BUYING HONEYBEES AND HIVES- ETHICAL AND ECOLOGICAL GUIDELINES

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Big Bee Creating the Landscape by S.Langpohl

Bello Uccello Honey Bee Sanctuary is a fully Demeter Certified Biodynamic Honeybee Apiary. What this means is that all intentions and actions with the honey bees and their hives and the products created from the sanctuary are based on spiritual, ethical and
ecological considerations. There are many Human Beings today who wish to be involved in being a Keeper of Bees. They want to help the bees. They are excited to connect with nature in a real way. All of this good Intention warms the Heart and affirms the shift of values and focus to a New Earth paradigm.

Breaking the addiction to consumerism is one of the signs of Freedom that everyone feels as they refuse to play the  binary-robotic role within a dehumanizing and mechanized old paradigm. It is not unusual for people to want to reflect the good and caring Human Values that they have within themselves by manifesting, in a real way, the goodwill which they hold . So taking care of honey bees and learning about nature is a choice that is being made by many and the first thing one has to consider is how do I learn about taking care of honey bees and where do I obtain my first hive.

You probably can see the Geography of Consumerism looming ahead in the first foot forward on this journey of wishing to be a Beekeeper. The equipment sold, the usual courses given, the local advice of a beekeeper, the books you may read and pretty well most things to do with beekeeping will, for the most part, be determined by the honey-factory model, so where does one begin? Let’s explore together this important question of Purchasing Honey Bees and Hives and some of the ethical and ecological considerations and questions posed.

Spring is the time when all to- be- Keepers of Bees start their journey of questing for bees for the first time in order to start the adventure of becoming a Keeper of Bees.
In today’s world, where everything seemingly can be purchased with the click of a button, why should it be any different for your new hive? Commercial bee operations will look at their winter losses from last year and will already have ordered their replacement bees from other countries or if possible, they will have simply split every hive which is worth splitting by inserting “spare” Queens from elsewhere,…….. and viola they have their numbers of hives back again.
From a biodynamic perspective the picture of how to do beekeeping is not so much focused on the industrial enslavement model, where everything is about time and money,  but rather where all thoughts are centered around an approach that seeks to create Spaces that will allow all life to unfold as naturally as possible.
This requires that we, as Keepers of Bees, consider always how we can support this organic unfoldment of new Space which is least disturbing to the organism
of the hive.

With regard to creating new colonies there are several ways one can go about this. Naturally, we as new keepers of bees, give our stamp of approval to the  method which reflects the considerations we hold most important – namely ethical, spiritual and ecological considerations.

                                                   CATCHING A FERAL SWARM

If you have ever seen honey bees in your own yard, by that I mean, apis mellifera, not bumble bees and not wild bees, then you most likely have a colony of honey bees nearby you, either from another beekeepers hive or from a feral hive of honey bees, living somewhere undetected, doing their wonderous work. Should this be the case, you may be able to  attract a swarm into your bait hive of choice, that you have installed at your premises. (check our blog entry on Russian Swarm Box).

Install your hive trap by mid-May with some frames in it and if you can get some old brood comb in a frame or just a junk piece of comb, place those in your bait box to create a good smell for the scout bees. If you are lucky the scout bees will inspect the new apartment -offering you have generously provided and give its approval and move the whole family to these new digs. Also  applying a few drops of 100% Young Living edible essential oil of Lemongrass will greatly increase your chance of attracting the scouts and convincing them to chose your location over other sites. This method of starting beekeeping would be the most natural way, but many factors do play a great role in the bees finding you. I would suggest this method be given a try, even if you are planning to purchase your bees later in the year, just to see what happens.

              ACQUIRING A HIVE FROM AN ETHICAL AND ECOLOGICAL APIARY

We will speak from our own experience from Bello Uccello Honey Bee Sanctuary, however there are others who take care of their bees respectfully, chemical free and
naturally.

Through our year with the bees, by the time June comes around, the bees will have made their minds up for various reasons, to prepare for the Rebirth of their Hive. When this happens we will see the building of Queen cups and Queen cells, and a change in the behaviour of the Hive Being. After I have read the situation as good as I can, I determine whether the Hive Being in front of me is wishing to create a new hive or whether they are about to  replace their mother.
At that time one of our choices is to not interfere with the natural process going on in the hive  and rather  prepare for the hiving of the one or the several swarms which may emerge from the original hive eventually. Or I will look through the hive and remove frames with queen cells, which are almost capped and place them in special mini-hives (nucleus boxes) with ample numbers of their sister bees and food so that this small bee family can function as a normal, natural hive. These nucleus colonies will continue their daily routine until their new Queen- to- Bee hatches from her Queen Cell and goes on her mating flight . She returns as the Queen of the Hive and the Mother of all new family members to come in this hives expansion.

Depending on the original Hive Beings own strength and energetic nature, I help create either one or two nucleus colonies with four frames each. After such a procedure the Mother Hive will have the same appearance as a swarmed hive will look due to the thousands of bees that have left home to live in new hives.

