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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NATURAL BEEKEEPING WORKSHOP BASED ON BIODYNAMICS -N.S.

NATURAL BEEKEEPING WORKSHOP FOR BEGINNERS BASED ON BIODYNAMIC PRINCIPLES
LATE SPRING 2014

Beekeeper Klaus tending to his bees. By Marc Geuzinge Photography photograph by Marc Geuzinge

Bello Uccello Honeybee Sanctuary will be holding it’s seventh and eighth Beginners Beekeeping Workshop based on Biodynamic Principles in late Spring 2014.

Klaus Langpohl, an experienced biodynamic beekeeper, will be your teacher and guide as he shares with you, one-on-one, the Amazing Life of the Honey Bee, inside and outside of the Hive . The workshop is designed to prepare you for your journey to become a Natural Beekeeper based on biodynamic principles. This is an intensive l5 hours
of classroom and outdoor, hands-on experiences. In a small class setting you will learn about the world of the Queen of the Sun and you will:

– learn about the science of the bee and the hive and the life cycle of the bee
– discover how to take care of the bees without chemicals,
– gain hands on experiences with the hives,gaining confidence in approaching, observing and working with the hive throughout the season
– learn about the equipment and assembly of a hive, and make your own wooden frames for the hive
– practice the art of inspecting the hive and Seeing what to look for as a natural beekeeper
– learn about the pests and diseases which threaten the bees and natural solutions to these challenges
– discover the calendar of beekeeping as a biodynamic beekeeper and view the natural world relationships which influence the honey bee
– meet others in a small class setting who are also environmentally conscious and place a high value on organic/biodynamic food quality
– learn how to regress the size of the honey cell back to its original mite resistant size
– discover how to locate a hive on your property

FOR 2014 Course Details please write to bello.bees@gmail.com

NATURAL BEEKEEPING IN NOVA SCOTIA & ARRIVAL OF SPRING

 

 

                           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.
 
 Image

 

 
       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
this question.
 
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 bello.bees@gmail.com 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!
 
 
 
 
 

 

NATURAL BEEKEEPING TWO DAY WORKSHOP FOR BEGINNERS

IT IS TIME FOR US AT BELLO UCCELLO  TO COME OUT OF HIBERNATION ,FOR SPRING HAS ARRIVED EARLY THIS YEAR, AND ONE OF OUR HIVES HAS BEEN FLYING AROUND FOR AT LEAST THE LAST TWO MONTHS!  AMAZING!

A VERY SERIOUS DECISION HAD TO BE MADE BY US THIS WINTER ,DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE BLUEBERRY PRODUCER NEAR US EXPANDED HIS OPERATION AND NOTIFIED US OF HIS INTENTIONS TO USE CHEMICALS ON HIS BLUEBERRY PLANTS THIS YEAR. THE BLUEBERRY INDUSTRY IS EXPANDING THROUGHOUT OUR PROVINCE AND WITH THE LARGE SCALE MONO-CROP OPERATIONS COMES THE DISEASES AND PESTS PROBLEMS WHICH CONVENTIONAL FARMING USUALLY DEALS WITH BY APPLYING TOXINS/CHEMICALS TO THEIR CROP. ALTHOUGH WE SPRAY OUR APIARY WITH A  PROTECTIVE LIFE ENHANCING, NATURAL  PREPARATION, WE DID NOT  FEEL WE COULD TAKE THE RISK OF  HAVING THE HONEYBEES  EXPOSED TO THE IMMUNE- SYSTEM STRESSORS OF CHEMICALS AND/OR POSSIBLE TOXINS.

SO   ONE EARLY MARCH MORNING WE HAD A FRIEND ARRIVE  WITH HIS TRAILER AT THE APIARY AND USING CARRYING STRAPS, KLAUS AND I LIFTED THE HIVES (very heavy hives!) ONTO THE TRAILER AND ABANDONED THE BEAUTIFUL APIARY. IT IS VERY FORTUNATE FOR US THAT WE OWNED  A FACILITY AND LAND FURTHER ALONG ST MARYS BAY, WHERE WE HAD ONE HIVE ALREADY ESTABLISHED SINCE JUNE 17TH LAST YEAR. BY MID AFTERNOON THE NEW APIARY WAS ESTABLISHED AND THE BEES HIVES, STILL COVERED AND SEALED, SAT IN THEIR NEW HOME, WAITING FOR THE SUN.

