Thursday, December 18, 2008
Top Bar Hives
The bees are out and about today enjoying the 12° temperature. Michael @ Articles & Texticles just sent me this link to a TED talk on the plight of the bees. In summary, Mr.vanEngelsdorp would like to encourage anyone with a lawn to turn it into a meadow and then take up beekeeping. Sounds reasonable to me. But I've been reading some more interesting ideas on sustainable beekeeping here and here. Smaller hives, more swarms, and less interference, allowing the possibility for the bees to be able to evolve in a way that they can coexist with varroa - which they have done elsewhere. In India, the grubs emerge from their sealed cell 2 days earlier than ours do, which means that any varroa in the cell with them don't have time enough to reproduce. I will build some small top bar hives this winter following the design developed by Abbé Emile Warré and perhaps have three or four smaller colonies going by the end of next summer. An English translation of his book 'Beekeeping for All' can be downloaded free here (with plans!).