                List of Ethical and Ecological Considerations in New Hive Creation:

1. Rebirth of the Hive through swarming is our first choice for expansion
2. In the new hives all the bees are sisters and come from the original hive’s home
3. All Queen cells come from the Mother Hive and the family traits and hive Beingness is ….respected and the genetics maintained
4. Once the Queen is mated the new hive is a True  hive with all the bees related to each    other and to their new Queen.
5. The swarming process is not induced, but happens naturally
6. Energetically we have supported the bees in their going through the process of making Queen Cells and Swarm Preparations and it is an ecological call as to whether we leave the hive to swarm naturally or to help in the swarming process through the new colony creation noted above.
7. The Queen of the original hive and the new small hives is related to all the sisters and brothers of the hives including their new Queens.
8. The bees in the new small hives always have the original wax cell foundations which their family created with all of its subtly of connectedness and smell and communication.
9. these natural considerations over the years  have lead to regressed- sized -bees, close to their original size before the bee-factory-industry took hold. Regressed- sized- bees are able to fight off the varroah mites better and are the choice bees to have
10.Taking a beginners bee course is a pre-requisite to responsible beekeeping. You don’t buy your car before you learn to drive and it is as logical as that for why one should have a bee course first and then bees.
11.All of our bees have never had any chemicals, and have never been removed from their land for pollination services, nor any other bee-factory-industry unethical
actions.

                          PACKAGED BEES FROM BEE-FACTORY-INDUSTRY

Packaged bees are just as they sound, meaning that they are arriving in a screened box with one to three pounds of bees and an unrelated Queen Bee caged and suspended in this box, surrounded by the bees. Or as I have learned lately, they also can come in a cardboard mailing tube whereby the amount of  bees seem to be  reduced in numbers. When you choose a package of bees you are getting bees not attached to a comb, and therefore there will be no brood present and there will be nothing that they would consider their home body. Remember the wax foundation is the skeleton of the hive.

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Cardboard Mailing Tube

 

                           NUCLEUS COLONIES FROM BEE-FACTORY-INDUSTRY

In this version you are accepting bees which live on chemical-contaminated combs , the brood is present, and the unrelated Queen is suspended in a cage, between the frames, waiting to be released into the new colony at its new location. Nucleus colonies can come in 3, 4 or 5 frame versions depending what is offered. If you get a 5 frame version  it does not necessarily mean you get more bees, but just more food stored in this version.

                                   A  FULL SUPER HIVE FROM INDUSTRIAL MODEL

Occasionally beekeepers will sell full hives, usually Langstroth, and in this case you will most likely get a hive of ten frames per box. Depending who is offering this hive, it can consist of either one or two boxes of bees with frames and their Queen or a new unrelated introduced Queen.

For this version it would be good to have some experience as a beekeeper already, as the expansion of the hive will be strong and you will be facing many decisions which would better be made in the second year of beekeeping. When you get a small four- frame- hive you have time to observe and learn from the bees and most likely you will not have swarming the first year. You and the hive will grow together.

If the practice which happens often in Nova Scotia, is the rule, then such full -super hives being offered by commercial beekeeping operations usually are hives which have been trucked around for pollination services of many sites, have been exposed to many toxins and chemicals and were probably fed on GMO corn syrup/sugar and GMO pollen patties, by the time these stressed hives are offered for sale to you. Weakened and stressed
hives rarely live through the winter , just as they would not have survived with the seller. Get it:-}!

             List of Considerations in purchasing from the Bee Industrial Model:

1. Remember how we said you should take a beginners course first; well this is where the catch 22 happens. If you are not taking a Natural Beekeeping Course but the usual modern industrial farming method  beekeeping course , then what you will be told as “business as normal in the bee world “will be from a window of an enslavement model. Even wonderful beekeepers who love their bees, do not know they are involved in a system of commodification of life. This has been going on for over one hundred years and so the”normal” is far from normal. The equipment you will be told to buy, the way you take care of the bees with mite strips, fuming them with acids, making money on them, etc etc. will all be presented as the norm. There is nothing normal, ethical or ecological about that type of “norm”.

2. For all of the versions we have just mentioned, except where you catch your own swarm, or where you have been “gifted” with a swarm or given a chance to catch a swarm through a fire department etc , or you acquired a hive through a Demeter certified Apiary, you should know certain facts:
a) what you are purchasing is Called a Hive, and technically speaking it is a “hive” because man has the naming power to say this is a fact and name it so. But from
Nature’s Truth this bringing together of separated parts energetically and spiritually DOES NOT make a True Hive.

With the packaged bees version you will have what is called Shaken Bees. Shaken Bees means that a beekeeper will use a big funnel and will either shake the bees off of frames from one hive or several hives until the screened box is full enough to meet the appropriate “package weight” requirements.
b) the Queen Bee, which is not related to these shaken bees at all, and who more than likely was shipped from another country or continent, is caged and suspended among these displaced bees with a food supply so that they will not starve to death. Often our packaged bees here come from New Zealand for example and the Queen is usually Hawaiian. These bees are displaced, not related to each other, without their real mother and from a different climate and environment and then shipped to you.
c) if you have a commercial beekeeper in your area selling packaged bees the procedure is the same, less the transcontinental shipping.
As you can see, there are choices you can make and sometimes availability will force upon us paths that are not perfect at all, but it is very important to be aware what you are looking at, despite the claims of the industry and it’s sales pitch. And also once you are responsible for a Hive Being , you by allowing the bees to go back to their own ways, by enhancing their life force and treating them with care and love, Nature has a wonderful way of bouncing back and wishing to dance with you, the Keeper of Bees.

