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!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The forming of the first official natural beekeeping group in Denmark

It has begun :) We have started forming the first official group for Natural Beekeeping in Top Bar Hives in Denmark. We will be part of the large organization called Praktisk Økologi (Practical Ecology) and will work under their banner because this will save us lots of time and efforts and we will be able to use their contacts and their web portal as well as other aspects. We now have 13 people but only 5 could come today for the first meeting. Soon to have a second meeting which Im looking forward to. I feel some serious Buzzing in the air :)  We still didn't decide on the groups name but More Buzz in the Garden is one of them. Stay tuned!

The end of Februray

Out of 10 colonies 6 are still alive and 4 have died most likely from Nosema by the signs of it (poo all over the combs and inner walls). Nosema is caused by some stressor and Im not sure what that is (guessing the pesticides and lack of bio-diverse forage in this agro environment). My colonies are treatment free.

Monday, February 9, 2015

3 colonies dead, 7 still going strong

Today was very warm, 7'C but it must have been warmer in the sun. Most of the colonies were flying except 3 hives so I decided to gently open up these hives and see whats up.
 After opening the first hive I heard no buzz, so I knew something was wrong. I removed all the combs and found dead bees all over the combs and hive floor. It was easy to see what happened here; the brown strokes on the hive wall is bee poo/feces and is a sure sign of a disease called Nosema. Healthy bees don't waste inside the hive but do so outside on sunny days, so called Cleansing Flights. The dead colonies are 2 last year swarms from my apiary and a split with the old queen.
Here is a close up of the bee feces (brown stuff)
Here you can see bee feces on the comb and some bees are sticking inside the combs which usually is sign of starvation but this is out of question because there is lots of capped honey just beside them and they sure had at least 6kg of stores left.
all 3 hives had the same issue with Nosema
 Dead bees clustering around a dead queen (can you see her)
Lots of stores left in these hive but I can cant give it to the other colonies because they are infected with Nosema spores. Pity really. Lets see if the other colonies can pull it off until the first spring blooms.

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