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The worst urban beehive concept ever?


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The urban beehive is a concept for keeping bees at home. The beehive is designed to allow us a glimpse into the fascinating world of these industrious creatures and to harvest the honey that they produce.

 

The design of the beehive is unconventional, appealing, and respects the natural behavior of the bees. It consists of two parts: entry passage and flower pot outside, and glass vessel containing an array of honeycomb frames, inside. The glass shell filters light to let through the orange wavelength which bees use for sight. The frames are provided with a honeycomb texture for bees to build their wax cells on. Smoke can be released into the hive to calm the bees before it is opened, in keeping with established practice.

 

This is a sustainable, environmentally friendly product concept that has direct educational effects. The city benefits from the pollination, and humans benefit from the honey and the therapeutic value of observing these fascinating creatures in action. As global bee colonies are in decline, this design contributes to the preservation of the species and encourages the return of the urban bee.

 

To make their hives, bees produce wax and propolis, a resinous mixture that varies with the bees’ environment and diet. Propolis has a structural function but is also believed to inhibit harmful pathogens in the hive and is sold as an alternative medicine. Once the health benefits of honey and propolis are better understood, the urban beehive could also have a role in the home apothecary.

 

Pressed against an opening in a window, the Urban Beehive splits the difference between inside and out, with a flowerpot and entry passage outside and a tinted-glass shell, filled with honeycomb frames, inside. Honey can be harvested by releasing smoke into the hive and opening the top cover.

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Talking of beehive designs has anyone heard of a Kiwi importing the 'Beehaus'? A mere $1200 or so NZ$...see link..This maybe old news but I'm impressed with the concept...http://www.omlet.co.uk/products_services/products_services.php?cat=Beehaus&subcat=The+Beehaus

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Talking of beehive designs has anyone heard of a Kiwi importing the 'Beehaus'? A mere $1200 or so NZ$...see link..This maybe old news but I'm impressed with the concept...http://www.omlet.co.uk/products_services/products_services.php?cat=Beehaus&subcat=The Beehaus

I must admit I'm pro the Omlet concept too. When I was living in the UK with the postage stamp back garden that was smaller than most kiwi kitckens, looking to get into doing something for nature after watching hours of Bill Oddie the omlet chicken house would have been the way to go. Having kept chickens now the proper way I can see it would have been a pain, but to someone new and "looking" it was a great concept. I think it would have been the same for the beehaus, but now I know better.

I'm convinced if I hadn't moved, I'd be the owner of both products now.

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Given the Beehaus is made of plastic and it is illegal in most districts to burn plastic, would a Beehaus be considered a legitimate form of beehive under the AFB management stratergy as you could not burn it if you were unlucky enough to get AFB?

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Given the Beehaus is made of plastic and it is illegal in most districts to burn plastic, would a Beehaus be considered a legitimate form of beehive under the AFB management stratergy as you could not burn it if you were unlucky enough to get AFB?

Why would you need to burn it? Isn't disinfecting it a viable option in New Zealand?

This is from the UK, so I'm not sure of its relevance here

It is known that to destroy the spores of American Foul Brood a disinfectant containing a hypochlorite is required. Check the container label for details. Sodium hypochlorite is present at a concentration of about 3% in domestic bleach. Research has shown that immersion for twenty minutes in a solution of 0.5% sodium hypochlorite kills American foulbrood spores and other bacteria. In this case you therefore need to make a solution of one part of household bleach to six parts of water. Before doing so check the container label, as you may need to adjust the ratio. It is essential that bacterial spores are in direct contact with the solution, so any items must be thoroughly clean. After treatment components should be thoroughly rinsed in clean water.
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True, bleach does kill AFB spores but it has to be in contact with those spores to work. Given all the nooks and cranies in a bee hive how certain can you be of cleaning it thoroughtly before sterilising it in the bleach.

Taking the quote, it says immersion for 20 mins kills the spores, so I assume that's how you'd get in the nooks and crannies

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The issue with bleach dissinfection is that it will only kill surface spores - it cannot penetrate wax or propolis to kill spores suspended in those, for example.

 

Theoretically, if the beehaus body were molded plastic (I have seen it before, but I'm not going to bother looking again right now) and therefore didn't have nooks and crannies to consider, and it were extremely thoroughly scraped and scrubbed clean of wax and propolis (all remnants of which should then be burnt), and the plastic is non-porous, then perhaps it would be acceptable to the Management Agency to disinfect instead of destroy. The frames if I recall correctly are wax and wood, and would be burnt.

 

Realistically, the odds of the unit being/being able to be cleaned the way it would need to be to ensure it were clean of AFB spores... probably not great.

 

Remember, if a method ain't written into your DECA (your disease elimination conformity agreement) with the Management Agency, it ain't an option.

 

Remember, too, what that "A" in DECA stands for - Agreement with the Management Agency. If they don't agree, it ain't happening.

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Providing the bleach can reach the spores. As it is mixed with water it has very limited penetration so all wax and propolis needs to be thoroughly cleaned off first.

Ah I see where you are coming from. I was thinking of the physicality of the box itself and didn't consider the bee work in the equation.

I did wonder DJC, so its not an option here anyway as its not in the agreement ;)

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burning plastic frames infected with American foulbrood is permissible because the bioSecurity act supersedes your local clean air act. Nevertheless pollution from plastic either burned(American foulbrood) or sent to landfill (broken frames) is the main reason I have gone back to wooden frames. Treatment of American foulbrood using sodium hypochlorite is an interesting piece of science but I would not touch any gear treated in this way with a 40 foot barge pole. by the way the majority of the hives I saw in Norway were in plastic boxes.

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We were told on our AFB course that if we lived in a town that we would have to put on our DECA our plan for burning the hive incase of AFB. The recommendation was we would transport the hive to a countryside location to burn. So if the biosecurities act superseeds the clean air act then we would be better off burning the hive in situ (providing it is safe) and probably warning the fire brigade of our intentions.

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It was quite a hassle, but eventually I found a guy from the council who granted me (via email) permission to light the fire in city limits. Fire brigade weren't interested.... Same people who issue fire permits, but this couldnt be done within the time frame the Biosecurity (National American Foulbrood Pest Management Strategy) Order 1998 specifies.

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