Thinking of keeping honey bees, but not sure which direction to go?
The first question is: why keep bees? Bees are important are part of the food chain, they are one of the main pollinators that ensure farmers and gardeners alike can harvest their produce. The sad news is that honey bees are under threat worldwide with land clearing, pesticides, and pests and disease being some of the main culprits. We can help by keeping bees in our own backyards where they can readily forage on the flowers and vegetables that we grow for our families.
The next questions are: What sort of bee hive should I invest in? What are my priorities when thinking about installing a bee hive on my property?
Most of us are familiar with (though not the name, perhaps) the Langstroth hive, which is a vertical modular bee hive. Each box contains frames which are easily removed to harvest the honey. These hives are most effective for commercial honey production.
Remember the excitement over the ‘flow hive’? This Australian invention has taken the world by storm with the promise of easy honey extraction. What is not always known is that the flow hive requires the same regular beekeeping practices as other hives to ensure the health of the bees.
Both of the above hive designs have focussed on honey production. However, there are other approaches!
Paul Wood, from Brisbane Backyard Bees advocates for Top Bar Hives, saying that they are sympathetic to the bees’ lifestyle and that this specific design allows bees to live almost as naturally as they would in the wild. In other words, you can still harvest honey, but at the same time, enjoy observing and learning about your bees while providing them with a man-made habitat that mirrors their natural preferences. Fascinating!
This workshop will provide you with the information you need to start up or extend your beekeeping with a Top Bar Hive and a chance to ask questions about the different hives available.
Millen Farm 2204 Mt Samson Road, Samford, Queensland 4520