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?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

One colony moved into the horizontal Top Bar Hive

I was very happy to have Marco from the network Mykorrhiza helping me today to move one bee colony from a framed hive into my empty Top Bar Hive.
I have blogged recently about me helping Marco build a new Kenya Top Bar Hive which will be placed in the University of Agriculture Alnarp. This was a good opportunity for him to see how chop'n'crop is being performed before he acquires his bees in May. Chop'n'Crop is a way to fit framed wax comb into the top bar hive with sloped V-shaped walls.
 In this photo Marco holding a framed comb while I'm cutting away the bottom and the sides of the frame. The top part of the frame is kept and the wax comb remain attached to it. I cut off the bottom corners of the rectangular comb to fit the sloped side walls of a top bar hive. The Top Bar is then being screwed on top of the top side of the original frame with two screws.
 We made sure to cover the framed hive with a hessian cloth to preserve the hive temperature during each frame transition. We worked one frame at a time and we tried to work as fast as possible not to chill the brood. The outdoor temperature today was 16'C. In this image I'm looking for the Queen since I never had the chance to see the Queen when I bought the colony yesterday. I've found her and was surprised to see her wing clipped :( I am against such practice. Many conventional beekeepers do this to prevent the Queens from swarming. In case a colony wants to swarm the Queen can't fly because she is missing one wing and the colony has no other choice but stay in the hive and abort the planned swarming. I find this practice very disturbing :( This Queen has a very spotty laying pattern also known as a "Shot Gun" pattern.
Me observing while Marco screwing a top bar onto the framed comb. The West wind was very strong at one stage so I placed a long window on the side of the hive as a windbreak and placed a cover to protect the brood combs from direct sunlight which can dry up the eggs.
The bees were not aggressive at all :) we chopped'n'cropped 12 framed combs without even one bee being agitated. We must be very good at this or these bees are  very gentle ;) It must be the second ;)
The second colony remains in the framed hive until tomorrow. They were very busy today bringing in loads of yellow pollen :) I will have to move this one on my own tomorrow and that will be a challenge since chop'n'crop is usually done by two persons. I didn't have time to think about making a video today but will do so tomorrow, I promise  :)
 We ended this lovely and exciting day with a BBQ :) Marco in charge of the food prep :)
Kristine enjoying a well deserved beer (she did the photos from inside the house because she is allergic to bees)

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