WE ARE HAPPY TO REPORT THAT THIS CHANGE IN LOCATION HAS AFFORDED US THE “EXCUSE” NEEDED TO VISIT OUR COMFORTABLE COTTAGE WITH NO PHONES OR ANY “LIST OF THINGS TO DO” AND JUST ENJOY A COUPLE OF HOURS OF VISITING THE BEES AND ENJOYING THE QUIET.  IN A CONTEMPLATIVE MOMENT WE WONDERED WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF WE DID  NOT HAVE THE LUXURY OF ANOTHER PROPERTY WHERE WE COULD ESTABLISH A SYMBIOTIC LIFESTYLE WITH THE HONEYBEES . WHAT  OTHER THREATS ARE  BEING FACED BY  ORGANIC/BIODYNAMIC BEEKEEPERS?

IT SEEMS THE PLANET IS GETTING VERY VERY SMALL FOR PROVIDING  THE SPACE NEEDED FOR THE HONEYBEE TO LIVE.

TODAY THE HIVES ARE HUMMING WITH ACTIVITY AND GRAY, GREEN AND BRIGHT YELLOW POLLEN IS BEING DELIVERED BY THE VERY BUSY WORKER BEES.  BY THE WEIGHT OF THE HIVES THEY STILL HAVE LOTS OF HONEY AND POLLEN STORES INSIDE, BUT ONE THING WE HAVE LEARNED ABOUT THE HONEYBEE – THEY LOVE TO STORE THE FOOD BEST OF ALL.

THE STRAW THAT WE PLACED INSIDE THE COVERS FOR THE WINTER DID A GREAT JOB, AS THERE APPEARS TO BE NO  CONDENSATION ON THE INSIDE COVER OF THE HIVE.  THE  BLUE STYROFOAM INSULATION ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE HIVE ON THE NORTH AND NORTHEAST SIDE WAS REALLY EFFECTIVE ALSO.

NATURAL BEEKEEPING WORKSHOP FOR BEGINNERS

GILBERTS COVE, DIGBY CO., NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA

THIS YEAR WE WILL BE HOLDING A  NATURAL BEEKEEPERS

WORKSHOP FOR BEGINNERS BASED ON BIODYNAMIC BEEKEEPING PRACTICES  AT OUR APIARY, ON SATURDAY, MAY 26TH AND SUNDAY, MAY  27TH.  IN THE TWO FULL DAYS YOU CAN LEARN ABOUT THE LIFE OF THE HONEYBEE, INSPECT A HIVE, LEARN TO ASSEMBLE A HIVE, DISCOVER PRACTICES WHICH ENHANCE THE HEALTH OF YOUR HIVE WITHOUT THE USE OF CHEMICALS,VISIT THE HONEY HOUSE AND EXTRACT HONEY AND ACQUIRE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE WHICH WILL BE HELPFUL TO YOU, AS YOU BECOME A KEEPER OF BEES.

AS WE DID LAST YEAR, THERE WILL BE LOTS OF ORGANIC COFFEE AND TEA WITH HOMEMADE MUFFINS AND  LUNCHES AND SNACKS PROVIDED EACH DAY AS PART OF THE  WORKSHOP FEE.

FOR FURTHER DETAILS PLEASE WRITE TO KLAUSSHIRLEY.LANGPOHL@GMAIL.COMImage

AUTUMN STORIES FROM BELLO UCCELLO APIARY

What an extraordinary autumn we are having here in Southwest Nova – really warm weather and an extended season for the foraging honeybees.  If bees wore clothing they would be dressed in shorts and tank tops with these temperatures.   But despite what our eyes see, the phenology of bees- to- flora is telling another story.  It is saying that the flower sources for the nectar and pollen are getting low and the beehive is in preparations for winter.

The obvious signs of this winter preparation is the “eviction of the surplus Drones” from the hives.  The Drones are the male bees in the hive, all the other bees  are female. They bring balance to the hive and naturally it is with the Drones from the hives that the virgin Queen Bees mate – but that is a unique occurrence .  The cycle of the Drone is such that Rudolf Steiner says they bring an earthly connectivity to the hive ,which otherwise has a strong Sun connectivity.  But just like Bertie Wooster’s “Drone’s Club” in the famous BBC Series, Jeeves and Wooster, there is a good bit of lazying around done by the drones in the hive, and winter survival means non-working surplus would threaten the survival of the hive, so they are thinned out by the worker bees. Another sign that winter  is well underway  and it is no longer “business as usual” for the bees, is the “robbing” .  Robbing takes place when the nectar sources are low and the bees wish to continue to collect as much food as possible. They look upon the other hives in the apiary as a convenient place to pick up some honey and thus the robbing.  We shut down the size of the hive entrances to allow the guard bees in the hives to better manage the smaller “gate way” and they do a great job.  However if you have a weak hive, it could be the robbers will win and overtake the guards.  One interesting thing about this situation is that possibly the bees in the robbed hive might then just go and join the robbers hive, and if not, they will parish from starvation.

