Photos by Jim Blanchard from his 2009 trip to Cornol, Switzerland, where he happened upon Aheniry Amseutz…
Swiss beekeepers' hives are kept inside a trailer or house -sometimes simple, sometimes rather elaborate
The bee entrances, all on one side of the structure, are typically painted different bright colors for easier bee recognition.
"Lighting up the smoker" takes on a whole new meaning-the Swiss smoker is a small mouth-held object into which a cigar is inserted- Aheniry simply lights and puffs the cigar to create the smoke.
The bee house provides protected access to all of the keepers' tools, as well as convenient frame storage.
The bee boxes are tall and narrow, each accessible from the inside by its own door. The bees are cozied-up for colder months with insulating blankets wrapped around the vacant areas in these file-cabinet-styled hive enclosures.
Often the Swiss bee house, like Aheniry's, is a product of the beekeeper's own hands. The frames are released for inspection by an end frame which otherwise keeps them all snugged up together.
The beekeeper, with smoker and tools, selects a hive, and inspects a single frame at a time. (Note the fancy metal debris catcher fitted to the bottom edge of the opened bee box.) Choosing a prime bee-foraging day when most of the field force is out is very helpful!
The bees are cozied-up for colder months with insulating blankets wrapped around the vacant areas in the file-cabinet-styled hive enclosures.