In December 1998, I worked a three week
volunteer assignment in Donetsk, Ukraine. Here are a few photos describing some of
what I learned during my visit.
The most popular bee hive in
Ukraine looks like a large trunk or chest. These bee hives contain between 20 and 28
frames. The frames are about one and a half times as large as the deep frames used
in the U.S.
Honey is extracted by removing individual
frames from the hives and putting them into another box that is taken to the honey house.
The hives are not normally supered.
Two bee colonies are often overwintered in one hive. A vertical
screened split board separates the colonies. The two colonies help keep each other
Nucleus colonies can also overwintered in these hives using screened
split boards. Each colony has its own colored hive entrance to reduce
A Ukrainian beekeeper told me that nucleus
colonies kept with others in this way are also more readily accepted when joining them
with another colony. Presumably, this could be due to the mixing of smells that
occurs between the colonies in the nuc hive.
Predatory wasps are a
problem for some hives. A bottle partially filled with water and a sweet smelling
syrup makes an effective wasp trap. If the syrup is not very sweet, it will attract
wasps but the bees will ignore it.
Varroa and acarine mites are both a problem in
Ukraine. Several of their mite treatments involved allowing a small
chemical-impregnated (Amitraz) cloth or rope to smolder inside a sealed hive for about 15
simple pollen trap is sometimes attached to the hive entrance. Pollen is sold as a
Ukraine people use
bee products for medicinal purposes far more than people in the U.S. Propolis is
commonly sold in pharmacies and by beekeepers in the markets to treat sores and stomach
A beekeeper explained to me that a simple
propolis harvesting device can be made by placing a towel on the hive, over the frame top
bars. The bees will cover the towel with propolis. To remove the propolis, the
towel is frozen and then the propolis can be crumbled off.
Honey in local markets was usually sold without any label. The
tops of most jars was made of thin plastic, attached with string or a rubber band.
Honey is usually sold in a granulated form.
It is sometimes sold as a granulated block, wrapped in plastic.
The most common identifiable sources of honey
in the Donetsk area were acacia trees, sunflowers, buckwheat and wild flowers.