If anyone needs honeybees removed from a structure or tree, I remove (live removals) honeybees in Medina county and surrounding areas
It is my intention to apply some permaculture techniques to develop a philosophy of beekeeping (I'm a new beekeeper, so this experiment is very young to date).
The main theory is that Nature knows how to best utilize resources, therefore, copy nature. Applying this to beekeeping will most likely result in some difficulties, and losses (our honeybees, after all, have been domesticated for several thousands of years, and are no longer "wild" or purely "natural"). But I plan on gathering "feral" colonies from buildings, trees, etc. and allowing them to continue to "take care of themselves" with minimal interference from me (the interference will mostly be be robbing honey, and inspections). I will not treat for any pests or diseases. If pests are present, we will try to take the approach that "the problem (e.g. varroa) is the solution" and discern why it is that one colony may develop an infestation, and another won't.
So, it is critical for me to observe and make note of as many "feral" colonies as possible, in order to try to determine what conditions are "ideal" for the bees in their "natural" state, and then try to copy those conditions in our bee yards.
Some questions/ideas to be worked out:
- Natural cycles within the colony - do they help to minimize pests/problems? E.g., swarming may be an indicator that the colony needs the cycle of a swarm for some reason. When we are trying to manage the swarm, should we try to reproduce the swarm effect on the existing colony, instead of trying to stop it?
- Pests - could they really be useful - in both telling us what is going on within the hive and re-conditioning the hive? when a colony dies and wax moth takes over, does the wax moth "clean up" bee diseases, etc. when then destroy the comb? Some cutouts seem to show evidence of previous pest infestions, followed by very robust colonies.
- More to come.
A short video clip of a feral colony removal I did in Late July /August 2010. These girls were not happy after the tree was dropped and I began chainsawing into the nest. I was able to re-hive them.