Image credit: NatalieMaynor, used under Creative Commons license.
Whether we are talking about Colony Collapse Disorder, keeping native bees, solar-powered bee hives or Barack Obama as beekeeper, there are plenty of folks interested in beekeeping out there. Every now and then we get comments from folks asking about natural, organic and sustainable beekeeping methods. Now an online course is offering an introduction to one of the most popular elements of alternative beekeeping—top-bar hives.Still used by traditional beekeepers in much of the world, the top-bar hive is essentially an easy-to-construct bee hive based more closely on how bees build their colonies in the wild. Instead of the four-sided frames used in conventional hives, top-bar hives consist of a series of, well, top bars—to which bees attach their own comb. This results in less honey production, and makes it impossible to remove honey using a centrifuge, but advocates say it is healthier and more sustainable. The honey that is produces is also comb honey, which is highly prized as a delicacy.
This Sunday and next Sunday at 4pm est, would be natural beekeepers will be able to learn from one of the foremost experts in this method via an online course in top-bar hive beekeeping.
Hosted by June Stoyer and conducted by Philip Chandler, bee expert and author of The Barefoot Beekeeper, the course covers everything from the nature of honeybees, through how to build a hive, to working with your bees. According to Chandler, "when you see for yourself how bees design, build and manage their own nest, you will realize how little they need from us as beekeepers, and how much we can learn from them."
More on Bees and Colony Collapse Disorder
Help the Bee Whisperer Save More Bees
Keeping Native Australian Stingless Bees
Natural, Sustainable Beekeeping
Colony Collapse Disorder and the Epic Fight to Save the Bees
How to Compost Your Bees: Lessons from a Failed Beekeeper
Vanishing of the Bees: A Documentary
White House Garden to Feature Bees Too