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Author Topic: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes  (Read 9380 times)

ilinda

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
« Reply #75 on: April 09, 2018, 07:12:13 AM »
I'm so sorry that your friend lost a colony, and thankful that he was able to bring one through the winter.  It's surprising to see that temps are so low still at your latitude.
It's that micro-climate thing!  Yesterday 15 deg. at 7 AM, and this morning a heat wave @ 23 deg. and supposedly headed for 50's today.  Will believe it when I see it.  Just now I went out and took a pic of the melting snow (finally). 

R.R. Book

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
« Reply #76 on: April 09, 2018, 09:45:39 AM »
When the snow gets that thin on the ground in PA, we just go ahead and declare that Spring is here!  ;)

R.R. Book

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
« Reply #77 on: April 09, 2018, 01:32:52 PM »
Adding the ending of chapter 4 of Song of Increase, which I didn't have time for the other day:

Winter Dreamtime: The Memory of Sunlight

Freeman begins by explaining how she tucks the bees in in late autumn, there in the Pacific Northwest, making sure the hives are tied down and sitting with them before winter sets in.  The smaller, weaker colonies may receive an extra frame of honey from storage (we also keep extras in plastic bags in the freezer whenever possible), which Freeman says will add to the heat in the hive. 

A very small, weak colony is a candidate for overwintering inside the hive of a stronger one, she explains.  The stronger family is more likely to be accepting of this arrangement if the weaker one is placed at a separate end of the hive, bearing in mind that the two queens will each be emitting separate pheromone signals which could cause confusion were they not separated.

She further explains how the bees will go into a state just short of hibernation called torpor.  It is a quiet, rhythmic way the bees get through winter, clustered up with the queen and babies on the inside of the ball of bees, with the outer and middle layers of bees periodically trading places after the outer bees have had a rewarding drop of honey at the end of their shift.  A large population of bees can accomplish this more easily without wearing everyone out.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, including that of our own bee breeder, Freeman strongly advocates against opening hives in winter at 40 or 50o F to check on the bees.  If the day is warm enough, they will come out on their own; otherwise, they may be in a deep sleep, in which Freeman says they are in touch with the spirits of the sleeping flowers in the garden, and should not be interrupted.

Dead bees outside the hive are actually a good sign: They indicate that the colony is healthy and performing housekeeping tasks.  She explains that 18,000 bees might die of old age over winter, yet the colony would still be healthy, finding itself with a nucleus remaining at the end of winter.

Freeman says if a colony dies in December, beekeepers don't need to know until March.  My experience differs on that point, because orders for new colonies need to be placed months in advance of spring if possible, in order to assure their arrival at home in time to orient themselves for the big spring pollen flow and brood-buildup.

Freeman's bees explained that winter is a time of contentment for them.  It is a holy time of quiet fellowship in which they pass the honey and share remembrance of sunlight and stories about their visitations with other life in the garden last summer, both to entertain each other and to instruct the babies, who will not yet have had their first flight outdoors. 

The hive is full of different types of nectar from various flowers that stimulate memories and storytelling.  The various honeys contain tinctures of botanical medicines from each flower type visited that the colony can draw upon throughout winter.

In addition, the hive is visited by the flower spirits who are welcomed by the bees, to whom the bees make toasts of gratitude as they share the harvest.

Paraphrasing the bees:
Quote
...Gathering around to read and sing together~




 

« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 02:58:53 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
« Reply #78 on: April 10, 2018, 07:02:37 PM »
Adding the ending of chapter 4 of Song of Increase, which I didn't have time for the other day:.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, including that of our own bee breeder, Freeman strongly advocates against opening hives in winter at 40 or 50o F to check on the bees.  If the day is warm enough, they will come out on their own; otherwise, they may be in a deep sleep, in which Freeman says they are in touch with the spirits of the sleeping flowers in the garden, and should not be interrupted

Paraphrasing the bees:
..Gathering around to read and sing together~

There are probably many different opinions on opening the hive in winter, but here's my 2 cents.  Although Terrence Ingraham of Apple River, IL who published The Small Beekeeper Journal, concurs with author Jacqueline Freeman, the seasons are so erratic these days, that in most winters, one can often find a day or so here and there where the temperature is 60 deg. F. or higher.  If I felt compelled to open the hive, I'd do so on a warmish day.

And another thought:  has anyone ever makeshifted a plastic "bubble" or dome large enough to encompass a hive, with walking room for the human, whereby the bubble could be placed over a given hive on a sunny day, and after an hour or so, the human could enter the bubble and remove the cover without creating  too much disruption, then work fast, close all back up, remove bubble, and leave.  Only problem is maybe that warmth for the short time of the bubble could fool the bees?  Just a few stray thoughts!

R.R. Book

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
« Reply #79 on: April 10, 2018, 07:10:01 PM »
I used black plastic covers this winter, which made the interior of the hives too moist.  Some Northerners actually keep their hives in a ventilated shed, which protects them from predators, wind, etc.  Not a bad thing to consider!

R.R. Book

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
« Reply #80 on: May 29, 2018, 07:42:43 AM »
A more natural way of treating hives for mites is entering the discussion, as opposed to our breeder's recommendation of chemicals or oxalic acid (which is in rhubarb and spinach): Thyme oil.

It's mode of efficacy is to cause disorientation of mites, such that they fall off of bees.

From Mother Earth News:
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The active ingredient in thyme oil is thymol. This compound assists in controlling the Varroa mite. It works by confusing the mite and blocking it's pores. Used in combination with a screened bottom board the mites become confused, fall to the ground through the screen and are unable to climb back up into the hive.

https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/using-essential-oils-for-honeybees-zbcbz1403


 

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