This webside will show my work with the first AZ-hives (Alberti-Žnideršič) in Hamburg, North Germany

My Projekt

I found my hives in Maribor / Slovenia. I learn in Hamburg to work with it in a different place in europe. The east german people used a lot of time a similar system.
Slovenia have a "honey road" like the germans thery "vine road" or the scots they "whiskey road".
By this link you can find interesting informations.
If you click on the picture you can see the background movie.

What kind of work do you find here?

Who is Anton Žnideršič?

Anton Žnideršič was born  at the 13 of march 1874 in Ilirska Bistrica. He was a businessman with his own pasta factory and trade with beekeeping material.
Since he was a child he worked with honeybees. He saw the problems by handle with classic hives. In this cage he developed a useful hive. Today known as Alberti-Žnideršič hives or Az-hives. It´s actually using from some beekeepers in Canada, Scottland and Australia. In December 1947  Anton Žnideršič died in Ljubijana (Slovenia).

click at the picture!

The regular hive

I used to use classic Segeberger hives. In the lowest floor, the brood is found. A queen grid prevents the queen from entering the honey room above. That?s why she can`t lay eggs there. To control the brut, I had to remove all the honey spaces. Also for feeding with sugar syrup.

In the wet and cold weather of Hamburg this means that the bees have to warm up their hive again and again. And the colony will be disturbed.

With friends in Slovenia I was allowed to beekeeping with the AZ-beehives for the first time and to experience their advantages.

Now I wanted to know if they would work for us in Hamburg.

In the GDR there was a similar system and I think wooden boxes are healthier for the bees.

Working with regular hives

Normally a hive work with two levels, a bottom and a top. All this is made of styropur or wood. the levels lying on the top hold by grooves. In this way it`s a problem to move with the hives and for consequence of vandalism.
The level full of honey is extremly heavy and not good for the health of the beekeeper.
If you what to move a hive you have to fix the different levels to paket. At the bottom are a white shelfs to see the varoa in death and other things.

Control of regular hive

If you want to see how fit you colony is, you have to open the box at the top.
At first you can see how many workers are there and in which way they work around.
But if you want to know how many eggs, larvs, drons are there you have to lift all the higher levels down to the main level. The smoker help you to make the bees peacefullier.
In Hamburg and northern germany the weather is normally all over the year fresh and more than wet. You have two possiblitys you wait for good weather or you work fast.
But your colony is distrub and get colder. The bees need a lot of energy to warm up the nest.

Feeding the bees

In autum (after stolen the honey) and early spring or if your colony small you feed them with sirup. There are creative different ways. One of the classic way is to feed them with a feeding  through.
You  have to open the hive for this temporarly upgrade also for refill. And that in this nordic climate. The climate change make it actually not better.
How of us want the roof lift up from the house suddenly meanwhile is cold and rainy or snowy outside?

My history

At a school in Hamburg I started with students in class year seven to build an apiary. Not for earn honey, only to save the honeybees (2013). 
This Project grow and in a european student exchange with the biology technic school Maribor (East Slovenia) we learn about agriculture.
I saw three years ago my first time the AZ-hives. One year later I had the opportunity to work with them.
In summer 2018 I visited beekeeping friends in the alps of slovenia. After my work with AZ-hives I bought three of them.

The first contact with AZ-hives was inspired!

The AZ-system is so simple an Anton Z. thought about all.
I had the idea to try to use it in Hamburg. The clima is far away from that in slovenia hills. But all the things we need by the work with honeybees will easlier with that hives.
I start that experiment with this hives in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld in May/June 2019. An not commercial apiary. 
I builded a wooden table as savety by rodent with place for three hives.
I will get beequeens or swarms of beekeeping friends.

Slovenia hives history

This is one of my painted picture on the hive front which shows the few over the Bohinjsko jezero.
At the radovljica-apiculture-museum in Radolca (Slovenia) you can see very different and old painted picture from hive fronts.
It also show the important steps of agriculture and give a lot of answers.

click at the picture!

Work with AZ-hives 

Outside you have at the front and the backdoor a grip for the transport.
If you open the backdoor you see the honeyroom an and the colony floor.
You can open it seperatly.
And you can feed the bees with the sirup. Between the levels you have the beequeen fencing and at the bottom is the sheet in white for the varoa.
Do you what to see where is the party or how much honey is in stock? you can pull one mount out without disurb the other parts of colony or working bees.

AZ-hives first step

The beehives are made of wood and it`s nessecary to paint it for hydrophobic.
The way is your choice.
I did it with acryl colours and finished it with clear vanish.
Traditional the slovenia hives tell us storys. I decide to painted the hives with the Ljubijana bridge dragon and the few over the Bohinjsko jezero.
At the back door and at the front are flaps which you can closed smartly for transports. But attention your colour can closed it durable.
I painted one hive with the Ljubijana bridge dragon.

