Planet X Town Hall

Socrates & R.R. Book - PERMACULTURE, and methods for gathering food and water => Animal Husbandry => Topic started by: R.R. Book on March 26, 2017, 01:09:33 PM

Title: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on March 26, 2017, 01:09:33 PM
Looking for fellow-beekeepers to chat with, but non-beekeepers are welcome too!

Query: How can we make changes to the way we manage bees, with the hopes of bringing colonies through the Tribulation so crops can be pollinated in the Aftertime?

Musings so far:

Strengthening the physical hives by:

*Switching from medium depth to deeps for brood chambers

*Switching from 8-frame to 10 width for stability from jolts and winds

*Switching from 3/4" thick woodenware to 7/8"

*Repositioning hives from an open clearing to up against a fence

*Tethering them to the fence with quick release straps for ease of management

*Allowing bees to glue their quarters together excessively with burr comb

*Moving hives closer to the house so in a pinch they can be dollied into a garage.

Making the apiary more sustainable by:

*Switching from wax & wire foundation to plastic, as commercial wax has to be replaced periodically, is very fragile to work with, and may carry diseases from wherever it came from, and wooden frames for wax foundation can be chewed by mice and wax moths

*Keeping cold-hardy Russians in lieu of breeds susceptible to illness, as well as keeping (by default) the offspring of any hardy ferrals the Russian queens may mate with in flight.  Russians also maintain a ready set of young queens-in-waiting so that they may supersede the reigning queen in an emergency.  They eat less of their stores in winter, and are less likely to lose touch with their food during the cold months.  They are fastidious, constantly grooming themselves and each other to get rid of mites.

*Ceasing to harvest honey twice per season, allowing bees to keep their entire late harvest to themselves

*Planting late blooming flowering essential oil plants, such as Melissa/lemon balm, all around the hives

Would love to hear your thoughts!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: Yowbarb on March 30, 2017, 12:18:45 PM
R.R. Book I really like your idea since, in a high wind, any domestic animals, wild bird cages or bees would indeed need to be moved into a sturdy shelter.

*Moving hives closer to the house so in a pinch they can be dollied into a garage.

An example of a moving transporter for your treasured animals of various types... (Posted in chickens topic.)

(http://www.clabornfarms.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/chicken-tractor-300x274.jpg)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on March 30, 2017, 04:13:16 PM
Looking for fellow-beekeepers to chat with, but non-beekeepers are welcome too!

Query: How can we make changes to the way we manage bees, with the hopes of bringing colonies through the Tribulation so crops can be pollinated in the Aftertime?

Musings so far:

Strengthening the physical hives by:

*Switching from medium depth to deeps for brood chambers

*Switching from 8-frame to 10 width for stability from jolts and winds

*Switching from 3/4" thick woodenware to 7/8"

*Repositioning hives from an open clearing to up against a fence

*Tethering them to the fence with quick release straps for ease of management

*Allowing bees to glue their quarters together excessively with burr comb

*Moving hives closer to the house so in a pinch they can be dollied into a garage.

Making the apiary more sustainable by:

*Switching from wax & wire foundation to plastic, as commercial wax has to be replaced periodically, is very fragile to work with, and may carry diseases from wherever it came from, and wooden frames for wax foundation can be chewed by mice and wax moths

*Keeping cold-hardy Russians in lieu of breeds susceptible to illness, as well as keeping (by default) the offspring of any hardy ferrals the Russian queens may mate with in flight.  Russians also maintain a ready set of young queens-in-waiting so that they may supersede the reigning queen in an emergency.  They eat less of their stores in winter, and are less likely to lose touch with their food during the cold months.  They are fastidious, constantly grooming themselves and each other to get rid of mites.

*Ceasing to harvest honey twice per season, allowing bees to keep their entire late harvest to themselves

*Planting late blooming flowering essential oil plants, such as Melissa/lemon balm, all around the hives

Would love to hear your thoughts!
Glad someone is wanting to talk honeybee details.

We haven't had bees for 15 or more years, and hubby became disillusioned when someone who was "helping" him get started, gave him hives that were most likely contaminated with mites, as the bees died quickly and hubby hasn't gotten bees since then.  But we might be ready now.

OK, after reading Jacqueling Freeman's book, Song of Increase, and subscribing to "The Small Beekeeper's Journal" of Apple River, IL, published by Terrance Ingraham (sp), I'm of the opinion that we did many things initially that did not help the bees.

One thing that helps bees is to actually let them build the foundation themselves with the wax they make on their own.  The wax that people buy has been recycled many times and would contain traces of who knows what.  Plus, the pre-formed honeycomb shape that can be bought and which bees will use to build their comb has cells that are larger than feral bees make.  One thing some of these natural beekeepers are saying is that the larger cell makes for a slightly larger bee.  Then with a larger honeybee, the trachea is larger and can more easily hold mites.  In feral bees, the smaller trachea is less able to harbor the number or size of mite infestation seen in so many larger bees.

I remember a month or two in reading through some of Ingraham's Journal's that he mentioned how years ago he didn't buy wax for decades because the wax was made by the bees, and was relatively pure, before Roundup and before neonicotinoids, and the slew of other toxins were everywhere; that wax could be recycled and recycled.

One thing Ingraham emphasizes is that it is best to find honeybees that do not start raising brood in the late fall for winter, as they often (especially in colder climates) don't have enough honey for keeping themselves going, and raising brood at the same time.  He has said more than once that it's a genetic trait--the tendency to start raising brood late in the year.  I will look to see the varieties/y that he said do not start raising brood again later.  Maybe in FL it would work.

Harvesting little or no honey, especially in the first year is an EXCELLENT idea!  Hubby never even wanted the honey, just the pollination.

And yes, by all means, planting as many bee-attracting plants as possible.  One thing I recall from Freeman's book is that she said don't just plant a tiny stand of one thing, or many tiny stands of many different plants attractive to bees, because the bees you see harvesting/visiting a given type of flower will visit ONLY that type of flower.  In other words, it is really worth their while to come to your lemon basil patch if it's going to keep them busy for hours.  If it's 2 plants, it might not be worth their investment.  Watch the honeybees on dandelion and you'll see them go from one dandelion to another, to another, etc., but will never see that same bee suddenly go over to the henbit that is inches away.  When they gather nectar, they know exactly what they want.

And strengthening the hives is something every single beekeeper should be pondering.  I will find the email regarding bees in a hurricane, which my beekeeper friend sent me that was one of the most amazing stories.  But after reading Freeman's book and her experience of how the honeybees began communicating to her after several years, I'm sure the email is true.  It is an incredible chronology observed by a FL beekeeper about honeybees plus other insects who would have perished had it not been for the honeybees.  I'll find it and post it here.

In the meantime, I'll get out some of Ingraham's writings to see which types of bees he says are more likely to survive cold winters due to their genetic tendency to make only early brood.

Thanks for starting this.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on March 31, 2017, 10:44:46 AM
Love the photo Barb!

Ilinda, We've made a ton of mistakes in the past, too, keeping our bees.  Everything from not securing the mouse guards snugly enough in winter or not checking on them, to over-harvesting, to accidentally squishing a replacement queen, to over-insulating and allowing moisture build-up in winter.  With our winters being so unpredictable any more, it's difficult to know which side to err upon, either too much or not enough insulation vs. ventilation.  But honey bees are somewhat mysterious to us still.  Even though we have all the mathematics of it down to a science such as "Bee Space" - known to the finest decimal point - (http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm), I think making mistakes is the best, albeit most expensive, way to learn. 

"Ouch" to having received contaminated woodenware.  Am just beginning to study foundationless frame, but am nervous about trying it due to the possibility of diagonal cross-comb.  I saw a demonstration in which an enthusiastic practitioner of this method sliced apart the comb, and wouldn't mind if it were comb in the super, but what if it were brood chamber comb?  In the long run though, you're probably right that it would be the most sustainable method. 

A newcomer to beekeeping might be interested in learning about the African top-bar hives for more information on what Ilinda is talking about re: foundationless frames, both of which are somewhat rare in the American beekeeping world, but maybe shouldn't be.  There's a new horizontal Langstroth hive that was developed in the Great Lakes area that I'm thinking about trying, that allows beekeepers to spread their Langstroth frames sideways instead of vertically.  It completely eliminates some problems common to traditional vertical Langstroth hives such as need to reverse box order seasonally, danger from high winds, back strain, etc. 

Thank you so much for the reading suggestions, and I can't wait to learn more about the bees that made it through a hurricane!

Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on March 31, 2017, 11:29:02 AM
Am including an attachment to a honey bee breed comparison table on my desktop.

Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on March 31, 2017, 05:12:11 PM
Love the photo Barb!

Ilinda, We've made a ton of mistakes in the past, too, keeping our bees.  Everything from not securing the mouse guards snugly enough in winter or not checking on them, to over-harvesting, to accidentally squishing a replacement queen, to over-insulating and allowing moisture build-up in winter.  With our winters being so unpredictable any more, it's difficult to know which side to err upon, either too much or not enough insulation vs. ventilation.  But honey bees are somewhat mysterious to us still.  Even though we have all the mathematics of it down to a science such as "Bee Space" - known to the finest decimal point - (http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm), I think making mistakes is the best, albeit most expensive, way to learn. 

"Ouch" to having received contaminated woodenware.  Am just beginning to study foundationless frame, but am nervous about trying it due to the possibility of diagonal cross-comb.  I saw a demonstration in which an enthusiastic practitioner of this method sliced apart the comb, and wouldn't mind if it were comb in the super, but what if it were brood chamber comb?  In the long run though, you're probably right that it would be the most sustainable method. 

A newcomer to beekeeping might be interested in learning about the African top-bar hives for more information on what Ilinda is talking about re: foundationless frames, both of which are somewhat rare in the American beekeeping world, but maybe shouldn't be.  There's a new horizontal Langstroth hive that was developed in the Great Lakes area that I'm thinking about trying, that allows beekeepers to spread their Langstroth frames sideways instead of vertically.  It completely eliminates some problems common to traditional vertical Langstroth hives such as need to reverse box order seasonally, danger from high winds, back strain, etc. 

