top bar hive beekeeping
The vagaries of beekeeping jargon and its importance to the beginning natural beekeeper.
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.
Thinking about bees? Check out this DIY top bar hive!
My brief discription of sustainable beekeeping
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 post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
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.
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"!
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
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.
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.
My views on importing package bees verses natural breading.
Why is honey the proper food for honey bees?
A less meddlesome approach to beekeeping.
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.
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.
A brief overview of keeping bees in a top bar hive from setup to overwintering.
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.
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.
Talking about Annie Upshure and the Catholic Workers Movement and how Peace Farms moved into Appalachia.
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.
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.
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.
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
Barter markets--great big swap meets where you can trade what you don't want for things that you do--have become commonplace in Spain and are spreading throughout Europe. This video shows why we may want to start those over here.
My husband Alan’s first gift to me was Helen and Scott Nearing’s Living the Good Life. The books we turn to regularly have changed, although some we go back to again and again, year after year. A list of our top 10 favorite books follows.
A look at the history of tractors.
Barebones strives to make the experience of outdoor recreation and hobbies a priority.
Tell us what kind of barns and sheds you prefer for your poulty and farm animals.
A healthier version of the classic rice risotto, delicious barley risotto is easy to make and can be modified with whatever ingredients you have in your kitchen.
Colleen Vanderlinden reviews "Barnheart" by Jenna Woginrich.
The advantages of having stabilizer bars on your tractor when using an implement such as a mower are described.
Cam describes "double digging" as a way of creating a new garden without losing precious topsoil.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
Saving the Barn’s Barn Cats is proud to announce it’s branching out with a new line of structures constructed of historic recycled materials.
Tips for those with “Barnheart.”
Build a simple do-it-yourself small barn or shed to house livestock, garden tools and machinery.
A sapling Centennial crabapple tree survives a series of mishaps and teaches new orchardists a thing or two.
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three week per year spurts, Jim has relocated back to Texas to complete the build while Julie remains in Australia to finish her work there and transfer to the US.
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three week per year spurts, Jim has relocated back to Texas to complete the build while Julie remains in Australia to finish her work there and transfer to the US.
Sharing can become a network of trading and bartering within your community.
Build a simple backyard barbecue pit with no more than a shovel and a good cover panel for your next barbecue party.
A new report from Shareable and the Sustainable Economies Law Center details ways that city officials can harness the power of sharing to transform their cities for the better.
Corporations continue to purchase interests in seed industries, and Monsanto — the 800-lb. gorilla in the world of genetically modified seeds — is leading the way. Find out what this means for the future of crops and for you.
This oven-braised pastured pork belly recipe from Dan Barber pairs the lush and fatty cut with a several-day cure using a salt and spice mixture to bring out one-of-a-kind flavor.
You can make a simple bench for the garden or patio by recycling an old headboard.
A short post about how we built and designed our new cow and calf barn for hot and cold weather.
We're getting very close now to our relocation to Texas. After years of planning and developing, it's time to go home to our sustainable lifestyle. We leave with some sadness but a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement for our new life.
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three week per year spurts, Jim and Julie have relocated from Australia to Texas and are building out the barndominium. However in growing gardens and potential fruit plants for use in future years, we’ve encountered a horrible pest and want to share it in hopes of ideas from the Mother Earth News community.
After three years of trying to build the barndominium in three-week-per-year spurts, Jim has relocated back to Texas to complete the build while Julie remains in Australia to finish her work there and transfer to the United States.
The countdown to savings is on now at Morton Buildings.
A 1909 household-hints book reveals old-time method of filtering rainwater for drinking.
You can make these outdoor chairs for less than $80 by recycling a whiskey barrel and using a few other supplies from your workshop.
Clean out the hive at the end of winter
The new 'Back to Eden' film, the first-ever documentary devoted to mulch, explores how using wood chip mulch builds soil fertility.
Leafy greens are among the most nutritious foods you can eat, but what if they contain systemic pesticides like imidacloprid? New pesticides that are taken up by plants mean there may be pesticides in food crops like collards and kale, not just on the surface.
A MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader survey turned up some interesting findings about stink bugs, imported pests that have now been spotted in 35 states.
Late summer's hot days give way to cool nights--perfect for sleeping under the stars. Spend a few nights outside, before it's too late.
Description of garlic planting on a two-year cycle: from tiny topset bulblets, to large single bulbs, to large heads.
For centuries social and international conflicts have been spurred by contrasts in one group's sense of tribal identity (whether cultural, ethnic or geographic) versus another's. This same conflict plays out today in the United States for those members of American society who, thus far, have been unable to recognize President Obama as part of their tribe. Bryan Welch argues that Obama, in fact, epitomizes the key characteristics of the modern American tribe.
President-elect Barack Obama addressed a new chapter in climate change in a video shown at the Global Climate Summit. Check it out here!
Twenty-nine environmental groups created a plan for Obama's transition team, explaining what environmental issues need to be addressed in order to create a green economy.
After many months of preparation and planning, we are very excited to be starting to build our homestead - a barndominium. The first stage is to get a good solid foundation so our new homestead will be solid for today and future generations.
The building of the barndominium is in high gear. After all of the ground work, the slab is poured, cured and the steel framework of the barndominium is erected in one day. With the progress, there were a few problems but quickly solved.
On what will probably be the last trip to Chateau Christie as Australians, we are trying to get the property to a livable stage - completing the electrical and plumbing and getting things ready for an inspection so we can sheetrock and finish.
These recipes with filling, protein-packed whole grains such as quinoa and millet are great options for no-meat or low-meat diets.
Roasted pumpkin and squash seeds are a yummy, healthy treat. And it's easier than you think. Here's how to roast squash and pumpkin seeds in just four easy steps.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall to create a barrier along the US-Mexico border. Although the wall will never completely stop illegal immigrants from coming into the country, it will risk the survival of animals and wildlife in the area.
EcoSmart's new line of natural bed bug repellents can prevent the pests from hitching a ride home with you.
What follows are my top 6 tips on how to start beekeeping; a most wonderful hobby that I urge everyone to take up.
If you have ever thought about beekeeping photography then this article is perfect. Geoff Fitzgerald talks about his motivation for the topic and what got him started on the rooftops of Brooklyn. There are also some fantastic urban beekeeping photos.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
Is your patio short on space? Check out the Hot Pot BBQ, a grill that doubles as an herb planter.
You can repurpose broken tools to make this easy-to-assemble multidirectional ratchet bar clamp system.
A beginning farmer enjoys the work she has to do by hand. But would still like a tractor.
Make your barn doors glide with skateboard wheels and other easy to find materials in this DIY project to create sliding barn doors.
A homesteading family undertakes Extreme Home Makeover: Goat Edition at the possible expense of their sanity.
If we use high-quality items in our everyday lives, our lives become a sort of training. By using each item with care and careful consideration, the way we live becomes a tradition.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
You may want to think twice the next time you reach for that cola. A recent study has found that one can of soda a day can increase chances of prostate cancer by 40 percent.
We've been planning for months and years but now we're in fast build mode. The slab is poured, materials on site and in nine days, we will have the shell of the barndominium completely done and ready for the framing inside.
We have few opportunities during our stay in Australia to fly home and do work ourselves on the property. This blog features a set of planned activities that we wanted to be personally and directly involved with. When we left, we were very happy.
Now that the Barndominium has been fully enclosed, it's time to work on the interior. Also the basic utilities, pump house and access roads have been beefed up. It's beginning to look like a real house now. Chateau Christie is becoming a reality.
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.
Being a father myself I really want my children to enjoy my passion and this is a great example of teaching children how to appreciate what bees get up to. With a little patience this is a fantastic family beekeeping activity enjoyed by all.
Two Ogden Publications employees turned beekeeping beginners seperate the honey from the comb in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS parking lot. Thier backyard hives are only four miles away for making sweet, local honey.
