Saturday, August 11, 2007

Monroe Beekeepers Update

Hi All:
I have donated some books and a video to Tinker Nature Park so if you are interested in any of those materials please see Tim Pratt at the Hansen Nature Center. Bob Ducan, the Bee Inspector, will be coming to our next meeting which is scheduled for Tuesday, August 14th, 5:30 pm.
Bob will be showing us what he is looking for when he comes to inspect our hives. This is a good time to ask those questions you may have on disease control. If it is raining we will be forced to go inside and do a dry run inside. If it's not raining, we will be in the Bee Yard opening hives and checking them out so if you have a suit, bring it to the next meeting.

I hope to see you all there!

Damon Lincourt

Medieval beekeepers
Medieval beekeepers did not breed bees in the modern sense of the word. In Germany their bees were wild bees living in the endless forests, somewhat domesticated by the beekeepers by providing ideal nesting places and somehow guiding a new colony to these manmade places. Usually the beekeeper would cut of the top of a suitable tree near the edge of the forest or at the edge of a clearing. The remaining trunk had to be high enough to offer some protection from bears and low enough for the beekeeper to reach the bees without too much trouble. He would then carve a hole big enough for a colony into the trunk or use a natural cavity in the trunk. He would also make sure the sun could shine on the trunk most of the day and thus keep it warm.

Once a suitable place was found or prepared, the beekeeper would close most of the opening with wooden planks leaving just enough room for the bees to fly in and out of the nest, while protecting the colony from bears and other honey loving creatures. The honey was usually harvestet ind late spring when nature provided enough food for the bees. The honeycombs were simply broken out to the nests and the wax was separated from the honey.
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