Natural Beekeeping

Top Bar ApiRevolution has begun! Lets make some 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!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Proper Scandinavian Winter gives birth to strong colonies

 The December has turned snowy and very cold. Temperatures can go down to -11'C but apparently this will change soon and we will get back a more mild winter. I wish we had a normal freezing Scandinavian winter to help wipe out the weak colonies since last year there were no colony losses in Denmark thanks to the mild winter 2013.
 I just love to see hives covered in snow :) That snow acts as extra insulation
This is the magical view from the hives :) This is what bees see first when they exit the hives :) But behind this idyllic small forest garden of ours mono-crop fields stretch far and wide. Such forests are truly acting like Noah's Arks or like an Oasis surrounded by a desert. We need to plant more and to force our governments to protect more areas from pesticides, deforestation, urbanization and mono-crop agriculture.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Let there Bee snow

The snow has arrived at last :) Winter came late to the Scandinavian shores as it happened last year also. I was a bit worried because Snow Drops started blooming in some parts because of the mild weather. Last year the early spring flowers bloomed in January and the bees have missed some of them entirely! I honestly hope we get some proper winter cold. The minus will keep the plants dormant and certain amount of pests will also die in the cold of the winter. Another good thing is that those bee colonies not fit for survival will die and give space to those colonies with more adaptive genes.
Che Guebee Apiary in a white Christmas mood  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Middle of December +10'C !!! Where is the cold Scandinavian winter gone?!

Today is the 19th of December and usually at this time we have snow and minus weather in Scandinavia. I was out in the apiary and the bees are flying as its Spring time. It was +10'C today and yesterday! Very unusual weather for December must say! I wonder if they will have enough stores since bees are very active in warm weather and of course eat more.
 Here you can see the forecast 
 We had a few nights with frost but mostly it was mild and rainy. In this shot you can see our heavy clay soil saturated in water.
Throwing out dead bees is normal to see in mild winter days

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Apiary December news and new frames

I was knocking a bit on the hives to see if the colonies are still alive. After each knock I would get a short buzz from the hives :) They are still much alive.
 Two of the colonies are staying on the first comb infront of the entrance. This is good I guess because they have much more stores at the back. In top bar hives each brood comb has a honey arch above it. 1/3 or even 1/2 of the brood comb can be filled with stores so there is no chance they can cut them selves off of the honey area at the back in case of very cold spells. 
I was a busy bee lately. I made 6 supers and made 12 frames for each. I will make many more before spring arrives. These frames are meant to be foundationless with only a small wax strip hanging from the top as a comb guide. I will of course use my own wax to make the strips.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mushrooms Can Save the Bees! Save the Forests!

This might be one of the most important video I watched. Another would be Back to Eden which is a documentary about wood chip gardening.
I have never heard before of how Mycorrhiza can help the bees combat viruses but I was not surprised when I heard about it in this video. Mycorrhiza can transform deserts into forests (Green Gold) so why not help the bees ;) Bees need wild biodiverse nature to thrive and so do we. Please do see this video, it will be the best 30 minutes spent I promise!

Monday, November 10, 2014

New table saw and building supers with frames for TBHs

I just realized that I haven't blogged about my new toy :) I've got a new Bosch PTS-10 table saw which can be used for ripping and cutting. It really is multi-functional! I am so happy I've got this present for my 40th birthday! Well my b-day is in January so I've got it early. My wife asked me if I want something special for the birthday present and I couldn't think of anything better than this! Now I can easily build new hives and what not!

So I have started building shallow frames and supers for my nucleus top bar hives. I plan to focus on the short nectar flow we have from April to Jun and supers will force the bees upwards during that time. Once the flow is over the supers will be removed and the bees will focus only on the top bar hive body. After that I will very likely let them swarm or/and do splits.
 I have opted for shallow supers which are only 12,5cm tall. It is a coincidence that Langstroth frames fit lengthwise into these.
 Shot from above shows the 24mm top bars in the hive body with a queen excluder on top
 I can place 12 frames into these supers
This queen excluder is too small for this hive and will be used in my 8 frame vertical hives. I will need to buy a few new queen excluders for my TBH nucs.