I have been regularly visiting this forum, but today I joined just so that I can add my two cents worth on this discussion on bee houses:
There are a lot of beeks with bee houses (shads) in this part of the world. They range from Alaska and just below the Alaskan boarder in British Columbia, to right across the country. Of course they are open in front and only provide a place to hide from bad weather. If they are made properly they take full advantage of the sun - important in the cold parts of this continent.
The reason I'm writing is the need to shed a bit of light on those Slovenian Bee-houses - since none of the Slovenian members care to straighten things out.
Ymbe is looking for some light on the situation? So here it goes:
Firstly, Slovaks are people from former Checkoslovakia as Slovenians are from former Yugoslavia - there is a big difference!!!!
Slovenia is a small country on sunny side of Alps. Some time ago better known as Carniola !
Yes, you got it! Slovenia is a birth place of Carniolan bee - Carnica...
Country is mountenous, to flat and about 80% covered in lush forests. Beekeeping can bee a bit of a challenge cause of terrain, climatic conditions and for the lack of a better word, sparse forage - with few agri areas with good forage crops.
In the past beeks kept bees in small boxes called "Kranjici" where bees would free-build comb and cause it was fixed (limited space) they would swarm often. Those swarms were the mainstay of Slovenian beekeepers. Their swarms were shipped by the tens of thousands, all over the world.
Cause of the nature of beehives a roof was needed to protect them from the elements. Thus the bee house was born - as we know it today. About a hundred years ago a new - modern hive - replaced the old kranjic - called - AZ hive.
Look at foto: http://users.volja.net/anton_zor/slike.htm
On picture are two (new) type hives, where the bottom part is brood chamber and middle and top is honey storage. On second hive you can see how is the hive closed with screens and on top of all this one closes the main hive door. (on second hive the door is off its hinges, for better pic.)
As you can see, this hives are easily stack-able - cause they are worked from behind.
All the talk about flying/attacking bees is nonsense. Each bee house has on one side a window and if any bees take to the air they fly straight to the light source and out through the trap on the glass window.
I have kept bees like this and we never used any protection at all. in fact I newer knew that protection existed until I came to Canada.
Extracting used to be done in those behouses, but with the EU and tougher helth laws, extracting is done now same as here. In those beehouses one often find a cot atop the hives and let me tell you - it is quite an teraputic experience to lay atop the hives an let your body absorb the hum and wibrations of milions of bees beneeth you...
Those bee houses are a national treasure and great pride for Slovenian Beekeepers. But in recent years LR hives are slowly taking hold - especially with young generation.
Measures are taken by the government to protect the unique bee houses of Slovenia and its Carniolan bee!
In years gone by, it was also a custom to paint the facades of their hives and they have been declared national treasures and are protected cause of their unique historical and monetary values...
Take a peak at some more fotos: http://www2.arnes.si/~sscrnomelj/drustvo/cebelnjaki.htmhttp://www.phespirit.info/pictures/panjske/