Bello Uccello Estate Honey now is available to buy in Halifax through:                                    bluecrowinspirations@gmail.com   Phone: 902-  404-8677 to arrange pick-up. If you wish to purchase  chemical free, natural,  seaside wildflower honey that has not been pasteurized, has only been lightly  gravity filtered  so that traces of pollen and propolis are still in the honey and that comes from bees raised by biodynamic principles and Love and you live in Halifax, you now have the opportunity to do so. Bello Uccello Estate Apiary will be selling its honey at the Annapolis Royal Farmers Market this coming Saturday morning . Hope to see you there.

A new Rudolf Steiner inspired Waldorf Kindergarten opens its doors this coming Wednesday, Oct 4th at the Oakdene School in Bear River. We will be visiting these children with our observation hive and quite looking forward to introducing the children to the bees.

In the New Year we will be posting the workshops for 2012 and they will include a Natural Beekeepers Course for Beginning Beekeeping, a Natural Beekeepers Course for Experienced Beekeepers and a General Natural Beekeeping Workshop for those who wish to learn more about the honeybees and how they can help. For more information on our workshops write to:  bello.bees@gmail.com      Our new website is under construction http://www.beecosmic.com and should be up and running in the new year.

In the Apiary we are mowing the grasses short, cleaning the area of debris, and making sure there is nothing rotting to cause bad bacteria.  The Aqua media (an amazing local product which is 100% natural and is made from transformed scallop shells is placed on the bottom boards to give great air filtration and eliminate any molds. Part of the Langpohl Beehive System incorporates these scallop shells in the ventilation system. The towers are now lowered to two supers per hive and most importantly, the bees seem happy.  Happy Thanksgiving to all.so much honey to be thankful for and soooo many bees.................

NATURAL BEEKEEPING WORKSHOP ATTENDED BY YOUNGEST PARTICIPANTS YET

BEEKEEPING WORKSHOP - KNOCK KNOCK WHO IS THERE? 1000's

Here at Bello Uccello we certainly were busy last week with our first workshop.  The Natural Beekeeping workshop brought in  people from different walks of life and different parts of the Province.  The problem of the demise of the honeybee is a global one and attending this

ASSEMBLING NATURAL BEEKEEPING HIVE SYSTEM BY PARTICIPANTS AT WORKSHOP

workshop to become part of a positive global response to this problem,  were people originally  from Newfoundland, Cornwall England, Glasgow Scotland, Manitoba, Bear River, Halifax and Austria . Just like  the hive itself has babies, we had two absolutely adorable baby twins attending the entire workshop with their parents. The sincerity of the group was remarkable and after ploughing through the “natural science part ie the life cycle of the bee” they were game to put together the hive system which we have developed for the health of the bees and to investigate a live hive. After a day of   no stings, lots of Sissiboo Coffee, homemade muffins and food, discussions,  and more presentations by Klaus, we drove off to Digby Neck’s Lake Midway for a community potluck supper.  Luckily we had lots of our Shaker Baked Beans to share and a veggie tray and we sat on our wool car blankets and had good conversations, met good people and this  finished the day off “Nova Scotia style”.  It was the God’s being kind to us that made the rain happen during the night so that the next day it was sunny and the  lessons could take place in the apiary at Bello Uccello.  The bees were very cooperative!  The temperature in the bee suits is something to get used to and it was very hot in the apiary and in the honey house.  Two hours past the time when the course was scheduled to conclude everyone swarmed back to the workshop facility for farewells and departures.  The feedback of the workshop  was very positive and with the help of these new friends and all the others around the globe who are embracing biodynamic principles and natural beekeeping and sustainable Life practices,  we believe that mankind can transform the world.  Was it Ghandi who said “change yourself and you change the world”.

NOTICE:  The last Natural Beekeeping Course for Beginners and for those who wish to change from chemical beekeeping to biodynamic beekeeping, for this year, will take place September 8th – 9th at Gilberts Cove, Nova Scotia.  The cost of the course is $200.00 inclusive of meals and course materials.  If you are thinking of becoming a keeper of bees  in the Spring, this course would be helpful to you, as we teach about the bee, its needs, and a system which will help  you to provide a healthy bee environment. Call 902-837-1030 to book.