Thank you so much for the reading suggestions, and I can't wait to learn more about the bees that made it through a hurricane!
Here is what was posted on Organicbeekeepers@yahoogroups.com around Oct. 10, 2016, and re-sent to me from a member of that list.
 
We have survived and our bees have performed better than one of us in the wind.

Observations and Actions:



1. Days before the storm the bees seem to want us away from the hives. A northeastern storm rained and blew for two days before Hurricane Matthew arrived which did not help their attitude but the bees were flying during this time. The day before Matthew was due we strapped each hive together with its concrete blocks used under the bottom board in the pouring rain.


2. The evening before the hurricane we observed bees allowing hornets into their hive.


3. The day after the hurricane all guests (hornets, bumble bees, wasps) were escorted out of the hives. Guests insisting to return into the hive were killed.


4. During the breaks in the rain and in lesser winds, bees left the hives for short flights. We presume for sanitary reasons. Spouse observed short flights in high winds as well - looping, tumbling into the hive. 


5. During the hurricane guard bees posted themselves at the entrances we presume to block the wind.
6 The morning following the storm, a little orientation then pollen arrived quickly to the hives. The attitude of the bees returned to normal as well.


7. The weather has changed to the cooler fall temperature and Matthew has taken the moisture in the air with him so the hives are in a rush to gather all resources quickly.


8. Short stemmed flowers and native plants survived Matthew without effort.


9. The single supers we had set up for swarms we carried out of the apiary intact. As suspected they had become homes for carpenter ants. We cleaned them of ants and reset them up as traps for homeless bees.


10. If I understand our weather correctly as storms approach the Barometric pressure drops, the lower the drop the stronger the storm.



A quick internet search revealed some interesting reading on bee behavior and Barometric pressure drops. Comments always welcome.

Wrinn2
In Northeast Florida where the electricity was restored yesterday afternoon but the bees don't need artificial means.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
(End of email posted from Organicbeekeepers@yahoogroups.com)

A quick read of your bushfarms.com link shows incredible knowledge and attention to detail.  Wonderful that it's out there, so that when we are ready for sure, there will be help.  At this point, we're more like beginners again.  You are light years ahead of us, and at this point if we can just get some hives and hope to catch a feral swarm, we'll be delighted.  For now.

A friend from whom I buy eggs is raising bees the "natural" way and he said it takes several years to transform the bees to smaller ones who make smaller cells.  Also a few years ago I remember his talking about how he had to keep re-arranging stuff in the hives because the bees weren't building neat straight comb like their human"owners" want! 

Last but not least, here is the direct quote from Terrence Ingram's December, 2016 Small Beekeeper's Journal article titled, "Thoughts For the New Year":
"Sometimes when a beekeeper feeds a hive in the fall, it stimulates the queen to start laying eggs, and the honey is used for raising new brood, instead of being saved for winter.  This is especially true if the queen is an Italian queen.  Most Carniolan queens do not do this.  They quit laying by the end of September and don't start up until late March.

In other articles he emphasizes that that trait of Italian, Carniolan, etc., queens is genetic.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on March 31, 2017, 06:23:06 PM
What a precious accounting, especially the part about allowing other species of bees and hornets into the hive.  I have found hornets to be very intelligent and gentle creatures that only come close and hover out of curiosity about what I am doing.  Even if they land on me it only seems to be out of curiosity. 

Part of the beauty of your storm account was how quickly things returned to normal afterward.  Quite an observation that humans are so affected by power outages, while the wildlife take no notice of them.

Thank you so much for posting this Ilinda!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on April 01, 2017, 04:04:41 PM
(http://)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: Yowbarb on April 01, 2017, 05:16:15 PM
ilinda, awesome post!  :)
That really is wonderful how the bees allowed some other species to enter the hives as the hurricane approached!
- bt
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: Yowbarb on April 01, 2017, 05:16:41 PM
(http://)

I like your sign.   8)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on April 02, 2017, 04:05:08 PM
What a precious accounting, especially the part about allowing other species of bees and hornets into the hive.  I have found hornets to be very intelligent and gentle creatures that only come close and hover out of curiosity about what I am doing.  Even if they land on me it only seems to be out of curiosity. 

Part of the beauty of your storm account was how quickly things returned to normal afterward.  Quite an observation that humans are so affected by power outages, while the wildlife take no notice of them.

Thank you so much for posting this Ilinda!
Yes, the entire chronology is an amazing tale and it has really made me more aware of the AWARENESS of the honeybee.  In Jacqueline Freeman's book, she tells us that her bees have communicated to her that they are here to help humans evolve a bit.  I don't recall her exact words, but that's the nutshell of it.  It is obvious from the FL beekeeper's account that they are truly a highly evolved species.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: Yowbarb on April 02, 2017, 06:51:56 PM
That is beautiful...
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on April 04, 2017, 05:25:14 PM
The honeybees have made a liar out of me.  :-D)))
The other day, probably here, I said when honeybees go out to gather nectar, they are plant specific, i.e., when you see a bee on a dandelion, that bee will go to dandelion after dandelion, and eventually when their pollen sacs are full enough they return to the hive.  Same with seeing a honeybee on henbit, etc.

Well today I was in my garden and noticed a honeybee on a strawberry plant.  After being there a while, it went over to a henbit and gathered there a while.  I was in shock!  I've never seen that behavior, so it must exist.  Even, IIRC, Jacqueline Freeman in her Song of Increase, talked about how the bees go out for specific things and don't mix and match while they are out.

Maybe what I saw was a bee with a different purpose, i.e., she was just getting a sample of everything out there to take back for "show and tell".  If any bee people know about this, I'd love to hear. 
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: Yowbarb on April 04, 2017, 11:34:44 PM
That is really interesting!
:)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on April 05, 2017, 07:43:35 AM
Have seen all different charts of bee flowers; will post in series :)
(http://)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on April 05, 2017, 01:42:48 PM
(http://)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on April 05, 2017, 01:44:43 PM
(http://)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on April 05, 2017, 01:47:37 PM
(http://)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on April 05, 2017, 01:51:00 PM
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Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on May 05, 2017, 02:34:11 PM
I've been on the phone this past week with bee breeders all over the Eastern half of the country getting their opinions on a few trends in bee keeping.  Just want to mention an exciting new development:

If you've been following honey bee breeding news over the past few years, you may already have heard about the development of Minnesota hygienic bees.  This term refers to a selected genetic trait to improve resistance to mites and the many old and new diseases that they carry.   Hygienic behavior was first modeled by Russian honey bees a couple of decades ago, and breeders found that they could cross-breed Russians with other more commonly available honey bees and then select for the fastidious grooming trait.  But mites began frustrating the hygienic efforts of those bees by jumping back on them as soon as they were knocked off, and worse, began lurking in capped-off larvae cells.

Then in 2015, the Ankle-Biters (not human ankles :)...) were developed at Purdue, which selected for bees that would bite off a mite's appendages ("penis" included - sorry fellows!), leaving it hobbled and bleeding.  But the mites persisted even when missing appendages. 

Finally and most recently, in the quiet backwoods of West Virginia, breeders began selecting for an even more incisive trait (pun intended): the Maulers.  Maulers open their jaws wide enough to chomp into the torso of mites, and lo and behold, beekeepers were finding chewed up mites all over the bottoms of hives, a sign of victory.  Folks thinking of acquiring bees for the first time or improving the genetics of an existing colony might want to consider reaching out to members of the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Cooperative via the mountainstatequeens.com website.

Barb or Socrates, please feel free to move this thread to Animal Husbandry if you feel that would fit into the new scheme better - thank you very kindly!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: Yowbarb on May 05, 2017, 03:39:37 PM
R.R. Book: Hi gal, was just about to move this to Animal Husbandry, then saw your request.
Done.


 8)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on May 06, 2017, 05:46:14 PM
I've been on the phone this past week with bee breeders all over the Eastern half of the country getting their opinions on a few trends in bee keeping.  Just want to mention an exciting new development:

If you've been following honey bee breeding news over the past few years, you may already have heard about the development of Minnesota hygienic bees.  This term refers to a selected genetic trait to improve resistance to mites and the many old and new diseases that they carry.   Hygienic behavior was first modeled by Russian honey bees a couple of decades ago, and breeders found that they could cross-breed Russians with other more commonly available honey bees and then select for the fastidious grooming trait.  But mites began frustrating the hygienic efforts of those bees by jumping back on them as soon as they were knocked off, and worse, began lurking in capped-off larvae cells.

Then in 2015, the Ankle-Biters (not human ankles :)...) were developed at Purdue, which selected for bees that would bite off a mite's appendages ("penis" included - sorry fellows!), leaving it hobbled and bleeding.  But the mites persisted even when missing appendages. 

Finally and most recently, in the quiet backwoods of West Virginia, breeders began selecting for an even more incisive trait (pun intended): the Maulers.  Maulers open their jaws wide enough to chomp into the torso of mites, and lo and behold, beekeepers were finding chewed up mites all over the bottoms of hives, a sign of victory.  Folks thinking of acquiring bees for the first time or improving the genetics of an existing colony might want to consider reaching out to members of the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Cooperative via the mountainstatequeens.com website.

Barb or Socrates, please feel free to move this thread to Animal Husbandry if you feel that would fit into the new scheme better - thank you very kindly!
Some amazing progress--thanks for posting!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on May 11, 2017, 06:00:04 AM
Hi Ilinda,

Just wanted to follow up and let you know that we've dedicated one of our 3 hives, which is the swarm-catcher, to your suggestion of allowing bees to free-form their own honey comb, rather than being guided by the pre-stamped comb pattern on either wax or plastic foundation.  This third hive now has foundationless frames that are smaller than those in the other two.  Hopefully this smaller size will be an advantage, since freely formed comb in traditional African top-bar hives sometimes becomes so heavily laden that it can break away from the frames. 

