Ordinary beekeepers everywhere are contributing to the huge pressures honeybees are under. Though well-meaning and hard-working, they are part of the problem that is causing a massive decline in the population of honeybees throughout the world.
The Rose Hive Method
“In this book Tim Rowe challenges the hives and the hive-management we all take for granted, and offers instead a simpler hive, a new management approach, and a better way of working with our bees..”
The Rose Hive Method. Copyright© Tim Rowe 2010
Published by Green Hat Books
6″ x 9″ paperback. 128pp
80 black & white photos/drawings
Contains full plans for building Rose Hives
Judging by all the emails that keep coming in, most people seem to think that having a simplified hive is enough of a reason for changing over to Rose Hives – so I wrote this book to try to explain that the hive is just the start – the real point is the management approach that’s possible with them.
So this book is about how I keep my 100-odd hives and why I think they do so much better in Rose hives. It’s a sort of collective way of answering hundreds of emails in one go – although I suspect it might generate a few more!
When I’d finished it, I sent it to five publishers to get some reaction. I thought I’d be waiting around for months (isn’t that what’s supposed to happen?) but two phoned me up within a week. In the end four of them said they’d take it. I said, ‘This is a specialist beekeeping book written for beekeepers, why is everyone so interested?” and one replied, “It’s your approach to beekeeping that’s so different. We all know the old way wasn’t working and you’ve come up with a new, better way. Everyone wants to hear that”.
Anyway, I hope you like it and find it useful..
Bees, Hives, Honey! Beekeeping for Children
88pp Soft cover. Time Rowe, Full colour photos throughout
This is an inspiring book about getting started in beekeeping, especially designed for children. It uses the real-life experiences of twenty-three children who built their own hives, caught swarms of bees, learned how to work with their colonies, and harvested their own honey
Packed with full-colour photos throughout, this is a clearly laid-out instruction manual, with colour-coded sections for easy accessibility. It looks at why bees are so important and deals clearly with the challenges all would-be beekeepers will face – but it also makes lots of space for fun too.
Safety is stressed throughout, and there is a section for supervising adults too.
This book is obviously for children, teenagers and their parents – but it will also be of great interest to all schools and children’s organisations because it is unique in its approach and content. This is quite possibly the first ever book that recognises that children can take on this rewarding and exciting hobby by themselves. This is not just a nature-studies book – this is a how-to book that deals with one of the most important and exciting of all hobbies.
Starting Out with Rose Hive
Most of my emails these days come from people who don’t have bees yet and they are researching hive-types and getting ready to start. I hope to explain here what all beekeepers need to know and specifically how to get started with Rose hives.
If you buy bees from another beekeeper they will probably come on whatever size frames they use. So if they keep their bees in National hives they will probably sell you a National brood-box with bees in it (or a National nuc-box with some brood frames in it). These frames will only fit inside a National brood-box. They won’t fit inside a Rose hive or a Commercial hive or a Dadant or a Langstroth or whatever.
All hive-types are different from each other and they all have their own unique frames.
So, if you want to keep bees in Rose hives you’ll need to do one of these things:
- Find someone who has bees on Rose frames already, and persuade them to sell you some of theirs.
- Find someone who will put a Rose box in the middle of their National or Commercial hive and leave it there until the bees have moved in.
- Catch a swarm and put it into an empty Rose hive
- Make up a ‘shook swarm’ from any different sort of hive. That just means shaking bees off the frames into a Rose hive. The queen will need to be with them and they’ll need to be shut in for a few days with some sugar syrup.
- Buy a queen and a package of bees.
(There’s more on this in the Rose Hive book)
Ideally, you need to buy your bees, or collect your swarm, early in the year so you and they have plenty of time to get ready for the winter. If you buy bees in the winter you wont be able to look inside and see how they are, and if you get them too late in the year then you wont have a chance to help them much.
But bees are always in short supply so perhaps your best policy is to get them whenever you can and work with what you get and when you get them.
Unless you are very unlucky and get bees with American Foul Brood (a miserable contagious disease) then you can probably encourage and improve any bees you get. So the important thing is to get started.
Every colony should have plenty of workers and a young, mated queen. If you buy bees from someone who knows what they’re doing and have a reputation to maintain then you can trust them to supply the best they can. Ask them to mark the queen so you can find her easily.
If you’re buying from someone who’s not sure what they’re selling, you might want to get an experienced person to go with you.
A swarm is one of nature’s greatest gifts and should never be passed over. Even a small one will do it’s best to build up – all it needs is a good clean hive. And a big swarm is like winning the Lotto – they’ll build up faster than any other colony and easily repay the effort involved in collecting it. (More on collecting swarms later.)