Projekt-Info - Bienenkisten-Forum <![CDATA[TRANS-PROJECT: Startseite » Projekt-Info » Vorurteile und Irrtümer]]>

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Preconceptions, misperceptions

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[Foto alt="Don't bee confused..."]

Though based on a hive with a very long history, the Bienenkiste is still relatively new; many traditional beekeepers are thus unfamiliar with the concept and/or have no first-hand experience with the hive. In the past this has led to the dissemination online and among beekeepers of some misperceptions and, in part, even vigourous criticisms of the Bienenkiste concept. This is naturally unsettling to novice beekeepers, who lack the experience to factually assess such statements.

There are, however, a few criteria by which one can at least make a rough assessment of the impartiality and trustworthiness of the sources of such criticisms:

Are economic interests at work?

The Bienenkiste is a low-budget, pro bono project under the auspices of a non-profit organisation. There are apparently those who view this as a threat to their own business model.

Is the critic really familiar with the hive?

Many preconceptions and misconceptions are simply due to a lack of firsthand knowledge or experience with the Bienenkiste hive. Beekeepers are often only familiar with one type of hive or method for keeping bees (e.g. the Langstroth hive, etc.) and are unfamiliar with the beekeeping methods based on natural comb (no foundation) or working with the swarm instinct.

Is the critic familiar with and/or sympathetic to the specific objectives on which the Bienenkiste is based?

The hive was developed for the (mostly younger) part-time beekeeper whose primary motivation for keeping bees is a love of nature. The conventional beekeeper typically produces honey to be sold and is often of or near retirement age (at least in Germany). Traditional beekeeping organisations tend to place a greater emphasis on maximising production, whereas the Bienenkiste hive falls more readily into the category of natural ecology and nature conservation - a collision of two different worlds...

Further tips

See for yourself! Take advantage of the Bienenkiste Network to find a nearby Bienenkiste beekeeper who's willing to share his or her own experiences. (We do not edit these hands-on accounts; the authors are free to describe their own experiences as they see fit.)

Bienenkiste Network
Hands-On Reports

[---INFOBOXES - rechte Spalte --]

Common misconceptions

Skepticism of experienced beekeepers
Experienced beekeepers unfamiliar with the Bienenkiste hive initially may try to understand it in terms of the methods they are most familiar with: Langstroth removable frames and supers. This is not a wise approach.

Not suitable for beginners
One of the most oft-heard refrains from those unfamiliar with the Bienenkiste hive goes something like this: It's not for beginners, there are easier approaches, keeping bees in Langstroth-type hives is just as easy...

Further questions

Further (critical) questions are addressed in the FAQ:

Is a reliable and safe treatment against the varroa mite possible?
The horizontal design - somehow "unnatural"?
Too heavy?
Does tipping the hive make the bees aggressive?
What about comb renewal?
Inspections for brood diseases
Price of the hive

Mistakes, misfortunes, & mishaps

Murphy's Law says...

Forum topics

[Wird automatisch gefüttert - EN]

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<![CDATA[TRANS-PROJECT: Startseite » Projekt-Info » besondere Zielgruppen » Landwirte]]>

[Noch zu tun... lang]]]> Mi, 26 Feb 2014 02:09:20 +0100
<![CDATA[TRANS-PROJECT: Startseite » Projekt-Info » besondere Zielgruppen » Schulen & Kindergärten]]>

[Noch zu tun... lang!]]]> Mi, 26 Feb 2014 02:08:15 +0100
<![CDATA[TRANS-PROJECT: Startseite » Projekt-Info » besondere Zielgruppen » Imker und Imkervereine]]>

[for proofreading/review - KMP]

[Foto alt="Cover ADIZ/db/IF 8/2009"]

Extensive coverage in beekeeping journals

Informational leaflet: A short introduction to the hive (pdf, in German)

Preconceptions and misunderstandings
[Foto alt="A confused bee"]

Misperceptions about the Bienenkiste hive...

