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Swiss Beekeepers

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Swiss Beekeeper 1 - Jorg Reudi

The Swiss beekeeper is not "commercial" in the sense that we are - his/her hive count is usually around 15-25 boxes - sometimes in a variety of places but the scale is much smaller.

The bee hives are kept inside a trailer or house - sometimes a rather elaborate house. The boxes are long and narrow, rather like a file cabinet with the bee entrance outside, usually shelved by different bright colours for bee recognition.

The beekeeper does not wear a suit as he/she simply enters into the house/wagon and pulls out a frame rather than lifting the entire lid of a hive thus exposing the entire colony to "flight".

The smoker is a small mouth held object into which a cigar is inserted - one simply puffs the cigar to make the "smoke".

Copious logue books are kept on queen and colony activity, each hanging by their respective boxes.

Jorg Reudi has three sites - the first we viewed was a wagon under foliage in the forest, across from the vineyards. It was humming outside. The second was at the edge of a field (we did not stop to view) and the third was the wagon pictured here. The wagons are "gypsy wagons" which can be hooked up and moved to other locations but that is rarely done.

There is not much variety of honey tastes as we have with avocado, alfalfa, wildflowers.... Their honey is strictly watched, inspected - if there is a problem with the bees, a bee inspector comes out to check on the situation - a practice once done here in the states but long since abandoned.

Beekeepers share information readily amongst themselves as there is relatively no competition in spirit.

 

Inside honey wagon Keeping logues Box 15 Tools hanging Smoker Honey Wagon 1
Honey Wagon 2 Building the bee hive itself / the box Bees in flight landing Bees landing Bees entering Bees landing
Honey frames Inside empty hive box Frames Waxed frames Wintering the box The much acclaimed honey spigot
Klaus with Jorg, Rolf and Hans

Swiss beekeeper 2 - Rolf Lattman

Rolf Lattman is the second Swiss beekeeper. His is a one house, stationary business. He operates with 25 hives. His bee "entrance" is similar to Jorg Reudi's with the brightly coloured slips.

The bees are "cozied" up for colder months with insulator "blankets" wrapped around the "vacant" areas in the file cabinet styled hive enclosures.

Frame Hive cozy for cold weathering Outside bee house/ landing 'strip' Storage of cleaned frame Weights and measure equipment Rolf's bee house - stationary
Bee keeper house Inside bee house Charts on wall Bee hive Feeding hole atop board Feeding jar inserted into board

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