The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Another source for chemical-free bees

Spraying package of

Part of the reason we had to wait so long for our package of bees is that I wanted fancy bees that had been raised without chemicals.  Last year's chemical-free bees have done very well for us, and, granted, most packages do well the first year, but we have high hopes that spending a bit more on natural bees will make them more likely to survive in the long run without chemicals.

Install bee package

Close warre hiveThis package of bees was even more pricey than last year's --- $169 --- but it's also nearly local and thus more likely to go the distance in our neck of the woods.  We purchased the bees from AzureB in Maryland, but the bees actually came from the mountains of Tennessee. 

Our new colony is a cross of Carniolan and Russian, raised on small-cell, natural comb.  They're bred to be hygenic, meaning the bees spend a lot of time grooming off mites.  By skipping the miticides and breeding the survivor bees, the company is able to raise bees that are much more likely to survive without chemical intervention.

You can read last year's lunchtime series if you're interested in the nuts and bolts of our package installation into a Warre hive.  We'll be feeding our newest colony for a while, but I suspect will be able to slack off in a week or two when the basswood buds unfurl into nectar-laden flowers.

Our chicken waterer keeps our flock healthy as they graze in the bee pasture.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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