Frequently asked questions

Queen excluder
Brood comb renewal
Bees building crooked comb
Relocating the Bienenkiste hive
Stacking hives
Further FAQs...

Beekeeping organizations

List of all German-language beekeeping organizations

Experienced beekeepers and clubs

We are fully aware that the Bienenkiste concept demands of the "old pros" a certain measure of good will and understanding. It is surely not easy for experienced beekeepers to step back and see things through the eyes of the young would-be beekeeper today whose personal situation and lifestyle may be very different from when they themselves first started keeping bees.

Let us emphasize here once more that the objective of the Bienenkiste concept is not to produce less-qualified beekeepers, but rather to offer the novice a less complex introduction to the fascinating world of beekeeping, one that is more in keeping with contemporary interests and lifestyles. Naturally a basic knowledge of the biology of the honey bee is an essential part of keeping bees in the Bienenkiste hive, as is an awareness of problems such as the varroa mite, foulbrood and other diseases.

It is our hope that the beekeeping clubs and organizations will graciously support this effort; we believe that the concept offers an opportunity to acquaint a substantially larger share of the population with keeping bees and thus make an important contribution to the future of beekeeping.

Understanding the concept

Experienced beekeepers not familiar with the hive often do not properly understand the concept behind the Bienenkiste. We explain the differences between the Bienenkiste and conventional removable-frame beekeeping as well as the principles behind these differences. Read more...

Beekeeping mentors

Last but not least, we are dependent upon local beekeepers willing to serve as mentors, answer questions, and provide assistance if needed to those starting out with the Bienenkiste. Registering as a mentor...

Recruiting new members

More and more beekeeping clubs and organizations are discovering the Bienenkiste hive's talent for attracting new members. A beekeeping club in Bavaria shows how: Read newspaper article from (in German)...

Recently various single brood chamber systems have been discussed as favourable alternatives to traditional beekeeping using removable supers. The Bienenkiste hive is particularly appropriate for those wanting to start keeping bees due to an ecological interest and less so the production of honey: Comparision of various single brood chamber systems...


]]> Mo, 24 Feb 2014 10:28:21 +0100
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Information for specific target groups

[*** INFOBOXES in der rechten Spalte, s. hier:***]

The Bienenkiste hive was designed for those desiring a simpler way to keep bees and whose primary motivation lies in:
- an interest in the natural world
- pollination of the landscape
- harvesting honey for personal consumption

The hive thus offers an interesting opportunity for school groups, family farmers, and others wishing to keep their own bees. For beekeeping organizations and clubs, the Bienenkiste hive offers potential new beekeepers a low-tech, appealing introduction to the honey bee and the beekeeping hobby.

In schools and kindergartens
[Foto alt="In the school: Children observe closely as a beekeeper explains the function of the hive"]

The hive is ideal for use in an educational setting: It requires a minimum of time and effort and allows for close-up views of the entire colony at work in the hive during which the bees remain notably calm...

Experienced beekeepers and clubs
[Foto alt="Newcomers are introduced to the Bienenkiste hive"]

More and more, local beekeeping clubs are discovering the benefit of the Bienenkiste hive as a possibility for attracting new beekeepers. How does the hive differ from traditional beekeeping approaches?

The family farm and community gardens
[Foto alt="Farming: ©,"]

There was a time once when it was taken for granted that beekeeping was a part of the homestead and farming life - chiefly to satisfy the family's own consumption, and in some cases to provide a small additional income.

###]]> Di, 18 Feb 2014 10:18:26 +0100
<![CDATA[TRANS-PROJECT: Startseite » Projekt-Info » Presse-Infos]]>

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Press Center

[*** INFOBOXES in der rechten Spalte, s. hier:***]

It is our policy to make photographs and other media resources available at no expense upon request if the intended use is in connection with the Bienenkiste project (news reporting, presentations, etc.). See: copyright information

Press photo archive (includes 44 photos, Bienenkiste logo - ZIP file, 128 MB)

[Foto alt="Link to print version"]
The images in the Photo Gallery can also be downloaded in higher resolution suitable for print. Click on the printer symbol in the lower left-hand corner and then right-click on the image and choose "Save image as...".