AZ-hives second step

The frames are without wire and at first you have to make the wire grille. For that the wire will be weaving through the holes in frame. Both ends will be fixing with nails.
The wire is to be nap. In this way it got more tension. 
After that you solder the sheet of wax on it. But don`t start it early because the open wax plate are a good goal for wax moths.

AZ-hives thirth step

After sweeped the Queen and the workers included some drohns the AZ hives was putted at the new place.
There it´got 1 l of sugar syrup for feeded the colony.
The door were opened the guard bees are on place.
I had constructed a board from plastic to hold at the first time the honeyroom seperatly from colony. But it was to small the bees came trough and drowmed at the syrup because of shove from the young bee to got the most syrup. So, it doesn`t work.

AZ-hives life started

At first the workers let grow the combs and fill in the syrup. After four days I could find eggs stand in rows on both side of the central frame.
I didn`t saw the queen again but the eggs showing that she still alive.
At the thrith day it`s brought pollen from a food source.

AZ-hives life is going on

 In May I brought two beehives of friendly beekeepers into the AZ-hives. One of them just took off again.

About a month later, a new bee swarm moved into this hive. This was very small, but I hoped it would work. Unfortunately, it turns out today that it won`t work because they were transporting massive Varoa mites.

AZ-hives house builded

With support from my collegues and friends the beehive house is finished.
Ready for three cololny and two of theme filled with two swarms.
They started to grow.
It`s schowed that the work with the hives is easily because I can feed the bees if I open the door behind. also I can check them by open only one small part.
Difficulted was to brush the swarm inside.

feeding bees with crushed Pollen

As the flowering of trees was over due to the use of swarms, the pollen input of two bee colonies was low. I bought dried pollen and crushed it in front of the entrance hole. They actually took it.

AZ-hives against wasps and winter

So that the food for wasps is not accessible via the ventilation slits and to protect the hives from the coming low temperatures I built a foam bach wall. This also absorbs the moisture that is generated by the bees.

AZ-hives against winter

I built a foli tent so the back walls wouldn`t be so exposed to hail.

For the bee health

For the health of the bees I cooked a tea from herbs like camomile, sage, absinthe and others according to a recipe of a friend from slovenia. This tea is added to suger syrup and is said to have an antibacterial effect on bees.

spring cleaning 1

You see the inner constraction. It´s difficult to clean. The keeper broom is small and long. The metall rods built a transverse axis. The entrance hole have behind a wooden step into the hive. It make it difficult for the keeper and the bees to clean the space between the hole and the step.

spring cleaning 2

The queen fencing instead is wonderfll if you have to clean it. the keeper chisel is perfec for the gaps. You can clean great without distroy the fencing (in different by the normal plastic fencing).
To lift the mounts I use a metall plier. It`s easy and soft. The bees don`t go angry.

spring cleaning 3

One interesting problem is, that the heart of the colony is in the deep of box. I find it always directly behind the wooden front of the box. You look from the back of apiahouse into the darkness. If you ant to have a look, lift the frames beside, let it out. Only in this case you stay sure not to kill queencells.

since October we had temperature around 10 up to 15 degree, too cool for antacid. The colonys had  eggs and larvs so it was impossible for using oxalacid.
Last week I could start with  Oxalacid. A lot Varoa falled down.
In November my colony in a regular beehive builded a wall to controll temperature inside their box out of propolis.

November 2020

Last weeks we had November, normaly we had temperature between 0 and 8 degrees. Backwards to the last 5 years it`s still warmer. In this november we have average of 12 degree.
In this case in our town the bees find nectar and pollen.
My workaholic bees.

March 2021

By critical temperature my bees fly to corylus avellena and salix capera. Both give them pollen for there babys but not enough nectar to feed the bees. My feeding with sirup let the queen put eggs in.
But two colonys are dead.

What`s happend?

One of the consequence of climachange is that the Alps didn`t have long terms of frozen. The spruces are not the typical trees for the alps. It`s only grow fast. Whitout the freeze bugs multiby at the ill trees.  In December 2017 a storm had broken trees hill by hill like "Mikado". It`s gave more spaces for the bugs. The afforestation happen trough the farmers. They get money from goverment but to plant the  initial trees are more expensive. The farmer have to garantee that the plants grow. The consequence is that the most of it planted spruces again.
The bees also the honeybees are incredible and lovely! It`s save our world because they make our flowers, tress and arable crops alive. In this cage also our human life. There are a lot of ways to secure and save bees in all they forms. One is to plant trees to save hills and the environmental inter se proceedings. The godparent-project "Plant pirates" let grow a new initial natural forest in Bohinj (Slovenia) to save the earth. Also they plant siblingstree in north germany.

Our friends the trees

If you click on the button the link bring you to another project to save lifes and bees!


Maribor city of good wine and the best pumkinoil in the world.

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