So that other readers will know, Ilinda earlier in this thread had advocated allowing bees to revert their cells to a naturally smaller size found in the wild, thus reverting the size of the bees themselves over time and discouraging tracheal mites by virtue of less tracheal diameter for them to occupy.  Cell-size metrics here: http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm

Another advantage of allowing bees to free-form their comb is that bees sometimes swarm when they've run out of room to keep busy with either brood rearing or honey production, and in theory allowing them to be creative with their own comb formation might help to redirect their energy away from swarming.  The Russian honey bees that we raise are notorious for swarming - a disadvantage in some ways, but an asset if swarms can be coaxed into a new hive.  Though it may sound noble to release bees with extra-healthy genetics into the wild to breed with ferral colonies, swarming bees have a very low chance statistically of surviving their first unhived winter ( http://www.beeculture.com/swarms/ ).
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on May 11, 2017, 06:06:56 PM
Good news to read, and thanks for the links.  Keep us posted.  I've heard it does take a while for the bees to completely revert.  But no doubt it will be worth it in the long run.  After all, how do humans think they can improve on Nature?  I think they started making the "Superbees" back when they devised the Langstroth Hives, and it was presumably for more honey for humans.  My best guess.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on May 31, 2017, 06:36:04 PM
Some of the most valuable advice given to me by old-timers who have been keeping bees for decades, in random order:

*When bees act like they're about to swarm, by "bearding up" on the exterior of the hive, they may be running out of space for brood-rearing.  Try separating brood frames with new frames in between to give them some room and a purpose.

*The most hive-body frames (not counting honey supers that are put on and taken back off) that a colony can cover in a year are about two dozen.  That comes to 3  8-frame boxes.  Then their numbers decline in winter and expand again in spring.

*Never seal up a hive too tightly even in Northern winters; Create ventilation by shimming up the inner cover 1/8" on a vertical hive.  Some even use a flannel blanket inside the inner cover to absorb excess moisture.  Cold doesn't kill bees in winter; Moisture does.

*A new queen is only as valuable as the sperm that she was inseminated with.

*Attract one of your own departing swarms to a new hive by simply moving a frame of brood out of the old hive.  Bees will never abandon their brood.

*The old mason jar hive feeders attract robbers and should be discontinued.

*Robbing should be prevented all year long, not just in autumn, by reducing the hive entrance down so small that bees can only enter and exit one at a time, thus requiring everyone crossing the threshold to face the guard bees and be identified. 

*Emergency feed should be kept inside the hive at all times in case a nectar dearth happens (common in mid-summer and late autumn).  It should only be given in small amounts at a time to discourage Small Hive Beetle.  Homemade feed patties are easy to make, with such wholesome bee-nutrition ingredients as brewer's yeast, raw sugar or a little of your own (but not someone else's) honey, a little organic flour, etc. (lots of recipes for this).

*A drop of natural wintergreen oil in their feed patties all year 'round, and not just in autumn, can prevent or lessen disease. (May be unnecessary for Mite Mauler bees and Russians).

*Use a labyrinth/escape board instead of smoke or a bee brush to encourage bees to abandon honey that you want to harvest.  Simply place a box on the board, put honey frames covered with bees in the box, and cover it up.  No need to use any offensive fume boards either.  Bees escaping the maze cannot return to the box, and in about 48 hours, you have the honey all to yourself with perhaps a bewildered couple of bees left in the box that need to be helped out.  The colony remains calm and so do you, and no bees have been angered by the brush (a really stupid piece of equipment that comes with every new hive kit). ::)

*Playtex gloves or the generic equivalent are ideal to handle bees with, offering manual dexterity and a barrier that guard bees can't penetrate with their stingers if a heavy duty type is used.

*Bees are most defensive during the spring pollen flow, which stimulates massive brood rearing to rebuild their numbers after the winter.  They like a little space during this time, without humans interfering.  Once the spring pollen flow (hardwood blossoms, etc.) slows down, they will be calmer.

*Bees appreciate access to fresh water at all times, but especially in summer.  A birdbath with a few rocks for them to climb on is much appreciated and may save your neighbor's pond from being sucked dry.  ;D

*The average lifespan of bees not queened epigenetically with royal jelly is about 60 days.  A queen can live a few years.

Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on June 08, 2017, 02:42:20 PM
Adding a photo of Great Lakes horizontal hives in place, tethered with rubber straps to fence for stability.  Son smeared Vicks on lower legs to discourage ants and beetles.  Very chilly day is keeping bees home.

Also adding photo of old vertical hive with foundationless frames suggested by Ilinda.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on June 24, 2017, 07:30:42 AM
The guard bees work as a team, and will mark anyone or anything they feel is a threat to the colony with a pheromone that is akin to a big fat bullseye.  This means that if a beekeeper does anything very disruptive and does not launder the bee suit before wearing it again, next time he works the bees he will be wearing an invisible chemical sign that essentially says "Please chase me." :-X
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on June 24, 2017, 07:49:41 AM
Bee patties inside the hives ensure that bees don't starve in a nectar dearth, common in early spring, mid-summer, and late autumn.  These inexpensive provisions also allow them to store up honey for winter use, rather than eating it all now. 

My favorite bee patty ingredients include leftover wax cappings, which contain a little of their own honey and gathered pollen; brewer's yeast flakes for vitamins, and a drop of wintergreen oil, but the recipe variations are endless.  Only small strips should be offered at a time, in order to discourage small hive beetles (SHB).  I have seen a colony completely consume a serving of these within 3 days, but it may only be necessary to offer them every couple of weeks when needed. 

Some beekeepers are moving away from using the inverted mason jar feeders with sugar syrup, which drown bees and encourage robbing, as they are inserted into an opening into the hive and then drip, inviting trouble.

When thinking of storage food for the aftertime, a little something to help carry the bees through the rough transition should be thought of too, as they may need to remain sequestered indoors just as much as we may.  Here is a commercial bee patty mix that would store well:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B8L5TZG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00B8L5TZG&linkCode=as2&tag=honbeesui-20&linkId=BZNRPPL3QETM6GWA
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on June 24, 2017, 08:00:44 AM
In this summer heat, even the smallest critters appreciate cool water.  Bees will scoop it up and bring it back to the colony.  Small stones placed in the water will turn a birdbath into a waterside resort.  Bees may be observed sunning themselves on the rocks and play-fighting (brief contact with no serious consequences), as well as dog-paddling in the water and even doing the backstroke! :)

A small shallow dish of water with rocks in it can also be kept inside the hive, in case of inclement weather.  They prefer the outdoor birdbath, which provides a social setting as well as a practical one.  The moss growing at the bottom of this one re-creates the feel of water in the wild.  Water for this birdbath is pumped by hand from a cast-iron well pump a few feet away, which spills into yet another shallow basin with stones. 
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on June 24, 2017, 05:06:44 PM
RR, this is an amazing treasure trove of bee information, and when it's bee-time here again, I'll be returning here over and over.  Thanks for all this!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on July 17, 2017, 04:58:11 PM
Beekeepers are always taught to wear white when tending their colonies, so that the bees won't think we're a bear.  Rusty from HoneyBeeSuite.com has this to say about that rule:

Quote
The idea that dark clothes makes bees think you are a (pick one or more) bear, skunk, raccoon, dog, opossum, wolf, or insectivorous bird is ridiculous. Bees are not stupid...But we humans, thinking we are ever so brilliant, run around in these ridiculous white suits thinking we’re pulling one over on the bees. Believe me, the bees find this amusing.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on July 18, 2017, 06:18:20 PM
Beekeepers are always taught to wear white when tending their colonies, so that the bees won't think we're a bear.  Rusty from HoneyBeeSuite.com has this to say about that rule:

Quote
The idea that dark clothes makes bees think you are a (pick one or more) bear, skunk, raccoon, dog, opossum, wolf, or insectivorous bird is ridiculous. Bees are not stupid...But we humans, thinking we are ever so brilliant, run around in these ridiculous white suits thinking we’re pulling one over on the bees. Believe me, the bees find this amusing.
I don't think it is ridiculous at all to wear white when handling bees, for the very reason that many predators who like to steal honey do have black or very dark colored coats.  Plus the friend who helped hubby years ago get started in beekeeping said somethiing similar, plus he said the bees hated to see his wife coming and were always agitated at her presence, and it was mentioned that she had a full head of thick wavy, black hair which did resemble the head of a bear. 

True, bees are not stupid.  True, humans think they are ever so brilliant.  But wearing a white bee suit if you are afraid of being stung is not ridiculous.  Besides, if it is a hot summer day, which would most beekeepers prefer, assuming they still wear the suit--white or dark brown?  Plus we have the white bee suits and have no intention of throwing them out because someone tells us we look ridiculous.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on July 19, 2017, 05:21:50 AM
Hi Ilinda,

I completely agree with wearing a bee suit for safety, unless working outside the hive.  I have seen people handle their bees - even deep in the brood nest - without one.  Jen Rasmussen is a very fine young person who does this with apparent grace and ease (see her series on intuitive beekeeping):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-sn44dwT9U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37FiriWgGNc

We, too, have white bee suits - well they were white years ago anyway - and wouldn't think of using anything else :)



Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on July 20, 2017, 12:38:22 PM
Posting a link to a Colorado State University study ranking flowers according to which ones are most important to honey bees. 

http://bspm.agsci.colostate.edu/files/2013/03/Ranking-of-Flowering-Plants-for-Use-by-Honey-Bees.pdf

Notably absent from this list is Melissa officinalis or lemon balm, which is named in Latin for honey bees and known at least in this area to be of crucial importance to them, partly because of its extended bloom time well into autumn, when little else is available.  The Herb Society of America has published a monograph on lemon balm explaining that the plant contains several phytochemicals necessary for bees to produce the pheromones which they use to communicate with each other.