Photo Gallery

[Foto alt="Photo Gallery"]
A picture is worth a thousand words! Discover the fascinating world of beekeeping with the Bienenkiste hive.

Press clippings

[Foto alt="Press clipping: Hinz&Kunzt"]
The Bienenkiste in the news

Contact us

[Foto: alt="Contact: Erhard Maria Klein"]
Erhard Maria Klein
Tel.: +49 40 88 16 83 35

]]> So, 16 Feb 2014 10:00:49 +0100
<![CDATA[TRANS-PROJECT: Startseite » Projekt-Info » Pressespiegel]]>

[Ready for review/proofreading]

Press clippings
What people are saying and writing about the Bienenkiste hive

Hansa Environmental Award

[Foto alt="Erhard Maria Klein receiving the award; photo (c) Andrea Küppers"]
Foto-Unterschrift: Hansa Environmental Award, 2009

NABU Magazin 3/2011
Hamburger Abendblatt 23.11.09
Press release - NABU I
Press release - NABU II
Photos from the award presentation

D.I.B. Aktuell 6/2009
[Foto alt="D.I.B. Aktuell 6/2009"]
Newsletter of the German Beekeepers Association (DIB)
Download... (pdf, in German)

Professional journals

[Foto alt="German-language publication 'Die neue Bienenzucht'"]
Die neue Bienenzucht 1/2010
Download (pdf, in German)

[Foto alt="German-language journal 'Deutsches Bienenjournal' 1/2010"]
Deutsches Bienenjournal 1/2010

Demeter Gartenrundbrief 3/2010
Demeter Garten-Rundbrief / Lebendige Erde 3/2010


Foreign-language press

[Foto alt="Biodling i Bilådan"]
Bitidningen 9/2010
Läs artikeln...

(Thank you, Martin Grohmann, for the translation into Swedish!)

[Foto alt="Bijenhouden 1/2010"]
bijenhouden 1/2010
Lees het artikel...
Download (pdf, in Dutch)

(Dank aan Tijdschrift Bijenhouden)

Daily press

Hamburger Abendblatt, 16.06.2011
Berliner Morgenpost, 11.03.2011
Die Welt, 24.04.2010
Aachener Nachrichten, 22.04.2010, 13.04.10


[Foto alt="Computer-Bild"]
Computer-Bild 6/2010:
Websurfing tip of the week

Press information

Further resources for journalists

Bienenkiste Web Forum
[Soll nur EN-sprachigen Themen eingefüttert werden]

[Hauptspalte geht hier weiter...]

NABU Magazin "Naturschutz heute" 3/2011
[Foto alt="Nature magazine Naturschutz heute 3/2011"]
Unterschrift: Honey from balcony

Honey from balcony
Erhard Maria Klein's bees get their nectar from balconies, courtyards, and nearby allotment gardens, or in the nearby city park: "There's almost no better location than the city for keeping bees." Klein, age 41, is a part-time beekeeper in Hamburg and thus part of an international movement.

Read article (in German)...
Download (pdf)

Liebes Land 07/2011

[Foto alt="Cover Liebes Land 07/2011"]
Unterschrift: The balcony is buzzing.

Keeping bees in the city?
Beekeeping in Hamburg?
Your own honey?
Yes, with the Bienenkiste from Hamburg.

Download (pdf, in German)

Hamburg: Das Magazin aus der Metropole
[Foto alt="Hamburg: Das Magazin aus der Metropole (Okt. 2010)"]
Unterschrift: October 2010: Green city

Hamburg, the "green" city: Next year Hamburg will hold the title "Green Capital of Europe". The article, "The city of green heroes", includes a report on the Bienenkiste beekeepers of Hamburg (p. 7).
Read article (in German)...

