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Monday
Jul022012

Natural Beekeeping

For almost two weeks we have been mesmerized by our two bee hives.  Those lady bees are absoultely amazing!  Let me start at the beginning of our beekeeping adventure.

Steve has built us two beautiful Top Bar Beehives for our colonies.  Our hives look different than the Langstroth box hives you may be used to seeing.  As you can see from the pictures the hive looks more like a trough with bars that run along the top of the hive.  The bees create their own comb off the bars.  These hives have been called a low cost, low impact alternative to the traditional Langstroth Beehives.  We chose them to start our natural beekeeping because: no plastic foundations, we have a viewing window to see what is going on therefore we will be disturbing the bees less, we were able to build our own hives, and we feel it is a more natural option for the bees.

To my sheer delight, this past Friday I opened the viewing window in the morning and was able to see the comb they are building for the first time.  It is the most perfect thing I have ever seen! So perfectly created and white and new.  I am in such awe of nature.  If you look closely at the top centre part of the above photo you can see a bit of white comb peeking through amongst the bees.

A friend of mine here on Gabriola was thinking of getting out of beekeeping after 15 years.  His concern with beekeeping was all the chemicals and babying needed in order to help keep the bees alive.  This year we will be going completely natural with our bees and will not be taking any honey.  It is a all about the bees and setting up our colonies to be strong enough to make it through our wet winter.  The resergence of nautral beekeeping is really encouraging for us.  A great resource for natural beekeeping is Phil Chandler's website found here.

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