, BUT I have had allergic reactions (whole limbs swelling up) to wasp stings, so I'm not sure it's such a great idea for me :?

 

Also, how do the cats get on with bees? Do they bother them? Mine all chase flies and butterflies...

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I'd like to make a couple of points if I may. I have kept bees for many years now and principally in poly hives on a reasonably large scale, from 60 to 80 colonies at one time and currently some 25.

 

Whether certain disinfectants can or cannot successfully eradicate some bee diseases is up to Defra not the individual.

 

Poly hives are indeed very common in Europe and there are standard sizes around. Whether the UK in particular actually needs a snazzy new variety is highly debatable.

 

Bees are not toys for gardens they are highly social insects that can on occasion work in concert to the extent the outcome is death to the individual. I make this point for you to ponder, clearly and truthfully, bees can kill.

 

The worst outcome of having chickens I imagine is a pecked ankle. The worst outcome from bees might be very much more serious.

 

I never recommend bees in gardens. The risks are just too high, not only to the individuals concerned but also to pets.

 

Please think very carefully about this matter.

 

For more information on beekeping please read up on this forum:http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/

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...Poly hives are indeed very common in Europe and there are standard sizes around. Whether the UK in particular actually needs a snazzy new variety is highly debatable.

 

Bees are not toys for gardens they are highly social insects that can on occasion work in concert to the extent the outcome is death to the individual. I make this point for you to ponder, clearly and truthfully, bees can kill.

 

....

I never recommend bees in gardens. The risks are just too high, not only to the individuals concerned but also to pets.

 

...

For more information on beekeping please read up on this forum:http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/

 

I do agree that there are already a bewildering number of hive types available, and at the moment I don't know if the Beehaus will be significantly different from a polystyrene hive; I guess not!

 

I also agree that beekeeping is not to be entered lightly! Stings don't jsut hurt, for some people they can be a medical emergency, and even in non-allergic people can be very dangerous in the wrong place (eyes, and where swelling can block breathing). Swarms scare the heck out of some people, and aren't good PR for bees.

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As a beekeeper myself I would agree with poly hive apart from the bit about keeping them in your garden. It all depends on how agressive your bees are and the size, design and location of the garden. However, if in doubt get advice from the local beekeepers association. They will usually visit and will advise whether it's suitable or not.

 

You will also need more than one hive for swarm control and for when sterilising. Bees cannot be left to wander around the garden like chickens while you powerwash the Cube. Also if you only have one colony you have all your eggs in one basket (sorry!) in that if the queen fails or dies they may not have the ability to create a replacement if the brood is too old. If you have more than one colony there are methods of using the spare colony to re-queen. I assure you that loosing a queen is common and if you don't have access to a replacement the colony is doomed.

 

During May through to Mid July they have to be checked every week without fail to make sure they are not preparing to swarm, otherwise half the colony will fly off and cluster in a neighbour's hedge until they find a new home. That is up to 30,000 bees in the neighbour's garden that have left your hive.....! Are your holiday plans able to accommodate this?

 

Furthermore, they also need constant monitoring for disease and have you thought about how you will react when manipulating a colony containing around 50 to 60 THOUSAND bees - some buy the gear and then panic realising it's not for them having shelled out hundreds on equipment. Bees are like people - sometimes they get in a bad mood - even the weather can make them grumpy - and 60,000 grumpy bees can be scary! And for the record they can and sometimes do sting through the bee suit - bee suits are not 100% sting proof and I have a lump on my forearm to prove it!

 

So, bees are not a fashion assessory, they take skill and dedication to look after. They are not cheap either, we've spent a small fotune on them. My advice to anyone thinking of keeping bees is to take advice from the experts at the local beekeeping association and handle someone else's to see if it's for you. Don't buy anything until you do!

Edited by Guest

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Thank you to all the people who have offered genuine, friendly advice here.

 

However, I would just like to say that although we seem an excitable bunch, we would all agree that bees are not just toys for the garden and our chickens are not either. Before we embarked on chickens, the vast majority of us spent months or even years researching whether we were suitable owners for chickens, how we would care for them and how they would fit into our lifestyles.

 

My husband has been looking into bees for about a year now and would not even consider keeping bees until he had completed a course with Waveney bee keepers.

 

I'm sorry gang but this feels like an organised, mass telling off from people from another forum given the number of bee keepers who have suddenly joined. I apologise if I am wrong but this does not feel like the gentle, supportive approach that we are used to here.

 

Jan

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I second Janty - I would say that most of the people on here are very serious about their intentions and would most certainly do the necessary research first!