For humans, lemon balm is a source of vitamin C, and a tea, hot or cold, made from it is calming to the nerves.

Posting a photo from the bee nectary garden:
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on July 20, 2017, 04:36:57 PM
Posting a link to a Colorado State University study ranking flowers according to which ones are most important to honey bees. 

http://bspm.agsci.colostate.edu/files/2013/03/Ranking-of-Flowering-Plants-for-Use-by-Honey-Bees.pdf

Notably absent from this list is Melissa officinalis or lemon balm, which is named in Latin for honey bees and known at least in this area to be of crucial importance to them, partly because of its extended bloom time well into autumn, when little else is available.  The Herb Society of America has published a monograph on lemon balm explaining that the plant contains several phytochemicals necessary for bees to produce the pheromones which they use to communicate with each other.

For humans, lemon balm is a source of vitamin C, and a tea, hot or cold, made from it is calming to the nerves.

Posting a photo from the bee nectary garden:
Haven't been to the Colorado State Univ. site yet, but one thing I remember from Jacqueline Freeman's wonderful book, Song of Increase, is that she said if you plant for the bees, do a large enough planting to make it worth their while, as a few plants look nice, but they might be more inclined to visit a larger swath. 

A good example of this (accidental observation) is that last year there were lots of honey bees on our Sacred Basil/Holy Basil all year long until our frost in late October.  Daily I'd just stand and watch them, but the Holy Basil had almost taken over parts of the garden and it was OK then because it would have been weeds, had it not been Holy Basil.  The bees took advantage of that.  This year we have several smaller patches, but very few honeybees visiting those plants.  Instead I'm seeing them on other plants that are more prolific.

And I love the Lemon Balm and need to use it more, so your photo and discussion was a good reminder of its nerve-calming qualities.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on July 20, 2017, 05:26:56 PM
Ilinda,

I will look for both Song of Increase and holy basil.  Am unfamiliar with both.  It sounds as if you've provided a wonderful habitat for bees on your farm - I hope you and hubby resume beekeeping :)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on July 21, 2017, 06:36:54 PM
Ilinda,

I will look for both Song of Increase and holy basil.  Am unfamiliar with both.  It sounds as if you've provided a wonderful habitat for bees on your farm - I hope you and hubby resume beekeeping :)
You will absolutely LOVE her book.  After you've read it, I'd be interested in hearing from you.  It was a profound read for this chick.  Getting back to honeybees is on our list.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes: Song of Increase notes, part I
Post by: R.R. Book on July 22, 2017, 10:31:08 AM
I found an electronic copy of Song of Increase, and must say that I am completely awestruck by it.

Author Jacqueline Freeman organizes her material in the same manner in which her own experience with bees is organized: her own private musings vs. information her bees have channeled to her.  Because much of Freeman's writing differs from conventional wisdom about bees, I'll include both where appropriate for comparison and contrast.

You know a book is going to be an emotional ride when part of the introduction leaves you crying:
Quote
Each evening before bed, she and Joseph bless each animal and their farm.

The author begins by relating that it took her a good while, as a new beekeeper, to move from dependence upon the bee suit to being able to work her bees without one.  This transition came about by moving a chair near the hive and regularly sitting with the colony in meditation until she became an accepted member of their biome, and was no longer a separate entity from the Hive Mind:
Quote
Might they be mirroring how I felt?  Or was I mirroring them?  Could it be that we were connected?

I will interject here that ancient rabbinical commentary on the Book of Genesis states that before the fall, Adam and Eve were able to communicate openly with the animal kingdom, so perhaps Freeman is recovering a primordial connection, rather than breaking new ground?

The long awaited moment of transition from visitor to member:
Quote
When I held a finger next to the entrance, a sweet little bee delicately walked onto my fingertip and faced me.  She looked right into my eyes, and for the first time, we saw each other.

She describes having merged with the hive mind and body:
Quote
I've felt distinct emotional and physical responses, such as when the bees described the quickening during the queen's elation-filled marital flight...

Freeman approaches the hive as one would a church or temple:
Quote
I come to the hive as I would enter a holy place.  I come to the bees' presence with reverence, respect, gratitude and generosity.

And then she received the gift of awareness of a larger reality:
Quote
Unknown to most humans, bees also work intimately with the unseen realms of nature spirits, elementals, and faeries.

Myopic Conventional Wisdom (CW) suggests that bees are at their most useful as chattel property whose dual purposes are to pollinate crops and provide humans with honey.  In contrast, Freeman describes their God-given imperative:
Quote
In their world beyond the hive walls, bees bring life, song and spirit to all they touch, making their larger community a more vibrant, abundant place.

CW says that each bee must go his own separate way to forage, just as humans must go to their separate work.  What the bees said about that, in their own words:
Quote
Bees have a group soul intact, never separate... In this evolution of the group soul, every hive has consciousness of every other hive.

The author continues, describing yet another gift that she received from the bees:
Quote
...Most of us feel somewhat disconnected from our human history...Sitting quietly beside a bee hive...is one simple way of finding our way back to such a connection.  When we quiet our minds, we rediscover our goodness.

CW says that bees and plants exist in simple symbiosis, with one propagating the other.  Freeman greatly expands this relationship (again in the bees' words):
Quote
After our touch, each plant has a rising helix, a chromatic chord, that joins earth, matter and ether.  The fecundity of the atmosphere is thus enhanced and enlivened.  Pollinating is much more than fertilization...Pollinating and the daily revitalizing of the ether is our task.

CW: Bees give us a few useful products, in honey, wax and propolis.  In contrast, Freeman explains that the thousand eyes of each bee magnify the light of the colony, wrapping each hive and bee in light, such that:
Quote
The hive light is living food, living nourishment...Bees and their hives are temples of the spiritual world, source points of spiritual manna.

CW has led to the slippery slope of altering plant genetics and helped humans to rationalize spraying crops with chemicals first, while asking questions about their effects later.  What Freeman's bees explained to her about that:
Quote
Pollen emits a sound vibration that fits neatly into the historic memory bees share.  When pollen is chemically altered, the atomic structure has a strange vibration that doesn't fit what we know as common perception and knowledge.

CW says that pollen has a dual purpose in the bee world, feeding bees and stimulating brood rearing.  In contrast, the bees said:
Quote
As we collect and bring home the pollen, its vibration tunes us to a channel that bees work within.  Clear, pure pollen, rich with life force, directs us in the proper action and relationships with all that surrounds us.
  (Might organic food and cleansing fasts do the same for humans?  Thus the many sacred food rituals, including fasting, that have grown up around human meals and in human religions.)

The bees go on to say that the quality of the pollen directly affects the songs of the hive, which then affect the health of the entire colony:
Quote
A hive altered by impaired pollen bears a dispiriting hollowness within its sound expression, which affects all levels of the hive.

Freeman enumerates the list of modern injuries to bees, such as hives being forced into migratory agricultural service and the prevalence of thousand-acre monoculture crops, to which the bees are quoted as saying,
Quote
Monocultures are a betrayal of trust between bees and humankind.
 

With so many adversities facing bees, colony collapse is diagnosed as being the final solution, initiated by the bees themselves: mass suicide. 
Quote
The bees sacrifice themselves so that their weakness doesn't carry forward.



Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on July 22, 2017, 04:21:02 PM
Thanks for posting about this most wondrous book written by such a forward-thinking person, Jacqueline Freeman.

One of the many take-away messages from the book is that the bees have told her that they came here to help humans evolve to become better beings, or something to that effect.  I'll certainly give them an "A" for making the attempt, and it's not over yet, so there's still hope for some of us.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes: Song of Increase Part II
Post by: R.R. Book on July 29, 2017, 01:19:59 PM
In the chapter "The Song of Belonging," Freeman's descriptions of the different members of honey bee society brought them to life in a way that completely contrasts with "how to" books on beekeeping.

Freeman says that we get a skewed understanding of the hive community when we speak of the Queen bee as a monarch, as she is more aptly described as the mother of every bee born into the colony.  The song of a hive without a queen is one of mourning, she says.  Freeman points out the enormous sacrifice that the Queen makes, as once her mating flight is complete, she remains in the hive and will never see the light of day again, unless a swarm departs and the original colony becomes two separate ones.  Young virgin queens, whose bodies are not yet sexually mature enough to mate, spend their time wandering around the hive learning all about it.  Freeman's bees refer to the mating flight as a wedding nuptial celebration, in which the young bride will be mated with several drones from another colony, ensuring a healthy mix of desirable traits in the gene pool.  The personality of the colony changes with each new queen based upon the traits of the drone seed in her spermatheca.  Her scent will mark every member of the hive with a chemical to identify them as belonging, such that male and female siblings will know not to mate with one another.  In exchange for the sacrifice that the Queen makes in giving up her freedom to fly so that she may lay 2000 eggs per day except in wintertime, she is surrounded by a cluster of handmaidens who tend to her every need until she is old enough to retire as the Dowager Queen.

Freeman takes issue with naming the other female bees "worker" bees - she says in bee culture they should be referred to as Maidens.  Though they will never personally go out on a nuptial flight, each Maiden experiences all of the sensations of the queen's wedding bliss vicariously through the hive mind and body, so no bee is left out of the totality of life's experiences, and there are no spinsters.  The maiden bees begin learning their many needed skills as soon as they emerge from the larval cell, having already learned much through the songs of the hive while they were babes in the nursery.  Some of the many callings of the Maidens include grooming every bee that returns to the hive from foraging, tending the nursery, building comb, waiting on the queen, participating in the communication grapevine, maintaining the hive at a comfortable temperature, fetching water, gathering nectar and pollen, fermenting pollen to make "bee bread," and performing housekeeping tasks.  They also defend the hive, make propolis to glue it together for strength, prepare the swarms, perform sacred chants and find new housing when necessary, finishing out their life span within a couple of months.  All tasks are done with joy, including the final task in the event that the queen dies: to lay un-inseminated eggs that will become drones who will carry the queen's genetics, and the accumulated knowledge of the hive, out into the world before the colony dies.

