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?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Preparing the new Supered TBH

I'm trying to find a design which suits both the bees need and my needs as self-sufficient homesteader. I love honey but so do bees. If sugar is much better than honey then why don't we choose sugar over honey ;)
I just find it wrong feeding the Honey Makers with sugar syrup so looking for a way to satisfy both my self and my ladies.

As I mentioned earlier I have a feeling that constant supering/nadiring/spacing has the effect of creating large colonies. Beekeepers know this and look at it in a positive way. I don't. Not anymore.

The more bees in the hive the more stores they need to overwinter. Some beeks overwinter small colonies on only 2 combs (under 4 kg stores). Dr. Seeley finds in his swarm behaviour study that bees prefer cavities about +/- 40 litres not bigger nor smaller. Our hives are usually much bigger throughout the season tricking bees into feeling the colony body is large so they try to fill it with extra bees to do the excess work. This results in too many bees going into winter. These are only my hypothesis, I could be wrong.

Any way, I have started preparing 1 suoer per each TBH in which bees can store the excess honey. This super is not "aggressive" since it has only one opening so bees in the brood area doesn't feel the space above being empty. This will make sure bees focus mainly in the bottom part to prepare it for the winter and if the honey flow is very strong the house bees will have the choice to fill the super with honey ... or not.

 This super is too tall/deep. I plan on making 10 cm tall super because
Queen dislike laying eggs in such a small space.
1cm Spacers for the entrance into the super making sure the sides are
closed so no robbing can occur. 
 This opening is placed just above the actual top entrance.
Im still not sure if Im to have the opening at back, or front 
or both. The most important thing is that the brood nest is cover 
at all times. I feel this kind of super is not forcing bees into
storing nectar into it but rather using ONLY if the honey 
flow is truly strong. Lets test this next year.
Our chicks guarding the Apiary :)
I have spotted one Hornet snatching a flying bee every now and then.
One can still see the pollen on this poor bee's legs.

1 comment:

  1. Like us the bees need lactic acid bacterias in the gut. Its one of the more important parts of the immunesystem.

    As you know there are no such bacterias in sugar but a lot in honey so some people think its more wrong with sugerfeeding than we thought. They live on the winterstores for a long time and in quite hard conditions, cold and sometimes a bit damp. We have problem with illness in the colonies and this is probably one of the more important reasons.
    If you have to feed the bees try to put some of the harvested honey in the sugarsolution after it has cold down. Be sure there isnt honey from a sick colony.