Натуральное пчеловодство и производство органического меда (перевод продолжу)

Натуральное пчеловодство и производство органического меда являются очень близкими понятиями, which thus far have not acquired formal definitions. The latter term is based on distinct criteria for the source of nectar. You can be a natural beekeeper (or close to natural), but still not fulfill all of the requirements for organic honey production. On the other hand, organic honey producers must apply natural beekeeping techniques, which in general are more restrictive.

Наиболее значительная разница между этими двумя понятиями is the fact that natural beekeeping is a term created and applied internally by beekeepers. As such, it is not subject to any legal standards. Organic honey production, however, represents a process regulated through the Organic Apiculture Standards. For this reason, any beekeeper who wishes to declare his honey as organic must abide by these regulations.

В этой статье I will further explain the differences between these two terms, based on limited discussions available in modern beekeeping literature as well as my own beekeeping practices.

В настоящее время больщинство пчеловодов, и особенно в комерческом секторе, do not apply natural beekeeping techniques that were used in the past, which has led to a large-scale weakening of bee colonies. For example, almost all beekeepers now use immense amounts of chemicals to fight mites and other diseases. In addition, they feed their colonies with syrups and other supplements.
Мои пчелы здоровы, так как я придерживаюсь только принципов натурального пчеловодства.
В этой статье я постараюсь описать методику содержания пчел, дающую превосходные результаты не примененяя химикаты, без которых многие пчеловоды уже просто не могут обходиться.

Пчелы будут всегда здоровыми и продуктивными, если пчеловод:

- правильно выберет место для пасеки;
- правильно выберет конструкцию улья, обеспечивающую хорошую вентиляцию улья;
- правильно установит улей на местности;
- выберет породу пчел, наиболее подходящую для конкретной климатической зоны и конкретных медоносов;
- не будет забирать у пчел осенью весь мед и заменять его сиропами;
- будет подкармливать пчел в случае необходимости только натуральными кормами;
- будет проводить плановые инспекции улья только в случае реальной необходимость, без неоправданого вмешательства в жизнь пчелиной колонии.

1. Источник нектара и расположение пасеки

Выбор места для будущей пасеки является очень важным вопросом, как с точки зрения здоровья пчел, так и с точки зрения качества продуктов пчеловодства, особенно если вы поставили себе цель производить натуральную (органическую) продукцию.

You should select each apiary site carefully. Otherwise, you may jeopardize the efficiency of your investment.
Locate beeyards in a protected area near water and flowering crops or wild flowers. Throughout the foraging season there must be nectar and pollen sources within a short distance of the hives.
In order for honey to be certified organic, the apiary must be placed in isolated areas miles from the dense population, industry, traffic congestion, and farm fields treated with chemicals and landfills.
In addition "The producer of an organic apiculture operation must not maintain colonies in an area where a significant risk of contamination by prohibited materials exist within a 4 mile (6.4 kilometers) radius of the apiary, as described in the operation's organic apiculture plan." (NOSB Apiculture Task Force Report Organic Apiculture Standards October 16, 2001)
Therefore, finding area which can be certified organic is extremely difficult, which is why there are so few certified organic honeys on the market.

By choosing a place for your hives, also you have to think about your colonies health. According to the USDA ARS: "…shaded apiary conditions caused colonies to have more mites. Overall, keeping entire apiaries of mite resistant honey bees in direct sun resulted in colonies having the fewest mites. …Exposure to sunlight retarded mite population growth while prolonged shade accelerated it, causing the death of many of the Italian colonies."

Phytoncides of pine trees are capable of killing various microbes within a considerable distance. It is a known fact that feral bees that live in coniferous forests are usually healthy. Therefore, I decided to place my bee yards near the border with a coniferous forest.
If there is no forest in your area, you can plant some pine trees near your hives. These trees will also act as windbreakers.

It is advisable to protect your hives from high winds. Also you have to avoid any wet areas or locations that held damp air.

In the north, a south slope is desirable. Arrange you hives in a way, that the early morning sunlight will strike the front side of your hives early in the morning and wake your bees up. This will help your bees to become active early in the day, and thus gain an advantage by getting the first supply of nectar. At the same time, during the hottest hours of the day your hives should be shaded, so that the bees will not hang-out in front of the hive instead of working.
Avoid placing beeyards near areas frequently used by bears.

My bee yards are located in a watershed zone, controlled by DEP (Department of Environmental Protection).

  Therefore, there are many restrictions not only for the farmers, but also for all homeowners.

  In addition, thousands of acres of forest have been preserved as state land.

"NO TRESPASSING" - except my bees!

  Солнечные лучи попадают на мои ульи с 8-ми утра до 3-х часов дня. There is partial sunlight from 7:30 am to 8 am and from 3 pm to 5 pm. Здесь вы можете увидеть положение солнца на протяжении всего дня.

