It was great to have the Demeter inspector come to visit the honey bee sanctuary and sit with us to discuss the work which we are doing with the honey bees. Or should I say, the work the honey bees are doing with us:-}! Each one of
the Hives in the Sanctuary has its name and also a “biography” of a certain sort. Every observation we have of the hive is noted in a book for that hive and every action we do with the hive is also carefully recorded. When the hive swarms
we keep the “family records” in the new book for the new hive and also make note of the name of the swarm in its “mother’s hive” record book. These records are referred to often as we look at how we can help the bees thrive. For instance, this year we did “ashing of mites” and this is a biodynamic method of dynamising the ashes of varroa
mites and then on a date when the cosmic and earth influences are just right (and we use the Maria Thun Planting Calendar to know which day that date is) we spray the inside of the hive with a homeopathic dilution of the ashes.
How to Do Biodynamic Ashing of the Hive for Varroa Mites
COLLECTION OF THE MITES
1. Collect the varroa mites located on your bottom board of the hives. You will need minimum of 50 mites , and the more the better.
Collect them in a glass jar for next years ashing.
2. Usually in the month of May, when the moon is in Taurus, the biodynamic ashing can take place. Please check your Maria Thun calendar to confirm the exact date.
BURNING OF THE MITES
3. Create a small wood fire in a tin with very dry wood which produces embers which glow for a long time, like oak, birch,beech. Once the
embers are bright red and glowing and the fire has disappeared, empty the varroa mites from your jar onto the embers. Cover the
embers with a lid and leave . When you check the embers later there should be only ash in a light gray in colour and not black.
4. When everything in your container has cooled down, sift the ash into another bowl, through a sieve, which will remove the charcoal debris.
5. Place the ashes in a mortar which is made from glass, porcelain or stone. With a pestle, rhythmically in a clockwise and counter clockwise direction grind the ashes in the mortar for one hour. This process is the dynamising of the ashes and it provides you with the Base Substance.
6. This Base Substance can be applied in two ways to the hive:
1. Use the Base Substance, put into a shaker with a fine head and apply directly to the bees within the hive. You can sprinkle lightly over the frames
and the bees directly and this method is called Peppering.. We personally do not do this method due to the lack of volume of ashes required.
2. Or, using the Base Substance, create a homeopathic solution by potentising the ash with water which can then be sprayed lightly over the bees
and frames within the hive at the correct date.
Potentising is creating a homeopathic solution by diluting the Base Substance by the following process:
1. Put 9 parts of water into a glass, stone or clay container. Add 1 part of the Base Substance. (example: 9 tablespoons of water to 1 tablespoon of Base Substance )
This ratio can be made either by volume as previously noted or by weight.
2. Always start with the diluting matter, in our case water and add the Base Substance measurement to it.
3. With a wooden stir stick stir the mixture in a rhythmic motion creating a vortex (funnel shape) . Once the vortex has been created deep down in your container
you then reverse the direction you are stirring and create a vortex again in the other direction and continue this rhythm clockwise and counterclock wise stirring for 3 minutes. We have now created D1.
4. This volume of D1 potency is now your measurement for the next step. The ratio now changes to 10 base solution to 90 water. You will need 90 times the volume of D1 potency in water volume.
5. Repeat Step 3. You now have created a D2 potency.
6. Now you continue to use the 10:90 ratio to create D3 and then D4. By now your containers are getting huge in volume and so at D4 we label the jar “D4 and the date”
and “Varroa Mite “. This will be our supply for years for making new potencies.
7. From now on we will go back to a 1 part to 9 part ratio of dilution (like in step 1) . Example 1 Tablespoon of D4 and 9 Tablespoon of Water and repeat the vortex
stirring for three minutes. This will create D5 and from D5 you will create D6 up to D8. D8 is the potency we are looking for. D8 is what is recommend in treating the honey bee hive for varroa mites.
8. Spray lightly the D8 onto the bees and the frames on the right day.
Now it is important to know that everything is about Life Enhancement and Respect for Life and Nothing is being Killed here. We as Human Beings
are created to manifest our lives and the work we do on this Earth through our Heart Center and the nurturing Human Heart is incapable of killing anything. We have no intent in killing the mites. This treatment is to create an influence within the hive where there is an interference with the natural reproductive cycle of the varroa mite. Our wish is that the mites no longer find the hive a suitable place for their life cycle. In Biodynamic Beekeeping our Intent is for balance and harmony and it is never to enter into the polarized- world- vision of a “justified war” on life. The Intent quite simply is to help the honey bees and their hive enjoy a place of health and happiness, in a harmonious environment. It is important to remember there is nothing natural about the varroa mite being a predator within the hive—- it was Mankind who created the situation where our greed for more and bigger brought us to create the supersized wax cells in the foundation of the hive . It is because of those unnaturally large sized cells within the hive that the predator, namely the varroa mite, is able to live. The cells in our hives are being Regressed in Size and that means that the varroa mite also finds
it a place where it no longer flourishes.
We still lightly spray the bees with EM for probiotic nourishment for their immune system and for mite control and we also still lightly dust the bees with organic white sugar which has been turned into powder in our Bullet. The cycle of the mite needs to
be kept in mind as one does these procedures and after you do this, you need to repeat the application within 21.days. These dates are all put into the records of each hive as reminders of actions which need to be carried out at a future date. You cannot
“wing it” with the bees, there are so many important pieces of information which are referred back to many times in one season.Naturally the notes also start to form a bigger picture of the supra-organism of the “hive” and it is at that level that true relationship
with the world of the honey bee Begins.