This passive composting system creates beds of fertile soil through rotational composting.
Barbara Pleasant offers a step-by-step plan to starting seeds.
The EPA is poised to deregulate a new generation of genetically modified crops, including those resistant to 2,4-D herbicide. Voice your concerns now.
The release of new genetically modified crops resistant to 2,4-D herbicide will mean a huge increase of potent, dangerous chemicals on American farmland and a serious threat of herbicide drift problems for other growers.
An auspicious start to our beekeeping? Maybe!
Bee populations in urban settings are increasing, but urban settings aren’t set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees... or are they?
This summary of a Warré Beekeeper’s regular seasonal activities gives you both a general idea of what this method entails in the long-term if you are considering adopting this method, and to provide you with a beekeeping calendar that you can use as a guide after you have gotten started.
These beekeeping resources will help beginning beekeepers get started raising bees.
Hiking to the top of our mountain, the breathing view, the soothing effect.
From backyard chickens to hemp grown in the U.S.A., Natural Home readers were concerned with a wide variety of interests in 2009. These 10 issues top the list.
Could MAX pass federal safety standards for mass-produced cars? Nope. Should that matter?
In which Jack departs a little from his fashion sense and MAX gets new racing seats. But not just any racing seats: safer seats with real head restraints.
Here is your chance to win a brand new broadfork/U-bar digger. Enter to win this piece of equipment that retails at $119, and can help aerate your soil without hurting the beneficial worms and fungi in your garden beds.
Here is a plan for how to build your own floating cabin, "The Live Aboard Houseboat."
In Simran Sethi's final post, she describes her philosophy on sustainability.
Catching a swarm of bees is awesome. Now learn how to take care of them.
Kim Walter shares how she became interested in beekeeping and what she has learned from her bees.
Tall Goldenrod is a fall favorite of the honeybee. Although it is most likely the bees are foraging on a variety of flowers, it is natural to assume the most prevalent flower at any given time is the strongest influence in the honey.
Finding the right book for yourself is hard. Even harder if you are trying to learn something new. A BeeWeaver beekeeper, Emerson Arehart, read many beekeeping books and came up with a short list and summary to help you get started learning about bees.
This is an explanation of how I use a late winter warmup to manipulate my hives in preparation for spring nectar gathering and to minimize swarming.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is ready for Obama to take over and find a solution to our energy, environmental and economic problems through a clean energy economy.
Former Vice President Al Gore thinks 2009 needs to be the year that America creates a climate bill. And he's got a plan to back it up!
Barack Obama encourages Americans to participate in a national day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order to help reduce automobile gas emissions in the United States. This is the first of many steps that the Obama administration plans to make to improve global warming.
Use old jars to make these cute, inexpensive candle lanterns--for a fraction of what you'd pay if you bought them at the store.
There are times when I find beekeeping stressful but most of the time not of my own making. I discuss here the weather, when bees decide to do things you don't want and when you are just totally unprepared!
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
This is a great first guest post for Geoff Fitzgerald and his beekeeping photography aspirations. Follow his journey here.
The owners of Runamuk quickly realized the high demand for local, raw honey after selling their first few jars of it. See how this home-based business opportunity grew out of beekeeping.
Buzz is brewing about Bee-a-Thon 2011, an online "town hall" event scheduled for July 16, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. A variety of bee experts — from beekeepers to academics to environmentalists — will discuss the importance of bees and the critical challenges of colony collapse disorder.
Not all beehives are created equal. This post examines Langstroth beehives, Top-Bar beehives, and Warre beehives in order to help a new beekeeper determine which system is the best for her bees.
North Carolinian Master Beekeeper, Tia Douglass, offers an introduction to chemical-free, natural beekeeping, bees and approach to raising pollinators.
Becoming a beekeeper takes a lot of planning and preparation. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain some steps you can take now to start getting ready to keep bees in the spring.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss some techniques for helping beehives survive through the end of winter.
Starting a new hobby can be intimidating when everything is unfamiliar. Walk through the basics of a beehive structure.
