Hive Types - Part 4: AZ Hives with Paul Longwell (S3, E51)

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In Part 4 of our 5-part series on hive types other than the standard Langstroth, we talk with Paul Longwell about the AZ Hive. Paul has been keeping bees for quite a few years. He’s a Master Beekeeper and has bees in Langstroth hives, top bar hives and has a shed with his AZ Hives. AZ hives, if you’re not familiar with them were developed in Slovenia, which has a long history with bees and beekeeping.

Basically, AZ hives are in a small shed that the beekeeper goes into to work the bees. To work these hives, they are opened from the back, not the top, and the back is inside the shed. Bees exit from the opening on the outside, and there’s a double door that opens in the trailer, a screen closest to the bees, and a solid door to seal the hive.

Frames are parallel to the long side of the hive, like a book case, and can be removed by sliding them out of the door in the back. Like Langstroth hives, they can be 2 or more boxes high, with the brood on the bottom and honey above. The boxes, and thus the frames are larger than Lang frames, and they don’t hang on a rabbet, but rather sit on a very narrow metal support and beekeepers simply slide them out of the box to examine.

Because the entire hive isn’t opened, very little smoke is needed and beesuits are rare. Bees that fly when a frame is examined will leave the inside of the shed through a bee escape in the ceiling that offers the only light. The shed can be standalone (like Paul’s) or it can be on a trailer so it can be moved around. It is completely enclosed so it can be warmed by a small heater and a beekeeper can examine the bees at night, using a red light, or even in the winter, with the heater on.

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:

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We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at www.betterbee.com

Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website: https://www.strongmicrobials.com

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at http://globalpatties.com and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.

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We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments: questions@beekeepingtodaypodcast.com

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at www.beeculture.com

Thank you for listening!

Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"; Musicalman, "Epilogue". Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott

Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC

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