By Sophia McAvoy, Class of 2017
Inspired by my Science Fair project, the Middle School at Woodside set itself a goal to be the first school in the United States to build, and maintain, a Slovenian hive. We accomplished this goal in April of 2019! Slovenian beekeeping is a technique that originated in Slovenia over 100 years ago. Slovenian beekeeping is more efficient, and is healthier for both bees and humans.
We were inspired by the fact that Slovenian students of all ages learn beekeeping basics and the bee’s importance to the environment. We hope to spread that concept here in the US by offering AZ hive tour, workshops for local agricultural groups, beekeeping associations, and schools. We also hope to start a 4-H club in our county that focuses on bees because there is not one in our county currently.
Within our classroom this hive will help us achieve our secondary goal of expanding our microeconomy by selling nucs, expanding our current honey sales, and various products from the hive (lip balm, creams, soap, and candles).
We also plan to use the hives to do scientific research comparing and contrasting the Langstroth hive with the Slovenian hive.
Slovenian beekeeping is a technique that originated in Slovenia over 100 years ago! Slovenian beekeeping is more efficient, and is healthier for both bees and humans. It removes the burden of lifting an eighty pound hive super, (where the honey is stored) so smaller children and adults who may not be able lift such a heavy object. The frames where the bees reside slide out of the back of the hive, which removes the hassle of having to lift the top off and take everything out, including the bees, which aggravates them. A Slovenian Hive allows the bees to be much calmer and more peaceful than in the Langstroth hive. Since we have children on campus who are very young, and hope to bring people of all ages and abilities to learn about bees, calmer bees who are less likely to sting are ideal.
The Slovenian bee house is essentially a shed with specially fitted beehives placed in the front, where the bees’ entrances/exits are located. In the house, there is enough room for storage and a work space for honey extraction and/or other necessities and/or activities that we may need to do to take care of the bees.