Building, Insects, Working Animals — by Anthony Andrist February 6, 2012
Editor’s Note: Those keen to gain more expert insights into beekeeping would do well to take Anthony’s upcoming 1-day Introduction to Beekeeping using Permaculture Principles course, to be held March 25, 2012 at Lansdowne in the scenic Manning Valley on the Mid North Coast of NSW, Australia.
Go to the bee, thou poet: consider her ways and be wise.
– George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
Looking for simplicity and compatibility between styles, we moved next towards a top-bar design. Essentially, it is a wooden bar placed horizontally across the width of the hive and has a starter strip of foundation comb or a wax bead along the centre to encourage the bees to build comb. The bar can be flat on the bottom, have a notch along the centre to place a wax strip, a semi-circle, a triangle or even a comb footprint, to give the bees a starting point. The bars are set side by side across the top of the hive and can be any length. Most bars are between 3.175 to 3.5cm wide and from 40 to 50cm long.Comments (10)
Insects — by Anthony Andrist October 1, 2011
With spring coming along steadily we thought it might be time to diversify our beehives into a more natural and sustainable medium. There are a number of designs available, but we wanted something simple and as natural as possible.
Beekeeper working a typical Langstroth apiary
Traditionally, the Langstroth design is a popular one, used mostly in commercial beekeeping. It has a bottom to top vertical arrangement, meaning the queen is in the bottom box and the extra boxes, or supers, are added on top. It also has removable rectangular frames making them easy to inspect and handle. The boxes can be stacked easily and loaded on trucks or pallets for long distances. Boxes can come in different depths, which make lifting a full box of honey much easier. The frames, which can come 8 or 10 to a box, are usually wired and have a wax foundation sheet attached. This begins to resemble more of an industrial agriculture system than a natural hive but can be productive, nonetheless. This is currently the design we use, but we’re curious about other alternatives.Comments (10)
Insects, Livestock, Plant Systems, Working Animals — by Anthony Andrist June 25, 2011
You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself. – Samuel Levenson
Front Sign for The Dunoon Honey man
One of my recent experiences has been while beekeeping between Sydney and the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm, in The Channon. Over the last two years, I have learned a great deal from working and living in a Permaculture system but also from the endless advice from experienced beekeepers. One of the more experienced ones, Nevil Watts, lives just up the road from Zaytuna Farm in the township of Dunoon.
Just back in February, Nevil and I took a good deal of honey off the hives in order to have them lighter for transport. The honey was extracted and what was left on the bees would have sufficed until the move, as long as they were going to a good honey flow. When I didn’t make it back to move them, their stores dwindled. Between then and just the last week or so, they have been hammered with about six weeks of rain, which needless to say, didn’t help much.Comments (11)