2. Содержание ульев

Для меня совершенно очевидно, что здоровье пчелиной семьи зависит от правильного выбора конструкции улья и его правильной установки на местности.
- Hive design (a. materials, b. ventilation, c. paint colors...);
  a. Materials
- Foundations (comb size..)
I have read a lot of beekeeping literature in several languages, but never saw any practical recommendations on how to choose the correct cell size that will fit to your specific strain of bees.
Many years ago unproved theory about efficiency of small-cell size comb foundation in fighting with Varroa mites appeared. And unfortunately, many beekeepers succumbed to this theory. Nevertheless, recent studies have refuted the effectiveness of such approach.
Today, frames and foundations of various cell size are available for purchase. So, what cell size is suitable to your bees? I think with foundationless frames, installed in brood area, every beekeeper can find out the needs of his bees to build a comb with naturally required cell size.

b. Вентиляция ульев
Wet and warm air creates a perfect habitat for many types of bacteria. Although we still cannot design an ideal beehive, especially for climates with frequent temperature changes over a short period of time, we should try to find a solution. After all, improvements in ventilation decrease hive humidity and reduce the need for beekeepers to intrude into bees’ lives in order to help colonies to fight against bacteria.
More about hive ventilation

c. Paint colors: Test Results are Here

- Hive inspection.
You should examine your bee hives only in case of obvious necessity. Before you plan to disturb your bees, think about the appropriateness of such a step. Remember, that during the honey flow season, each opening of the hive leads to significant losses of honey. Also, every time you inspect your hive there is a chance that you accidentally could damage or kill the queen. Therefore, try to find answers to your concerns based on indirect observation and outside attributes like newly emerged bees or an adult worker bees with damaged (undeveloped) wings.
An additional example - my "pollen collection – queen presence" theory: you have just settled a new colony into a hive or placed a new queen into an existing colony and want to know whether she is alive and whether she started laying eggs. Instead of disturbing your bees, look carefully at workers' behavior. If the worker bees are actively bringing pollen to the hive, it's a 99.9 percent guarantee that everything is okay with the queen or at least "base for the new queen" (queen cells, eggs or young uncapped larvae) is presented. The biology of the Honey bees (Apis mellifera) explains my statement: worker bees collect the pollen and then mix it with some nectar. Such form of mixture (called beebread) is a protein-rich food used to feed the larvae (immature bees).

But you definitely have to inspect the hive in a situation when the workers in that hive are not actively bringing pollen, while the workers in the rest of your colonies are. One of the reasons that workers are not bringing pollen could be absence of the queen.

In a situations when you want to make sure that the queen is present, you can follow my recommendations:

1. Try not to do it during cold or windy weather.

2. Usually, the queen is located in the place where there is the highest amount of worker bees. Generally, it is not recommended to take out first the frames with the most bees due to a chance of damaging or killing the queen. Therefore, it is better to start this task with the frame, which contains fewer bees, generally on the side of the hive.

3. Take one side frame out and inspect it visually. There is still a chance that the queen could be there, therefore you should not put the frame on the ground, but use a nuc box as a temporary location. For the same purpose you can also use a Frame Holder (Frame Perch).

4. Continue by initially shifting the second frame into the open spot on the side and then lifting it out. Inspect the frame to see if the queen is there and return the frame into the side spot. Continue this motion as necessary with the next frames, by first shifting then lifting and replacing frames in a sequence until the queen is located.

5. Once you are satisfied that everything is okay with the queen, it is better to put back the frame with the queen in reverse motion. In other words, put the frame with the queen into an open spot and then shift it back into place. Then shift the rest of the frames towards the frame with the queen and put back the very first frame into its original place.

6. In addition, note that it is better to inspect frames directly above the hive, just in case the queen falls from the frame. If you haven't found the queen on your first try, don't be disappointed and don't try to repeat the task right way. Sometimes the queen can be on the wall or the floor of the hive. It is better to close the hive and come back in a few hours. Chances are the queen could move onto a frame during this time.

7. Finally, it is not necessary to see the queen. If young larvae are visible in the cells you know a queen was present at least a few days before.