Remember every thought counts and every intention carried through your heart will effect all levels of life everywhere.

LIFE IN SPRING AT THE HONEY BEE SANCTUARY

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SPRING IS IN THE AIR – BIRDS AND THE BEES

 

The Commonwealth of bees from each hive has been exploring the new earth once again, after a winter of inward cosmic life. Spring is here in all of its glory, with chilly, windy dull days and bright, warm sunny days. Exploring bees have already found the alders which are full of pollen and the maples too. This means the nursery is in full swing inside of the hives and the abundant stores of honey left for the bees last autumn,
and the fresh pollen will all be used to bring about the expansion of the hives.
On sunny warm days, when the sun’s rays shine on the still-snuggly-wrapped hives,
the bees start their housekeeping. They know it is too cool to fly far from the hive but they are Beings which live in the Present Moment and make full use of the kind warmth which the sun gives to the interior of the hive.
Spring housekeeping is being done in earnest and the signs of this are all of the dead bees on the ground in front of the hives. The life span of a honey bee is not all that long and so the bees which one sees in the autumn are not necessarily the one’s one will meet and greet in the Spring. The young autumn bees, which have gained age and wisdom, just like you and I, will be the ones attending to the Queen and the community life inside . As soon as possible the dead bodies are swept out of the hive by the busy-cleaning- crew.  Klaus looks at the bees on the ground to see if there are any indications of disease or something unusual to be seen.
We are glad to report all seems well and all hives have survived another winter here in Nova Scotia.

The newest gossip with the bees is the small shed being built in the Sanctuary to house all of the equipment and tools which are required as a keeper of bees. The former storage facility, a small yellow “bumble bee trailer”, has now found a new home as the playhouse for our granddaughter. The storing of bee equipment is no small issue.

Klaus had determined the best way to keep the beautiful waxed frames which the bees had made, safe from invasion by moth’s  or ants ,was to store them in our Jeep. The moth’s and ants could easily find ways into the “bumble bee trailer” and so our Jeep became a moving storage facility.
Any passenger in the Jeep was in peril from flying supers or other miscellaneous things which all shuttled around the back of the Jeep in “safe keeping”. Now the new, well sealed storage shed will hold everything in one place. It also forms an excellent wind-barrier to block the cold north and northeasterly wind storms from hitting the hives in the Bello Uccello Honey Bee Sanctuary. Clearly, this life of being a keeper of bees calls for Attention to details at all times:-}

All the hives have survived the winter months once again, and because of the number of hives , this year we will be able to offer to sell small hives to our new and former students. In the next blog we will be discussing ethical Guide Lines for purchasing honey bees. When you are starting out as a new keeper of bees you are met with the whole world of big business and bees as the commodity. This industrialized system in the
business of beekeeping has evolved over the last one hundred and twenty years and so
most books you will read, systems and equipment you will buy and practices you will see, are all based on such a honey-factory-paradigm in beekeeping, and so it is not easy to discern what is natural and ethical and ecological.
All of this and more we will discuss with you next time.

We will be selling the Sanctuary’s surplus biodynamic honey at the Annapolis Royal Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Victoria Day Weekend. Hope to See you there.
Happy Spring!
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Biodynamic Beekeeping Workshop 2017

BELLO UCCELLO HONEY BEE SANCTUARY is holding a gathering of interested  people in learning and experiencing the World of the Honey Bee from a Biodynamic-Natural Beekeeping perspective.  For two days, in this workshop,  we  will explore the world of the honey bee and the hive and the Bees are your Teachers and we are your guides.  This is an intense two days of learning in the classroom and experiencing hands-on the hive and the bees.  The class fills quickly and so let us know your interest as soon as you can.

DETAILS

June 10th and 11th, 2017               Plympton Nova Scotia

Price:  $265.00 for 2 days and all organic coffee breaks with snacks

For further details email:   bello.bees@gmail.com

 

 

HOW TO OF Wrapping a Hive for Winter

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This hive is  ready and waiting to be wrapped. Notice the entrance reducer is at it’s smallest size and the landing board has been removed.It is December 3rd and the weather is cold enough now.

Order of  the Hive-Being’s Architectural Structure :

Hive Stand 10″ high, Screened Bottom  Board, Slotted Bottom Board , Supers 1,2,3, , Drone cafe (modified inner cover) and finally the roof. Wrapping here in Nova Scotia happens normally  in the first week of December. It is always best to wait till the bees form into a cluster and the outside temperature hovers close to the 0 degree mark.

 

 

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The first thing to do is to put a small finishing nail in the center  of the entrance as a mouse guard. This was done already in late October while the bees are still flying  since we do not wish to lock in a mouse  accidentally into the hive. As long as the bees are still flying, any rodent that thinks this location would be a good one for the winter,  will be quickly driven out .

 

 

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Drone Cafe has been filled with organic straw, preferably with Biodynamic rye straw, otherwise get either rye or any other straw from an organic source to avoid any “treated version”. The rye straw has qualities that are beneficial for the interior environment of the Hive Being. The straw will wick away also all excess moisture.

