My Organic beekeeping methode in practise
My Organic method in a nutshell: -Bees are kept close to where I live so that's is easier and quicker to visit them frequently if necessary (not more than 30 km away from home) -the apiaries are in bush areas which are at least 3km away from any commercial crops (in case the crops have been sprayed) -The bees are kept in untreated wooden boxes with untreated wooden frames -The beeswax foundation in the frames are homemade and all from my own wax cycle
-I do my own Queen breeding in the spring and autumn -only the surplus honey the bees have collected is taken. So the bees always have their own honey to take them through the winter. -To keep the bee colonies healthy and low levels of mites I use Formic Acid in late summer and thyme oil in the spring. I also remove drone brood on a regular base to lower mite levels. At the moment I am experimenting with oxalic treatment for the spring. -regular old frame replacement is part of keeping colonies in good health condition -I do not use queen excluders and let the colony work in the natural way as if they were wild bees. Queens should rather be included than excluded. -Harvesting honey will always be done midday when temperatures are high. And prior to the harvest, there will be a disease inspection to be sure that the colony is disease-free. The bees are brushed off the honey frames manually and the frames are brought home for honey extraction the same day -The cappings are scratched manually off the frames before they go into a hand-driven extractor. -Within three days all honey will be in the final jar (usually glass jars), so no in-between storage
-for honeycomb lovers, I also produce honeycomb in the wooden section. And cut honeycomb in glass jars. All honeycomb is harvested before the 31st of December according to the law. -I usually strain the honey through a coarse strainer which lets small wax and propolis bits and pollen through. With all of that its possible to have the honey as wholesome as possible. -all honey harvested after the 31 of December will be tutin tested and some honey will undergo a pollen analysis to find out what types of flower sources the bees have been foraging on. - to have a variety of honey I do buy some honey in from some well known organic beekeepers - Its part of my philosophy to stay in regular contact with other beekeepers to exchange new experiences. -due to my work in the field doing AFB disease inspections and Exotic disease inspections and some work to collect bee samples for science, I have always been able to further my knowledge about beekeeping. - one of those things we do learn with more knowledge: “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.” Einstein said that I think....................