The Drones are called the Holiest of Beings.  Freeman explains, "The drones have no stinger...They are not made for war.  They are made for love."  Drones move at a slow, dignified pace and make up a special minority of the colony.  They are permitted to visit the inside of any other hive of their choosing, bringing news from home and courting virgin queens, while the guard bees of other hives respectfully stand aside and usher them in.  Because of the totality of the hive mind, when a drone goes visiting, all the community members left back at home get to experience everything that the drone experiences of the world and of other hives, and thus the "neighborhood" is known to all. 

The Drones visit the nurseries both at home and in the neighborhood to sing to the babies: "When the Holy Drones sing to the pips (babies), they are much like people of Aboriginal and African cultures who sing ceremonial birth songs.  These tribal people understand that the birth songs welcome babies into this world and convey important knowledge, telling them where they have come from, and where they and their tribe will move into the future."  This is the Song of Ancestral Knowledge and drones are the only bees who sing it, vibrating through the eggs in harmony with the song of the Maidens. This is all in direct contrast to Conventional Wisdon, which says that drones are useless eaters who bring mites back into the hive and should be killed.

The description of the Drones immediately reminded me of characters from early 20th Century books such as Uncle Wiggily or Raggedy Ann and Andy, similar to this drawing by Richenda Ellis:

Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on July 29, 2017, 04:08:26 PM
Jacqueline Freeman's book is one that I hope to re-read every several years.  Enlightening to say the least!
Title: bee vids
Post by: Socrates on August 10, 2017, 02:11:49 PM
I absolutely loved this vid on Justin Rhodes visiting a beekeeper (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSgM3jM4WYU&feature=youtu.be). Inspirational and informative.
I have other vids on beekeeping (http://b2012overleven.runboard.com/t514), but the above one is just too sympathetic to not mention.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on August 10, 2017, 03:15:35 PM
Thanks Socrates, never heard of the Hawaiian Greys before! 

His philosophy about the Drones being useless eaters would rile Freeman :)

No wonder his bees are so angry - they don't like the bee brush, or having their frames banged.  Best to use the labyrinth and walk away from it.  Bees will scarcely notice honey frames being lifted out and transferred, as long as they can continue their work without interruption.

Interesting that he feeds rhubarb to his bees medicinally, and also interesting that he takes a swig before tending his bees :)

How wonderful that he teaches beekeeping to children, and especially to orphanages!

Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on August 10, 2017, 03:45:24 PM
Here is a chart demonstrating the array of intestinal microbes in a selection of colonies.  The study concludes that the modern practice of supplementing probiotics in bee feed is unnecessary, and that bees get a wide variety of gut flora from the broad mix of plant life in their forage area. 

With so much working against honey bees now, it is almost expected that beekeepers will provide sugar-water or patties in a nectar dearth, which Freeman eschews.  If offered on the enclosed inside of the hive(s) or in an open feeder several paces away, this can mean the difference between the life and death of a colony.  Unrefined sugar, a little sea salt, and some brewer's yeast can make the syrup a more nutritious food than refined sugar syrup.  These are all items that can be stored long-term for hard times ahead.

It is likely that the bees in the above study also received dearth-feeding, and judging from the chart showing no discernable difference in gut biota between weak and strong colonies, it may be better to err on the side of preventing colony starvation than practicing non-intervention, at least with newer colonies or those experiencing environmental disruption.  With an established colony, the better practice might be simply to leave them more of their own honey, and take only a frame or two at a time as needed for the pantry.

(http://scientificbeekeeping.com/scibeeimages/fig-03-1.png)

http://scientificbeekeeping.com/probiotics-and-colony-productivity/
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on August 10, 2017, 06:30:23 PM
Do you think it's too late to "build it and they will come"?  IOW, it's too late this year to order and install bees, but am pondering building hive(s) and waiting to catch a swarm. 

It's been nearly 20 years since hubby had bees, but we remember a little, and it would be wonderful to think of providing a safe place for some bees whose bee tree home may have been uprooted in a storm.
Title: Re: Bee suits...
Post by: Socrates on August 10, 2017, 11:08:12 PM
well they were white years ago
ROFL
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: Socrates on August 10, 2017, 11:44:11 PM
it's too late this year to order and install bees, but am pondering building hive(s) and waiting to catch a swarm.
is it too late?
Seriously; i don't know enough about beekeeping to know.

I have ordered the book [i.e. Freeman's], for one, since all this 'tapping' and stuff indeed offends my sympathetic sensibilities [I mean, why can't we have honey without honoring the bees that produce it?].
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on August 11, 2017, 07:36:16 AM
Quote
Do you think it's too late to "build it and they will come"?  IOW, it's too late this year to order and install bees, but am pondering building hive(s) and waiting to catch a swarm.

Ilinda,

There are summer bee colonies for sale, but the question is whether you can help them prepare their winter stores in time.  If you got them now, and pushed home-made feed in addition to whatever forage they will accumulate from autumn flowers, you could intervene until maybe Thanksgiving at the latest, choosing warm days on which to open the hive for any in-hive feedings.  Or you could do open field feeding, leaving syrup buckets a short distance from the hive, with the understanding that other critters will also have access. 

Patties may be better for cool/cold weather feeding, as bees must be out of their winter cluster to be able to fan syrup/nectar with their wings to dry and thicken it for storage.  So for autumn liquid feedings, you may want to switch to 1:1 or 2:1 sugar to water, rather than the less expensive 1:2 ratio.  Either way you'll probably want to keep the entrance reduced as narrow as possible to prevent robbing.

Am guessing you still have all of your old equipment on hand, so why not take the risk?

You're sort of near both the central and southeastern region of MO, right?.  Here's a link to contact info for 4 associations in your state's east central region: http://mostatebeekeepers.org/club-directory/wpbdp_category/east-central/

And here's a link to 5 associations in the southeast portion of MO: http://mostatebeekeepers.org/club-directory/wpbdp_category/southeast/

Surely someone would work with you :)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on August 11, 2017, 06:43:55 PM
it's too late this year to order and install bees, but am pondering building hive(s) and waiting to catch a swarm.
is it too late?
Seriously; i don't know enough about beekeeping to know.

I have ordered the book [i.e. Freeman's], for one, since all this 'tapping' and stuff indeed offends my sympathetic sensibilities [I mean, why can't we have honey without honoring the bees that produce it?].
The beekeepers I have talked to here and there usually tell me (each year) that I need to get my order in for bees by April (it seems that time, IIRC).  So, if you don't get your bees established early when the flowers are blooming, then they will have very little with which to make honey.  They don't make honey in the winter--that's when they eat it.

?Why can't we have honey without honoring the bees that produce it?  We can, but when one ponders all the community effort that goes into honey bee life, and the sacrifices they make, all the while we steal them blind half of the time, without even saying "thanks", it only makes sense (to me) to honor them.

Without Nature, none of us would be here.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on September 16, 2017, 07:18:00 PM
(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTWTOq5XCNExofKJC4WOSFxzo12a9ni0eAI302gs_ZhA_NDbH4G)

Suggested order of operations for putting on a bee suit:

When we first began keeping bees a decade ago, I found that it took some trial and error to be able to suit-up quickly and efficiently.

First, I strongly recommend the use of one-piece suits, including the zip-on veil.  I used the tie-down veil the first few years and occasionally ended up sharing the interior of it with one or more distraught bees right near my face, though was never stung that way because the bees were more interested in how to escape.  Still, it can be nerve-wracking and a distraction from the task at-hand.

Since you'll likely be working your bees in a secluded area, it doesn't really matter what you're wearing underneath the suit, and frankly in hot weather it can be more comfortable to keep it to a minimum.  I have learned always to start with a pair of socks, because the suit legs have elasticized ankles which restrict doing it any other way.

Next come the Playtex or other gloves that are thick enough to provide a barrier, but lend themselves to manual dexterity.  Stingers can still penetrate Playtex, but only slightly unless the fit is skin tight.  With the right fit, it can be mildly amusing to feel an attempted sting that doesn't penetrate as intended.  :)

Next step is to slip arms and legs into the suit, leaving the arm part of the gloves covered up to the elasticized wrists, and socks covered down to the elasticized ankles.  Then zip the torso zipper and the left and right veil zippers and secure the velcro cover over the zippers to prevent them from coming open.  If you didn't check the back velcro zipper-cover flap on the veil before putting the suit on, might want to check in a mirror.

It will be necessary to lower the veil hat in place on the head as the torso zipper is being pulled up, and some beekeepers like to have a headband in place ahead of time, as the hats are notorious for fitting too loosely.  Lastly, slip into a good thick pair of pull-on boots, such as calf-high muck boots. 

Living in an old-fashioned part of the country where ladies often still wear ankle-length dresses, I have occasionally worked my bees dressed like the women in this picture, without being stung. :)
(https://bees202.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/beeclass.jpg)

Title: Re: feeding bees
Post by: Socrates on September 16, 2017, 07:31:16 PM
If you got them now, and pushed home-made feed in addition to whatever forage they will accumulate from autumn flowers, you could intervene until maybe Thanksgiving at the latest, choosing warm days on which to open the hive for any in-hive feedings.  Or you could do open field feeding, leaving syrup buckets a short distance from the hive, with the understanding that other critters will also have access. 