- Water source
"Bees store their food and raise their young in the honeycomb nest. Honeycomb is made from beeswax, which is secreted by young worker bees, and fashioned into the familiar honeycomb hexagonal shape. Because bees live in these wax combs, though, they have to keep the nest at a constant temperature, not only to keep the colony from overheating, but also to prevent the wax from melting. In hot weather, bees cool the colony much like your swamp or evaporative cooler does - by evaporating off drops of water. Bees collect water and spread it throughout the colony in droplets. Then they fan the air to create an air stream over the water drops, causing the water to evaporate and thus lowering the nest temperatures. When bees forage for water, they are not too fussy about where they collect it. It could be from a small, muddy puddle, a stream or your swimming pool, irrigation system, swamp cooler or birdbath." (http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=11067&page=7)

- Strains of honey bees
The best bees are the bees that can overwinter in your area and build up in the spring.
I prefer ARS Russian bees (not original Russian bees from Russia!), because they are really mite resistant and "... are less likely than other bees to lose hive members during harsh, cold weather. Russian bees appear more frugal with their winter food stores." (USDA ARS - Russian Bees 2007 Annual Report: http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pro...s=true&fy=2007 )

- Package (packaged) bees installation;

- Feeding is here - part #1

- Annual requeening
The annual requeening is a very controversial subject...

- queen breeding;
- harvest;

- Wintering
Winter is the most difficult time in bees' life and all beekeepers must remember this.

A number of factors must be considered in preparing colonies for winter.
Queen condition and colony size. Usually young queens lay more eggs than old queens. Young queens will lay later in the autumn to provide more young bees as the colony prepares for winter. A young queen not only will get through the winter better than an old one, but she will capable of expanding her laying just as fast as the weather and the cluster of hovering bees can care of it. Young bees are also preferable to old ones since they withstand the rigours of winter and are sufficiently long-lived to survive the spring, the time when bees are needed to cluster over the multiplying areas of brood as well as furnish the food for emerging bees. So, the strong colonies of young bees headed by a healthy vigorous queen is my first goal. Usually, I use two or three body hives for the winter season, depending on the colony size. I do not reduce colony size to one hive body if my colonies are too strong.
A sufficient amount of food in the hives is one of the key elements of successful wintering. The first (bottom) and the second hive bodies should contain from 20 to 30 pounds of honey and some pollen. Most of the honey is located in the top hive body. The top hive body should contains from 40 to 50 pounds of honey.
As the winter progresses and the food supplies decrease, a cluster of bees will shift its position upward as the stores are consumed.
When the winter is very cold and temperature steadlily declines, the cluster is forced to rise and move away from the front of the hive faster. If a sufficient amount of honey is not left in the top body, the colony may starve even if an abundance of honey still remains at the bottom of the hive!

  To improve bees' defensive response to bacteria, I immunize them with freshly-grated onion twice a year, once during late autumn and once in the early spring if my colonies may succumb to disease.

  Очень простая, но в то же время очень практичная рекомендация для пчеловодов, чьи ульи расположены в климатической зоне с холодными зимами.

Обычно после сильных заморозков гибнет много пчел, которые падают на дно ульев, в том числе и вблизи нижнего летка. Рабочие пчелы не летают в холодную погоду и соответственно не могут вытаскивать из ульев погибших пчел. Скопившиеся у летка мертвые пчелы блокируя приток свежего воздуха. Кроме того, мертвые пчелы - это всегда источник инфекций.

Чтобы сократить дальнейшую гибель пчел во время зимовки пчеловод должен ПОСТОЯННО следить за поддержанием надлежащей вентиляции в ульях. Для этого достаточно изготовить крюк из толстой проволоки и выгрести всех мертвых пчел на кусок фанеры, а затем их сжечь.

  Подготовка к снежному шторму.

  Небольшие куски фанеры нужно установить под наклоном, чтобы обеспечить необходимую вентиляцию ульев в случае их заноса (покрытия) снегом.

  Я предпочитаю использовать снег в качестве естественного утеплителя.

Продолжение следует...

Фотографии, имеющие отношение к натуральному пчеловодству:

  Первая весенняя инспекция ульев.

7 апреля, 2008

  Это двух корпусная семья, которая выглядит очень хорошо после холодной зимы. Второй корпус (на фото) полон пчел.

7 апреля, 2008

  При необходимости я достаю из запасников подкормку:




Для осененней и весенней подкормок я использую ТОЛЬКО натуральные корма, которые заготавливают сами пчелы.
Настоящий пчеловод не станет перед зимовкой грабить пчел "до ниточки" и скармливать их затем всякого рода сиропами.

7 апреля, 2008

  This is the first (bottom) hive body after a cold winter.
The thickness of all of my bottom bodies is 1 1/2"!
As you can see, the wooden body is absolutely clear - there is no mold!!!
How is this possible?

9 апреля, 2008

  This is my KNOW HOW: bee-friendly, 100% pure sunflower or olive oil.

Apply two coats of sunflower oil to your new hive bodies (especially the bottom body) and bottom boards as you would apply regular paint. You can use a paintbrush or a small piece of cloth. Apply sunflower oil on the inside ONLY!

How to preserve hives naturally

9 апреля, 2008

Organic Beekeeping Journal

Natural Cell Size

The need for organic beekeeping

Natural Comb Observation Bee Hives

Борис Романов:   1 марта, 2000
Обновлено:  9 декабря, 2009


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