Top bar hives are becoming increasingly popular with beekeepers as they help encourage bees to colonize in a more natural way than Langstroth beehives. Installing bees in a top-bar hive can be surprisingly easy if you take a few steps to ensure that your new colony is happy.
In the Northeast, you never know what to expect in the beeyard in April. From snow to some very busy bees, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will share what has been going on in the apiary this past month.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will share what happens in the beeyard during the month of March. This is a critical time in the apiary - for both bees and beekeepers.
Afraid you have a brown thumb? Here are worry-free veggies that can be grown in pots or in the garden. Try one or two or all ten for your first garden!
Choosing between ordering package bees, nucleus (nucs) hives and splitting your own. Maybe try all three!
In traditional Langstroth beehives, the honey is extracted via a centrifuge that spins the golden liquid out of the comb and allows it to run into your pot. In a top-bar hive, honey collection is quite different, as isthe rest of the top-bar hive beekeeping process.
A few tweaks in the process may make all the difference in whether a colony survives the winter.
For a long time, the only beehive you tended to see would be the traditional Langstroth hive. In recent years, new styles have become popular including the Warre hive, and the top bar hive design. It is important to be familiar with the various styles of beehive in order to choose what is most appropriate for your colony.
Here, I share this very simple method for rendering beeswax that will take you from sticky mess to wonderfully fragrant disks of clean beeswax ready for your crafts and beauty products while costing very little of your time and precious energy. Your bees will actually benefit from it!
Small hive beetles are typically considered a secondary pest in the honeybee hive, paling in comparison to the Varroa mite. But they can be more than a nuisance. Left unchecked they may wreck the hive. There are ways to combat this secondary pest.
The least expensive method to grow your apiary is to split existing hives. The walk-away split is the easiest way to do this.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to make an article of clothing from seed to finished product? I have. Check out my homegrown, handspun, handwoven, naturally-colored cotton vest.
Hive inspection to check for queen cells, hive health, nectar, honey, pollen, and whatever the girls might need.
One decision you will need to make when purchasing beehives is whether to use plastic or wooden hives and frames. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss the pros and cons of plastic and wooden hive components for your bees.
Jennifer Ford, of Bees of the Woods Apiary, will share how she uses honey and beeswax from her beehives to make useful and creative gifts.
The no-waste way to render beeswax.
Don't over-stay your welcome at the hive. Give your bees space.
Some things to know about the last fall hive inspections in preparing the bees for winter.
Did you know that you can learn a lot about the condition of your beehives simply by watching the entrance of the hive? Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain what to look for, and what it might mean. No smoke or hive tool necessary!
Chives and mint come to a duel for territory in the herb garden, while the spring sap-sucker marks time.
Discover how to grow various members of the onion family: bulb onions and scallions, leeks, garlic, ramps, shallots, and chives. Each one has different requirements and habits, yet all are rewarding for organic gardeners.
Describes the timing and the nuts and bolts involved in expanding your apiary by making nucleus hives.
Leading food sovereignty activist Vandana Shiva will present “Cultivating Diversity, Freedom and Hope” in Kansas City. Many other farming and gardening workshops and events are planned for April 17-18, 2014.
Starting a new hobby can be intimidating when everything is unfamiliar. Walk through the basics of a beehive structure.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares some beekeeping crafts and activities to pass the time until you can get back out in the beeyard this spring.
A brief overview of keeping bees in a top bar hive from setup to overwintering.
This overview of the yearly activities of a Warré beekeeper is for people trying to decide if they have the time to become beekeepers and experienced beekeepers who are curious about the Warré method. It also serves as an index of the many of the main topics that will be covered in depth by this blog.
Origins, constituents, and applications of propolis, including recipes for propolis remedies.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how to prevent, identify and stop robbing in the beeyard.
For almost two decades, the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive group has done what the experts said was impossible. Namely, they have taken DNA from over 70 of the most magnificent trees on the planet; have cloned thousands of individuals from this original DNA and are actively re-planting/re-foresting these champion trees.
The vagaries of beekeeping jargon and its importance to the beginning natural beekeeper.
Talking about Annie Upshure and the Catholic Workers Movement and how Peace Farms moved into Appalachia.
Orchard soil health is a topic that gets covered as well as the new asparagus beetle management system and how it seems to be working better than we could have hoped for. Dielectric grease to prevent rust and corrosion on the golf cart battery post.
James discusses exactly how to paint a beehive. Sometimes it can be a fiddly job but using an array of stepladders and poles it can be pretty simple
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.
Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.
Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar project we started as well as talk on Brix, biodynamics, and Plant Secondary Metabolites. Also have details on an external frame backpack modification.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
Ordering bees in January doesn't seem to make sense, until you understand that April is the cruelest month. Plus, if you order bees in January, and then you don't need them - that's just a reason to celebrate! Order early!
A Christmas Wish for all, inspired by the magic of the honey bee.
A TED talk by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees: Making the Connection: Honeybees, Food, and You.
This post offers tips for winterizing a top bar hive - insulating, mouse guards, wrapping, closing entrances, protecting from wind. All things you can do to help get them through!
This blog post by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees describes some techniques for getting bees to draw straight comb in a top bar hive.
One way to overwinter a top bar hive in a northern climate is to provide good ventilation and some insulation. Enough food is needed, and good protection from the wind is too. We'll see how it works.
When getting a top bar hive ready for winter, you need to know how much honey there is...and measureing these frames is different than measuring rectangular frames.
Beginning a discussion on top bar hives and standard hives in a question and answer format, getting the best of each for users of both kinds of hives.
By the 4th of July, there's a palpable shift in the feel of the beekeeping season. New beekeepers wish for more guidance, and may even be wondering why they started this project! Here's a little reassurance that you are not alone in your endeavor.
James E. Churchill’s advice for finding and preparing chicory, mint, catnip and blackberries, found in a 1970 issue of Mother Earth News, is timeless—and very timely right now.
Mother has always known best, and these tips for reusing what would otherwise be garbage are as relevant today as they were in 1970.
Housekeeping tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News--published in 1970--are surprisingly relevant today. Use these to make this task--which we all have to do sooner or later--more efficient and enjoyable.
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
Thinking about bees? Check out this DIY top bar hive!
A quick essay regarding the "size" question of a top bar hive, from the bee's point of view - where it's all about the "volume"!
Our office was abuzz with bee activity this morning! We received four packages of bees today before they were delivered to their final garden homes.
This fresh spring soup is rich and creamy without the heaviness of cream.
Harvesting honey from an experimental frameless beehive.
This blog post started life as an article in The Natural Farmer,published by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). It could be said to herald the birth of that entity we have come to call The Cynical Optimist.
Clean out the hive at the end of winter
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
Why is honey the proper food for honey bees?
My views on importing package bees verses natural breading.
My brief discription of sustainable beekeeping
I briefly describe my journey from a kid on a large 2000 acre alfalfa farm in the west to a homestead beekeeper in the midwest, on our 35 acres that we call BeeLanding.
You can build this simple, light-weight roof rack to transport your bicucles.
Put a barrel or two on wheels and you can feed your flocks and herds with ease, including diagrams, photographs and instructions.
You can fabricate this metal log lifter to make firewood cutting easier and safer.
Build a highchair that will follow your child through years of growth and development.
To make the pulp for homemade paper, look no further than your waste and recycling bins.
Learn how to make a bootjack from a branch and scrap of wood.
Here is a plan for a metal candle lantern made from a coffee can, metal clothes hanger and a stick of wood.
Promote AIDS awareness, not just on World AIDS Day, but every day!