NATURAL BEEKEEPING IN WINTER & ARRIVAL OF SPRING
Spring may have arrived for you and I on the 20th of March, but for the bees in our apiary it arrived
yesterday. It was a wonderful sunny day and the temperatures finally were high enough to bring
the bees out of their winter hold-up in the hives, en mass. The song was absolutely amazing and full
of all the wonderful feelings we have about Spring and Flowers and Sun. To see 10 hives
buzzing with bees after a terribly harsh winter, was also very good news.
Cleansing Flight of the Honey Bee in the Winter leaves their droppings Showing on the Snow
WINTER FOR BEES:
Last winter we had the worst conditions for bees – really cold, then warm and then super cold for prolonged times. This pattern
causes condensation in hives and stress. Condensation in the hive is one of the causes of bees dying
in the winter. Although we have not opened the hives yet, the number of bees and the sounds
coming from the hives are all good signs that the bees at Bello Uccello apiary have survived well.
All of that preparation for the winter— of making sure the ventilation is good, providing upper entrances,
insulating the hives well and organizing the hives for the bees so that they had lots of frames of
pollen- rich- and- honey- laden supplies(about 100 lbs of honey per hive) has served the bees well.
The Province reported last week that the commercial beekeepers are finding that the bees had very little pollen
in their hives and recommended feeding the bees with GMO Soya based Pollen Substitute.
It is true that bees need Pollen for protein and they need the Honey for carbohydrates and they need the Propolis
as a pro-immune system support and strong anti-biotic for environment inside of the hive. However,
further compromising the honey bee with questionable GMO products does not make sense; especially when there is a more natural way to deal with
The Biodynamic Calendar which we use in our natural beekeeping, , indicates how to take care of the bees so that
they will gather pollen on certain dates and make honey on other certain dates. If we did not see the results with our own eyes, perhaps we too
would raise an eyebrow; but solid, physical, consistent results have taught us that this calendar is
scientific in its approach to gardening and beekeeping and can be relied upon to guide us as keepers of bees. Our bees had plenty of pollen in their hives as they went into the winter and we froze frames of pollen and honey so that in the Spring we can feed them with their own natural food. The honey which we take from the hives is “surplus” and we do not give “sugar water” and corn syrup to the bees and take their honey nor do we feed them pollen substitutes.
Some people think that bees hibernate – well they do not – they are alive all winter and if and when
the temperature goes up enough so that they will not freeze upon flying out of the hive, they will do their
cleansing flights. Bees need good strong immune systems to deal with the stressors of surviving the winter
and this year, for the first time, we are offering a course this Fall on preparing the bees for winter,
organizing the inside structure of the hive and insulating the hive boxes for winter. This course will
be a full day and totally a hands-on day of work, as the participants will actually work with Klaus
as he prepares each hive for the winter. You can have a very healthy hive all summer, but if you
don’t do the Fall preparations properly, you may lose your hive by Spring. Contact us at
our firstname.lastname@example.org to pre register or if you have any questions about the course.
In celebration of the bees reappearance, we have created the needle felted Queen of the Sun
honey bee shown below. Have a great weekend and keep your eyes open for the bees,
for they are now out and about!