The "Sun Hive", designed by German sculptor Guenther Muncke is a combination of skep weaving and circular inner wooden frame.
Based on years of bee colony observation the unique hive is designed to fit the natural comb building tendencies of the honey bee. The hive is designed to be installed at a height of 2.5 meters (8 ft).
Below is a video showing the comb building progress of a swarm after four weeks in the "Sun Hive". The inner cover over the wooden frames is cloth coated in bees wax and the outer cover is coated in natural, organic cow dung. The hive was made at a therapeutic institution for autistic children in Germany and was made of biodynamically grown rye straw.
The "Sun Hive" will be officially introduced to Britain at the Natural Beekeeping Alliance Conference August 10th, 2012 by the Natural Beekeeping Trust. A book about the Sun Hive will be published later in the year with details of how to build one. I would love to build one of these down the road but I wonder if there is a natural substitute for cow dung.
"The Sun Hive/Haengekorb outlines the outer, invisible "skin" of the "Bien", the wholeness and single entity of the bee. It reveals the innate round shape of the "Bien". It's true nature becomes palpable, through the gestalt and it's position in space. The Haengekorb shows, how everything within the colony is round. The shape of it speaks with a pre-verbal-language. And the shape can share the living processes within. All together a "flower garden" for the eye and the heart."
A book in English about the Sun Hive is now available to purchase via mail order. The book includes detailed plans on how to make your own Sun Hive. To open a preview of the book click here.
The book is priced at £15.00 plus £3.50 postage and packing for delivery of up to two books at the same address. Postage and packing costs for three or more books by quotation.
To order your copy please send a cheque made payable to "Natural Beekeeping Trust Sun Hive Account" with a covering letter stating how many copies you wish to order plus delivery address details to:
Sun Hive Book, Ashurstwood House, Ashurst Wood, West Sussex RH19 3RX.
Alternatively, email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you our bank account details.