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Q & A with a Natural Beekeeper: How does natural comb impact production of honey?

From Chris:            Kevin, thank you for your wonderful website! I have just ordered 5 packages of bees I will pick up in the spring from a beekeeping operation in my state. I am working with another local beekeeper who keeps 15 hives on my farm because of my blackberries and…

Q and A with a Natural Beekeeper for the New Beekeeper

I am new to beekeeping. A local bee guy set me up with bees and a queen in a Langstroth box in the beginning of May. The bees are  very active and 7 of the 10 frames are loaded with eggs and larva as well as some cells filled with what appears to be honey. Other…

Starting Over or Getting Started Right as a Natural Beekeeper

It is heart wrenching to lose a hive. The silence of your backyard when the bees are gone makes you want to cry. But you can also look at it as an opportunity for a fresh start. If you are just getting started it is easy to doom yourself to frustration by making uneducated choices. The best…

Happy Bees Equals Happy Beekeeper, and How To Treat Bee Stings.

Q: What do you do when working the hives to minimize stings? Q: Anything you recommend for bee stings if someone has a minor reaction but nothing life threatening? Q: What do you do when you get stung? In reality, the answers are all related. A: Don’t mind it too much. What I am saying is…

Change Your Backyard, Change the World

A real life example. An entire community in England has rallied around this simple idea and changed their world. Take a moment and watch this.

Aggressive Bees and What to do About Them.

A very non-aggressive bee raised in a nurturing chemical free hive, smelling the sunflowers. Since sensationalized stories about aggressive bees seem to be hitting the news lately, I thought it would be a good idea to post about dealing with an aggressive hive. The first step is to do nothing. Refer to the previous post about observation and management. Maybe the “Mean…

Happy Honeybees, Happy Beekeeper

Hive management is an art, not a science. There are some basic principals I try to follow in an attempt to make hive management a more predictable and consistent art. First off, if you are in doubt, do nothing. You can’t make the bees do anything. What you can do is provide an environment which will encourage…

The Best Hive for the Backyard Beekeeper

The options are many: Langstroth, Warre, Top Bar, Long Hives. The impassioned reasoning to favor one or the other is endless. For someone trying to get started it has to be overwhelming. I am going to make some very specific recommendations for your first hive and give you the reasoning for each part of it. What works (or lately…

Foundationless Beekeeping: How to convert to natural beekeeping! Part II

The continuing process for changing over to foundationless hives is very simple.  Keep adding new frames to the center of the bottom box two at a time. When you add a new pair, move a pair of old contaminated foundation based frames up to the second box. Each time, you should place the new pair of foundationless empty…

So exactly what is natural comb anyway?

What is natural comb? What is foundation? What do you mean by foundationless? It is apparent there is a lot of confusion out there surrounding this. I think this post will make things crystal clear! Most chemicaly managed hives are full of nasty old comb drawn over foundation by a hive of bees in the late…

who we are:

Backyard Ecosystem began as an expression of my determination to make a difference in our own backyard. Literally and metaphorically making a difference at the micro level of my yard and to operate at macro level of treating the entire planet as something I am an integral part of and whose destiny is shaped everyday by what I do in my corner of the world.

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