Natural Beekeeping

Top Bar ApiRevolution has begun! Lets make some inexpensive Top Bar Hives and let them be pesticide free on their own natural comb! Che Guebee is a rebel bee fighting for the survival of the Biodiversity we all depend on and which is seriously endangered by deforestation and mono-crop agriculture!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Snow-white honey and bee forage

 In Scandinavia we mix the honey so it would not crystallize. When mixing the honey, air breaks the sugar crystals and the honey becomes creamy.  Usually such honey looks darker. I was surprised to see it to be snow-white! After researching a bit I found out that fruit tree honey is white when mixed/stirred. I have found local honey sold in a shop which was the same color and it was written on it "Spring honey from Fruit trees and bushes, Willow and Canola". Canola alone is a bit darker I know this so it must be mostly from the fruit trees and willow.
The jar to the left is the same honey but in a raw liquid form so there is some color to it. Its amazing to see such radical change in color after stirring it :) It has a mild taste like most spring honey. The stronger taste honey is Autumn honey.
 The Calendula, Borage and Honey Phacellia are growing very well and is covered in all sorts of bees
Bumblebee and Honeybee sharing a Phacelia flower without fuss :) 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Planting bee friendly flowers

 I have planted  lots of flowers this Spring. The Phacelia is now in the bloom and there are so many Bumblebees as well as Honeybees visiting it.
I also planted Sunflowers, Borage, Calendula and Tagetes as well as 1 hectare with white clover. This will help a bit in this Danish mono-crop agro environment devoid of healthy biodiversity.

Modest honey harvest

 Out of 3 nucleus top bar hives that I supered only one went up into the supers and made approx 20kg of honey.
 This is the first time for me working with framed combs, I used to only crush and strain the top bar comb in the past.
 I have built this DIY honey extractor but it didnt work that well for me. It was shaking too much and some of the combs flew out of the frames.
So after this extractor failed to deliver I simply did the crush and strain

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pine has loads of pollen and no swarms so far

Our Pine trees are in bloom now and boy oh boy how much pollen these cone flowers produce
This is pollen from only 4 small cone flowers and there is lots still inside of them!!! I mean so much pollen from Pine flowers I would have never thought is possible! Great for the bees indeed :) To be honest I did notice some very light powdery yellowish pollen on their legs and naively thought it was a paler than usual Canola pollen which is golden-greenish. I had no idea Pine produces so much of it :))
One local beek already had one hive swarm last week so I expected mine to do the same but nope. My ladies are waiting for something which is fine with me. Now its rainy but next week should be sunny and warm so thats the time to be ready. I have 2 hives boiling with bees. I have never seen so many bees in one single hive before! They must have 2 Queens in there!
Dandelion bloom is over but the Honeysuckle bushes and Hawthorn is in the bloom now.

p.s. for those of you who read my æast post about the farmer spraying pesticides; I did report the guy to the officials and they are onto him since as they say its illegal to spray Canola when in bloom during the bee fligh hours. Its onlt legal to do it between 21h evening -3h in the morning. This guy did it between 8-10h in the morning on a VERY sunny day, a big no no! They will call me back with results of their investigation, stay tuned.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Danish farmer spraying Oil Seed Rape which is in Bloom !!!

This morning I've got a headache after I saw the local farmer spraying his Canola fields which are in full bloom! I still have a headache as I write this and I think its a migraine because I feel like puking too.
I stopped him and talked to him telling him that I have bees in this locality and that regulations state that all spraying is to take place after 21h when bees are in the hives and not in the morning hours when bees are already in the field. He said this maybe the case in Sweden but in Denmark its legal to spray this pesticide-fungicide mix in the morning because it is marked as "bee-friendly". He is not an organic farmer so bee-friendly is questionable! 

He also reacted insulted for me even bringing this up because he isn't doing anything illegal yet I sound as if this was wrong  Rolling Eyes  Sad 
I suggested that he maybe sprays in the future in the evening but he refused because he has lots to do and he can't possibly spray all his fields in the evening hours. So we parted without saying good buy to each other. 

I will contact the minister for the environment Monday and see what the story is with regulations and what they can do to protect our native and honeybees from such issues. 

I placed "trays" infront of my hives to see if bees are acting poisoned today, so far I can' see any strange behaviour, but this means nothing because this food they bring in in form of pollen and necatr will be fed to brood which might get infections or be weak to deal with Varroa virus.

By the way he didnt want to say what pesticide he was using hejust said its a mix of insecticide and fungicide and its marked as bee friendly 
If I discover dead bees infront of the hive I will send them for testing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The plant of generosity is in full bloom

Dandelion needs no insects to pollinate it. This is amazing for me because it provides pollinators with ample amounts of both pollen and nectar and it is of high quality. It sure is THE plant of Generosity :)  Its pollen has only 11% protein but has 15% fat and bees need both. The sugar % in nectar is all from 18-50% depending on weather and other conditions. Dandelion blooms also mark the preparation for a swarming season :)
 Dandelions blooming along the side of our young forest
Our forest garden with the apiary at the back
 Note the pollen ball on the bee's hind leg :)
 Even solitary bees and bumblebees as well as all sorts of flies and beetles can feed on its flowers
 Honeybee covered in dandelion pollen. Bees hairs are static and attract pollen, then the bee groom itself and collects it in the "basket" which is on their hind legs.
 Bee heaven
Here you can see the bees "tongue" (proboscis) sucking nectar.

The worst you can do at this time is mow your loan! I have seen my neighbor yesterday mowing all  the dandelions in his garden. Bees need all the flowers in this damaged eco-system they can find. We damaged it remember that! So make sure to leave at least those which exist :) And please do not spray RoundUp (or any other poisonous herbicide) onto the Dandelions! Thank you!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring blooms and deadly pesticides - Aroma of the Danish countryside

Mmmm, such a great weather these days in the Danish countryside. Newly opened flowers of Mirabelle, Willow and Dandelions are basking in the sunlight spreading their lovely aroma. Buzz of the bees spreads through the air accompanied by the light breeze. Idyllic!
Honeybee collecting willow nectar
Dandelions offer ample amounts of pollen and nectar. The air smells of Mirabelle blooms, mmm ... but wait! Something also stinks around here ... 
Farmers are out spraying their mono-crop fields with all sorts of poisonous stuff. I took this photo from our window because I did not dare to get out of the house. The smell of the pesticides/fungicides is very pungent. What a great country life, nature and all ...
My bees are inside our forest garden, protected from pesticides drifting into hives but they are far from safe because bees fly inside a 4km radius. 
Conventional beekeepers say that beekeeping is so much fun ... I am yet to experience that because all I see is what bees are showing me and that is how we humans are killing the very nature we all depend on :(