Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We Build Everywhere !

This was taken with a flash last evening, looking through the small window of my TopBar hive at the comb the bees have built on the inside of the perspex, most of it is full of honey. They are doing so amazingly well these bees, I might even manage a small piece of comb to squeeze the honwy out of and keep the wax - the wax is so lovely, smells divine and is clean as clean. I am so pleased I have allowed these bees to live as naturally as possible, they seem to go about their business unperturbed about anything. I am going to dust them with icing sugar in autumn and treat with ApiVarLife, the organic varroa treatment, then leave them for the winter with enough stores - it will be interesting to see how they go compared to my Langstrothe, which I will treat with conventional strips as it is a much larger hive.



5 comments:

doris said...

Interesting. I'm dealing with varroa mites now. One beekeeper I spoke with says virtually all colonies have them. I was hoping to not medicate my bees but I don't want to lose them or have them weakened by these parasites. A dilemma but I decided to go ahead and medicate. We have a new treatment in the states called Apiguard and I'm using that. It smells but it's supposedly not harmful to the bees and they seem to be tolerating it just fine...active and productive as usual. I'm going to try the powdered sugar method also. Will let you know.

Lynn said...

Everytime you post about the TB it makes me even more excited about spring so I can get mine started. We're still dealing with lots of winter weather, but by March should start to see some early signs of spring.

I'm going to use ApiVarLife on the Langstroth. The bees in Ora seem to be doing well and are flying on days when the temps allow. Hope they will be strong enough to split to put bees in Walter again!

Dee Carlson said...

Reading about the hive top bars is very interesting. I will look forward to hearing how your comparisons come out. At my beekeeping class last week they said if you are a beekeeper, that you are a varroa mite keeper by default. So yes - we have to deal with them. Last year we used Wintergreen essential oil when feeding them to try and prevent infestation. There are many research studies on the net about it. They did OK last year, but we will see what this spring holds. I try hard as I can to not use chemicals also - yes it is truly a dilemma.

James said...

Hmmm, making me think about a top bar hive as I keep hearing about them.

Being a beginner beekeeper (and hoping to advise others by my own mistakes on my website www.surreybeekeeper.wordpress.com) I think I need to think about this carefully......

Thanks for the photos you attach with the article. That is always nice to see.

Best wishes.

James (from the other side of the world!)

Bentham Bees said...

Hi and thanks for your kind comments. I'm looking forward to being able to post photos like your when I get bees in my hive!
Many on the Top Bar Beekeeping Forum (http://www.biobees.com/forum/index.php) only treat for Varroa with icing sugar, and along with natural cell size the mites are kept under control. I think it's a brave decision to not use chemicals in any form (organic or not) as we are brought up relying on medical practices and medicines.
Only time will tell if I have the courage of my convictions with the bees!