Flow Hive puts honey on tap directly from the beehive

Flow Hive

Australian beekeepers Stuart and Cedar Anderson invented the Flow Hive, a beehive tap that extracts honey through a specially designed frame with minimal disturbance to the bees and significant reduction in labor. They have been working on this invention for a decade and for the past three years have been field testing their Flow Hive design. The main issue with bee keeping is that it is nearly impossible to get the honey out without killing or injuring bees. The Flow Hive gives anyone the ability to harvest honey with little or no disturbance to the bees. Simply turn the honey tap and the honey drains right out of the bee hives. Easy for the beekeeper and less stressful for the bees.

Through a Indiegogo campaign, the inventors hope to inspire a new generation of beekeepers who will find that harvesting honey is easier, more gratifying, good for the planet, and not as harmful to the bees.

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How to make natural beeswax candles

Burning beeswax candle Everything fades in the winter. What do beekeepers do when the warm season is over and their bees are ready to winter? They clean, sanitize and store beekeeping equipment. They paint and repair their woodenware or purchase new ones. They build new hives, honey supers and frames. They miss the bees and worry about whether they'll winter well. They read books. And on the eve of Christmas and New Year's, they make candles from natural beeswax.

Beeswax is a very valuable natural product with many unique properties. Candles made out of beeswax have a pleasant golden color and a warm aroma with the scent of honey and flowers. They burn longer, brighter and cleaner than paraffin candles. In fact, they are natural aroma candles with the scent provided not by chemical additives but by the material itself. Making candles can be a great hobby that is very easy to learn. It does not require a lot of tools and you will quickly be able to make some excellent products.

It is worth mentioning that unlike natural beeswax, widely used paraffin can cause adverse health effects in the long term. Researchers from South Carolina State University have found that the fumes from paraffin wax candles contain poisonous and carcinogenic substances like toluene and benzene and produce a lot of black soot. For some people, paraffin wax candles can cause allergies or respiratory irritation. Also, commercially available candles can contain wicks with lead cores, which have the potential to generate indoor airborne lead concentrations of health concern. Lead wicks are banned in the USA. Furthermore, the chemical scents used in some candles are also questionable.

There are different ways to make beeswax candles. For example, candles can be rolled from beeswax sheets. Another way is by dipping the wick into melted wax until the candle becomes sufficiently thick. And finally, the most common method is to pour melted wax into various types of molds.

Can't wait to start making candles?

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Michael Bush on natural beekeeping

Michael Bush New page has been added to the Resources section. It is dedicated to Michael Bush - one of the leading proponents of of treatment free beekeeping in the United States. Michael is the author of "The Practical Beekeeper" book and the creator of the great beekeeping resource located at bushfarms.com. He has been keeping bees since the mid 70's, usually from two to seven hives up until the year 2000. Varroa forced more experimentation which required more hives and the number has grown steadily over the years from then. By 2008 it was about 200 hives. He is active on many of the beekeeping forums (http://beesource.com, http://beemaster.com) with last count at more than 50,000 posts between all of them.

"His writing is like his talks, with more content, detail, and depth than one would think possible with such few words...his website and PowerPoint presentations are the gold standard for diverse and common sense beekeeping practices." - Dean Stiglitz

Michael's website is, quite simply, the best current book on beekeeping (and it's free and up to date). Some of the most concise and precise writing on beekeeping you are likely to come across. By clicking the link below you can find a lot of information about Michael and his books as well as Russian translation of several articles from bushfarms.com. List of translated articles will be updated, stay tuned!


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"Keeping Bees with a Smile" by Fyodor Lazutin

Keeping Bees with a Smile Brief biography of Fyodor Lazutin and information about his book and film "Keeping Bees with a Smile: A Vision and Practice of Natural Apiculture" was added to the Resources page. This is a valuable guide for independent-minded beekeepers who are seeking ways to keep bees without treating them with chemicals, disrupting their homes, and otherwise intruding in their lives. Fedor Lazutin, one of Russia's foremost natural beekeepers, describes a beekeeping system based on the trust of a bee colony as a living being capable of solving life's challenges without human assistance.


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Why bees are disappearing?

Honeybees have thrived for 50 million years, each colony 40 to 50,000 individuals coordinated in amazing harmony. So why, seven years ago, did colonies start dying en masse? Marla Spivak reveals four reasons which are interacting with tragic consequences. This is not simply a problem because bees pollinate a third of the world’s crops. Could this incredible species be holding up a mirror for us?

Bees are dying from multiple and interacting causes, especially in the US. Russia is less affected, since our "progress" in growing larger and larger crop monocultures is not so advanced and also because we use less insecticides and herbicides. Below is a short list of main bee death causes (watch the video anyway, it is good!):

  • Lack of diverse flowering plants, required for bees survival
  • Growing larger and larger crop monocultures (they look like "food deserts" for bees)
  • Using herbicides to kill off the weeds
  • Using pesticides to mitigate crop pests
  • New class of insecticides - neonicotinoids
  • Bees parasites, especially Varroa mite that compromises the bee's immune system and circulates viruses

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