The Sun is fully singing this morning in a clear blue sky, with very little wind and it is a Root Day on the Biodynamic Calendar – a very good day for a swarm. We are listening to see if we can hear the Song of the Sun that David Sereda has discovered and
says restructures water, including the water in our body. Well if “happiness” is a Song of the Sun then we hear it very well. Apparently
so can the bees because they arrived like clockwork at 10am to our Russian -designed Bait Hive by — Dr. Leo Sharashkin, Editor of “Keeping Bees With a Smile”.
To be part of the Rebirth of the Hive never gets “old”, it is so Beautiful and Life Enhancing to the Soul of both us and the Earth!
Following the information in Moon Time by Johanna Paungger we found an old plum tree on the property which sat exactly on the intersection of two geomagnetic lines and placed this Russian designed bait hive on top of the tree. This tree
is around 200 years old and we knew it had rotted completely out on the inside, but it was so beautiful to look at, even in its decaying state, that we had left a 10 foot high trunk of the tree standing and this is where we placed the bait hive.
This swarm was very large and they arrived like a long wave onto the trunk of the tree. It was amazing to watch the bees follow the many paths and contours in the old bark and flow up the trunk like sap in the Spring and into the box. As the bees were still arriving we called Dave and Lois, our special friends of the bees, and they arrived with cameras and excitement. It was truly a morning filled with Joy to witness this cosmic-earthly event. The sound was so soft and the bees were so peaceful that we felt a very special connection to this Swarm . We all decided to have a turn at greeting the bees by climbing the ladder and tickling the bee beard hanging off of the box and the bees seemed to be very happy to have us attend this great Rebirthing Event.
Now the bees are settling down and we will wait until this evening to bring them down from the tree and properly Hive them into a larger home. This swarm was so huge that they took a long time to all get into the box. Because these were not bees from our Sanctuary we need to take precautionary measures for the first two years to make sure they are healthy and happy bees. The “Swift Bees” which we rescued from a chimney a couple of years ago are just amazing and intelligent bees. They did not wish to be moved from their isolation location after the two years were up and so now that temporary location has become their Home Sweet Home. We did have scout bees come to our honey house again this year and we put out a full super on the deck in case they voted for this location; however, the Swifts were out on their own in the wilds for a couple of years and had gained some “skills”and decided to fight off the scouts to the bait hive which was somewhat near “their territory”.
These Swift Bees are tricky and Klaus is always laughing at the behaviours which he observes with this particular hive. He also recognizes in them a truly “natural nature” which is strong, “Free” ,kind, quiet and hardworking- quite like many of the people we meet living here in rural Nova Scotia. We look forward to having a nuc from this hive at some point and let’s hope that the drones from this hive are mating with the Queens from the other hives, so that these traits become part of the new hives yet to come!
Ciao from Bello Uccello Honey Bee Sanctuary
REBIRTH OF THE HIVE , or in regular language, swarming season has arrived here at Bello Uccello Apiary. It usually happens after May l7th here
in Nova Scotia, and it makes for a very busy time for a keeper of bees who uses biodynamic beekeeping principles . For the 21st century-
regular- commercial- beekeeper swarming just means a loss of bees and trouble and so they split the hives before this happens. For the biodynamic
beekeeper the swarming is an ancient and respected part of the hive life cycle. Swarming
is when the bees in the hive have decided it is time for the Queen Mum to leave home and set up a new hive elsewhere.
Before this happens, the Queen Mum Bee has been forced, or tricked through instinct, to make some Queen cells which the worker bees
will protect and feed with royal jelly so that one of them will become a new Queen for the original hive. The first out of the cell usually wins
as she will search out the other cells with queens in them and kill them. They even make a loud piping song as this rather
brutal and primative ritual takes place – maybe its a dirge . Sometimes the mother and the daughter can live in the
same hive, but you know this doesn’t usually workout in life as there is only one kitchen and someone has to be in charge:-} So swarming is
a wonderful thing which happens when usually the Queen Mum flies towards the sun and hundreds of bees from the hive go with her. There is
something so moving in watching this rebirth happen – deep, mysterious and awesome. At the end this results in two hives.
What happened at our workshop this past weekend was amazing in that, just as we were entering the apiary to do a hive inspection, we had a Swarming take place.
The bees were very cooperative and just swarmed onto a small apple tree in the apiary. This is a picture of Klaus shaking the swarm into a bucket.
We could not have planned such a wonderful event for the training – the participants had the opportunity to participate in the hiving of the swarm.
We have named the hive Friends 2012 and with any luck that hive will provide a split for one of them for next year. This whole thing that I am describing to you
is a generational lineage with mothers and daughters carrying traits and genetics forward from one hive to the next. This is a healthy and natural
way to have new queens and new hives. What beekeepers have been practising for the past 100 years, that has contributed to the degradation of the
gene pool of the bees and therefore to their weakened immune system, is Queen breeding. The majority of Queen bees now come from a small handful of
Queen breeders. Imagine if humans all decided to mate with a handful of females – what on earth would we as humans look like? The Queen breeders also
decided to breed out of the species propolis production as an inconvenient glue in the hive, therefore removing the amazing antibiotic protection for the bees which propolis brings to the bees and also the swarming tendency . Combine this situation with regular antibiotic and drug treatment in the hive and what we have
successfully created is very weak beehives and very super strong pests and diseases.
DSC05409 Klaus shaking the swarm into his “bee catcher” which is basically a plastic bucket with some additions made to it.
Here are the participants of our Natural Beekeeping Workshop for Beginners based on Biodynamic Principles which took place May 26-27 in Plympton,NS. Canada We had a great workshop and
without exception, each person was a “natural” at being a keeper of bees. The conversations were good, the weather cooperated, the food was yummy, the hives were more than cooperative
and here at Bello Uccello apiary we will look forward to working with these new friends as keeper of bees ,as they establish their own apiaries.