Tag Archives: beekeeping

Natural Beekeeping Q&A next weekend in Sydney

1310 NBK f1

Being a beginner beekeeper involves asking an awful lot of questions. In a good way. You are, after all, taking on the stewardship of a super-organism composed of between 20 and 60,000 individual bees.

In light of the constant stream of questions that Tim Malfroy fields from students, Tim and I decided it was high time to get the Sydney-ish community of budding natural beekeepers together for a Q&A before Spring hits.

So! If you’re a budding beekeeper, please join us for our inaugural Natural Beekeeping Q&A happening next weekend at 107 Projects in Redfern, on Sunday 1st September.

3 hours of asking, thinking, listening and networking, as well as eating Tim’s Warré honeycomb on sourdough bread! Huzzah. I’m really looking forward to it. See you there?

Checking the bees and hoping for honeyflows

1303 bee check - 1

The other day Tim Malfroy, our mate and esteemed Warré beekeeper, came over to talk bees and check the Milkwood hives. We had hoped to split our two Warré hives into four colonies this season, but it looks like we’re sitting on that idea now.

Why? Erratic flowering patterns – the eucalypts around here are still sitting on their hands, so to speak. Not a flower in sight. So while our bees have been working our market garden and all the wildflowers and weeds around here hard, they’re still doing it tough.  Continue reading

The Sun Hive: experimental Natural Beekeeping

Sun Hive landing board

Sun Hives are a hive design coming out of Germany and now gathering interest in Britain. They’re part of the world-wide movement towards ‘apicentric’ beekeeping – beekeeping that prioritizes honeybees firstly as pollinators, with honey production being a secondary goal.

The Sun Hive is modeled in part on the traditional European skep hive, and is aimed at creating a hive that maximises colony health. The main thing I love about this hive and the enthusiasm surrounding it is not the hive itself, but the philosophy behind it, that of apicentric beekeeping. Continue reading

Catching a swarm in a Warré hive

Spring is swarming season! At this time of year, honeybee colonies that have either outgrown their available hive space or have deemed their hive unsuitable for whatever reason start taking off in search of a new home. For natural beekeepers, it’s a great time to catch yourself a new colony.

Our friend Steve was ready this Spring. After attending a Natural Beekeeping course with Tim Malfroy he’d build himself a beautiful Warré hive in his shed, and was ready for the spring swarm action. And lo and behold, look what happened… Continue reading

On the topography of honeycomb…

Bit of a mid-summer treat yesterday: Tim Malfroy came to help check our Warré beehives and bliss us out with amazing discussions on pollination, super organisms and honey. We got some amazing photos of summer in beeland.

Summer in the Australian bush (in a good year) is like nirvana for honey bees, thanks to the abundance of flowering eucalyptus. So much nectar. So much pollen. The Milkwood Farm bees are going nuts!

Continue reading

Natural Beekeeping Resources: best books

The super-organism of the honeybee (apis mellifera) is not only awe-inspiring, it’s worth understanding. Both for your own personal gratification, and for the pollination of your nation.

This list is a part of the notes we provide to students at the Natural Beekeeping courses we run with Tim Malfroy. It’s a list of Tim’s favorite books on bees, garnered from a lifetime of active research, practice, and discussion. Continue reading

Milkwood Farm’s first ever Warré Honey Harvest

I am incredibly excited to report that we’ve just harvested our first ever box of honey from one of our warré beehives. Whoohoo! We are now awash and dripping with organic warré honeycomb. Sweet.

The box we took is from the warré hive that had two colonies combined in it last year because of the terrible season. This hive is now incredibly strong and healthy, and building comb and storing honey like there’s no tomorrow. Continue reading

Milkwood Apiary Design Brainstorm

We’ve all been a bit in love with bees around here, ever since we met Tim Malfroy. Actually I liked bees before that, but Tim got us seriously hooked.

We’re now aiming to create a truly fabulous Warré apiary at Milkwood Farm that can showcase small-farm natural beekeeping at its best. And produce many buckets of organic, ethical honey. Yum.

So Tim came to Milkwood last week and spent some time with our interns to help them design the new Milkwood apiary… Continue reading

Warré Beehive: Spring Inspection at Belinda’s Urban Apiary

Last weekend Tim Malfroy checked Belinda’s bees at her small urban apiary in Sydney. This is the apiary we take our Sydney Natural Beekeeping  students to as part of their course, so it was great to see how the hive had wintered. Spring has sprung in Sydney, and the bees were busily buzzing!

Belinda’s warré beehive has been going since early spring last year, and it seems to be a fine example of urban warré beekeeping. Five boxes high, and full of honey, healthy brood and happy bees. The hive is located in Belinda’s chicken run, which has a couple of benefits… Continue reading

Milkwood Social: Film Night: Vanishing of the Bees

Roll up, roll up. It’s our very first film night in Mudgee! We thought we’d start with Vanishing of the Bees, an amazing doco about why organic beekeeping (and farming) is so darn important. And it’s free! Please join us for a local wine, a wood fired pizza and a great evening:

Wednesday 5th October, 6pm onwards at Roths Wine Bar, Mudgee NSW.

Our guest speaker for this event is Tim Malfroy, natural beekeeper extraordinaire. Tim has kindly offered to be a part of this evening and will attempt to answer questions raised by the film, which shouldn’t be a problem given his rather impressive knowledge of beekeeping, bees, and what the future may hold for them (and us). Continue reading


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