Dee Lusby is an amazing beekeeper from Arizona. She’s been in the bee world for many decades, doing private research on her own for many years. Dee is a true, elder beemaster, and we thought you might learn much from what she believe are the largest threats to bees: (more…)
I won’t lie: It’s been really hard starting this spring with no bees. This is only the second time in the past eight years that my yard has been without the wonder of honeybees. And I have not felt the sorrow of the loss of all five of my hives in a really obvious way. I tell myself that I understand: bees come, bees go. More will come. And more will go.
I go about my business and tell myself, “it is okay, this is just how it is…” But there is a heaviness in my heart. On a few clear days about a week ago, many scout bees came to explore my hives, so many swirling about the entrances I could almost convince myself that a colony had moved in.
Until nightfall, I could court this hope, and then with the dark, they would all melt away into the evening. Then the clouds and rain returned and the hives have not had a single visitor… (more…)
When I brought bees home seven years ago, I had not yet begun to fully notice all the insect life in my yard. But with the coming of the bees, my vision expanded. I would search the flowers for my bees, and see all sorts of other pollinating insects I did not know: Hover flies, certain wasps, many native bees and bumble bees, even pollinating beetles!
Our friends at the Natural Beekeeping Trust are spot-on with their good suggestions here about what truly helps bees, and if being a beekeeper is of any value in caring for bees. This is from their Newsletter, and as soon as I read it, I thought “I need to share this!” And the Trust agreed:
“In this post we would like to address a very frequently asked question: How can I help the bees? And if you are known as a beekeeper, you may often be confronted with this question yourself. As more and more people open their hearts to the honeybee, and indeed other pollinators facing great challenges today, we set out briefly how our thinking about ‘helping the bees’ has evolved in recent times.
The Natural Beekeeping Trust was established to provide education on methods of bee husbandry more gentle, more “bee-centered” than those advocated in conventional beekeeping. This was the focus of our work for many years… (more…)
“There is a bee swarm in downtown Camas, right by the antique store. Do you have time to go gather it? It is up high…” Debby’s voice was hopeful. She is our bee swarm coordinator, and spends her whole summer on the phone talking to people about bees.
“Hmmmm, up really high, huh?” I don’t mind heights. I simply don’t have a ladder that will reach up 20 feet.
“The fire department’s only a few blocks away. Just stop by, batt your eyes and swivel your hips and maybe they will bring their ladder,” she suggested…
Hello bee friends: Susan here, introducing our good bee friend James. James attended our recent log hive workshop and went crazy–in a good way! James has a vision of a highway of bee trees, and log hives. Is this a match made in Bee Heaven, or what?! Please feel free to join James in his mission, or contact him with questions and ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Hi everyone! My name is James. I’m a former intern of Jacqueline’s who will soon by moving back to the area. I have a few years of experience doing agroforestry under my belt now and am hoping to make a return into natural beekeeping. Over the last couple of years I’ve learned a lot about drought tolerant, Pacific Northwest based agroforestry. I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I’ve seen a lot of evidence that trees and shrubs are a really great way to grow bee forage efficiently in terms of water and labor… (more…)
Hi Friends, Susan here: I’ve always loved log hives, loved the notion of them, the look of them, the creation of them. But it was into the second day of our log hive workshop with Matt Somerville that I really “got it.”
Class participant Jenne Johnson said to Matt, “So, if I have, say, ten acres of land, how many of these hives would I need to properly pollinate it?”
Matt replied, “Put up as many as you like and let the bees decide.”
“Let the bees decide…”
I smacked both hands to my head to keep my brains from flying out all over the place. Had those four words ever before been uttered on the North American continent? Not often, I thought… (more…)
Susan here: It is with great delight that I am sharing with you something of beauty, depth, and wonder from our good friend, Bee Guardian Corwin Bell. Corwin has taught many programs for us over the years. He is the prime innovator behind all the advances to top bar hives, and runs a bee education program at Backyardhive.com. His work is respectful, balancing science, intuition, and mystery. If you live near Colorado, take his classes. He is a master.
Corwin has a mystic’s eye, a mystic’s ear, and a mystic’s heart. Artist and visionary, Corwin put his talents to a remarkable recording of chants, music, and bee sounds to create a deep immersion into bee time. His DVD is called “The Light of Hum” and I encourage you to add it to your music library… (more…)