for Backyard Beekeepers
Keeping bees is a wonderful hobby. There’s the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping an important part of the eco-system, and there’s honey! But...
Having a bee hive in your garden can cause some problems, especially if space is an issue. In a normal hive the bees fly out from the bottom of the hive and sweep across your garden at around head height before they take off into the neighbourhood. This increases the risk of being stung as bees defend their hive entrance, or just they can simply accidentally bump into you!
A Chimney Hive raises the hive entrance and therefore the flight path of the bees to 2.4 metres above the ground.
This form of hive entrance allows bees and people to use the same area without interfering with each other, therefore minimising contact and decreasing the possibility of being stung as well as allowing you to maximise space in your back yard when considering the location of your hive.
The Apiary Code of Practice 2011 Statutory Planning Requirements (Reg 5.1.2) states that beekeepers must place hives greater than three metres from a property boundary fence. This could mean that your hive is in the middle of your back yard! A chimney hive assists with the compliance of the code by raising the entrance to the hive above 2 metres – thereby allowing your hive to be placed on a boundary.
How Does a
Chimney Hive Work?
By making a small modification to a Langstroth base (small cut-outs) the hive entrance and landing board project into the chimney area forcing the bees to travel up the chimney to enter and leave 2.4 m above the ground.
A standard Langstroth hive or a "Flow Hive" (with a gable end removed) is placed on the frame of the "Chimney Hive" with the entrance contained within the body of the chimney, this removes the lower flight path of the bees and changes their flight path to a vertical orientation until they leave via the top entrance.
At the front of the "Chimney Hive" is an access door to allow the bee keeper to open or close the hive entrance when required.
The removable mesh floor of "Chimney Hive" allows for ventilation and inspection of hive waste.
The hive can be accessed from the outside and inspected and worked as the same as any other hive not on a "Chimney Hive" so as to comply with bio security requirements.