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AŽ Hives with Jonna Sanders (S4, E19)

In this episode, we talk with Jonna Sanders about AŽ hives (NA Beekeepers say “AZ”. We learn today that it correctly pronounced “AH-shah”. Jonna is a lifelong AŽ Hive beekeeper and sells AŽ hives in the US. Today we talk with her in depth on how beekeepers manage these hives.

We talked with Regional Beekeeper, Paul Longwell back in May as part of our Five-Part Series on Different Hive Types, where he introduced us to the AŽ Hive.

Slovenian in origin, these hives are inside a building or wagon and the bees exit their hives from openings on the outside wall or side. Beekeepers, however, go into the building or wagon and are able to open these hives from a ‘cabinet door’ on the back, so the bees barely notice the beekeeper’s activity.

When asked what’s the best thing about these hives, the immediate answer is NO LIFTING! When the beekeeper opens the hives from the back inside the building, removing the frames to examine them is much like removing books off a shelf. They sit in metal supports so there is very little propolis, they are kept in exactly beespace distance, and they slide out very easily.

Jonna talks about frame size, shape, bee escapes, pollen traps, the types of bees Slovenian beekeepers typically use, overwintering in a building, installing packages, the fact that you can examine your hives no matter the weather outside, and much more.

Remember, no lifting. Listen today and an AŽ Hive just might be in your back yard next summer.

In the episode, Jonna talks about her annual tour of beekeeping in Slovenia. Details are not yet available for a 2022 trip as the pandemic complicates international travel. Contact Jonna through her website to receive updates and announcements.

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:

AZ Hives North America - AŽ Hive Inspection - AŽ Hives Group on Facebook - Honey Bee Obscura Podcast -


This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!

We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at

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Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"; Musicalman, "Epilogue". Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott

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