 

 

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Next the actual wrapping of the hive . I use roofing felt and wrap the hive once around all sides. The black felt with absorb the sun on the South side.  It also is moisture proof.

 

 

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Use staples all around to make sure no gaps are left, since the bees are always naturally inclined to investigate everything around their hive and by doing so they cannot  get stuck in cracks. Also, as soon as you have completed this step then immediately  cut out the bottom and upper entrances .

 

 

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As you have cut them out staple again all around so no cracks remain. (As you can see the wrapping gets recycled over several years.)

 

 

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This is the outer wrapping that goes on 3 sides of the hive, leaving the south side exposed to the sun so that the heat can be transferred  into the hive. This wrapping is 1′ thick and is the equivalent of a 5′ thick wooden structure. I have in the past tried many other versions of wrapping but this is the final one for now that seems to do all what I want for the hive .  It shields the hive from  the wind and gives an insulation which keeps the cold away,while   still  allowing some sun to get to the hive on the South side which is not covered with the green guard.  This also assures me that  I have not created a box that seals everything in  possibly creating a tomb of condensation for the bees  or an ice box if the South side was not left with just the black tar paper to absorb the sun to heat the hive..

 

 

 

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Just a picture of the back side of the wrapping showing it” hinged together” with tape.

 

 

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The entire green guard shield is held  tight to the hive  by one ratched  strap

 

 

 

 

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Finally because of where I live the whole hive structure is strapped one more time from top to bottom, creating a xmas package look to the hive.   The strap and the stones create extra weight on the roof. This assures the survival of the hive Being should the hive structure be blown over in a big storm. This way the hive will not break apart should it fall and therefore most likely will survive. And believe me I had to learn this the hard way.

 

 

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Samples of entrance protection  covers that will keep out direct wind intrusion

 

 

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Same as above

 

 

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Porches attached

 

 

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And don’t forget to open the upper entrance when you are all finished. Don’t keep your nose too close though  because by now the bees will be ready to investigate the outside as soon as you open it because of all the noise you have created while you were wrapping.

Biodynamic Winterizing of the Hives- notes

All actions taken around a hive should be considered for the good health and overall Vitality of the colony.   Whether you  start  your bee-journey with a “nucleus Colony” (we are not the only society of Beings which go forth as Colonists to a New World:-} } or an established Hive Being; at the end of the season they should be left with ample stores of honey and pollen .  This one decision of treating the Hive with an Abundance of properly located food stores within the Hive is an Important one.  The Hive Being should  also have a big enough population of bees and brood to form a critical life force to survive the winter months. In the Autumn the inspection of the hive should have ensured that the parasite infestation such as  varroah mites is  at a low enough level that the Hive Being can  survive a possible harsh and prolonged winter, such as it can be here In Nova Scotia on St. Mary’s Bay .  Biodynamic beekeeping requires that proactive Observation and possible life-enhancing-treatments for such imbalances within the hive are dealt with regularly as the situation dictates.  Bombarding a hive in the Autumn with fumigation of oxalic or formic acid, or with toxic chemicals is Not what we do here at Bello Uccello Honey Bee Sanctuary.

So in a funny way it is not the action of wrapping a hive in the beginning of December, that assures the survival of the Bee-Being but rather all decisions and subsequent actions taken during the active part of the whole season .

Let us assume that your colony at the beginning of September is at a stage where you either reduced it to no more than 3 large hive bodies or you are still waiting for some autumn honey flow to finish some frames in a 4th super that will be taken off shortly.
In our sanctuary, where the older Bee Beings expand to the 5th and sometimes to the 6th large super, this can happen easily and frequently I will leave some frames in the 4th super to be finished off on top of the 3 main boxes, that the bees will go into the winter with. Usually not a full super but rather a few frames with spacer frames to fill the 4th super temporarily.

Having just made this statement, I will have taken action long before the beginning of September, complementing the hives  in their own rhythms and helping them to be centered in the hive boxes. Naturally, consideration is given to the location of   their brood nest and their winter stores. All of this assures  that their access to honey and pollen is guarantied so we can  avoid  the totally preventable loss of a colony . Many a Hive Being has   starved needlessly  to death despite  honey and pollen being stored in the combs due to this lack of attention to the above described order and placement of stores .  No one can predict what the Winter and Spring weather will be……..”an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” .

This loss of a Hive Being ,due to lack of proper location of food and brood , can happen when a cold spell occurs in mid -winter.   The bees cannot brake their cluster to get to the honey that is just below or 2 frames over from their current position in the hive.
So  what  do we do  in our sanctuary? Naturally action is  depending upon every Bee Beings personality, as some will need more help than others and some of our colonies do not need any help at all because of how they have organized their own body for the winter. These Bee Beings have genetically gained back their “memory of Beingness”  and found their Freedom.  Each Human Being is also trying to Remember our full Blueprint of Being a Free Human Being.

Since we do Not use Queen excluders, sometimes the brood nest can be through several hive boxes like a chimney and at other times the queen can get “stuck” let’s say in the 4th and 5th box while the bees have filled honey below their current nest position.
So by mid August I usually “reorganize” the hive bodies if necessary. The reason for choosing to do this during August is simply because of the warmer outside temperature that will minimize the stress for the Bee Being, rather than waiting  one month later when this activity could be much more dramatic for the hive,  depending on the weather patterns .

