A Novice’s Exploration of Beekeeping, Conquering Invasive Plants, and the Delight of Raising Chickens
Embarking on a new adventure, I have recently taken my first steps into the world of beekeeping. Join me as I share the excitement of learning to take care of bees, unravel the secrets behind propolis production, introduce a new queen bee, wage war against the relentless Clematis plant, and find joy in caring for our feathered friends. This is my diary, chronicling the early lessons and discoveries on this extraordinary journey in permaculture.
Feeding the Bees: Embracing Daily Responsibilities
Almost every day, I open the beehives and undertake the important task of feeding the bees. Learning to provide them with a special syrup resembling honey, crafted from a mixture of heated sugar, water, and fruit acid, has become one of my primary responsibilities. It amazes me how these small creatures depend on our care for their well-being.
The Marvels of Propolis: Unveiling Nature’s Powerful Antibiotic
Driven by curiosity, I recently embarked on research about the remarkable production of propolis. I was left astonished by what I discovered. Bees collect resin, oil, and wax from various plants, blending them with their own gut secretions, enzymes, and perhaps a touch of pollen. The result is a potent antibiotic substance with an astonishing range of uses. Bees employ propolis to clean cells, seal hive openings, and even preserve intruders within the hive.
A Royal Encounter: Welcoming a New Queen Bee
One day, a queen bee arrived via courier to our nearby town, marking an exciting milestone in my beekeeping journey. With the help of Atanas, who kindly chauffeured me between the village and town, I eagerly retrieved the queen bee. Equipped with protective gear and armed with the necessary tools, we embarked on the delicate mission of introducing her to one of our hives. It was a thrilling experience, filled with anticipation and wonder.
Tackling the Invasive Clematis: A Battle of Determination
Beyond the realm of beekeeping, I found myself facing an unexpected adversary in the form of the Clematis plant. This vine-like intruder entangled trees and shrubs, obstructing precious sunlight from reaching the leaves below. Armed with a collection of tools, including pickaxes, saws, pruners, and machetes, I dove headfirst into the challenge. The battle against the resilient Clematis plant became a test of determination and resourcefulness.
Clematis The Charmer: Beauty with a Twist
As summer graced the landscape, the Clematis plant revealed its alluring side. The plant bloomed with numerous flowers, releasing a sweet, jasmine-like fragrance into the air. These blossoms provide valuable pollen for our bees and other insects but will also dispersed an abundance of seeds carried on the wind. The struggle against Clematis certainly took on a captivating twist, captivating me with its charm and resilience.
Chickens and Coops: A Feathered Adventure
Alongside my beekeeping endeavours, I ventured into the joys of raising chickens. Our triangular coop on wheels is a haven for these delightful creatures. Divided into an open netted area and a roofed section for resting, the movable coop ensures our feathered friends enjoy fresh grass daily. Equipped with a container filled with wood ash and sand for dust bathing, as well as a cosy hay nest for egg-laying, our chickens thrive. It’s a rewarding experience that brings joy, sustenance, and a beautifully manicured field.
As I embark on my newfound journey into beekeeping, each day brings new discoveries. From the daily rituals of nourishing our bees to unravelling the mysteries of propolis production, every step is filled with awe and wonder. Introducing a new queen bee and tackling the challenges of the resilient Clematis plant have provided valuable experiences. The joy of caring for our chickens has added an extra layer of delight to this agricultural adventure. Together, let us continue to explore the captivating world of beekeeping, permaculture and beyond.
Written by Boyan