Laura Weaver has managed BeeWeaver Apiaries, along with her husband, Danny Weaver, for nearly 2 decades. She has seen the bee industry and the public image of the bee change, as well as their own family bee business.
Maddy Harland describes the canopy layer of a temperate forest garden and shares some useful tips on designing and planting useful and edible tree crops.
No party is complete without cake, and this delicious Sunshine Cake has been the crowning glory of every Summer Solstice party I’ve ever thrown. Sharon Kebschull Barrett, one of my favorite herbal chefs, developed this recipe for her 1999 book Desserts from an Herb Garden (one of my bibles). Lemony, with a surprising hint of rosemary, this cake just tastes like summer—and the bright yellow color celebrates the sun.
Sweet Iced Tea is a delicious Southern tradition, but store-bought concoctions are often full of high fructose corn syrup and other nasties. This recipe incorporates fresh herbs, which add natural sweetness and help knock down the sugar content.
Take a photographic tour of Finca Bella Vista, a sustainable treehouse community in Costa Rica.
Among a slew of other awards for her outstanding writing, Barbara Pleasant has received the 2013 Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association for her Gardening Know-How column.
Chocolate is often picked by child labor, slaves and trafficked people. We must find a way to address this issue and change the system for the better.
MAX finally got a deer deflector, after three years of writing about how much it needs one. It'll give a bit of extra rollover protection, too.
Perhaps if we had just listened to the deer all along, we never would've ended up in this gas guzzling mess.
Porch building tips along with deer pressure notes and golf cart pickup bed instructions.Throw in a 5 foot high chicken wire fence and a rare appearance from a normally camera shy cat named Strider and you've got an idea of what we've been up to.
Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home by providing supplies, equipment and support for Micro Dairies, Home & Farmstead cheesemakers and small-scale producers of local and farm fresh dairy products.
Recap of 2010 growing season in Northwest Pennsylvania
Beekeeping yields honey, but it can also make our lives complete.
Deciding on urban beekeeping may just mean hosting a hive - some of the honey and none of the work!
Listen to what happens when you have a hole in your jeans and angry bees!
Kim Flottum of "Bee Culture Magazine" and Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees discuss tips and techniques of keeping bees in different types of hives - top bar hives and conventional Langstroth hives.
Beekeeping can bring many benefits other than a great hobby and honey production. Follow Iain as he tries to build a socially responsible company helping disabled people make beeswax candles.
Over in the UK we do our beekeeping conventions a little bit differently than in the United States, and so I thought you might like to see a video of our latest one a few weeks ago: the BBKA Spring Convention.
One of the most fun parts of beekeeping is harvesting honey. Here we will look at the first part of the honey harvest, removing the honey supers from the hives, and how to store them safely.
Find out how to protect your hives and honeycomb from wax moths without using chemicals.
Bee populations in cities are increasing, but urban settings aren't set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees...or are they?
Learn how to keep your bees properly fed and also ensure a plentiful and delicious honey harvest!
Jennifer Ford shows how she extracts and bottles her "liquid gold" honey at Bees of the Woods Apiary.
When honeybees are unable to store enough food for winter, the beekeeper must decide how to support the colony through the winter.
Beekeeping basics and how to keep bees safely and simply.
Beekeepers need a consistent way to document hive inspections including prompts to address all relevant areas while looking at a colony of honeybees.
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
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.
Take a look around your property and decide where to put your new beehives. Some considerations for hive placement.
Cable set-top boxes in the United States consume 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity—equivalent to the annual output of nine coal-fired power plants. Cable providers have a lot of energy-efficient improvements to make.
Where we go to reflect on life and relax.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
In the wake of a study that shows access to public transportation is crucial to lowering carbon footprint, the Smarter Cities Project names the top regions for smart transit.
Are you up to the 2 Mile Challenge? Sign up and help replace 100,000 car trips with healthy, pollution-free bicycle travel!
