EARLY SPRING PREPARATIONS

As the winds continue to blow at 50 kph and our driveway once again becomes
a quarter of a kilometer  of snowdrifts that are almost as high as I am,;we
ignore it all and like the bees we feel ,that despite what we see, Spring is
indeed preparing to present herself soon. Actually this Saturday will be the first day of Spring .

unusual winter with St Marys Bay filled with frozen ice

unusual winter with St Marys Bay filled with frozen ice

The hum in the hives is not strong and we worry about our bees and wonder if they can
hang on much longer. We are snowshoeing into the hives to check them
for snow drifts blocking their entrances and by knocking on the side of the hive and then placing our ear against  it, we can hear them hum. Thank goodness we
always leave most of the honey in the hive for the honey bees and take only the surplus. This means there are  lots of protein and carbs  in the hives for the bees if they can get to it without freezing. But the prolonged winds daily hitting against the hives, coupled with the freezing temperatures, has never been as bad as this year.

In Austria they used to have honey bee houses where the bees
lived inside a small beautiful log house with outside entrances painted different colours
for each hive.  Those bees did not have to face the winds and the snowfall like our bees are doing.  DSC09040handmade small cell foundation from homemade press

PREPARATION FOR SPRING

1.MAKING SMALL CELL FOUNDATION

100% pure small cell wax foundationDSC09039

The small- cell -size- foundation wax press which we discussed in an earlier blog is
working out very well. After melting 11 kilos of pure cappings wax and the clean- bees- wax- comb which got cracked or broke in the honey extracting process from last year; Klaus was able to make the followng:

90 large sheets of foundation
20 medium sheets of foundation

What this means is that, even if there are emergency circumstances where we help  our bees by putting in foundation, they will  have no contaminated wax in their homes.  Remembering that when things are normal in the hives the bees are drawing out their own comb  and we encourage this practice because nothing can replace the subtle creative cells that the bees themselves create. The wax smells exceptionally wonderful because there is floral and vanilla scented propolis in the wax.  Imagine the best aromatherapy session ever and you have an idea of what the bees in their home are enjoying.   Considering that propollis is one of nature’s strongest antibiotics we can assume that the  hives will be very healthy because of the aroma from this wax foundation.
2.PREPARATION FOR NATURAL BEEKEEPING WORKSHOPS BASED ON BIODYNAMIC PRINCIPLES

The notices have gone out, that we will be once again offering two Natural Beekeeping
Workshops based on Biodynamic Principles on June l7 & 18 and June 20 & 21. Lots of registrations have already taken place and the increasing interest in Natural Beekeeping based on biodynamic principles is a huge movement globally.
For details contact us at bello.bees@gmail.com

3.RESEARCH AND READING

Part of being a good Keeper of Bees requires that you are always doing your own observations in the Bee Season and research and reflection in the Off Season.  Nothing in nature is “instant soup” — it requires you to be totally Implicated with the Hive and its environment.  This is the ethical way to relate to any other living species that you are involved with, and the bees are no exception to this rule.  We recently joined IBRA (International Bee Research Association) based in the UK and all of their past magazines since 1919 to the present day are now available to us to read.  This is truly an enriching experience.

We ordered  our Maria Thun’s  “Biodynamic Sowing and Planting  Calendar for North America 2015” and we are reading it from cover to cover.  This is a necessity for biodynamic beekeeping as it has the calendar for working with the bees also.  All of the students who take our course are given a copy of this calendar.   We can highly recommend this calendar and this year it covers “ashing” to deal with mites and other hive problems.  Besides helping us planning activities for the Spring around the Bees, it also helps us to work out our planting activities at the Glasshouse.

4. PREPARING .PRESENTATION AT THE UPSKILLING EVENT APRIL 9,2015

We will be making a presentation about the World of the Honey Bee  at the Upskilling Event taking place on April 9th  in Annapolis County.  Check out this event and the Local Prosperity Conference at http://www.localprosperity.ca  Hope to meet some of you at that time. Please do introduce yourself to us.

5. WORK AT MY  WORKSHOP

Building supers, repairing damaged supers , assembling  Wooden Frames, scrubbing bottom boards,and making lists of supplies needed for the upcoming Spring season are all taking place in my woodworking shop since the beginning of the year.  Being prepared is so important for the Keeper of Bees, because when the hives make their grand entrance back into the landscape things move very quickly.  There are not enough hours in the day to keep up with the total Joyful Life Abundance Manifestation which takes place in late Spring and early Summer.

Visiting the hives themselves next week is anticipated.

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