Whenever this work is done the main honey- flow- surplus honey has been taken off already and the supers reduced, which will make this much faster for each hive.
Since you will  have done this work not very long ago and you would have written down all details observed  in your notes for every hive ; you will have a somewhat realistic picture of what you can expect to see before you open a hive.  This  is a very good practice because you can form mentally a strategy how to go about doing this “reorganizing” if necessary and be prepared with supplies to do so..

STEPS FOR PREPARING FOR  WINTER:

1. As you go through the hive remove all empty frames and all partially started frames.

2. Locate the main brood nest and put it as the first super back on the hive stand. The brood nest should be 5 to 6 frames in the center with the rest of the frames filled with honey and pollen capped on either side to make up the 10 frames.

3. The second super to go on next should contain all the remaining brood again centered with say 3 frames capped or partially capped honey on the sides.( If your hive is rather small or a young hive this second box should fill up to about 8 capped  of honey and the rest of the brood all down below)

4. In our sanctuary all Hive Beings go into the winter with 3 hive boxes whereby the last box is full with honey only capped or partially capped at this point, but will be capped a couple weeks later. With this arrangement I never have to think about feeding, even if the winter last till the end of April beginning of May. (Sometimes later swarms will be only 2 boxes high going into the winter but will have plenty of food.)
5.Depending on where you live, you may have a good autumn honey flow and in such a case once your main three boxes are well organized and almost ready for the winter, you could still have a 4th super on with frames that are partially full or full ones that need to be capped yet. (But be careful and be aware of the tendency of your individual Hive Beings, especially the ones that tend to make more brood than honey, in such a case I would not give them more space above the 3rd but rather have them fill the empty brood cells with honey to boost their food reserves.)

6.Should you be a new keeper of  bees and you are still not quite sure how to organize a hive down to a maximum of 3 large hive boxes, resist the notion of leaving more food  above the 3rd super. The problem with this is not the extra food  but rather the extra space created, which will make it more difficult for the hive being to maintain  proper temperature . Heat rises up and in this case to far away from the brood nest. Get another keeper of bees with more experience to help you in such a case.

DEMETER BIODYNAMIC CERTIFICATION

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Winter white, the bee hives wrapped up like christmas packages
and a quietness once again falls onto the honey bee sanctuary.
It is indeed winter here in Nova Scotia and the bee hives are all, one more time,
forming their rotating cosmic globe inside of their hive and enjoying the radiance of the their Queen’s light.

This week is a celebration, because Bello Uccello Honey Bee Sanctuary once again received for the third year in a row, its Biodynamic Certification from Demeter. This is one of the highest standard- of- food certifications in the world- its a big deal. Biodynamic farming and food has ethical, ecological and spiritual considerations given to every step in what is happening to produce  this healthy food. Our Honey Bee Sanctuary met all of the criteria of Demeter for certification long before we knew what those criteria were, so it was delightful to us when we applied and got our certification the first year, without having to wait the usual three years. This is because when you mindfully bring heartfelt and responsible Intention  to learning and interacting with any Life Beings of this earth, we believe Human Beings know inside of themselves the respectful and right thing to do. There was a time when we did not need certification labels because we were not yet severed from
the land and nature; but this is not the case today. Slowly all of us are learning to make Life Enhancing Choices for ourselves and our families and in so doing we are actively participating in helping to create new Spaces for more ethical and loving
solutions to manifest such as CSAs, biodynamic farms, biodynamic beekeeping,self-sustainable life styles, etc. It is this synergy of your Goodwill and the people ready to create new respectful and loving relationships with mankind and the earth that is indeed the Dance now happening everywhere on this earth. Thank you from the bees and us for your support in the infinite ways that your goodwill manifests.
The reason we go through this process of assessment every year by Demeter and pay the cost to do so, is because we want people to become aware of biodynamic beekeeping and what that really means. This is not “new” ; the principles involved go back thousands of
years, and like much happening these days, it is more a question of Remembering what we have forgotten. People read our label and ask “what does Demeter certified”mean or what is “biodynamic farming” and so the dialogues and the awareness grows with each conversation. With awareness comes empowerment to people to know they have choices , large and small, for entering into Life Respecting scenarios. Enough of those kind of choices by us all and we will wake up one day to a New Earth;—- one where Beauty and Love is the foundation of our daily Intentions.

