Both Paul and Jacqueline question the conventional beekeepers‘ approach; moreover, the harm caused by common practices. Specifically noting opening the hive weekly, allowing cooler air which leads to condensation to enter. Jacqueline quickly places plexiglass over the opening should she need to observe the hive. In addition, they agree that harvesting should only occur during the “flow” aka the explosion of blooms in the spring. Mixing sugar water or high fructose food for the bees in second rate food, expensive and according to Paul “a lot of unnecessary work”.
Further discussion regarding the boom in beekeeping and that only 7 companies are responsible for 95% of the colonies sold. The bee kits with plastic combs should be assessed. There is a growing school of thought that, unlike the marketing of bigger/better bees & bigger pre-fab combs, smaller bees have great advantage including lessening the effects of mites’ laid in the cell with the bee larva. Bigger bees are in the cell longer with the growing mite. Another marketing tool is the hybrid bee, bred to be “mite resistant” when in fact there isn’t enough long term knowledge and through observation they seem to be bred to be OCD about grooming – CAUTION~ Other are breeding for calm and friendly bees. These companies are mass producing bees for sale with disregard to quality. Jacqueline notes that you must ensure that the bees come from your region. A bee from an arid region will not acclimate well in a wet environment and so on.
They talk about swarming and the natural way a queen vacates the hive, soars towards the sun in a fashion that only the fastest, strongest drone could catch & mate with her; therefore, a natural partnering of healthy strong bees. Paul noted how unfair it seems to artificially inseminate a queen when she mates only once – bee rape is bad!
Discussion continues to the withdrawal or weening bees or any animal from toxic pest treatments or additives/antibiotics. It’s a slow and costly process with notable losses of life. Inputting antibiotics, toxins etc all but eliminates natural defences. Paul mentions a friend that invested years and lost many rabbits through 8 generations until their natural defences were rebuilt. The same holds true for bees that come from an environment of additives and poisons.
They ended with teasing about the next podcast where they will talk about collecting swarms, setting up empty hives with essential oils…..stay tuned. Personally, I can’t wait!
Credits: Marianne Cooper
You can discuss this podcast on this thread at Permies.
Podcast 573 – Permaculture Smackdown 18 – Desert or Paradise Session 15
podcast 418 – better world book – honey bees – part 2
podcast 417 – better world book – honey bees – part 1
podcast 395 – Review of the Song of Increase
287 – Reverence for Bees part 4
286 – Reverence for Bees part 3
284 – Reverence for Bees part 1
203 – Paul visits Joseph & Jacqueline Freeman of Friendly Haven Rise Farm – Pt. II