Chop Wood Carry Water Plant Seeds is a blog about Self-Sufficient Homesteading. How can we live by creating a sustainable bio-diverse world, instead of by consuming and destroying the only one we have? What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Feeding Bees with Sugar Syrup

Our hives didnt make much honey because of rainy and cold summer. Its or feed with sugar or let them starve. Even though sugar is not good for bees it is better than nothing. I feel bees are to be wintered on their own honey always ... Except in a case when the nectar flow failed because of bad weather. I made a simple syrup feeder for each top bar hive. Each jar holds 500g of sugar desolved in 6dl of boiled water (sugar 5:3 water).
I will feed approx 15kg of sugar per hive. Let see how long will it take for the bees to empty those sugar syrup jars.

jar holder is made in such a way so bees can come under the jar and eat the syrup through small holes drilled in the lock.
the jars are filled with the premixed syrup and the feeder is assembled before turning it upside down into the feeding position. Some syrup will drip out when doing this but will soon stop dripping
small wholes in the lid for the bees to feed on sugar syrup

The making of marmelade

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Collecting Hazelnuts

Horizontal Top Bar Hive Finished

I've finished the horizontal top bar hive which will be placed at our summer house in south of Sweden together with the "perone style" vertical top bar hive.
I have made the roof from reused materials.
At first I decided to make a top entrance but after i made the roof that was not possible so i went with the "Middle Height Entrance" :)
I'm still to name this hive ... Queen Emilia maybe? ;)
the first 13 top bars are 34mm wide and the rest got a 10mm stripe to get them wider, 45mm since the new research have shown that bees build honey combs much wider (44mm) than the brood comb (38mm).
The observation window
the winter mouse guard entrance - 2x 8mm holes
the summer entrance witth a landing board and 2 x 25mm holes
blue insultation for the winter time

Searching I am

Searching for myself
I am
Times and times again
I am
Plunging into the mind so deep
I am
Finding nothing but no self
I am
In the cascades of passing phenomena
I am
Until finding myself
I am
In the pupil of your eye
I am

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Perone "Style" Hive got Frames

I decided to make frames in the brood area of the perone hive just in case I get inspectors willing to check for AFB.
This is the first time im building frames. I made sure to leave the bee space on all sides of the frame. I hope the frames will not warp due to humidity.

Russian Log Hive Apiary

This is a very interesting way of keepeing bees. Such log hives are not only very natural for the bee colony to reside in but are also very sustainable since not much energy is being put into making them unlike the wooden boards which are usually used in conventional hive making. Of course one must live close to the woodland area in accordance to aquire such hives.
There is also a very interesting honey comb press shown in this video. I will try to make one myself :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Lemminkainen, the handsome young hero, in quest of a wife, wooed the beautiful daughter of Pohyola. Before their betrothal, Lemminkainen was put through severe tests and while performing one heroic act, he was bitten by a venomous snake and died. His enemies cut his body asunder and threw it piecemeal into deep water.

Lemminkainen’s devoted aged mother, in the meanwhile, was sitting at home anxiously waiting for his return. Suddenly she noticed that blood was oozing from the hero’s hairbrush. She had a foreboding that her son had suffered a sad fate. She left her home in anguish, weeping and trembling, in search for the hero. She questioned the trees, the rivers, the moon about her lost son. They would not tell her. Finally the Sun informed her of the sorrowful event. She immediately began a search for the sub-merged parts of the hero and after great effort she succeeded in recovering them from the depths of the water.
The grieving mother assembled the parts but, though she used all known magic, she could not create life in the dead body.

The mother appealed to Mehilainen (little bee), and begged her to collect the nectar of the finest blossoms. (Plate XV.)

“Tiny bee thou honey-birdling
Lord of all the forest flowers,
Fly away and gather honey
Bring to me the forest sweetness.

In a short time, the bee returned, dripping with honey. The mother made a healing-balm from it and rubbed some over the body, but the embrocation had no effect.

