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! What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

All 8 colonies survived treatment-free

Today was the 1st official forage day of the new 2016 :) So great to see bees fly again and collect pollen.
I had 8 colonies go into the winter and all 8 are still alive and kicking strong :) As you might know I do not treat my bees with anything. I just keep letting the weak bees and varroa die and keep propagating the survivor bees/varroa in the next season. So far this seems to work well for me and my bees (and for the surviving Varroa, the one that does not kill its host) for a few years now.

I could see all 8 colonies bringing in pollen today which is a good indicator that they all have a laying Queen.

collecting pollen from early flowers

We have several Alder trees around our property and bees are busy collecting pollen from it at this time

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Update before the Winter kick in

I have prepared my colonies for the winter. They were all fed with approx 12 kg of sugar syrup and they should also have some from their own forage.
There are 8 colonies going into the winter as of today. I have insulated the roofs only as I usually do with a think Styrofoam, in case some serious minus kicks in I will place some thicker insulation  on top of the top bars.

It seems that this winter too will be very mild. I was hoping for  a colder winter but what can we do. Its November and its around 13'C which is unheard of in Scandinavia at this time of the year. Still disbelieve in Global Warming? Good for you.

Type A and Type B Deformed Wing Virus

I have not been active on my blogs for some time now. The reason is not me having less interest for the bees but rather me having less interests to converse with people about bees. Why is that you might ask?

Well, I just got tired of talking to many on the net and here in Scandinavia, primarily in Sweden and Denmark and in most cases getting either very negative response or even being laughed at when talking about my treatment free natural beekeeping in Top Bar Hives. Laughed at because I focus on letting my bees express their biology which results in very little surplus honey and getting negative response when saying that I dont treat my hives with anything.. Most beekeepers here still believe in the myth that untreated hives will spread Varroa into the surrounding area and re-infest their treated hives causing them  issues. This is not the case as this new study shows

"Over the past 50 years, many millions of European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies have died as the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has spread around the world. Subsequent studies have indicated that the mite’s association with a group of RNA viral pathogens (Deformed Wing Virus, DWV) correlates with colony death. Here, we propose a phenomenon known as superinfection exclusion that provides an explanation of how certain A. mellifera populations have survived, despite Varroa infestation and high DWV loads. Next-generation sequencing has shown that a non-lethal DWV variant ‘type B’ has become established in these colonies and that the lethal ‘type A’ DWV variant fails to persist in the bee population. We propose that this novel stable host-pathogen relationship prevents the accumulation of lethal variants, suggesting that this interaction could be exploited for the development of an effective treatment that minimises colony losses in the future."

So we can conclude that Varroa with Type A virus will kill its host the Honeybee colony if not treated and hence will also die with the colony resulting in that Varroa not being able to spread its Type A virus next year. Treatments can never kill 100% of the mites so those who do survive will spread into the next season, maybe with an even stronger Type A virus.

Those colonies which are infested with Varroa with the Type B virus will survive the winter and so will the Varroa and the non-lethal Type B virus. Varroa with Type B virus will spread into new hives the next season and "vaccinate" other bee colonies with this Type B virus which keeps the Type A virus at bay. Natures way of vaccination :) smart this Nature, no? ;)

Once again Nature shows how limited and tiny we humans are, always trying to find that "silver bullet" to sort all our problems. Natural biodiversity is the key to most of our issues and our ignorant and greedy mind is the only phenomena we need to treat to fix these issues. Comnpassion, love and awareness seems to fix such minds.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I totally forgot to post this picture, my bad :) I had other things on my mind this Summer and have not been blogging much sorry.
As I already mentioned I have sown lots of bee friendly plants this year and Sunflowers were one of them. Of course the Sunflowers have finished with blooming at this stage :)
They grew very well this year. By the very busy Bumblebee and Honeybee activity I recon it gave lots of pollen and nectar.
 Honeybee and a Bumblebee sharing natures nectar :)
This was the largest ever area I have sown for the bees so far :) and Im glad we have so much land to do so. Bees in our environment have very little wild forage thanks to the 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