Hinz&Kunzt special edition "Hamburger Naturkost"
[Foto alt="Hinz&Kunzt"]

A delegation from the street magazine Hinz&Kunst joined in and provided able-bodied assistance with the honey harvest; the result, this lovely article.
Read article (in German)... / Download (pdf)

We gratefully acknowledge Hinz&Kunst for permission given to reproduce the article here!

Gartenfreund - Verbandszeitschrift für das Kleingartenwesen
[Foto alt="Gartenfreund 3/2010"]

"Pollinators are becoming a rare sight in our gardens today. But a fruit harvest without the help of these hardworking insects is difficult to imagine, and that's true for the reproduction of many plants as well. Beekeeping, however, has traditionally been a time-consuming hobby. The Bienenkiste hive offers a simpler alternative and is ideally suited for the small allotment garden."
Read more (in German)...

Biene Mensch Natur 17 (Winter 2009/2010)
[Foto alt="Biene Mensch Natur: Interview with Erhard Maria Klein"]

Interview with Erhard Maria Klein about his motivation to develop the Bienenkiste bee hive and beekeeping in urban areas (p. 12): Read interview (in German)...

Additionally an article about the Bienenkiste hive (p. 6): Read article (in German)...

Download entire issue of Biene Mensch Natur 17 (pdf)

ADIZ/die Biene/Imkerfreund
[Foto alt="Cover ADIZ/db/IF 8/2009"]

The Bienenkiste hive is extensively covered in issues 7-9/2009:
7/09 Guest commentary: Simply keeping bees
7/09 The Bienenkiste: Concept and method
8/09 Editorial: Bienenkiste pro and con
8/09 The Bienenkiste: pro and con, part 1
9/09 The Bienenkiste: pro and con, part 2

Download all (in German) as a ZIP archival file

We gratefully acknowledge ADIZ/die Biene/Imkerfreund for permission given to make these articles available here!

oya - anders denken.anders leben
[Foto alt="oya 03/2010"]

The bee as permacultural networker

Beekeeping doesn't have to be complicated; there's a place for it in most every permaculture garden. Most of us are familiar with the important role that the honey bee plays and its ecological and economic significance. And who doesn't like honey? So why do so few people keep bees?

Read article (in German)
Download (pdf)

selber machen

Selber machen - Garten
[Foto alt="Special issue Garten 3/2011"]

Many people dream of having their own bees and producing their own organic honey on the side. Traditional beekeeping, however, is associated with a substantial commitment of time and effort. That is why master beekeeper Thomas Radetzki and Erhard Maria Klein developed the Bienenkiste hive.

Download (pdf, in German)

verde – das BUDNI Kundenmagazin
[Foto alt="verde – das BUDNI Kundenmagazin April 2010"

The city beekeeper: Throughout Europe the numbers of beekeepers and therefore colonies of bees as been declining. A hobby beekeeper in Hamburg wants to encourage a new generation of beekeepers by means of the Bienenkiste hive. Read more (in German)...

punkt, das Kundenmagazin des Grünen Punkts
[Foto alt="punkt, das Kundenmagazin des Grünen Punkts"]

"There are too few honey bees in Germany -- and too few young beekeepers," says Klein. "This has consequences for the cultural landscape and biodiversity."

Download (pdf, in German, pp. 12-13)

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<![CDATA[TRANS-PROJECT: Startseite » Projekt-Info » Entwicklungsprozess]]>

[Ready for review/checking]


Erhard Maria Klein
Tel.: 040 - 88 16 83 35 [<-----gültige Adresse?]

For help with a specific problem with your bees, please first review the instructional materials; contact a local mentor if necessary or visit our online forum.

In the news...