A creative use of an old Ford truck.KimAnna tells the tale of how her husband Mike took an old 1964 ford and turned it into a useful Bar at their Cafe in Del Norte, Co. With a few added embellishments it is not only functional but a piece of art!
Considering deer, it’s time for a roll bar.
"Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?" is a new bee documentary that examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers. The film emphasizes the thoughts of biodynamic and organic beekeepers on Colony Collapse Disorder and highlights the impact of industrial agriculture on the relationship between humans and bees.
If, like many beginning beekeepers, you've been confused by how to perform an artificial swarm, watch this beekeeper training video to get a solid grasp on the concept.
This week saw the first ever honey show in London, and what a joy it was for all involved. Based at the Lancaster Hotel in London, the first hotel in the UK to put beehives on their roof, it was the perfect location for such a great event.
There are many beekeeping associations in the U.S., national, regional and local. The two National Groups are discussed, looking at members, activities and goals.
If you are looking for gifts for beekeepers this blog post could be perfect encompasing books, clothes, equipment and even wrapping paper. This is perfect fodder for all of you that need to buy presents for beekeepers!
A beginner beekeeper learns that the best way to raise healthy bees is to do less.
Iain, working to build his socially responsible candle-making company, gets all his new equipment arriving from Holland.
Tips for managing spring cover crops using only hand tools.
What began as a hobby for her young son turned into a lucrative honey production business for beekeeper and MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Alissa Brandemuhl-Zengel.
There’s never, ever been a better time to get involved with honey bees and beekeeping.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
Beekeeping expert Betty Taylor explains how to reliquify crystalized honey while maintaining color, quality, and nutrients.
Homesteads are keeping alive old skills and ways of raising crops and livestock that are being lost in the age of agribusiness.
How to prepare your hives for the winter to protect them from mice, skunks, opossums and other wildlife.
Encouragement for new beekeepers who may be confused and overwhelmed about all the conflicting advice about keeping bees.
Beekeeper Betty Taylor explains what for look for during an end-of-summer hive inspection.
What is a beekeeper to do during the long cold winter months? Eat honey of course.
Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.
A recipe for a grease patty that doesn't use hydrogenated oils.
Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.
From cleaning raw beeswax to enjoying the final product, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will take you step by step through the process of making beeswax candles.
When and how to feed your honeybees.
Over the last 2 decades BeeWeaver has seen change in who keeps bees, and why they keep bees. The journey of the last 20 years has not been easy for the bees but the efforts of these New Beekeepers will keep the amazing honeybee a part of our word.
This Meatless Monday, whip up a batch of Julia Butterfly Hill's Top Anything Sauce, made with peanut or almond butter, and make a meal out of fresh veggies and quinoa.
Tell America's largest chocolate company that slave labor and Valentine's Day chocolate don't mix.
If this is your first year to keep bees, wear as much protective clothing that makes you feel comfortable but as you become more experienced try wearing less so that you can fully enjoy beekeeping. Just how much protective clothing should you wear?
A short introduction to the almond pollination adventure going on in California right now. Bee Culture spent 3 weeks exploring this annual event, traveling from Bakersfield to Chico, visiting orchards, beekeepers and almond growers.
The mild winter, early sring and continued warm weather are really messing up the normal sequene of bloom and availability of honeybee food. What will happen this summer is anyone's guess. Be Prepared.
The beekeeping presentation in the kids' booth at the Tree House Club was filled with enthusiastic kids. Check out what one kid had to say about his time spent with the bees.
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.
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.
Danny Weaver is a 4th generation beekeeper. He started out allergic to bee stings and overcame the dangerous allergy. Learning about how to tolerate bee stings is part of being around the bees.
OK, you’ve got a start: where to get equipment, groups to join, classes to take, and mentors to hook up with. Now’s the time, before you have bees, to take a long hard look at some of the rest of the things you need to be thinking about.
Three U.S. regional beekeeping associations offer much to beekeepers at any skill level and experience. Beeyard adventures, workshops, lectures, honey shows, and the chance to meet hundreds of likemined individuals await you here.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food