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Author Topic: Natural beekeeping in Scotland  (Read 13340 times)

paddles

  • Joined Apr 2008
  • Quothquan, South Lanarkshire
    • deanbank.org.uk
Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« on: May 09, 2011, 10:30:43 am »
Following a very successful Natural beekeeping course this weekend we have
started up a Facebook page called Natural beekeepers in Scotland. We hope this
will allow Scottish natural beekeepers to become aware of each other to share
support, equipment and healthy bees now and in the future.

Please visit Facebook and join us if you are in Scotland.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_214347471922626&ap=1

thanks Pauline

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 10:57:32 am »
Hi Pauline  :wave:  what is the difference between natural beekeeping and ordinary beekeeping?  :bee: :bee: :bee:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

paddles

  • Joined Apr 2008
  • Quothquan, South Lanarkshire
    • deanbank.org.uk
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011, 12:11:42 pm »
Natural beekeeping is a frame of mind.  Putting the health of the bees before (not in stead of) a honey harvest.

AengusOg

  • Guest
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011, 01:52:14 pm »
Natural beekeeping is a frame of mind.  Putting the health of the bees before (not in stead of) a honey harvest.

Surely bee-keeping is a frame of honey, and without proper care of the bees you would have little or nothing for your bee's labours?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2011, 04:55:59 pm »
Surely beekeeping is a frame of honey...

Very good  ;D ;D

Presumaby paddles means the difference between keeping bees on a big commercial scale as they do on the huge Californian fruit farms, as opposed to the way we do it on smallholdings and small beekeepers do, where honey is not our main form of income.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 09:43:54 am »
Could I just join this thread and add at this point that as a beekeeper, and in my experience, 'ordinary' beekeepers do care for and look after our bees.

I have in the last few days taken in a hive of bees that were left to their own devices i.e. 'natural beekeeping' - I was called in to take a look at two hives as one hive had died completely, and the other was in decline. The one I have removed needs help, hence why it has come to me. It's diseased, the comb is old and black, they have no room for the queen to lay eggs or for the workers to put down stores. There were three mouse nests under the roof and a large ants nest in the woodwork.

I'm not totally against 'natural beekeeping' but am wary of fads, and sitting back and doing nothing whilst a hive dies out.

 :bee:

Beewyched

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
    • tunkeyherd.co.uk
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 07:38:58 pm »
Would like to find out more about this, but am a little wary of facebook :-\  Is there anywhere else i can see this?
Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry - www.tunkeyherdkunekune.com

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2011, 08:40:33 pm »
Hi OhLaLa.  How awful and well done you for rescuing one of the hives.  I don't think that can be called Natural Beekeeping, more total abandonment. What I understand from what Paddles has said is that Natural Beekeeping puts the emphasis on the health of the hive, not on extracting honey come what may, and the hives you were asked to look at cannot have had any care at all.
The other kind of natural beekeeping would be what I do, which is just to provide as much pollen and nectar as I can for the wild bees, but that's different of course, as I don't exactly keep the bees, just look out for them.   :bee: :bee: :bee:

Could I just join this thread and add at this point that as a beekeeper, and in my experience, 'ordinary' beekeepers do care for and look after our bees.

I have in the last few days taken in a hive of bees that were left to their own devices i.e. 'natural beekeeping' - I was called in to take a look at two hives as one hive had died completely, and the other was in decline. The one I have removed needs help, hence why it has come to me. It's diseased, the comb is old and black, they have no room for the queen to lay eggs or for the workers to put down stores. There were three mouse nests under the roof and a large ants nest in the woodwork.

I'm not totally against 'natural beekeeping' but am wary of fads, and sitting back and doing nothing whilst a hive dies out.

 :bee:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2011, 12:12:18 pm »
No, they weren't looked after, just left in a field for 5 years (could be more, the 5 years is to my knowledge). I was called in when both were active but the owner wanted them left untouched, so I couldn't do anything for them.

Over a year after I first saw the hives, I got a call to fetch them, but only after I had been allowed to go in and take the first, now empty, hive apart and had seen (and let the owner know) just how bad it was in there. Good on the owner for allowing that, but shame it wasn't sooner.

The hive I have taken is a tricky one to put right; home made, not conforming to sizes and the whole thing is nailed together as one, including some frames.


Right, this reply a bit off topic, if anyone is interested I might do an update as to progress via a new thread.