[Foto alt="In the news"]
Print media
Press materials


[Foto alt="Print materials, etc. for downloading"]
Print materials, broschures, presentations...

Preconceptions, misperceptions

Misperceptions about the Bienenkiste hive...

Mellifera e.V.

Other Mellifera projects:

[Foto alt="BeeGood logo"]
Bee sponsors

[Foto alt="Flowering Landscape Network"]
The Flowering Landscape Network

The development process

Thomas Radetzki: »My learning process with single brood chamber hives...«

[Foto alt="Master beekeeper Thomas Radetzki inspects an Alemannic Rumpf skep"]

For the past twenty-five years we have been developing new concepts in beekeeping intended to better fulfill the demands of today's beekeeper as well as the needs of the bees; the result of this work is the Einraumbeute hive as well as the Bienenkiste hive.

History of the horizontal hive

[Foto alt="History of the horizontal bee hive: © Institut für Bienenkunde/Oberursel"]

The Bienenkiste is a so-called horizontal hive, a type of hive that is largely unknown today in northern Europe, even though it has a 6,000 year tradition and is still in use in many countries.

]]> Sa, 15 Feb 2014 02:00:13 +0100
<![CDATA[TRANS-PROJECT: Startseite » Projekt-Info » Wir über uns]]>
Startseite » Projekt-Info » Wir über uns

[Ready for review/checking -- KMP]

[INFOBOX: Weitere Informationen]
Related articles

T. Radetzki: The single brood chamber hive: a learning process
Expert interview on the topic of colony collapse disorder
E. M. Klein: Bees in the big city

A holistic approach to beekeeping

[INFOBOX: Kontakte]
Contact us
Project office in Hamburg
Mellifera e.V.
Legal notice

About us

The Bienenkiste program is a project of the non-profit organization Mellifera e.V.
It was jointly developed by master beekeeper Thomas Radetzki and
Erhard Maria Klein.

Mellifera e.V. – Centre for Organic Beekeeping [<--Gefällt mir nicht 100%, stammt aber direkt von Mellifera]

[Foto alt="The Fischermühle Apiary"]

The teaching and research apiary at Fischermühle was founded in 1985 as a pioneering enterprise dedicated to ecologically oriented beekeeping; it was here that the practical fundamentals of holistic/organic beekeeping -- later to find expression in the Demeter standards for beekeeping, among others -- were developed. The apiary maintains approx. 150 colonies of bees for ongoing research and educational purposes.

To Mellifera e.V....

Thomas Radetzki

[Foto alt="Master beekeeper Thomas Radetzki"]

Master beekeeper Thomas Radetzki brings more than 35 years of beekeeping experience, intensive research, development, and educational service to the Bienenkiste project. He is a member of the Association of German Bee Research Institutes and recipient of the 2011 Apisticus award.

»My learning process with single brood chamber hives...«

Erhard Maria Klein

[Foto alt="Erhard Maria Klein"]

The Bienenkiste began with Mellifera contributor/staff member and Hamburg beekeeper (since 2003) Erhard Maria Klein's search for a simpler method of keeping bees, one that would better fit the lifestyle and expectations of the younger, urban "backyard beekeeper". Erhard Maria Klein is project director of the Bienenkiste program.

Interview: »Bienen in der Großstadt«]]> Do, 13 Feb 2014 11:17:59 +0100
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Startseite » Projekt-Info » Einführung » Überblick

Bildunterschrift: A beekeeping mentor helps with the first steps


The Bienenkiste ("BEE-nən-KISS-tə") was designed as a relatively low-maintenance approach to keeping bees. It is intended for the would-be beekeeper interested in harvesting a small amount of honey for personal consumption but unable or unwilling to devote his or her entire free time to the hobby.

We rely on a minimal level of intervention in the natural life cycle of the bee colony, an approach that emphasizes the integrity and well-being of the colony as a whole, while at the same time requiring a minimal level of initial expertise.

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