Next installment of the Finland trip:
The following day we drove 4 hours northeast to Ari’s house. Ari and his wife are large-scale “hobby” beekeepers. They manage over 400 hives. Hummm what a hobby! The night we got to Ari’s house we stayed up late listening to stories from Ari about past 25 years of his career as a “friend to the bees”. Not only does Ari manage 400 plus hives he also is the Bee Advisor in Finland. He is the guy to all if you have a bee question about your Finnish bees. Continue reading
This is something Karen wrote about Corwin and her adventures with the black bees of Finland:
The Quest for the Black Bees
(Written By Karen Sendenwater)
Cody Oreck from the US Embassy in Finland set us up with the Bee Adviser to Finland, Ari Seppala. While telling us about beekeepers in the arctic circle, Ari also mentioned that Finland had black bees. BLack bees, we had heard so little about black bees. Why were the so important in Finland? Finland beekeepers use black bees because of their ability to survive the very cold and long winters there. Black bee colonies brood up slower and more cautiously then other colonies and they are able to keep a small brood nest going into winter helping the colony survive. Continue reading
The next morning after the presentation, Corwin and Karen visited the guerilla gardeners and permaculture group in Helsinki who have raised bed gardens near the railroad tracks in the center of Helsinki. Karen and Corwin talked to them about working with bees and figuring out a good location to put their top bar hives for pollination in this very urban setting. It sounds like this group of young people is super enthusiastic and excited to start a few hives this year!! With the average age of beekeepers in Finland being 60, this new generation of bee guardians is really inspiring and energizing the local community of gardeners, farmers and beekeepers alike.
Later that afternoon, Corwin and Karen were chaperoned in black embassy suburban to the University of Helsinki where Corwin gave a 2 hour presentation about beekeeping in urban areas. Continue reading
After the 16 hour ferry ride, Corwin and Karen arrived in Finland at 9 am and were escorted to the embassy to get settled in after their long travels. Shortly after settling in, they were picked up by Heikki M. T. Hokkanen (PhD and Professor of Agricultural zoology) to meet for lunch at the university of Helsinki. Continue reading
April, 21 2010
Earlier today as I was leaving a message for Amy, a fellow bee person, about us not doing hive stuff as planned today because of the weather, I noticed a swarm of bees right outside of one of my hives!! Continue reading
Sunday April 18th, 2010
Margaret and I were going into my hive (the Lemon Balm hive) together today for a bit of a “bear snack”. Our goal was to remove most of the honey stores and to circle out one or two of the darker brood combs by moving a darker brood comb without the queen on it to the back of the hive to hatch out and replacing the space with an empty bar. As we went into the hive, we realized that the combs were fully built but most of them were only partially filled with uncapped honey.
When we reached about the 8th comb from the back, the bees’ energy level went up and all of a sudden, they were getting rather protective of their hive. Continue reading