The Practical Beekeeper Volume Ii Intermediate Beekeeping Naturally

The Practical Beekeeper Volume Ii Intermediate Beekeeping Naturally

by Michael Bush


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The Practical Beekeeper Volume Ii Intermediate Beekeeping Naturally by Michael Bush

This book is about how to keep bees in a natural and practical system where they do not require treatments for pests and diseases and only minimal interventions. It is also about simple practical beekeeping. It is about reducing your work. It is not a main-stream beekeeping book. Many of the concepts are contrary to "conventional" beekeeping. The techniques presented here are streamlined through decades of experimentation, adjustments and simplification. The content was written and then refined from responding to questions on bee forums over the years so it is tailored to the questions that beekeepers, new and experienced, have.
It is divided into three volumes and this edition contains only Volume II: Intermediate Beekeeping Naturally.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781614760627
Publication date: 06/17/2011
Pages: 220
Sales rank: 726,828
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Michael Bush has had an eclectic set of careers from printing and graphic arts, to construction to computer programming and a few more in between. Currently he is working in computers. He has been keeping bees since the mid 70's, usually from two to seven hives up until the year 2000. Varroa forced more experimentation which required more hives and the number has grown steadily over the years from then. By 2008 it was about 200 hives. He is active on many of the Beekeeping forums with last count at over 50,000 posts between all of them.

"His writing is like his talks, with more content, detail, and depth than one would think possible with such few words...his website and PowerPoint presentations are the gold standard for diverse and common sense beekeeping practices."--Dean Stiglitz

Table of Contents

Volume II Intermediate 259
A System of Beekeeping 261
Decisions, Decisions... 265
Personal Beekeeping Philosophy 266
Locality 269
Lazy Beekeeping 271
Top Entrances 272
Uniform frame size. 274
Lighter boxes 276
Horizontal hives 280
Top Bar Hive 281
Foundationless frames 282
Making foundationless frames 282
No chemicals/no artificial feed 284
Leave honey for winter food 285
Natural cell size 286
Carts 287
Leave the burr comb between boxes 287
Stop cutting out swarm cells 289
Stop fighting your bees 290
Stop wrapping your hive. 290
Stop scraping all the propolis off of everything 291
Stop painting your equipment. 292
Stop switching hive bodies. 293
Don't look for the queen. 294
Don't wait. 295
Feed dry sugar. 296
Split by the box. 296
Stop Requeening. 297
Feeding Bees 298
First, when do you feed? 298
Stimulative feeding. 300
My experiences with stimulative feeding. 302
Down sides to success: 303
Variable outcomes: 304
Dry Sugar: 304
Type of feeder: 305
Second, what do you feed? 305
Pollen 306
Third, how much do you feed? 306
Fourth, how do you feed? 306
Issues when considering the type of feeder: 307
Basic types of feeders 308
Frame feeders 308
Boardman feeder 309
Jar feeder 309
Miller feeder 311
Bottom board feeder 313
Jay Smith Bottom Board Feeder 313
My version 315
Baggie feeder 320
Open feeder 321
Candy board 321
Fondant 321
Dry Sugar 321
What kind of sugar? 325
Pollen 326
Measuring ratios for syrup 326
Weight or Volume? 326
How to measure 327
How to make syrup 327
Moldy syrup 328
Top Entrances 329
Reasons for top entrances 329
How to make top entrances 331
Top Entrance Frequently Asked Questions: 334
Carts 337
Swarm Control 341
Splits 348
Natural Cell Size 356
And its implications to beekeeping and Varroa mites 356
Rationalizations on Small Cell Success 380
Foundationless 385
Narrow Frames 400
FAQs 408
Yearly Cycles 410
Winter 410
Bees 410
Stores 411
Setup for winter 411
Spring 411
Summer 412
Fall 412
Wintering Bees 414
Mouse Guards 414
Queen Excluders 415
Screened bottom boards (SBB) 415
Wrapping 416
Clustering hives together 416
Feeding Bees 416
Insulation 418
Top Entrances 419
Where the cluster is 419
How strong? 419
Entrance reducers 420
Pollen 420
Windbreak 421
Eight frame boxes 421
Medium boxes 421
Narrow frames 422
Wintering Nucs 422
Banking queens 423
Indoor wintering 424
Wintering observation hives 424
Spring Management 425
Tied to climate 425
Feeding Bees 425
Swarm Control 426
Splits 427
Supering 428
Laying Workers 429
Cause 429
Symptoms 429
Solutions 430
Simplest, least trips to the beeyard 430
Shakeout and forget 430
Most successful but more trips to the beeyard 430
Give them open brood 430
Other less successful or more tedious methods 431
More info on laying workers 432
Brood pheromones 432
More than Bees 434
Macro and Microfauna 434
Microflora 434
Pathogens? 435
Upsetting the Balance 435
For More Reading 435
Bee Math 437
Races of Bees 438
Italian 438
Starline 438
Cordovan 438
Caucasian 439
Carniolan 439
Midnite 439
Russian 440
Buckfast 440
German or English native bees 440
LUS 441
Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) 441
Moving Bees 442
Moving hives two feet 442
Moving hives two miles 442
More than 2 feet and less than 2 miles 444
Moving hives 100 yards or less by yourself. 444
Concepts 444
Materials: 446
Method 447
Treatments for Varroa not working 450
A Few Good Queens 452
Simple Queen Rearing for a Hobbyist 452
Labor and Resources 452
Quality of Emergency Queens 452
The experts on emergency queens: 453
Jay Smith: 453
C.C. Miller: 454
Equipment 455
Method: 455
Make sure they are well fed 455
Make them Queenless 455
Make up Mating Nucs 455
Transfer Queen Cells 456
Check for Eggs 456