 

I have been thinking about getting bees for a couple of years, and am busy planting the garden with lots of bee friendly plants. I have also been to a hive inspection with the local bee group (and will continue to attend). I will also be attending a course this winter, and will have members from the local group out to inspect my garden for suitability. And with all this, I still don't plan on getting bees until Spring 2011 (sounds SO far away). And I still have to check with the neighbours and probably ought to try and get myself stung too, to check for allergies (NOT looking forward to that part...). So, all-in-all, I would say I am being very serious and thorough.

 

And if the Eglu hive is half as good as the Eglu coops, then that's what I will probably get too. After all, it's vital that these things are colour co-ordinated :lol:. The most important decision is clearly between red or purple :lol:.

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Mine are GENERALLY incredibly calm and peaceful. However.... I lost my queen earlier this year and they were exceptionally grumpy then, and frankly would have been a nightmare in the garden. Although I don't have neighbours, the long suffering OH would've gone loopy :lol: !

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Well, well, well. Thanks for that, Redwing. I had no idea quite how reactionary and cliquey areas of the beekeeping fraternity could be until I read that thread; I hope it's just an attitude problem with that particular forum and not beekeepers in general.

 

Saddest of all was the obvious inclination to dwell on possible problems in preference to likely benefits. The knock-on effects of the decimation of the bee population are huge and the only way to recover is by significantly increasing the bee population again. This doesn't just mean established beekeepers keeping more colonies, but also introducing significantly more people to beekeeping who might not otherwise have considered it. Yes, some people will enter into it without thinking it through. Yes, plenty of newcomers will make precisely the mistakes one would expect of a beginner. Yes, there will be those who cut corners they shouldn't. However, the concept of beekeeping as an exclusive club which bars membership to all but "the right sort" is unrealistic.

 

As far as the Beehaus is concerned, we've obviously no idea whether it has been well designed or not until we see one (and reports from experienced beekeepers come back). However, trying to pooh-pooh it simply because the market has plenty of designs already is just crass. If it's flawed, it won't sell and the problem will be self limiting. If it lives up to its hype, it'll sell well, forcing other less practical designs out, thereby raising the average quality level. Either way, it'll stand or fall on its merits, and I fail to see how that can be bad.

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I've kept horses too, which are far more likely to seriously injure or KILL me if mishandled, mismanaged or just badly ridden. I don't remember anyone being so obnoxious about that decision. Or our decision to keep a cow, which can also kill you. Or my decision to have a baby, which could also kill me.

 

 

grumpy grump. :(

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I've kept horses too, which are far more likely to seriously injure or KILL me if mishandled, mismanaged or just badly ridden. I don't remember anyone being so obnoxious about that decision. Or our decision to keep a cow, which can also kill you. Or my decision to have a baby, which could also kill me.

 

 

grumpy grump. :(

 

:lol::lol::lol: Totally agree with you!

 

There was a swarm of bees in a tree in the middle of town about a month or so ago and "Ooops, word censored!"ody really took a blind eye-they just didn't sit on the two benches directly underneath when they were buzzing around, but when they settled loads of people didn't even notice there were a few thousand bees above their heads! :roll:

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The comments HERE are really harsh! I always thought this prided itself on being a friendly forum.

 

Of course there is a fear that lots of beginners starting up will cause problems: with the best will in the world, local assoc's only have so many places on classes, and only so many mentor's to go round. Without a mentor/support things become much more difficult when starting out, and with bees in a small domestic back garden the impact on others of swarms /angry bees /etc is much worse. I know I would've been lost without my mentor: despite attending courses and reading loads! A lot of beeks would confess that they have lost a swarm in the early days, have been clumsy when inspecting and got the colony riled up, etc etc. It isn't meant to be critical of anyone, or finger-pointing: it's the way things are.

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I think what's riling people is that people seem to have jumped onto the omlet forum solely to criticise the Beehaus, without having seen it and also the feeling that some beekeepers see beekeeping as a bit of a club, which you can't join without the 'right' gear and contacts, which they control.

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Don't worry aunty e, we're keeping a weather eye on this.

 

It's a shame that the Beehaus is getting such a dissing before it's even been launched.. but then the same happened with the eglu, and look how that's doing now :D

 

People will always have their own opinions, but constructive criticism is far more valuable. I'd like to think that the be keepers would be welcoming any new keepers with open arms and lots of helpful advice; let's face it, the British Bee needs all the help it can get.

