The Sun Hive (Weissenseifener Haengekorb) forms the core of the Natural Beekeeping Trust's commitment to bee guardianship. Based on the principles of bee-centred apiculture, the Sun Hive is an ideal conservation hive for our pollinating friends the honeybee. Although one may be favoured with some suplus honey from time to time, honey 'production' is not the main purpose of the hive.
Made from an ingenious combination of skep baskets woven from rye straw with wooden support structures, the Sun Hive is intended to be installed at a height of at least 2.5 metres (8 feet). The bees are thus in their aerial realm and fly above the heads of passing onlookers. The shape of the hive harmonises with the movement gesture of the bee colony and enables the bees to design their brood nests according to their own innate criteria.
The hive was designed by German sculptor, Guenther Mancke, and represents the fruits of many years of research into the nature of the honeybee colony.
The Trust occasionally holds workshops to reach groups of people to make the hive; these are open to experienced beekeepers; beginners by arrangement - please contact us for further information. These workshops - organised jointly by the Natural Beekeeping Trust and Tablehurst Farm - take place over two and a half days at our base in Sussex and involve weaving the straw skep baskets, which are built to precise measurements. The courses are led by Rachel Hanney, whose tutorial skills are unsurpassed and whose passion for the hive has inspired numerous beekeepers, who have joined our workshops from all over the world. Please meet her here.
In the area around Forest Row, Sussex, please contact either: Heidi Herrmann: 07895-107318, Peter Brown 07803 932283. Rachel Hanney 0774 7793775 or Heidi Herrmann: 07895-107318
For Surrey and South Essex please contact Chris Cook on 07847 393182 or 01306 500067
For West Oxfordshire and East Gloucestershire please contact Gareth John 07766 461440