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

Old and new frames

I started out beekeeping on my own just the way I learned growing up. With foundation. I had heard the old saws: “It takes twenty pounds of honey to make a pound of wax” “You can’t extract if you don’t have foundation” “You will…

Backwards Beekeeping: You can’t pretend to be natural, it will end in tears.

From Gerald in Cullowhee, NC: So–I am now an organic beekeeper. But am cheating a bit–we have no other bees that we know of within a couple miles so no chance of catching something from other hives. Hi Gerald, Glad to hear you are…

You Can Be Open and Giving and Sharing or You Can Be a Complete Tool™ and Hire a Lawyer

I could barely sleep last night because of this. Manifesto alert, proceed at your own risk. Everything we post about here on Backyard Ecosystem. Everything underlying the movement toward greening our cites over the last several decades. The very title of the excellent book written by…

Bees and Shrimp are in the same boat (and it is sinking)

Here is another reason to keep your bees in town. Dennis Murrell of BeeNatural talks about being Malathioned. I remember our bees getting overspray from soybeans planted across the road when I was growing up and the resulting pile of dead bees in front…

Urban bees eat better than their country cousins

This is a great article from the BBC on the better diet that bees in urban and suburban beehives have access to. It talks about research into my long-held suspicion that bees, like humans, love the variety that urban life has to offer.

Honeybee Swarm Rescue Times Three

This was written the first week of May, when swarms start flying things get crazy. Monday Night… Today Natalie and I rescued two swarms from the fence of my friend Paige here in Denver. I learned about the swarms from a post Paige put…

Spring Bee Hive Update

Happy bees, happy beekeeper.

Last week I took advantage of our warm weather here in Denver and opened up the hives to take a look at things. Our original hive is in great shape. This hive has a one-year-old queen I witnessed cutting herself out of her cell…

Natural Comb / Small Cell Transition

I wanted to closely document the transition to small cell to help others with the process, both backyard and commercial-scale beekeepers. If you are not aware bees raised on natural comb have a good track record of surviving without any chemicals in managed hives….

Mite grooming in one of my hives!

First full-frame of natural drawn comb

Today, I opened the hives to monitor and document progress on the changeover to natural cell beekeeping and incidentally noticed a bee doing the waggle dance. This is typically done to communicate to the other bees the location of a new source of nectar…

Bee update, Photos at last!

bees and branches on a white sheet in front of the hive

Bee update: Safely split the hive. Queen Cell in the process of hatching in the old hive, I could actually see her cutting out of her cell. Original Queen and two spare unhatched queen cells in the Nuc. I should have two hives shortly….