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A low cost frame hive from Peru

by Javier Llaxacondor Vilca, Huaraz, Peru.

El Callejon de Huaylas is a 100km long valley in the Andes mountains, Situated between Cordillera Negra and Cordillera Blanca (near the snow-capped mountain Huascaran). Apiculture is practised here 3500m above sea level, making use of the wild flowers growing at this altitude. Hives are moved around the area, and sheltered places at about 2500m are used for developing nucleus colonies.

To help reduce the costs of beekeeping for local people, a hive made from clay has been developed by Javier Llaxacondor, technical expert of the Primavera Bee Breeding Place, Huaraz. The new hive (illustrated right*) takes 26 standard frames; the only difference between the clay hive and a standard timber hive is that the weight of the clay hive (up to 150kg) makes migratory beekeeping impossible. This hive is a modified version of that already used by Cuzco Asociacion Arariwa.

This August (15-20) the Ancash Beekeepers Association are organising a course on honey quality for beekeepers of El Callejon de Huaylas valley.

* Please see the original journal article to see the diagram of a low cost frame hive.