Patties may be better for cool/cold weather feeding, as bees must be out of their winter cluster to be able to fan syrup/nectar with their wings to dry and thicken it for storage.  So for autumn liquid feedings, you may want to switch to 1:1 or 2:1 sugar to water, rather than the less expensive 1:2 ratio.  Either way you'll probably want to keep the entrance reduced as narrow as possible to prevent robbing.
As we're really talking production here [as i'm not], why can't one just get a bunch of bees and give them real honey to survive on to get them through however long a time without flowers? It would be an investment but North America went without honeybees until Europeans brought them over, i.e. it's likely one wouldn't even find any bees out in the wild to attract to a perfectly good (empty) hive.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on September 16, 2017, 07:41:45 PM
Just be aware that someone else's honey, which you'd need possibly the first year, may contain deadly microbes that could cause your colony to collapse and loss of your investment.  Unless maybe you opted for pasteurized honey, which may be lacking in nutrients that distinguish raw honey from sugar syrup.  Since I've already lost three expensive Russian colonies to-date, I won't take any chances going into the Tribulation.

Would love more discussion on this though if you should decide to pursue some research :)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on October 10, 2017, 12:51:58 PM
The neighbor behind me, who happens to be very friendly about our apiary, has shared that the bees have been visiting her holly tree in large numbers this year (we're the only beekeepers in the area as far as we are aware, so assume they may be ours, or at least past swarms of ours).  I was not aware that holly even flowered, but sure enough it does have a less showy inflorescence.  Interesting that bees are often attracted to flowers that we find less attractive, and I guess it does make sense that any plant that fruits must also flower.

Posting a generic photo of bees on holly, as I was unable to get a photo here:

(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0ZnOfzXwpKw/T2KxwJev1yI/AAAAAAAA6_0/sTbrXUXrVrY/s400/IMG_1915.JPG)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes / Old film with child beekeeper
Post by: R.R. Book on November 29, 2017, 01:46:11 PM
https://youtu.be/fXUY2lxISA0?t=1257

(Classic 1935 film about a soldier who returns home and is told he has six months to live, but inherits a bee farm which helps to restore his health.  Link is set to go straight to scene with child beekeeper handling the bees without a veil)

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/90/60/85/9060852d2b6e0ef13dbc4bcd2d24494a.jpg)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes / Old film with child beekeeper
Post by: ilinda on November 29, 2017, 06:41:53 PM
https://youtu.be/fXUY2lxISA0?t=1257

(Classic 1935 film about a soldier who returns home and is told he has six months to live, but inherits a bee farm which helps to restore his health.  Link is set to go straight to scene with child beekeeper handling the bees without a veil)

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/90/60/85/9060852d2b6e0ef13dbc4bcd2d24494a.jpg)
Sounds like it may be based on a true story, as we know about the many benefits of bee products, from honey to propolis, bee pollen, etc.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on January 12, 2018, 10:52:03 AM
(https://static1.squarespace.com/static/579227ed893fc0c2750376f9/t/57ab791ae4fcb571d5b9bcf7/1470855485514/?format=750w)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on January 12, 2018, 10:58:26 AM
(https://georgiajimsbeesupply.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/monsanto-colony-collapse.jpg?w=545)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on January 12, 2018, 11:19:29 AM
(http://www.klausesbees.com/gallery/images/beejoke.jpg)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on January 12, 2018, 11:29:28 AM
(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRuL__myHBY-GQgbgHCddLnsAn1WMdH1oKlt2YbaWgiShv_4NGf)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: Yowbarb on January 12, 2018, 02:16:04 PM
(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRuL__myHBY-GQgbgHCddLnsAn1WMdH1oKlt2YbaWgiShv_4NGf)

Oh, My Lord... I had no idea!
What wonderful little creatures and how precious that honey is!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: Yowbarb on January 12, 2018, 02:16:50 PM
(https://georgiajimsbeesupply.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/monsanto-colony-collapse.jpg?w=545)

Oh good grief...Monsanto has to go!!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on January 12, 2018, 04:52:17 PM
(https://georgiajimsbeesupply.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/monsanto-colony-collapse.jpg?w=545)

Oh good grief...Monsanto has to go!!
Don't you love the look on the little guy's face, as if he really did learn something is amiss and he's too young to say it!  Plus he doesn't even trust the gal talking to him! 

And just for good measure, "Down With Monsanto!"
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on January 12, 2018, 05:27:37 PM
Ditto!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: Yowbarb on January 13, 2018, 02:52:10 AM
https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/how-bring-down-monsanto-california-gmo-labeling-ballot-initiative

https://www.facebook.com/occupymonsanto/ 

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/10/pesticide-use-threatens-health-in-california/

https://www.facebook.com/MarchAgainstMonstanto/
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on January 13, 2018, 06:53:30 AM
Good stuff Barb!  :)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on March 20, 2018, 08:48:29 AM
Less than two weeks ago, Walmart filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for robotic pollinator bees.  A reporter for Business Insider attempted to contact Walmart for more information, without success.

Patent here: http://images2.freshpatents.com/pdf/US20180065749A1.pdf

https://www.sciencealert.com/walmart-has-filed-a-patent-for-robot-bees-pollination-drones

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/03/walmart-silently-filed-patent-robotic-bees-meant-pollinate-crops/
 
Image from Science Alert:

(https://www.sciencealert.com/images/2018-03/processed/Robobee_1024.jpg)




Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on March 20, 2018, 10:19:18 AM
Less than two weeks ago, Walmart filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for robotic pollinator bees.  A reporter for Business Insider attempted to contact Walmart for more information, without success.

Patent here: http://images2.freshpatents.com/pdf/US20180065749A1.pdf

https://www.sciencealert.com/walmart-has-filed-a-patent-for-robot-bees-pollination-drones

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/03/walmart-silently-filed-patent-robotic-bees-meant-pollinate-crops/
 
Image from Science Alert:

(https://www.sciencealert.com/images/2018-03/processed/Robobee_1024.jpg)
This is almost more than I can stand to think about!   But thanks for the headsup.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on March 20, 2018, 10:36:45 AM
I had an even darker thought:  what if the GMO-related pollinator die-off were actually preceded by the development of robotic bees?  One of the articles that I read said that work on the patent had actually been underway for some years before application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was filed...
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on April 05, 2018, 12:02:21 PM
Some sad news from our apiary, along with some new information:

After the worst winter that we've ever experienced, we lost all of our bees.  The saddest news is that they were alive one week, and suddenly dead the very next.

I was fortunate enough to have a lengthy phone meeting with our bee breeder, Charles Walter from the Mountain State Queens breeding association in West Virginia.  He is a wonderful teacher, and even though I'm in my 11th year raising honey bees, I have learned volumes from him.

He explained that the situation is so dire now for honey bees that there is no longer any leeway or variety of methodology in raising bees - everything needs to be done "by the book" in order to see colonies survive in these modern times.

That means that we can no longer rely upon herbal remedies to prevent Varroa mites, and even advanced breeding methods only work somewhat - until breeders find the silver bullet gene.  There are three treatments from which to choose now, with two of them being more natural than the third.  The third is the insecticide Amitraz, and we plan to rule that one out in favor of one of the two natural means.  The natural choices are oxalic acid vs. formic acid.  Formic acid is what ants inject with their bites, while oxalic acid is present in certain food crops. The timing of the applications is very precise: late winter, ahead of the spring brood build-up (which coincides with the heavy hardwood tree blossom pollen flow), and autumn, before it is too late in the cold season to open the hive up.   If medication is given at the two recommended times of the year, it will be eliminated by the second generation of bees born into the colony afterward (a very short time), and will not end up in the honey or permanently affecting the gene pool.

In addition, it is no longer enough to supplement with one kind of feed or another during spring-brood buildup and summer dearth: they need a combination of light sugar syrup (1/1) and a protein patty during the entire warm season, or about 6 months in our area.  In the autumn they need 2/1 syrup and a protein patty, as they are no longer able to fan the thinner syrup dry for storage because the bees are now in the cluster formation over their brood, except on warm days.  Remember that protein (pollen or brewer's yeast) is what stimulates the queen to lay her eggs to keep the colony's population high enough to overwinter (new-born bees age and die in about 2 months unless they are royal). 

Thirdly, Mr. Walter advised not wrapping hives in winter, regardless of how cold it gets and regardless of the fact that beekeepers in the far northern U.S. and Canada do it.  While the humidity produced by wrapped hives may allow bees to break the brood-covering cluster and reach their food, something that they might not otherwise be able to do for weeks or months in winter, it soaks the bees and invites pests into the hive.

In the past, some beekeepers, including myself, have tried keeping a layer of organic powdered sugar (which includes organic corn starch) on a feed board over the brood nest, but that is no longer recommended, as the starch gets into the lungs of the larvae.  It is also devoid of protein, though could be mixed with yeast.  Also in the past, we used to be able to tuck our bees in for the winter and walk away until spring, perhaps peeking into the hive once in February, but no longer.  Now we must get out to them any time the temperature rises above 50 degrees (some say above 40 degrees), being careful to replenish feed and close the hives back up quickly so as not to cause chill brood (the hive must be maintained by the bees at a constant temperature of 94 degrees F for the sake of the developing larvae).

If this sounds like too much work and investment for casual beekeepers, it probably is.  If one is determined to bring this species into the Aftertime, and is willing to lose money on it if necessary - then it becomes a calculated risk.

A new pair of nucs and queens will be shipped to us in one month, and will update again then.  Meanwhile, will continue reading Song of Increase - bearing in mind that the author's advice not to feed sugar syrup may no longer be the best thing for our bees, at least until we get through these difficult times.

Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on April 05, 2018, 07:01:52 PM
I am totally devastated for you, RR and your wonderful bees.  I will read very carefully your post, as I have bee friends and will check to see their results.  We have had the coldest, longest winter I can ever remember.  More later  and still am very sad for your bee friends, and our bee friends, as the bees are everyone's friend.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on April 05, 2018, 07:13:11 PM
Would love to hear how your friends' bees fared, though you are about 3 degrees latitude further south of us.  Thank you so much for kind thoughts.  These are not the first colonies that I have lost in 11 years, and I refuse to give up!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on April 07, 2018, 10:27:18 AM
Some sad news from our apiary, along with some new information:

After the worst winter that we've ever experienced, we lost all of our bees.  The saddest news is that they were alive one week, and suddenly dead the very next.

