Beehives and bee houses
In a sense the combs in a honey bee nest are an extension of the bees that made them and it is really the bees and combs together that constitute the colony. In fact, the average honey bee worker spends 95% of her life on the combs in the hive. The combs are built to be multi-purpose in the sense that they can be used for both brood and storage (honey and pollen). They are also the place where all the exchange of information that enables the colony to control its activity takes place. Because this occurs in the dark, communication is through chemical signals (pheromones), trophallaxis and vibration signals. The combs provide an ideal forum where this can take place. The architectural rules that the bees follow when constructing their nest have been understood since the early 19th century and the efficient working of a moveable frame hive depends on the beekeeper complying with these rules. An understanding of bee-space is essential so that the bees can build combs that meet both their own needs and those of the beekeeper. A colony will only draw combs when and where they have an immediate use for them and the resources to make new wax. Successful comb management requires the beekeeper to understand all these factors.
The internationally acclaimed honeybee photographer Eric Tourneret spent fifteen years traveling the world to capture the awe-instilling diversity of bees and beekeeping traditions on six continents. His fascination with the bees and the richness of human culture led to the creation of the most stunning collection of bee photography ever produced, complemented by the writing of his spouse Sylla de Saint Pierre.
Shot in 23 countries, Honey From the Earth is an enchanted journey to discover the sweetness and beauty of our planet, and a powerful plea to protect and restore Mother Earth.
The author suggests that Top Bar hives offer a gentler way of practicing the craft. “We have a duty to our bees and as beekeepers we must be in the forefront of change for nature, not mere puppets in some commercial enterprise”.
This volume gives advice on managing colonies in top bar hives and provides notes and illustrations for the construction of a top bar hive.
In this work, the author explains his own use of a particular pattern of long hives which he has made to his own design, but which is derived from standard lines. The hives have been in use for ten years, which some bee keepers will say is not long enough to prove its efficiency. However, many different systems have been advocated and explained to bee keepers over the years, and how many of those systems, however long in use, have proved 100% efficient? Bees, like many things in nature, are compelled to adapt to their behaviour greatly to suit the varying climate year by year.
This book has been published to make bee keepers think, and I believe it may do just that.
Translated from the French by Dr. Mark Pettus
Gold Medal BEST BOOK AWARD
National Agricultural Society, France
Learn natural beekeeping from Europe’s foremost beekeeping authority. Georges de Layens, inventor of the world’s most popular horizontal hive, shares a lifetime of experience on how to
• get started in simplified beekeeping
• choose the best hive model for you & your bees
• manage your hives with just two visits per year
• take advantage of horizontal hives & deep frames
• avoid unnecessary complications & procedures
• increase an apiary with natural or artificial swarms
• transfer bees from one hive model to another
• enhance bees’ health drug-free
• do without requeening, feeding & other chores
• understand honey plants and honeyflows
• make award-winning mead (foolproof formula)
• use foundation less frames, make wax foundation
• handle traditional hives (skeps, log hives, etc.)
• keep bees sustainably using local strains
• and MUCH more
Layens’ simple beekeeping boasts over 100 years of successful use, with 7 million hives in use today. Bee-friendly, productive, and fun, keeping bees can be easier than you ever imagined!
This is an account of a first year of beekeeping using Warre, Top Bar and Flow Hives.
A Beekeeper’s Year follows the progress of three novice beekeepers with three different types of hive, as they navigate their way through their first year of beekeeping. Follow their journey as they set up and manage their Top Bar, Warre and Flow hives – from obtaining bees to inspecting their hives, extracting honey and closing down the hive for the winter.
A Beekeeper’s Year is an ideal introduction to backyard beekeeping, with everything you need to know about what equipment is required, managing your hives, keeping your bees healthy and pest and disease control. It is packed with stunning yet practical photographs to help you understand these fascinating creatures that are essential to the production of our food.
Michael Badger, MBE, has been a beekeeper man and boy, with experience extending over 65 years. In his time, he has been fortunate to meet many of the great keepers of honey bees. He was devoted to the late Colin Weightman, MEE, and Brother Adam, QBE, OSB, of Buckfast Abbey fame, spending many of his formative beekeeping years with them.
Michael was brought up in rural Warwickshire, mentored as a beekeeper by his great uncles and his schoolmaster and colleague, Charles Bell. Throughout his adult life he has kept bees in various locations in the British Isles.
Since the 1960s, Michael has travelled widely to give lectures on all aspects of beekeeping, including the preparation and exhibiting of honey and other hive products. Involved with the National Honey Show since 1972, Michael qualified as a British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) senior honey judge in 1984. He was chief honey steward at the Great Yorkshire Show for 29 years.
Michael was chairman of the Yorkshire Beekeepers’ Association (YBKA) in 1983 and 2000. He was also chairman and president of the BBKA from 1999 to 2002. He was instrumental in establishing the BBKA headquarters, the National Beekeeping Centre, at Stoneleigh Park in 2000, the Normanby Pavilion of the YBKA and the recently constructed Hives and Honey Pavilion at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate. Michael is n honorary member of both the YBKA and the BBKA. He is chairman of Bee Craft Limited, a patron of Bees Abroad, and a court assistant and liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers of London.
Michael is married to Hilary; he has two daughters, a son and two grandchildren. In 2003, he was appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to beekeeping.
By Peter Lewis, Chief Honey Steward, Great Yorkshire Show
Thomas Bates Blow was from a working class background and leading a life with little direction until he was befriended by a member of a leading British family: with his patronage and much hard work, Thomas laid the foundation of what was to become the largest business in Europe supplying the requirements of beekeepers. This volume charts the history of Welwyn, from its birth through the challenging changes and large expansion in the last two decades of the nineteenth century through to the Company being put into liquidation after more than a century of trading. From zero to zero in three acts, with three leading men, changing scenery and a large supporting cast involving conflict, changed of ownership, fires, World wars, no inflation, high inflation, but mostly about bees, beekeeping and beekeepers and the vagaries that come with that fascinating mix.
Following the Wild Bees is a delightful foray into the pastime of bee hunting, an exhilarating outdoor activity that used to be practiced widely but which few people know about today. Thomas Seeley, a world authority on honey bees, vividly describes the history and science behind this lost pastime and how anyone can do it. Following the Wild Bees is both a unique meditation on the pleasures of the natural world and a guide to the ingenious methods that compose the craft of the bee hunter.
Seeley explains how one finds a patch of flowers humming with honey bees, captures and sumptuously feeds the bees, and then releases and follows them, step-by-step in whatever direction they fly, back to their secret residence in a hollow tree, old building, or abandoned hive. The bee hunter’s reward is a thrilling encounter with nature that challenges mind and body while also giving new insights into the remarkable behavior of honey bees living in the wild.
Drawing on decades of experience as a bee hunter and bee biologist, Seeley weaves informative discussions of the biology of wild honey bees with colorful historical anecdotes, personal insights, and beautiful photos. Whether you’re a bee enthusiast or just curious about the natural world, Following the Wild Bees is the ideal companion for newcomers to bee hunting and a rare treat for armchair naturalists,