The mother again asked the bee for help: “Little Bee, you queen of the flowers, fly for me again but in another direction. Look for a little island, far across the seven seas, where you will find some magic nectar, which will produce wonders.” The little bee started upon the journey and flew for three days without interruption, until at last she found the isle with meadows rich in honey.

“There the honey was preparing
There the magic balm distilling,
In the tiny earthen vessels,
In the burnished copper kettles
Smaller than a maiden’s thimbles,
Smaller than the tips of fingers….”

The island was filled with jars of healing honey-balm. Mehilainen, after a short rest, took seven jars into her lap, seven on her shoulders and so, well laden, commenced her return trip. The mother tried again to rub the wonder balsam over the assembled body of her son, but still there was no sign of life.

Once more, she addressed the bee: “Little Bee, you bird of the air, please fly for the third time! Go over the clouds, up to the ninth heaven! You will find plenty of honey there which will surely produce results. The Lord has blessed this honey, to resuscitate His children.” Mehilainen answered: “How will I, such a tiny creature, ever get there? No! My strength will give out and I will lose my way!” But the mother encouraged her: “Just fly, my little Darling; a gorgeous highway leads there and you cannot miss your way.” The bee acquiesced, flew into the air, and soon reached the azure sky. She passed the Moon and she passed the Sun, flying among constellations of golden stars until she reached the omnipotent Jumala’s castle. (Jumala, in Finnish, the Supreme Creator and also sky.)

Here the balm, made of the health-giving juices of flowers, was waiting for her in golden and silver vessels.

“On one side, heart-easing honey,
On a second, balm of joyance,
On the third, life-giving balsam.
Here the magic bee, selecting….”

The faithful bee, collecting only the best from all the urns, put a hundred little jars into her lap and a thousand jars on her back. Heavily laden, she started her homeward trip. The eager mother happily greeted the bee, tasted the honey, and found that it was the right compound.  She said:

“I have found the long-sought balsam, found the remedy of Ukko,
Where-with God anoints his people, gives them life, and faith, and wisdom,
Heals their wounds and stills their anguish, makes them strong against temptation,
Guards them from the evil-doers.”

Immediately, she rubbed it over the body of her dead son with the words: “Wake up, my son, from your deep slumber; get up from your sick-bed!”

Lo and behold! The miraculous honey, for which the bee had flown for days, worked; the blood commenced to circulate, the cheeks became flushed and Lemminkainen raised himself and uttered words. So the faithful little bee, which had made the wearisome trip through the immeasurable skies to secure the magic honey, brought back life to the dead.

From the Kalevala , the Epic Poem of Finland

Queenright "Educational" Top Bar Hive

The "Educational" Top Bar Hive we have at the school swarmed in the first week of July and since then the hive wasnt doing that well. I could not see any new bees emerging, at one time we had lots of Drones which were killed by the workers bee several days ago, I could not see much Pollen coming in, ... I was almost certain that this hive was Queenless UNTIL TODAY :))

Since the summer is over and this hive maybe falling I decided to open it and use this opportunity to show the inside of the hive to my classmates so they learn more about how to manipulate a top bar comb, and to see if I can find the reason for this collony performing so poorly.

We started digging in by gently cutting away the comb attached to the walls ...
Looking for the Queen and eggs ... nothing ...
 You can tell by my grin how much Im enjoying this beautifully drawn natural comb :))
 so far only honey comb and we keep digging in ...
 Here you can see a collapsed comb which inspired the bees to start building in a wild fashion ... I took this comb totally out of the hive.
A very strange looking comb ...
and then it appeared infront of my eyes :)) BROOD, BROOD, BROOD :))
These are definitely cupped worker brood cells surrounded by the uncupped larvae

We even found the new Queen :)) she is sooooo beautiful :)) and very fast, so fast we could not make a decent photo of her :))
what a great day :))