One of the ways to help our friends, neighbours and customers become more aware of
the Ethical and Ecological and Spiritual issues involved in the provision of the food they eat was for us to have biodynamic certification through Demeter and to give workshops on Natural Beekeeping Based on Biodynamic Principles. As far as beekeeping goes, seeing this Demeter approval, definitely says the opposite of the “industrial – model honey bee factory” commodification-approach to keeping bees . If you wish to research more about Demeter Certification for Biodynamic Beekeeping please go to http://www.demetercanada.ca

 

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HOW TO DEAL WITH A BEE STING

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beautiful frame of honey from sanctuary hive weighing 12 lbs

 

This summer has been a very busy and beautiful season at Bello Uccello Honey Bee Sanctuary. The hives are still in a rhythm of expansion of their brood cycle and honey production  and therefore quite high and a new two super hive has 9 full frames of brood waiting to emerge into thousands and thousands of baby bees! In September
this is very unusual. The good news is that there is an abundance of nectar and pollen for the bees and so they will thrive. We notice that the goldenrod
is painting the fields and roadsides with its brilliant golden yellow presence and this food is a honey-bee-favourite.  The visitors to the sanctuary have been interesting and their comments and observations are always welcome. One visitor laid out on the grass her healing meditation Tibetan bowls and invited the music beings of the spheres to come and bee with the hives and the honey bees. How beautiful this special blessing was
to the Sanctuary and to the earth. She later reported that a jar of the bees honey is now in her healing room because of its high frequency for healing.

Labour Day Weekend we had six children and three adults come to visit the bees. What fun! In ten years of keeping the bees Klaus has been
stung many times but I have not been stung once……but all of that changed that day. We have wondered over the years that perhaps I might be allergic to bee stings because even a black fly bite causes quite a reaction in my body. At the time of this “event” Klaus and a friend were blissfully opening a hive with 80,000 bees flying around them as they were doing an inspection .. Some guard bees were flying the circumference of the Sanctuary and the children were doing ok but the adults were definitely being singled out to buzz off so-to-speak.. This behaviour is usual this time of the year and sometimes the bees even land on me and then fly away.

. But this day I had my long hair clipped up in the back and the bee got caught inside the web of hundreds of blonde strands and instead of seeking her escape in an outwards direction she went deeper into the hair . Good heavens, first she was just humming, but once she got herself trapped the song became more an angry sound of fear. Please picture that six little children were all looking on with big eyes and considering the
whole purpose of the visit was to show the loving nature of the honey bees and no reason to fear; I was very aware that going crazy would be
totally unloving and irresponsible on my part and so I tried to keep my cool. Meantime the inevitable piercing with a bee stinger was becoming more and more
immanent. I continued to try and open up my hair to let the bee out but this only pushed her about and when I heard her last warning sound I knew I was about to be stung in the middle of the back of my head! Strangely enough the sting was
not painful, but the question became what to do to help myself. Now if this was someone else who had been stung, we would have confidently
started to apply all that we know about helping people with a bee sting. We have homeopathic apis mellifera  medicine, creepy chemical antihistamine liquid
(which in a recent study relates such medicines to causing dementia) and for the worst case scenarios, we have an epi pen on the ready at all times. We also
have Young Living essential oils like lavender to help with the swelling and itching and we are well practiced in doing tapping which is very helpful for someone with a sting. What did I do—-called for Klaus who could not hear a thing; – opened my purse and poured many drops of lavender essential oil on the sting area, which was probably forty-thousand lavender flowers in concentrate, and drank two capfuls of that horrible chemical histamine. Luckily the swelling was not too bad and there was no pain.
Twenty minutes later we all were at the Gilbert’s Cove Lighthouse eating large homemade molasses ginger cookies and the children were dipping feet into the
salty water.

I did not think of tapping until late that day and ice also seemed to be something which dawned on me only several hours later.
So as a result of this little drama I have studied up on what happens to the body when you get a bee sting. This description is brief and very helpful. Our
friend shared this with us shortly after the “event” and it was lucky that she actually was reading the book ” Robbing the Bees” by Holley Bishop where this information was found. (This book has some interesting info about the bees which the person researched; however her buying into the GMO agenda as something life enhancing shows the obvious lack of consciousness )

“The stinging mechanism takes thirty to sixty seconds to unload ….poison. Up to half the dose is comprised of a toxic protein called melittin, which bursts blood vessels and damages tissue. Melittin’s purpose is, quite simply, to hurt. A hit of it also encourages the body to release histamines, which defend against the venom and in the process produce itching, redness and dramatic swelling. …As the melittin and histamines go to work, the flesh around the wound warms and rises to the painful burning welt …….
accompanied by aches and feverish chills as the body attempts to cope with the toxins and histamines. .
A mischievous team of enzymes called phospholipase A2 and hyaluronidase act as a sidekick to the melittin, aiding its painful rampage. They have an emollient effect, like water on a dry sponge, on the acids that hold tissues together, allowing the toxins greater, freer and more painful spread into the flesh. Bee venom also deliverers….dopamine and norephinephrine, neurotransmitters that accentuate fear and excitement and make the sting unforgettable. The final elegant efficiency of the sting is the alarm pheromones it releases. ” (Pages l44, l45 ‘Robbing the Bees’ by Bishop). We have much more detailed descriptions of the biological reactions of the body to bee stings but this one is closest to my experience of a bee sting.

The next thing I have done is to make a list to be kept in the Bumble Bee trailer by the sanctuary, and in each vehicle, so the combination of shock and
clear thinking do not have to play a major role in dealing with the sting, should I ever get one again.

NATURAL TREATMENT FOR HONEY BEE STING

1. TRY TO REMOVE THE STINGER IMMEDIATELY. This you do by scrapping the skin where the stinger is lodged sideways. You can push the stinger out this way.. There is a small suction pen you can purchase which helps to remove the stinger and some of the venom. Warning: if you pull the stinger out you will push the rest of
the venom in the stinger into your body. Not a good idea.