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The Practical Beekeeper Volume II Intermediate Beekeeping Naturally 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
WVgrrl More than 1 year ago
After a decades-long hiatus from beekeeping, I decided to return to the undertaking a couple of years ago. The wonder of, and love for, bees was instilled in me as a young girl, by my father who first introduced me to them in the back yard, with honey smeared across my fingers. As they licked up the honey with their funny, little tongues, he explained to me how they were all little girl bees (except for the lazy drones back in the hive!) and said, “They’ll never hurt you unless you hurt them first.” Never once was he wrong. And never once have I lost the fascination with the utter miracle that is a wee honeybee. But everything has changed since Dad first began teaching me about bees. Back in those days you pretty much just dumped a package in a box lined with foundation, walked away, and came back in a few months to reap the rewards of their unceasing labor. Even as I bought the first of my apiary equipment, in anticipation of spring, I was daunted. Pesticides, Varroa mites, tracheal mites, zombie flies, nosema, AFB, SHB, EFB, CCD, wax moth, stone brood, sac brood, chalk brood, parafoul brood, winter die-out…good grief – it’s enough to make you quit beekeeping before you ever start! To say nothing of all the cures and preventions for it all! Everything I read had an ominous whiff of gloom and doom and the odds of a hive making it for long without some serious issues didn’t look good - to say nothing of the costs and work involved in keeping them hanging on. I come from a “conventional” beekeeping background, and I read up on all the treatments and preventions. I didn’t like any of them. Why give antibiotics to someone that isn’t sick, for crying out loud? And why dump poisons into a hive of little bees, the label for which warns in bold print that you have to be wearing gloves to touch it yourself? Why force into their lives and home what I wouldn’t want to eat in my own honey? Even organic essential oils and other “natural treatments,” are intrusive and disruptive to the delicate balance which is the ecology of a beehive. None of it made sense to me, and none of it seemed to be working particularly well, but it seemed like there was no other way. Daunted, but undeterred, I ordered my bees and started reading about natural beekeeping. I perused a number of web sites, read some forums, scanned through books but, I am sorry, they were mostly a turn-off. Not a few of the people writing some of the stuff seemed like absolute flakes, some of whom were downright nasty in their philosophizing (not to say that doesn’t occur on both sides of the apiary, because of course, it does). Maybe I was looking at all the wrong sources, but nowhere could I find anything like solid evidence their way worked – just esoteric opinions on the evils of the conventional beekeeper and his methods. Enter Michael Bush and “The Practical Beekeeper” (Volumes I, II, and III). In a clear, succinct way “The Practical Beekeeper” intelligently illustrates why what we have been doing, and they way we have been doing it, simply is not working any longer and will never work again. Michael Bush shows us – proves to us – the incredibly simple, natural methods that do. “The Practical Beekeeper” series addresses the plethora of issues facing our bees around the world today, intelligently and historically relates how we got where we are, and what we need to do to get back where we need to be. There is no issue facing beekeepers today – from Varroa mites to old-timers being able to lift heavy hives – which “The Practical Beekeeper” series does not address. Michael Bush’s beekeeping methods are natural, cheaper, easier, proven to work and – most important of all – what is best for the bees. Everything he says makes absolute sense because it is founded squarely upon the science of nature and proven results. Mr. Bush is clearly an extremely intelligent, learned, and articulate man who knows his bee stuff. His matter-of-fact style isn’t preachy or flaky and his manner of writing, though sometimes addressing complex issues in a thorough and scientific manner, is easy to read and understand. “The Practical Beekeeper” series will take you through everything you need to know, starting with the basics in Volume I and moving up to rearing your own queens in Volume III (Yes, it can be done – it’s easy, and produces better queens!). If you are a new or aspiring beekeeper, or maybe just curious about bees, buy this book. You need it. There’s nothing wrong with some of the old, conventional standbys – they’re great books; I own most of them and still refer back to them. But get started out on the right foot from the get-go: Buy “The Practical Beekeeper” first even if, like me, you have to buy them one volume at a time. It is the best money you will ever spend on your bees. If you are a conventional beek and you have had umpteen hives, and dozens of bee books for years, buy “The Practical Beekeeper” anyway. You need it. Put aside, for a moment, what you think you know (which may, in fact, be a lot) and just listen to what Michael Bush has to say. If you don’t believe his way works, take a look at his Health Certificates since 2004, which he makes readily available on his web site. The methods in “The Practical Beekeeper” will save you time, save you money, make your life so much easier, and increase the health of your apiary. Make no mistake, the majority of beekeepers of every persuasion – from “conventional” to “organic” – love their bees. From the guys who make a living on pollination, to the vegans who think it is immoral to rob them of their honey, beeks are dedicated to helping their bees survive and we do what we do because we love them and we are trying to do what is right the only way we know how. And there is wisdom on both sides. But, in ways we are only just now beginning to understand, we have, with our tinkering and our interfering and our meddling, been unknowingly hurting these incredible little creatures for centuries. We are finally paying for it. What is worse, so are the bees. Michael Bush’s “The Practical Beekeeper” shows us the way home.