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A question for Jacqueline Freeman

 
David Livingston
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Hi Jacqueline
I notice Cassie had a pic of you sitting in front of what I take to be two Warré hives . Have you had a good winter and how many hives do you have and are they all Warré?

David
 
Jacqueline Freeman
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Posts: 83
Location: southwest Washington state
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bee cat forest garden trees
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Hi David,
I've got a few warres, some top bars, a hybrid top bar with a warre blanket and quilt that I was test-driving, a few tree hives (yes, bees in trees that we rescued after they'd been cut down), and bees who live in the wall of our house who've been here for something like 60 years.

As far as winter, so far so good with everyone alive, though I have a concern about one of the hives, one we rescued in the winter that doesn't seem to be flourishing as much. But we haven't given up hope yet.

With so many hives scattered about the farm, we populate new hives from swarms that come from our hives, or wild bees that have moved into empty hives on their own (yes, it happens). ALL our hives since 2004 have been sourced from either swarms or cutouts from buildings.

http://spiritbee.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/DSCF9768.jpg
This link is one of our bee trees with a 3-box warre on top of the 40" trunk that's contained inside some empty langstroth hive boxes (purpose: to hold the split tree trunk from falling open). Frankly, most of our hives don't look very normal. They all have a story to them. <g>

Jacqueline

 
David Livingston
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I saw you said scattered about your farm . I notice that the latest work by Prof Seerley (sp? ) suggests that following natures example of about one hive every sq km might help to stop the drift of pathogens . It seems the more we find out about bees the better it is that we follow what happens in the "wild "
So do you have yours as singles couples or other groups?

David
 
David Livingston
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I also realise you have your Warrés with the handels at the front is this because you have the bars parralell to the entrance ( warm way )or like me you prefer lifting from the side as the hive is against the wall

David
 
Jacqueline Freeman
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Posts: 83
Location: southwest Washington state
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bee cat forest garden trees
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These particular hives are up against the south wall of the house, mostly so they benefited from the roof overhang and picked up some extra warmth in winter. With out Warres, I have the inside bars setup cold way, parallel to the entrance so the first comb acts as a bit of a wind block.

 
David Livingston
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I think the shelter thing is a good idea . I noticed on the Podcasts you did with Paul that you were a fan of Bee Boles - have you made any at your farm ? Unfortunetly here in France the stone is slate where I am although there may be a possibility to build one out of bricks . When I lived in Weardale in the UK they were quite a few near the old farm houses made in the Dry Stone walls
.I also thought of putting a hive in the attic but my partner was not keen on this idea.

David
 
Jacqueline Freeman
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Posts: 83
Location: southwest Washington state
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bee cat forest garden trees
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Bees in the attic? Yes, I have done cut-outs and removed bees from someone's attic, but not before trying my best to get them to let the colony stay. They didn't use the attic, it kept the bees warm, dry and happy, and if it had been my house, I would have loved them up there.

I haven't built a bee bole yet but we're doing stone work this year so hmmm.... maybe that's now on my list.

ALL our hives are under a sheltering roof of some kind, even the bee trees.

We are designing a new bee building and hope to build it this year. We are considering having the bees on the second floor, up high where they like to be, and room for classes downstairs under them. I will entertain all ideas on how best to design this, if anyone gets a smart idea on this.

warmly,
Jacqueline
 
David Livingston
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Lots of ideas they may be used in conjuction or not

Hexagonal building - start with a bee theme from the base windows on the south south west and south east sides .Could double as a conservatory to start of your plants in the spring or house delicates in the winter
Dormer windows in the roof to house bee hives http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dormer bee hives on trollys to withdaw into attic space when you need to work on them something like this http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gardman-Wooden-Plant-Trolley-Square/dp/B001P3SXIM
PV array of course
Catch rainwater to provide a water feature -many folks forget that bees need water too
Outside trellis covering building for bee plants also shade for teaching outside Kiwi fruit maybe

David
 
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