Watched the first one on honey, nothing new to me but it shows how serious the food corruption is.
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Posted 08 January 2018 - 07:13 PM
I encourage everyone to try topbar hives and raise their own bees and honey. It's so easy and enjoyable. It's funny that even the local bee clubs are part of the problem. When I first started I was shunned somewhat for using topbar hives. I didn't care because I could make my own hives for practically free with much less maintenance.
Then I kept hearing how most lost a majority of their hives over winter. I have only lost one hive in 3-4 years. Well....come to find out they are bringing the bees up from southern states to get an early jump. Those bees can't take out winters I guess. Then they rob all the honey from the hive to sell and supplement them with sugar water and other supplements. It was all about making money to them. They still make money even with the losses.
I started with one package (3lbs) and have never treated them. I think they crossbred with the native bees and are naturally cleaning themselves of mites. I gave away a swarm to a lady and she said, "those are huge, I don't know if they will fit in the cells". The standard hives have much smaller cells to maximize production.
You can't trust any honey sold in the stores..they are all cut with sugar. You can buy from a local farmers market. Chances are they have a $75 pair of gloves, $250 suit and many other fancy gadgets/equipment. Most I met are portraying they are helping the environment but are in it for the money like a politician. Not all...but many.
Just rambling with my opinions...grow your own.
Posted 08 January 2018 - 07:38 PM
I plan on doing a top bar hive this year (build my own), never done it before and have no experience, just docs Ive read/watched.
I spent about a month researching the net and built a hive. Do a window for your first to watch them. I was late to the game and didn't get a package of bees until July. I'm surprised they were able to build up the comb and make it. Everyone said they probably wouldn't. Get a nuc early as you can and research how to cut the bars down to adapt to a topbar...unless you can find a topbar nuc.
I take about half the honey and leave the rest for them to overwinter. I could not believe the difference in taste. Even the taste of different bars that were made with spring flowers, late spring clover or fall goldenrod. It's a very rewarding experience to raise and watch them buzz around the garden.
Posted 11 January 2018 - 09:20 PM
Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:54 PM
My bees are out today(pooping) in 55 deg weather after 2-3 weeks of a brutal cold spell of up to -15f. I got lazy and didn't take any of their honey this fall which is probably why they have made it. I didn't even go in and straighten out their comb this year. Through the window I can see the comb is straight in one hive but the other could be a mess.
Knock on wood...but by leaving the bees go, without any chemical treatments and not robbing them of their honey they just seem to get stronger each year. The comb was a mess for a few years but I would rotate the straight comb on both sides of crooked comb and they seem to build much better.
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