Friday, March 22, 2013

This kid must be Sam Comfort: Alternative hives for Alternative Minds

Our own morale raiser, Sam is a backwards beekeeper.  He doesn't treat with anything, and he'll build a hive out of anything.  After a rousing song which I will post later, he started into to People Collapse Disorder, talking about the problems people are causing with the bees.  It's really conditions people create that cause the bees problems.  Sam then went into how he keeps bees now, talking about about his hives, cell size.  Like me, he is of the opinion that package bees are not a good plan because they die.   He talks about how varroa and other diseases are symptoms of a deeper problem.  The bees are out of balance.  It's the stress that is causing many of the other problems that are treated rather than fixing the actual problem.  No heavy lifting in topbar hives.  Brood will be toward the entrance and honey away.  With a topbar, you're only opening a very small part of the hive rather than the whole top.  The one downside to topbar hives is that they need more regular maintenance so that the combs don't get crooked.  To make honey you need to open up the broodnest or they will swarm.  Bees are not like cows.  They retain a deep wildness.  After becoming the biggest topbar hive beekeeper in the country, he decided to do some other things like experimenting with Warre hives.  How do you get into bees?  Buy nothing!  Make hives from scraps, catch swarms.

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