 :bee:

I've added a pic for you to see the hive as found.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 10:52:50 am by OhLaLa »

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2011, 08:15:40 pm »
Would like to find out more about this, but am a little wary of facebook :-\  Is there anywhere else i can see this?
same here, i dont keep bees tho but still interested.

OldGaffer

  • Joined May 2011
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2011, 01:45:27 pm »
OhLaLa, I would be interested to know how you dealt with your new colony in a new thread. Did you consider a shook swarm?

Top bar hives look good, but I built one last year and had loads of problems with brace comb and comb going off centre, i.e. across two top bars. Although the brood comb was OK and was built in a reasonably straight line. I have transferred the colony from the TBH to a more conventional framed hive. But still use strip of foundation in the supers to allow the bees to build there own comb. This is also good for cut-comb honey too  :)

ATF

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Fife
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2011, 09:01:32 pm »
I'm very interested, but have so far refused to join facebook - drop me a pm if you fancy a non-facebook site for the group.

more on natural beekeeping from http://www.biobees.com/index.php

I've just finished The Barefoot Beekeeper - a great read I'd recommend it. From what I gather, and I'm by no means an expert, I've not even build my hive yet, but 'natural' beekeeping, for example, allows the bees to build their own honey comb from scratch, rather than putting pre-made sheets in that most beekeepers use, uses a more 'natural' hive shape rather than the traditional frames and uses icing sugar rather than smoke and pesticides! It still involved keeping an regular eye on the bees and a certain amount of management. After looking into various beekeeping methods it certainly struck a chord with me (and it looks cheaper and less work than 'traditional' beekeeping).

paddles

  • Joined Apr 2008
  • Quothquan, South Lanarkshire
    • deanbank.org.uk
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2011, 06:21:37 pm »
Hi anyone interested in finding out more about natural beekeeping should see the Natural beekeeping trust website [url]http://www.naturalbeekeepingtrust.org//url].  I am sure they can answer any questions you have.  I am new to it but is certainly not neglectful and if there is a down side it is the amount of time it you need to spend with your bees.  Unfortunately some lazy people either hide behind the natural beekeeping label or are labelled as natural beekeepers because they do not look after their bees.  This would not be condoned by any natural beekeeper.

I did not mean to imply that any good beekeeper does not look to promoting bee health this is just an other way of doing so.

Pauline

Plantoid

  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2011, 11:12:13 pm »
OhLaLa, I would be interested to know how you dealt with your new colony in a new thread. Did you consider a shook swarm?

Top bar hives look good, but I built one last year and had loads of problems with brace comb and comb going off centre, i.e. across two top bars. Although the brood comb was OK and was built in a reasonably straight line. I have transferred the colony from the TBH to a more conventional framed hive. But still use strip of foundation in the supers to allow the bees to build there own comb. This is also good for cut-comb honey too  :)

 Me thinks you didnt get the bee space thing right ... next time  work out things so the bee space will put the middle of the conb  in the middle of the top bar and scrape or tennon saw a tiny cut alng the whole length of the bar then run a very fine bead of  molten bees wax along the whole length of the bar .. this is where the bees will form the comb they will then keep their bee space for the whole bar of comb .

You can also use the fine bead of molten wax to encourage bees to draw new comb on hive frames of all descriptions ..it's cheaper than foundation but costs you in honey lost.
 I used to  set my up neuc boxes s with  a full drawn center frame and three frames with beaded bars either side .. it was not long for a new swarm to draw out the other frames ..but I did also have a tray feedder for each neuc box that held 4 pints of syrup ( also had one for each of my 50 hives as well )

 I daren't leave the health of the hives to the weather if they were short of stores in the hive they need feeding or else they get sick
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country

ammarraja

  • Joined Aug 2013
    • Beekeeping Courses
    • Facebook
Re: Natural beekeeping in Scotland
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2013, 08:21:48 am »
I have gone throw your fb page on natural beekeeping in Scotland and it is very good resource of information on beekeeping but i truly doesn't know about natural beekeeping and ordinary beekeeping differences , as i know i think there is only one form of beekeeping which is called beekeeping itself :P
Last time i read an article on beekeeping courses for beginners and it stated that beginners should not start beekeeping with hives but they should start beekeeping with nuclei.
here is the link for this article site on beekeeping courses
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 03:30:18 pm by ammarraja »
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