2. CHECK TO SEE IF BREATHING IS OK AND NO SWELLING IN THE THROAT AREA. If breathing is difficult and/or the throat feels swollen or difficulty in swallowing,
one is to use the epi pen at once and take some antihistamine  and proceed immediately to outpatients at the nearest hospital.

3. DO TAPPING PROCEDURE IMMEDIATELY. This is a Bodytalk procedure and we use it for many applications for health and happiness of the body. It is very effective and here is a video to show you how to do this:

The Cortices tapping technic is explained by the founder of Bodytalk, Dr. John Veltheim.

http://www.bodytalksystem.com/learn/access/cortices.cfm
When you get stung by a bee, do this technic three times: First as described, then you focus on the sting and do the procedure again, afterwards you do the technic for a third time not focusing on the sting.

3. ICE . Monitor your body’s reaction to the sting and place ice or a frozen bag of peas on the stung area. Leave for 5 minutes and then remove. You can do this
every hour or so to help lower the swelling.

4. USE  ORGANIC 100% THERAPEUTIC ESSENTIAL OILS and apply topically to the sting-area. Lavender is excellent and Tea Tree and Peppermint. Use only a drop with each
application. My swelling was held to a minimum and there was no pain. The soreness lasted for two days but only when I put pressure on the area. I used the lavender only once and it worked that well.

(If you want edible therapeutic essential oils from Young Living at wholesale cost, contact us and we can open an account for you or sell directly to you the oils you wish to have.  These are the essences which we use for the honey bees and what is good for the bee is good for me).

5. ANTIHISTAMINES will help prevent itching and the histamines from causing painful swelling. Naturally you need to recognize that you are introducing
another form of “chemistry” into your body which has consequences as much as the venom does but in other ways. I also chewed some Plantain growing
in the grass and put it on the sting and it did relieve the itching .

6.DRINK WATER to help the body flush out unwanted substances. Relax and apply lavender the next day if itching is still happening.

(this is not Medical Advice but rather practical advice for home first aid. This list is from our own experiences, where Klaus was a trained paramedic
in Austria and opinions from books we have read. It is not medical advice for there are many people with many special conditions where only their doctors can give advice for a sting)

The conclusion to this little drama at the sanctuary is that I was very lucky to have received the sting. After having some dental work I went to the osteopath
to make sure everything was aligned in the jaw and my subtle body movements were moving and not frozen in place. Sometimes one has to go a second time
and I felt my ears and jaw not quite right after a month after the treatment and was planning to go again. However I noticed within two hours of the sting that the
jaw was loose and aligned and the ears were just fine. My body was balanced and flowing as is natural with a healthy body. So Thank You to the Bee for helping me
and who had to die  after stinging me. In the rejoining of the Biosphere and the Human Being the relationships revealed are deep and symbiotic
and always their great mystery brings Love and inspirations of great Joy to my Beingness. The honey bee and the hive are always consistent
in one thing ——they hold and reveal the great Genesis Blueprint of Life for humanity until we can Remember fully the Beauty of Creation and ourselves.

Also I must close  with a note of grateful relief that I found out I was not allergic to bee stings!

 

Screened Bottom Board TRANSFORMED

Early in the morning Klaus and our one and half year old granddaughter go and visit the bees to see if all is well.  It was quite surprising when her mum and I came back from our walk and she was singing her own original tune–  Bees, Bees, Buzz , Bees, Bees, Buzz”!  Children are so connected to nature that it makes one think how many ways can we help them experience this important connection; especially when there is a concerted effort to have children sitting in a classroom as early an age  as possible to “learn the system” they are to perform under. The expansion of our children’s destinies into creating a new earth that they are so capable of dreaming of from within their Beings, is solidly connected to that happening with the biosphere and all the beings that share this Space.   Thank goodness there are many parents taking back the  sharing of the great adventure of Life  through homeschooling, Forest Schools, Nature and Science Schools, Waldorf Schools and many other wonderful approaches which keep our families and their children connected to this beautiful Earth and their Heart Centers. It is with this thought we all can relax a bit and know that there is a future of joy and peace possible ……..with bees enhancing our landscapes and babies bringing the stars and sun to shine upon that landscape.

BIODYNAMIC NATURAL BEEKEEPING DESIGN FOR SCREENED BOTTOM BOARD

As we have mentioned in several blogs about the ley lines which the bees are so connected with, we have made adjustments of the location of the hive boxes to the intersection of ley lines so the bees can enjoy the great Life Forces which the earth provides on such locations.  The next step was to get rid of the “metal” in the screened bottom boards. There were two reasons to do this; one because Demeter certification requires “NO’ metal in the hives and the most important reason, the metal screening on the bottom boards block the energetic forces which the bees would benefit from the earth.  So after trying out several very  strange and unsuccessful materials to make the bottom board screens, we have come up with this version which works well and which the bees accepted.  Since the bees have now given their approval and are happy with this design, we wish to share it with you also.  Our inspiration for this design came from the English beekeeper who wrote the book on Bees and Ley Lines (previous blog).

