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, August 4, 2013

Bee Group Mykorrhiza visiting Che Guebee Apiary

Bee Group Mykorrhiza came to visit my Top Bar Hive Apiary yesterday. Besides inspecting a few hives we also had a meeting discussing the future of the Bee Group, mostly our goals and what we stand for since beekeeping today is mostly associated to the most common "conventional" beekeeping we considered changing our name from the "Beekeeping Group Mykorrhiza" to "Bee Group Mykorrhiza".
From left: me, Viktor, Vasiliki, Hans, Veronika and Marco
We all stand for the basic idea to find a sustainable way to keep bees and to protect the biodiversity which all Bees depend on. We stand for giving the bees as much freedom and peace within the hive like building natural comb without the use of mono-cell wax foundation. This will result in bees creating combs with various cell size which only bees know why they do so. Cell size and cell size placement variates a lot from one colony to the next so there is no fast rule about it, hence no way we can find a "one size suits them all"
foundations can be seen as beneficial to the colony in our opinion. We will aim towards not treating our bees nor feeding them with sugar unless there is an emergency. We will try and leave honey to the bees for wintering. Building a strong community within a group and spreading the idea of top bar hive beekeeping which doesn't cost money is another goal. There are other pointers we discussed which I will not go into in this blog entry.
We first inspected the hive which one week ago had only eggs in two combs and no larvae or capped brood at all. Some cells even had two eggs per cell! This Queen hatched in May this year and had lots of time to mate properly so I never suspected any issues with her. As it turns out something sure is wrong.
Click on the photo to enlarge it to see two eggs per cell
As one can see in the photo above some cells have two eggs; one egg is freshly laid and the other is older and withered, dried out kind of. This clearly shows that the egg doesn't hatch into the larvae after 3 days. How is this possible? Can it bee that worker bees can sense the eggs being unfertilised which can only create Drones and they refuse to tend for them? How come the eggs dry out? This colony is not flying much at all, so Im guessing they are not trying to bring in water and since they are not bringing in new nectar there is not much evaporation being produced to keep high humidity level within the hive. One thing is sure, whether the eggs are fertilised or not the eggs can hatch into larvae after 3 days and then it is fed with Royal Jelly by the nurse bees. This hatching never occurs for some strange reason??? Why???
The bees seem to be tending the Queen well and as you can see many bees still have lots of hairs on their bodies indicating not that old bees. They have lots of working force within this hive.
I'm not sure what to do... its already August and if I'm to re-Queen I'm to do it now. It would be easier to decide if all the capped brood is Drone brood but in this case it is the eggs which dry up before hatching into larvae that seems to be the issue .... Will ask on forum and see what they say.
Explaining top bar beekeeping ...
Inspection goes on
Nice brood pattern in a one of the small nucleus hives
We even found time to check on my kitchen garden :)
This was a good day :)

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