Accessible Beekeeping

We experiment with hives that might be easier to use by older beekeepers and beekeepers with a disability. We also partner with a non-profit, Accessible Beekeeping. We are helping Accessible Beekeeping set up an experimental apiary in Virginia, and we are also conducting collaborative research on beekeeping and disabilities. In PA, we run six AZ (Slovenian) hives (both 2 level and 3 level) in a small bee shed. We began exploring this type of hive years ago as an alternative to the Langstroth hive that would require less lifting. They will likely be the hives that we have as we age and can no longer maintain traditional Langstroth hives. We are constantly making minor modifications to these hives to ensure healthy bees and survivability with our changing weather. We also considered long Langstroth for the same reasons, but frames have to be lifted from the top, and the raised height means more cold exposure in the winter (probably heavy insulation would compensate for that). We may add a modified version of this to also investigate. We have considered hives using all 8-frame mediums, but the amount of weight being lifted is still significantly higher than the single frame required for both of these two options.

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