Picking the Best Beehive

Despite the rain and the cold, summer in Bulgaria is approaching fast. Our team is trying hard to get things ready for the SoS and beekeeping season.

We are encountering the first difficulties with meeting our goals and deadlines…As we need to purchase some initial equipment; we turned to advice to local beekeepers and friends, who could direct us to the best source. One of our mentors recommended a Bulgarian company that makes demonstration beehives with a glass wall and a lid to cover it. Those would be perfect, we thought. The glass wall is covered, and light cannot bother the bees too much. They have a good design and are interactive—easy to show children, and a good asset for the University Botanical Garden, who have accepted our request for outdoor space. We managed to see how these look like and take a picture in front of the Hilton Hotel.

These ones are tall and pretty, but for our purposes we requested a shorter frame. Since our mentor recommended the company very highly, we contacted the producers as soon as we saw the hives. After a long series of phone calls and emails—they have stopped answering us, and by default our order was cancelled. We hope they are just swamped with work, making those hives for kinder gardens and schools….

Since time is of the essence, we need to change routes and start the search all over again. There are a few options in front of us. A friend donated to us two old Dadan-Blatt beehives which we can start with. We only need to scorch the walls and insides to make sure they are safe to use and redirect ourselves to finding bee families. In either case, these hives would be a great start for us, as they are universal, easy to find and use, and as such, would probably be the first choice of other groups who want to explore urban beekeeping.

OR, we can explore a whole new arena of sustainable beekeeping—African beehives produced by a local Bulgarian. Through a local environmental group, we learned about this idea. The producer also organized workshops and is willing to help us build our own hive. They have a very different shape and have no frames. Bees make their own and so we avoid the chemicals they use in the commercial ones. You can see more pictures on the website, which unfortunately is in Bulgarian.

Taken by Kr. Notev, http://medenapita.wordpress.com/

This is where we are at currently. What do YOU think we should pursue?

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