A friend has an interest in bees. He has built a “Top Bar Hive“, different in construction and operation from the standard box-like hives used by commercial bee-keepers in North America.
Bears like honey and in order to discourage them, the hive hangs high in the trees and an elegant cable and pulley system allows the hive to be lowered gently (that’s important!) to a stand on the ground to see how the bees are doing.
He was kind enough to give me a demonstration of how things work. I made some photographs.
For wintering, ample honey is left in the hive for the bees to eat. The hive is then wrapped with insulation and some waterproofing, keeping in mind the necessity for ventilation so that the bees can breathe and not suffer mold and other problems. The hive hangs in the trees and this last winter survived without problems.
The bees seem only interested in doing their job. In the 15 minutes or so that it took to make these photographs, there were no stings recorded.
Perhaps we were lucky.
Bees are absolutely remarkable insects and, without them we would starve.