I was fortunate enough to have a lengthy phone meeting with our bee breeder, Charles Walter from the Mountain State Queens breeding association in West Virginia.  He is a wonderful teacher, and even though I'm in my 11th year raising honey bees, I have learned volumes from him.

He explained that the situation is so dire now for honey bees that there is no longer any leeway or variety of methodology in raising bees - everything needs to be done "by the book" in order to see colonies survive in these modern times.

That means that we can no longer rely upon herbal remedies to prevent Varroa mites, and even advanced breeding methods only work somewhat - until breeders find the silver bullet gene.  There are three treatments from which to choose now, with two of them being more natural than the third.  The third is the insecticide Amitraz, and we plan to rule that one out in favor of one of the two natural means.  The natural choices are oxalic acid vs. formic acid.  Formic acid is what ants inject with their bites, while oxalic acid is present in certain food crops. The timing of the applications is very precise: late winter, ahead of the spring brood build-up (which coincides with the heavy hardwood tree blossom pollen flow), and autumn, before it is too late in the cold season to open the hive up.   If medication is given at the two recommended times of the year, it will be eliminated by the second generation of bees born into the colony afterward (a very short time), and will not end up in the honey or permanently affecting the gene pool.

In addition, it is no longer enough to supplement with one kind of feed or another during spring-brood buildup and summer dearth: they need a combination of light sugar syrup (1/1) and a protein patty during the entire warm season, or about 6 months in our area.  In the autumn they need 2/1 syrup and a protein patty, as they are no longer able to fan the thinner syrup dry for storage because the bees are now in the cluster formation over their brood, except on warm days.  Remember that protein (pollen or brewer's yeast) is what stimulates the queen to lay her eggs to keep the colony's population high enough to overwinter (new-born bees age and die in about 2 months unless they are royal). 

Thirdly, Mr. Walter advised not wrapping hives in winter, regardless of how cold it gets and regardless of the fact that beekeepers in the far northern U.S. and Canada do it.  While the humidity produced by wrapped hives may allow bees to break the brood-covering cluster and reach their food, something that they might not otherwise be able to do for weeks or months in winter, it soaks the bees and invites pests into the hive.

In the past, some beekeepers, including myself, have tried keeping a layer of organic powdered sugar (which includes organic corn starch) on a feed board over the brood nest, but that is no longer recommended, as the starch gets into the lungs of the larvae.  It is also devoid of protein, though could be mixed with yeast.  Also in the past, we used to be able to tuck our bees in for the winter and walk away until spring, perhaps peeking into the hive once in February, but no longer.  Now we must get out to them any time the temperature rises above 50 degrees (some say above 40 degrees), being careful to replenish feed and close the hives back up quickly so as not to cause chill brood (the hive must be maintained by the bees at a constant temperature of 94 degrees F for the sake of the developing larvae).

If this sounds like too much work and investment for casual beekeepers, it probably is.  If one is determined to bring this species into the Aftertime, and is willing to lose money on it if necessary - then it becomes a calculated risk.

A new pair of nucs and queens will be shipped to us in one month, and will update again then.  Meanwhile, will continue reading Song of Increase - bearing in mind that the author's advice not to feed sugar syrup may no longer be the best thing for our bees, at least until we get through these difficult times.
Thank you for all your details, and by now we're all pretty much aware that honeybees are in dire straits.  I'm no bee expert, and for that matter not even much of an amateur, as we did have bees once, years ago.   But because of four factors,  I have a couple of comments:  I have three beekeeper friends, and I have subscribed to the Small Beekeeper's Journal for some years now.

One set of friends, Mark and Terri, raise their bees organically (I'm a customer), another friend, Bill, raises bees in a manner he calls either "Clean Hives" or "Clear Hives" (I'll check), and with his method no chemicals are used whatsoever--not even essential oils.  The idea in mind is that even the essential oils are much more concentrated than anything the bees would ever bring in to the hive.  He has not lost bees during this extended winter, and we did have one night of -20 deg., and several of -10 or -15.  The third friend, Mary, is not certified organic, but rarely uses anything that is not organic, and she refutes the guest speakers at their beekeeper meetings, who claim we have to use this chemical and that chemical for mites.

Mary did lose more hives last year than ever and she's certain it was due to someone using neonics, as her bees just disappeared.  They didn't get the chance to even try to go through this awful winter.  They disappeared in summer.

Terrance Ingram who publishes the Small Beekeeper's Journal is a warehouse of information, as he has been beekeeping for more than 50 years.  Amazing.  Plus in recent years he has been plagued with the increasing sprays of all kinds:  herbicide, fungicide, and insecticide.  And he says it is not only insecticides that negatively impact bees, but all of those sprays are toxic, as their "inert" ingredients aren't really inert at all.  Too much info to include here.

One thing that struck me about your loss this year, RR, was that it seems from your post that it was due to the cold weather, rather than some infection or parasite.  Would that be a fair appraisal?

Onee thing friend Bill is doing in his "Clean Hives" (there are groups of beekeepers who are following this way) is to gradually allow the colony to revert to the smaller size bee, as existed before the Langstroth Hives became so well accepted.

I'm not knocking the Langstroth, however the cell size is slightly larger in most conventional hives, which makes for a slightly larger bee.  What that also means is that for example, the trachea is larger and can accomodate a much greater number of mites than the smaller feral bees.  So what Bill and the other Clean Hivers is doing is gradually allowing their bees to revert to the smaller bee size, and in the process they lose some of their susceptibility to mites.

Plus they leave enough honey for the bees so they neve have to give sugar, sugar syrup, or any sugar mix.  It is honey all the way.  Once a beekeeper is experienced enough, they know they can both take some and leave some honey.  I don't know if leaving honey is possible for everyone, but just seeing how dire the bee problem has become is just the kick I needed. 

Once my other project (done this month) is finished, getting back to beekeeping is a top priority.  So thanks for bringing this subject back into the limelight, where it needs to be.  And good luck with your new bee friends.

Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on April 07, 2018, 04:42:07 PM
Continuing to read Song of Increase:

Quote
These songs are always being sung.

Chapter 4: "Song of the World: The Communion of Bees and Flowers"

(http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/ridley/images/bee%20collecting.jpg)

The relationship between bees and plants is holy.


Quote
The breath of the honeybee awakens each plant and is acknowledged in return.

About 2/3 of the colony, or a minimum 20,000 bees, are Maidens who forage in the prime of their lives.  We think of this activity as being limited to gathering pollen and nectar, but this is a simplistic understanding. 

Here is what is really happening, according to Freeman's bees:

*The bees are carefully selecting from the healthiest flowers.

*The bees are timing their harvest for specific times of day.

*The bees only harvest from flowers at specific developmental stages of the plants.

*The bees are tasked with guardianship of the flowers, not just the hive.

*The plants have a soul too, with which the bees interact.

*A deep connection and exchange of information occurs when bees visit plants.
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b6/02/60/b60260b3a18f13642f62a0e3b9e878c4.jpg)

The relationship between bees and soil minerals:
*The plants are representatives of the Mineral Kingdom of the soil.

*Shifts in the Mineral Kingdom occur too slowly to be noticed by humans.

(http://www.joyfeldman.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/mineral_wheel.jpg)

*Plants and bees are more acutely aware of these shifts.

*When plants draw specific minerals from the soil, they emit something into the air which broadcasts this information to wildlife.

*Minerals, which may seem stationary in soil, can be moved around in large quantities via consumption of plants, migration of wildlife, and death and decomposition of wildlife.

*Plants migrate across the soil according to the migratory paths of minerals, as well as according to where the soil is in need of the minerals that specific plants can provide.

*Some plants deeply tap and mine the soil, such as dandelions and comfrey (grapes and burdock would also fall in that category).

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/58/9d/01/589d016568d1f7a009d569c458c21313.jpg)

*Allowing weeds to flourish in our surroundings is the equivalent of dropping bundles of minerals all around the ground.

*Bees transmit information to plants about where to move next, according to mineral patterns in soil.

When humans transport bees to different locations, the intimate knowledge of the mineral history of a specific area is lost.

Pollen is much more than we realize:

*Every speck of pollen, which comes in a variety of colors, contains a library of information about its plant.
(https://mir-s3-cdn-cf.behance.net/project_modules/disp/3db3078573215.560bfc08b7639.jpg)

*As bees move among the flowers, pollen is transferred around the floral community within a particular species, thus spreading knowledge about minerals' past, present and future among the plants themselves.

*The bees do not mingle pollen from different plant species as they forage; each forage trip totally focuses upon one species or colony of plants at a time.
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/5a/c3/d2/5ac3d22ff9a81750ae8778cd67238051.jpg)

*One bee can visit more than 500 plants per foraging excursion, and make 30 trips per day.

*When bees restrict their visits to one species per trip, they are concentrating the information that needs to be disseminated to that group alone, maintaining the integrity of that data.

Pollen consists of 1/4 protein, and is fed to the babies to develop their wax glands.  Adult bees first knead it with honey and glandular secretions to make loaves of bee bread, also called field cakes.  They are fermented to make them more digestible, and rich in nutrients and probiotics, leading to longevity.
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8b/ab/95/8bab95d07bfdfea3d274d57a282c9bca.jpg)

Medicating hives may kill off the probiotics.

A sacred physics:

Quantum physics says that the observer changes what is observed.  Bees provide the gift of observing each individual flower that they visit, bringing changes to bear on each one.

Quote
Each time the bees move from flower to flower...a jolt of life force is injected into the plant.  The bees tell me that this interaction brings a "trembling delight to the plant beings and creates joy throughout nature.
(https://i.pinimg.com/236x/05/dd/c5/05ddc571a6ed078a995fa6008149d69b--vintage-bee-bee-art.jpg)

Life force also comes from weeds, not just what we plant ourselves in the garden.

