Honeybees and mankind have grown up together over thousands of years. Currently, because of mans disregard for our small friend, they are in decline. So who cares? I care. There are so many species becoming extinct because of man’s intermeddling with nature; that intermeddling is killing off man. So as the honeybee goes, so goes mankind.
Honeybees pollinate most of our food growing plants and trees. They also share their food (honey) and wax with us. This may seem inconsequential to the uninformed mall shopper who predominates the collective thinking of an anthill; doing what everyone else is doing and remaining unaware of how we are tied, still, with nature.
This is springtime and the natural cycle is for the plants to reproduce seeds of various sorts that make up part of our diet. This is accomplished by the pollen that gives you “hay fever”, and covers your car in dust. No pollen- no fertilization-no food.
Record keeping of the honeybee habitat by beekeepers recalls that in 1957 we had 27,000,000 honeybee hives. Today we are less than 2,000,000 honeybee hives. In earlier times honeybees were hived in all sorts of containers called “Skeps” Somewhere along the US Civil War era a beekeeper by the name of “Langstrof” devised a more efficient system of bee keeping management increasing the primary goal of honey production.
Today when you see a white box on a farm setting it is probably a beehive. Bees do not like these hives and subsequently there has been a history of repeated “improvements” to this hive design as well as other similar ones-all with the goal of honey production with attendant pollination of crops and trees within a 3-mile area.
Honeybees prefer specific Skep designs that are roughly 4’ high and 1’ square, just like a hollow apple tree. These old trees, “honey trees” as they were called, were often robbed by bears, and mankind, but the bees adapted. They would send out scouts to find other suitable locations and swarm out because of damage to the primary hive or, because there was an overabundance of new bees and a new fertilized queen that need extra space.
My current planned project will take at least a year or two which involves a new design for a hive and then managing the hive(s) to suit the long lost friendship between bees and man. Sounds nutty I am sure, but from my experience in honeybees it is quite obvious that we as homesteaders-not major commercial truck raised bee machines- can integrate with the bees, share their resources and provide resources that they need.
In Germany and Austria I have pictures that show homes actually modified so that hives are in the windows and partly built in the homes. Of course my previous articles on separate bee houses are in abundance. The Germans and Austrians appreciate, and have a love of bees.
At this point I am providing some links you may want to study.
Also for the book researchers an excellent recommendation is: Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley PhD. I bought mine on Amazon.com for my kindle.
In the mean time I will get back to you in a couple years with first hand data. When you review my former articles you may want to plant some of the indigenous flora. One of my goals is to use the video camera which I am learning and I am sure would make another excellent You Tube presentation.
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