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, June 30, 2014

Bee forage is back online

Honeybee working Thistle flower. Thistles are a fabulous source of
good nectar and pollen. One of the most important flowers at this
time of the year. Thistles are no weed, they are pure gold if you ask me :)
The bee forage was very good all the way from Spring to about the time Rapeseed/Canola stopped blooming. After that there was not much left except some Raspberry and wild rose bushes. One local beekeeper noticed bees collecting honey dew from Plant Lice/Aphids.
Now the nectar flow is back in form of Thistles and White Clover :) and I see busy bees again!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Raw Top Bar Comb Honey

We've got visitors yesterday and after a tasty BBQ I decided to give them a proper treat :) honey directly from a naturally drawn top bar comb! Can it be any better :) yummm yumm
When you eat honey this way you get the taste of propolis, fresh virgin wax, pollen and honey of course. Magical taste indeed!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ant Invasion on Planet B

I wanted to inspect my colonies a few times for the last 2 weeks but each time I would get a stomach feeling not to open the hives. I respected that feeling and did nothing. But today I've got a strong feeling to do the inspection. I sneaked into the bee suit, armed myself with a spray bottle, long bread knife and a bee brush.

Once I opened the first hive I knew why I've got that strong stomach feeling to open the hives today!
Ants all over the hive! The bees were buzzing very loud trying to shake the ants off with their wings. 
The ants actually moved under the hive roof. Here you can see eggs and a few ant Queens too.
I mean why not move into a bee colony; bees feed your colony with free honey. Smart!

But I decided to intervene and evict the ants from 2 hives which were infested with them. I could see ants hanging on bees trying to kill them. The colonies were under enormous stress trying to get rid of them. It seemed as the ants were winning the battle ... until the bees' bee guardian came into the picture and removed them. I literally destroyed the ant colonies. I was their Armageddon. Im sorry it came to this but they could have chosen to build a home somewhere else. 

The bees felt I was killing the ants since not even one bee attacked me and they were very agitated because of the ants.
I will check those 2 hives in a few days just to make sure the ants are gone.
What a beautiful brood pattern. This Queen is good :)
All 10 colonies have a laying Queen. Some have the old one and others a newly mated Queen. Its nice to see them all have new eggs, larvae in all stages and capped brood. I could see just a few house bees with deformed wing virus caused by Varroa but that is not a big issue.
a gorgeous free-mated top bar hive Queen :) Im in love with her :))
Worker Bees gorging on the honey
For those of you interested how my "Bee-friendly Super Top Bar Hives" are doing here is an image showing positive results :) Only one hive decided to move up and start building new honey combs. Even though the Queen can go up she decided not to. They are building without any wax guides totally wild but as you can see they do keep the as straight as they do in the top bar hive :)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Teaching Sustainable Beekeeping at the University of Copenhagen

Great news! My good friend and I have started teaching sustainable beekeeping in top bar hives on the University of Copenhagen. Two weeks ago it started with a power point presentation and yesterday we begun building the university's first top bar hive :) This course will last until October.
Students building the hive body
... building hive legs
... the roof being made
The finished hive :)

Next week we will be making an observation window and painting the hive as well as placing it in the right location away from passersby. We have 27 students so far and it seems they are enjoying it. In about 2 weeks we are buying a bee colony and the buzzing journey will begin :)