Quote
Honeybees...bring the spark of consciousness, unity and love...into the world.

This work "revitalizes the ether."  Freeman looked up the definition of ether and found:

Quote
...a highly elastic substance...believed to permeate all space...whose vibrations constitute...light and other electromagnetic radiation.

The bees also told Freeman something about Light:
Quote
Bees have a unique relationship with light.  Their senses are keen to the many qualities light contains.  They see and understand light differently from humans.

Light conveys the life force of each form.

Quote
Inside the hive we are storing the light.

The physics of flight patterns:
The flight patterns of bees create an energy field over the earth, a bit like ley lines.  The pollen which they carry contains light, which creates the web as they fly.  The web protects the hive.

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/-I2oHfbQGd0/hqdefault.jpg)

The bees explained that their flight patterns have far more purpose than getting from one place to another:
Quote
Our paths in the ether enliven the air, making communications between the earth and the heavens more fluent.  Our flight paths exist in the air far beyond the time we fly them.  The more they are used, the more powerful they become.

From Freeman's bees:
Quote
The trails we leave in the ether are webs of protection over the earth.

Quote
The world is so much vaster than humans imagine.
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/28/d7/c4/28d7c44e19cb7739dd54cbe772905f0a.png)

When Freeman asked the bees why they visit some blooms and ignore others, they explained that flowers exist in two dimensions at one time: physical and etherial.  When a plant is ready to be pollinated and have its nectar harvested, it puts out an etherial wafer as a signal that the time has arrived. 

Raw honey contains the Holy Manna:
Garden work song: Holy Manna https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhqKWzTHBI4
and http://www.sacredharpbremen.org/lieder/026-bis-099/059-holy-manna

Quote
Honey contains all the minerals needed for good health.
(https://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large-5/honey-jar-and-honeycomb-irina-sztukowski.jpg)

Quote
Each mineral contains a sound signature that creates harmony within the being who eats that honey.

The colors, shapes and designs of the flowers visited to make honey become part of the vibration of the ether.

The honey comb is drawn out and filled with honey in a particular sequential order, forming a library of information about the environment that only the bees can read.

In winter, the bees eat honey stored from different times of the year, from all different flowers, which gives them visions about where to take the landscape in the future.

How humans can harmonize with the sacred work:

Humans tend to amend soil to match what they want to grow in a certain spot, rather than electing to plant crops that match the naturally existing soil.  This system requires the constant presence of a human in that particular ecosystem in order to work, and is unsustainable.

Contained gardens frustrate the natural proclivity of bees to help plants spread where the soil needs them next.
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/9c/36/03/9c360393747b292a949199ad23240bdd.jpg)

When plants in one location are robust, this is a signal that humans can follow, allowing that thatch some space to expand.

When humans suddenly alter the terrain, entire plant communities must figure out how best to bring it back into balance. 

Quote
Monocultures are deserts.  They come from mistaken notions of the purpose of plants.

(https://3rlab.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/silicio-a.jpg)

The heart-energy from humans is woven into the grid, and becomes part of a prayer for the land that is anchored by the bees.

Any time a human living within the bees' local grid exits or returns, the bees are aware of it.

The bees have a special relationship with earth-changes, and emphasize that we need to communicate with them any prior knowledge that we may have about changes that will affect the land, necessitating mending of the grid by the bees.  Perhaps it would be helpful to sit near the hives and meditate about what is coming our way, so that the bees will be ready for it?

Old Farmer Wisdom:
Quote
Whenever there is a birth, a death or a marriage, one must go and tell the bees.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Honey_Please.jpg)

After a busy weekend of creating new gardens and planting trees on the farm, Freeman's bees asked her to take a day off to rest, so that they could restore the energy grid over the land, to which Freeman gladly acquiesced, suggesting a deeper purpose to periodic Sabbaths than we have perhaps imagined.

Freeman recommends the following flowers for heavy pollen production:
borage, goldenrod, bugloss, salvia, and tansy.  Her book refers readers to the website for a longer list of species to plant, but I could not locate that list on the site, and wrote her for the correct link.  Am awaiting reply.  Her website is located at http://spiritbee.com/

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/cc/7d/4f/cc7d4fce08aa609920cb8236c39ded43.jpg)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on April 08, 2018, 05:17:55 PM
You're letting me know it's time to begin re-reading Freeman's wonderful book.

So far, I've asked one of my beekeeping friends about his bees--he had two hives, and only one survived the winter, which is still here.  It was 15 degrees this morning and barely reached 31 or so today and then this afternoon we got seveal tenths of an inch of snow.

This is apparently the most critical time, as many colonies may be running out of honey about now, as ordinarily by this time they would be flying about, gathering nectar and doing their bee things. 

The real test around here will be for the feral bees.  When we see honeybees, we know they're likely feral or "wild" as nobody for miles around has honeybee hives.  Lots of fingercrossing is being done right now.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on April 08, 2018, 06:15:11 PM
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.

Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda 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). 
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book 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!  ;)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book 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~
(http://hyperallergic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/victorianxmas06.jpg.)



 

Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda 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!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book 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!
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book 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:
Quote
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

(http://ameliasorganics.com/wp-content/uploads/Thyme-Oil.jpg)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on July 03, 2018, 10:12:19 AM
Not being on FB, I have no idea if this link will work, but it was sent to me, allowed me to view the fascinating little video, so here is this amazing video:  (it reminds me we need to get an update from RR about the honeybees that seemed to have taken up residence to a certain extent in her window(s) last fall or winter.)

Enjoy the video:
https://www.facebook.com/InTheKnowInnovationAOL/videos/1922689174690403/UzpfSTEwMDAwNTkxNTU1Mzk5Njo5MjI2NTI3ODEyNTE1NDk/
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on July 03, 2018, 11:52:11 AM
That has to be the coolest thing I've ever seen before!  Imagine amassing an entire wall of those interlaced hexagonal hives.  Seems it would take a whole lot of the risk out of beekeeping, as well as mystery!  :)
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on July 04, 2018, 01:27:38 PM
If it works as shown, it would be a perfect way to get a heads up when a problem or potential problem arises, as you'd notice something amiss early on.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on July 04, 2018, 01:37:39 PM
Agreed.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on July 05, 2018, 02:54:22 PM
Did you get your new bees set up this spring?  Did you see what happened with the small colony that set up house in your window sill/frames?
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on July 05, 2018, 04:52:23 PM
I've seen no further signs of the colony that was at least attempting to set up housekeeping inside the window frame, and am hoping that it survived somewhere.

There has been a series of delays in rec'ing the colonies, due to flooding and landslides near the apiary, and excessive heat here lately.  We can't risk having the colonies sit overnight in a hot postal facility or truck.  Fortunately, the colonies that perished left behind a huge amount of honey still on the combs, which I wrapped up and put in the deep freeze, which will help the new bees to make up for lost time in getting ready for next winter.

It's always a frustrating time, waiting for new colonies, and such a relief when they're safely home!

Will share photos of the flooding at the breeder's apiary in West Virginia:
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes: FREE BEES!
Post by: R.R. Book on August 02, 2018, 04:14:33 PM
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is now offering three free bee colonies, including all the necessary start-up equipment and instruction, to every citizen of the Commonwealth who is 18 or older, in an effort to increase the bee population.  The offer is good through June 30, 2019.

That means - if all goes well - lots of honey in the Tribulation and Aftertime.  Could be a nice little barter item or income source, especially if the number of colonies is gradually expanded!  :)

(http://www.wakingtimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Bee-Hive-Nicotinoids.jpg)

Yay Virginia!

(https://rlv.zcache.com/i_love_virginia_keychain-rd8dbbc1f7f9146f193f76ca4882c112f_x7j3z_8byvr_307.jpg?rvtype=content)

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2018/07/30/to-fight-bee-die-off-state-now-offering-all-citizens-their-own-beehives/

Referred by: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFl_noMrypo

Get the bees here: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/plant-industry-services-beehive-distribution-program.shtml

VDACS
Office of Plant Industry Services
Beehive Distribution Program
P.O. Box 1163
Richmond, VA 
23218

Program guidelines: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/beehive_distribution_program.pdf

Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on August 02, 2018, 09:25:28 PM
Certainly is sad to see the bee breeders' farm flooded and hopefully none of the hives was in low lying area.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on August 03, 2018, 05:26:26 AM
His larger problem with all the torrential, non-stop rains that we've been having is that the virgin queens have not been able to make their mating flights, meaning that they're not being inseminated.  It can be done artificially though.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on August 03, 2018, 07:27:50 PM
Fingers are crossed the rains will let up enough for Nature to take its course, as I recall Jacqueline Freeman's discussion about AI in honeybees.

Did your own area suffer excess rain this year?
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on August 04, 2018, 04:22:57 AM
It has been torrential and nearly daily since mid-July.  Very little sunlight has been getting through the cloud cover.  Front yard was a lake this a.m., even though we're on a hillside (fortunately not a steep incline near the peak).  Because we're on a rocky outcropping, it usually drains quickly though.  We dug an extra channel recently to divert water from the driveway.

Will post a video on the flooding thread re: what Virginia is experiencing right now.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: ilinda on August 04, 2018, 08:06:18 AM
Amazing.  We had the longest winter I can remember in my life as an adult here in MO, and then perhaps one week of spring, then suddenly it was in 90's most of the time since, with very little break.

Rains were nothing like yours.  Weather is totally weird everywhere, and you're probably crossing your fingers your bees and garden can do well in the end.  My BEST WISHES to you, your family, your honeybees, and your garden.
Title: Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
Post by: R.R. Book on August 04, 2018, 08:13:42 AM
Likewise Ilinda, and thank you so much!  So far the only crop that seems to have rotted is the garlic - including the subsequent planting.  May need a greenhouse not for cold protection, but rot-insurance  :)