Here we present the different beehives, the bee towers that we call Bee Tower for our international friends. They all have in common the use of reeds as insulation.
We try to develop our ecological hives according to the following sustainable criteria:
Use of natural and renewable raw materials
Possible use of recycled materials
Possibility of using different breeding concepts
Compliance with the criteria of various eco-labels
Cost-effective in case of self-construction
Suitable for self-construction even for the uninitiated
Utilisation de matières premières naturelles et renouvelables
Utilisation possible de matériaux recyclés
Possibilité d’utiliser différents concepts d’élevage
Respect des critères de différents écolabels
Coûts avantageux en cas d’autoconstruction
Convient également aux non-initiés pour l’autoconstruction.
With the variations of our bee towers, we simulate a small part of nature. Nature that has been home to bees for millions of years. Today’s forestry has no room for trees with woodpecker holes. Bees are kept in containers that allow honey to be harvested ergonomically and economically. Bees are flexible. We don’t know how flexible they are. But we do know that keeping bees in conventional beekeeping boxes, with the intention of producing as much honey as possible, is stressful for the bees. Their resistance is put to the test. Not without long-term consequences.
A near-natural tree cavity simulation is a prerequisite for keeping bees under near-natural conditions. Of course, there are other important factors.
the natural construction of the combs, without central walls or frames
the intangibility of the brood nest
reproduction by swarming
overwintering on own honey
no queen rearing
The location of the habitat is also an important factor to consider. In order to avoid the transmission of diseases and parasites such as varroasis, theft between colonies should be avoided as much as possible. The risk is high if the colonies are placed in rows close to each other.
The aim is to avoid chemical treatment to control varroasis. Any chemical treatment is detrimental to the colony. Instead of fighting the varroa with chemicals, we focus on strengthening the resistance of our colonies. As we are dealing with volumes of about 35-40 litres, the colonies remain naturally small. This means that they need much less honeydew to create a good base for the winter…
Our beeTowers are constructed to retain a large amount of heat. The reed is a natural insulator. This gives us a wall thickness comparable to about 10 cm of solid wood. At the same time, the shell remains open to diffusion. Excess moisture can escape to the outside. The beeTOWER is protected from the weather by natural materials such as clay and cow dung. The air humidity is high, but no mould is found in the beeTOWER. Considering that the varroa mite does not tolerate high humidity, this is an additional chance for successful control.
Photos: Jan Michael, www.rucherecole.com