 

Modified Screened Bottom Board (MSBB)

Pine boards 7/8 thick by 15 1/2” by 20″glued together and marked for the slots to be cut, with the side rails showing

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Measurements for slots from right to left with the back end of the MSBB showing

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Measurements for the rails all cut to a depth of 3/8″, whereby 3/4″ represents the top and

the width between the two measurments of 3/8″ and 1/4* is according to the thickness of the material you are going to use for the drawer.

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Slots cut

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Slots routed so that the slots form a funnel shape to catch more of the falling mites

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Side rails glued, back filled in with a 3/4″x3/4″ piece of pine and drawer fitted with recycled plywood and  a scrap piece of wood for a landing platform

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MSBB side by side with the drawer assembly

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MSBB up side down with the drawer assembly installed

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OBSERVATION OF A HIVE FROM A BIODYNAMIC KEEPER OF BEES PERSPECTIVE

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Community Involvement in Catching a Swarm

 

The bees are now living in five story high-rises and the honey season is in full flower! Several nucs are sitting in the sanctuary and all  of them have a mated Queen who is laying eggs now. The noble pear tree in the Sanctuary has hosted three swarms so far this week and Klaus is being kept busy attending to these new manifestations of life – day and night:-} The swarms which come from our bees are easily recognizable due to their
regressed size. After a swarm, it is advisable to check the hives where you have seen Queen cells and this will tell you if they have come from your hives. OBSERVATION – above all the skills which we need to develop as keepers of bees, learning to Observe the nature and rhythms of the Hive and the life cycle of the honey bee is the most important one.
OBSERVATION – RECORD KEEPING

Here at Bello Uccello Honey Bee Sanctuary each Hive has a name and her nucs usually reflect the “family” name, for example from the Paul Hive we have “Paulette”, “Paulina” etc and this helps us easily recognize the family traits and be more aware of the nature of the hives. We keep written  Records.
Every new keeper of bees will confirm this phenomena – you are all dressed up and ready to go to the hives and when you get there your brain goes into mush  and you look at the hives and become somewhat mesmerized. First we thought this
was from lack of experience but now we know the Frequency of the Hives is high and it actually has an effect on the Human Body. After years of thinking this was just a mistake, or a coincidence, or forgetfulness; we can assure all you keepers of bees who are
approaching the hives as a Guardian of the Honey Bee, you are not loosing your memory or losing some IQ points — no, you
are EXPERIENCING a new SPACE where the left brain is subdued into its serviceship to the right brain and “Dancing with the Hive” rather than “Managing the Hive” becomes a transformative exercise. Be patient with yourself and to help with the situation, draw up a list of things you need to do at the hives and what you need to Observe externally and internally. Check each of these things on your list each time and you will soon find you have trained yourself as a lst class Observer, not just of the bee hive but maybe of life too:-}

Contemplate on the idea that perhaps by approaching the Hive as an Observer who basis his actions on  feelings, intuition,questions  and knowing with the creative right side of the brain and uses the left side of the brain’s organizational skills, as backup,  might actually be an exercise in helping us find the Balance of Life.  Our New Earth, that all people of Good Will  are helping to co-create at this moment  , requires us Human Beings to learn to trust the right creative side of the brain and let the left side of the brain that has been over stimulated in control mantras to the point
it thinks control and domination and a world of losers and winners is normal, will be able to heal. There is a reason that the Pharaoh of Egypt was the Beekeeper, that the Mystery Schools holding ancient teachings of Wisdom used the Bee as their
symbol, that the Knights Templar had the “Queen Bee” symbol (the fleur de lis is the Queen of the Sun upside down} and the reason
is simply put —that Observation of the Hive and the Honey Bee holds the blueprint for all of Creation. So we encourage nature lovers
and keepers of bees to Keep Records of your Observations and take a list to the hives each time to help you remember to take time to Observe.

 

 

TRIPLETS ARRIVE AT THE HONEY BEE SANCTUARY

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Summer is yummy and this year we can say it is truly an amazing year for the honey bees at the sanctuary. Not only did all of the hives survive the mild winter with good health and happiness but they were really ready for the nectar season to begin.
This very strong life force which the biosphere and the cosmos is radiating forth is not only for the honey bees to be strong and healthy but also for Human Beings.

Before our yearly  beekeeping courses began we had three friends of ours join us at the honey bee sanctuary to meet the bees. They are triplets and three years old. You can see the little boy has his hands on his hips and surveying the whole situation —-his questions were real ones and perhaps in a couple of years Klaus will have a small apprentice to help with the bees. Notice the lack of concern about the bees flying around them – they were fearless and totally in the present moment of  the discovery of Life.
The lesson from the Sanctuary this time is from the baby-bee-triplets who are Love Beings too – – – Nature is a safe place —-Bees like children—–Get up close and person about looking at the miracle of nature and Ask lots, and lots and lots of Questions——–experience your inheritance of this sacred earth with inquisitiveness and joy. Celebrate nature and the Song of Summer!
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‘But perhaps the Mystic Honey Doctrine The Principal Upanishads, translated and edited by Swami Nikhilananda (1963)explains it more simply:
“This earth is the honey of all beings and all beings are the honey of this earth.” Mystic Honey Doctrine

“This sun is the honey of all beings and all beings are the honey of this sun.”