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I couldn't agree more Claret, surely beekeepers should unite in order to save and protect bees as they are important to the environment. It was once estimated that if all the bees in the world died out humans would only have another 4 years to live on this planet due to the fantastic pollinators they are.

 

I think it can only be a good thing to encourage more people to keep bees, just so long as they know what they're doing and are guided by people who are more experienced! :D

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I think what's riling people is that people seem to have jumped onto the omlet forum solely to criticise the Beehaus, without having seen it and also the feeling that some beekeepers see beekeeping as a bit of a club, which you can't join without the 'right' gear and contacts, which they control.

 

I don't think people have criticised the beehaus here: all I can see from the very new beekeeper members are comments regarding keeping bees in the garden and comments emphasising the need to do some research etc, with far fewer comments regarding the beehaus. One mentions (prob the most critical one!) that the need for another new design is "highly debateable"; this isn't exactly a cutting a criticism of the design of the Beehaus or even of Omlet as a company. It may be that the Beehaus does have some incredibly clever additions that no-one else has considered, and is in a recognised size so it can be used with pre-existing gear beeks might have.

 

Frankly there are too many hive sizes/types available - very similar designs with slight difference in number / type of frames they take which makes them incompatible with each other: this isn't a comment on the Beehaus, it's a comment on how much easier it would be if everyone used the same size of hive, so all the bits were interchangeable (I acquired a really obscure sized hive, so have no room to talk) :oops: . I know local assoc's often recomment beginners use hives of a size which is standard locally: but this is only so that equipment like travel screens can be lent to beginners easily. I can see how this could be taken as being a "get the right gear or you can't play in our gang" but for most beeks this isn't what is being attempted.

 

I do see how beekeeping can be seen as a bit of an exclusive "club"; beeks do need local help, particularly when starting out (at least it's much easier with local help!). Hence the reason why there's such an emphasis on joining local associations, meeting local beek's etc; it isn't like they all do funny handshakes or anything, it's really just practical help. I really can see how it can appear like an exclusive closed-door club, and I can only speak for my local assoc: everyone in reality has been helpful, freindly, and welcoming.

 

I actually agree with uberglu here: more people keeping bees is a good thing so long as they know what they're doing and get help when they get stuck!

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Everyone in my local association has been extremely helpful and friendly, and they are delighted to see their annual Beginners Course oversubscribed, and to have lots of people at meetings which a few years ago would only attract a handful of members.

 

I do agree also that beekeeping is not something to venture on lightly - I have just got a hive, but despite doing a course and reading up extensively, I recognise that I have only just dipped a toe in the ocean of knowledge that I need to acquire! The support of my local group is going to be essential. It isn't quite like chickens where you can call a vet or post a question on here - you really need someone who can come and look at your hive and tell you if what you're seeing is normal. We're all beginners at some stage no matter how much preparation we do, and I agree with ChickenAnne and Ubereglu - the point is to get more people keeping bees, as long as they're doing it safely.

 

Until we see the Beehaus we can only guess and there are a lot of questions about size, shape, structure etc that can't be answered until there's some pictures and descriptions. Come on Omlet, tell us more!

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Guest

Hmmm some heated debate here.

 

Despite my comments earlier about having one for Christmas this is not something I enter into lightly. I've been working on "The anti-bee" (mum in the granny annexe - formerly know as the anti-chicken) for sometime now. I have already started my research with a book which I have been dipping in and out of for a while. I have both a child and pets (cats and chickens) so if bees are for me they will be sited in my front garden at the boundary of the property (it's sizable and there is no pavement out there or anything - its a good distance from all the neighbors too). If that's a suitable spot - if not then bees may be a bit further down the line, when James is a lot older.

 

I was going to be going on the course in September this year but I may be putting that off for another year as I may be physically unable to start beekeeping as planned next year. I was also planning to ask a friend from this forum if I could visit and see her setup when she gets a bit more settled with her bees.

 

The announcement of the Beehaus interests me as I already know the virtues of an Eglu and am therefore interested in the beehaus as one of the options open to me as I start my beekeeping journey.

 

I think some of the newbies should take a look at our already established bee chat thread over in "The self sufficient life". A little more looking around this forum before jumping in would reveal that we are not a trendy lot who like to jump in with our eyes closed but a bunch of modern forward thinking people who like to resarch and try new ideas towards our green, semi-self sufficient life style (I'm still totally in awe of everyone going on the kill gut and pluck course and then trying that at hime - in awe but glad I'm a veggie that is!!)

 

And at the same time I'm glad this has brought more bee keepers over here - your advice will be invaluable!

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