Propagating Wild Bees with Leo Sharashkin


hello my name is Dr. Leo Sharashkin and
we’re in the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri I am a natural beekeeper I keep
bees that obtain here from the wilderness and the other mountains and
put them in beautiful degraded hives like this one and a few years ago I had
a SARE grant to create a collection of local bee strains that we have here in
the Ozarks amazingly most beekeepers in the United States they use just a very
small selection of honeybees they’re called Italian bees that are native to
the subtropical climate in Europe and these bees are being propagated all over
the country even with climates that have very cold winters like what we may have
here in the Orthodox in southern Missouri what I do instead I set up
small boxes called the bait hives in the trees in the spring and just as birds
move into birdhouses honeybees when they swarm they’re looking for a new place to
live and they move into these bait hives after that I collect them from trees and
I put them into bigger hive so they can keep expanding and their produce honey
for me as the beekeeper it’s very important to be working with local bees
rather than buying these that were raised in a different state for the
south because again local bees would have better
winter hardiness so starting is very easy you set up a box and the bees just
come to the box on their own and I keep repeating that they’re keeping bees can
be simpler than growing tomatoes with vegetable growing you need to plan the
seed and they care with and what and fertilize and they’re protected from
pests and from wildlife with the bees all we need to do is to start with we
need the Pooh called it the right sort of these in this case the wilderness B
is adapted to local conditions and give them a good home I have a website called
horizontal hive comm that has a free Swan caching guide so you can read how
easy it is to catch your own local forums and then three plans for
building boxes like this one where you just transfer the frames and the bees
will keep expanding and with a horizontal hive design there is no heavy
lifting involved it’s not like the conventional hive that you see more
conventionally where you have a stack of boxes each each of each can be 50 pounds
or more so with this our natural beekeeping approach that I practice
there is much less stress on the bees because I don’t have to open this box
often I work only with the local strains of bees so they stay healthier and
stronger without chemicals or antibiotics I never feed them sugar I
allow them to have the same kind of natural cycle as they would have living
in the bee tree in the woods and I have a book called keeping bees with a smile
and I can tell that for me it is as much about the smile as about the livelihood
or the connie and wax and other wonderful products that bees can produce
so I can tell you that I can make more from one acre of wilderness even in
terms of genomic return by working with local bees and the low maintenance
because that you can build yourself from some scrap lumber I can get more
economic value from an acre or wilderness land then I could if I were
running cattle or growing crops here on the very dry and rocky soils of the Sun
or Ozarks if you would like to learn more about
the natural beekeeping approach and the importance of working with the local
honey bees and want you to explore the information on the sare grant project
that I made and also look up my website horizontal hive comm that has much more
free information on natural beginning if you get encouraged to get started I very
much would like to hear from your experiences and wish you all the best
keeping bees with a smile you

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