May 01, 2019
The Japanese hive is a traditional hive that does not guide the combs with frames, the combs are built freely, the volume of each box is limited and the entrance at the bottom is thin preventing invading hornets to get in. The walls are thick, the configuration is simple. The roof is mainly designed to protect from the rain, while I like the roof to be an additional insulation at the top. Some find its inspection too arduous while I think it does not need to be inspected at all and some others consider that harvesting honey is too demanding while I think the honey should simply be left to the bees.
The site beekeep.sakura.ne.jp displays a tutorial in 5 parts on how to build a traditional Japanese hive and I followed pretty closely the indications. I have used wooden pegs instead of screws to build the gird plate, I used wood instead of steel for the crosses to support the comb and as already mentioned I have built an insulated roof instead of the tin roof as the tutorial has it. The boxes are simple to cut and assemble, there is a great need of precision so that each box is flush to the one below and over it. The whole operation takes 6 hours inluding the improved roof.
1- The plate gird and the wooden pegs
2- Boxes and their wooden cross
3- The hive and its roof on a stand.
I moved a swarm into the hive on May 14, 2019. The hive is set in the Bee yard III. I have prepped the top of the hive with comb sealed with wax to the gird plate. The swarm seems to be a secondary swarm as it is relatively small and a bit late in the season (3 swarms moved into hives today at the bee yard III). This hive will be the object of specific attention for the coming month till the colony makes it.