Tag Archives: Beekeeping

New Approach to Harvesting Honey

Via Colossal

We found this post on the Colossal blog about a new beehive design that lets you harvest the honey without pulling combs and disturbing the bees.  While this may not be the solution for commercial operations it could be just the thing for backyard beekeepers with just a couple hives.

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The Flow Hive is a new beehive invention that promises to eliminate the more laborious aspects of collecting honey from a beehive with a novel spigot system that taps into specially designed honeycomb frames. Invented over the last decade by father and son beekeepers Stuart and Cedar Anderson, the system eliminates the traditional process of honey extraction where frames are removed from beehives, opened with hot knives, and loaded into a machine that uses centrifugal force to get the honey out. Here is how the Andersons explain their design:

The Flow frame consists of already partly formed honeycomb cells. The bees complete the comb with their wax, fill the cells with honey and cap the cells as usual. When you turn the tool, a bit like a tap, the cells split vertically inside the comb forming channels allowing the honey to flow down to a sealed trough at the base of the frame and out of the hive while the bees are practically undisturbed on the comb surface.

When the honey has finished draining you turn the tap again in the upper slot resets the comb into the original position and allows the bees to chew the wax capping away, and fill it with honey again.

It’s difficult to say how this might scale up for commercial operations, but for urban or backyard beekeeping it seems like a whole lot of fun. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine these on the roof of a restaurant where honey could be extracted daily, or for use by kids or others who might be more squeamish around live bees. You can see more on their website and over on Facebook.

UPDATE: The Flow Hive is currently seeking funding on IndieGogo. So far they’ve raised $1.8 million in 16 hours.

2012-Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour

Click here to buy tickets

We look forward to seeing you on our Second Annual Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour on Sunday, July 29th from 9am-2pm. This event is presented by Home Grown New Mexico and Edible Santa Fe.

The tour is self-paced. Guests will go to the homes in any order that they select with a wrist band to identify them. The homeowners will be the main tour guides, but also have help from the Master Gardeners and volunteers from each location to review edible gardens, chickens, bees and any other self-sustaining items such as solar, water catchment and more.   Cold drinks will be available at each location sponsored by Whole Foods. Revolution Bakery and Joe’s Dining have also sponsored the event.

For questions contact homegrownnewmexico@gmail.com or 473-1403.

HGNM-TourMap-2012Note Exit CR-62 is closed on 599

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2012 Locations

Ben Haggard
Artist, designer and educator Ben Haggard uses landscape to create a multi-faceted sculptural environment–one that produces food, habitat, soil regeneration and a cheerful living space.  In his residential garden, water finds a way into the pores of the soil as it is orchestrated with care through the mycorrhizae, roots, stems, and leaves of a myriad of plantings. His sophisticated use of ordinary materials such as steel, vegetation and rock elevate the basic suburban property into a dynamic microcosm. This evolving sculptural process is ecological without being dogmatic, drawing from living systems for guidance and inspiration.  Over the years, many have toured his space looking for instruction on more sustainable and harmonious ways of living.

Dan and Giselle Piburn
Dan and Giselle and their kids, Coleman and Amelie Piburn live in downtown Santa Fe on 1/2 an acre and have an experiment in urban gardening called the Dandelion Ranch. It is a place of practice, where food is grown in one large plot. They have built a group through this sharing garden where it is easier to manage pests and weeds cooperatively with one plot and enjoy lots of good company too. They use recycled materials whenever possible and have a large composting operation. Dandelion Ranch in addition to the large garden area also has chickens, turkeys and a yurt & they are working on a shed structure for an outside kitchen and work station! Come see how an urban garden thrives in the middle of the city.

Lisa Sarenduc
Nestled off of West Alameda in Santa Fe, Lisa has created a group of green vacation lodgings on her property called Suitable Digs. The five lodgings are built using natural materials and are wonderfully eclectic in their design. They include the Sun Room, the Earth Room, the Bunkhouse, the Green Room and a painstakingly restored 1948 Spartan travel trailer.

There are winding pathways that lead to gardens of fruit and flowers and a geodesic dome greenhouse that contains 4 fig trees, a grape arbor with a harvest table for outdoor dining, raised beds of organic vegetables, a new berry garden, and terraced areas of fruit and nut trees.

Suitable Digs cares about sustainability, having a large solar energy array that provides 100% of it’s electrical usage, a 9,000-gallon roof water collection system, two greywater systems, ‘on-demand’ water heaters, and composting toilets in some of the lodgings.  In addition, they make their own compost, recycle all suitable materials, and practice integrated landscaping.

Jamie Hascall and Betsy Brown
Betsy and Jamie are avid cyclists and musicians but offer their passions and talents to gardening. They make use of all space available for food production in their compact suburban yard. Their garden incorporates raised-beds, in-ground plantings, straw-bale-plantings and chickens.  With the skills and knowledge obtained from previous garden efforts, their space includes crops to promote pollinators and beneficial insects.  Fruit trees, hops, vegetables, herbs, and greens are reared using roof-water with strategic climate mitigation techniques as well as city water when needed.  Gardening together and working with nature are their primary guiding principles.  Betsy and Jamie encourage others to not be timid about urban food production.

Christie Green
Christie Green lives in a food forest. She has utilized knowledge and skills she has gained over the last 13 years as owner/designer at Down to Earth,LLC and the newly formed landscape design and consulting firm, Studio Succession to create a perennial edible landscape in the desert. This lush landscape, designed and implemented in phases over the past five years, which includes many fruit trees, grapes, native flowering and fruiting shrubs and perennials nourishes not only her family and friends, but also local wildlife and the land. Her design encourages the rainfall and road runoff to drain/percolate into the soil on her property, creating swales and a fledgling wetlands area as part of the landscape. She also uses her greywater, distributed through pumice wicks and well water. Raised beds and a circular chicken yard (She says chickens don’t like corners) add to the beauty of the entire “ecosystem” she has created…an oasis in the desert.

Christina and Taylor Selby
Christina and Taylor Selby founded Earth Care in 2001 and have been working to educate and empower young people to create healthy, just and sustainable communities. Taylor now works for Positive Energy Solar, and together they continue to extended that original desire into their home, garden and surrounding land. They have a neighborhood garden, their own kitchen garden, a berry and fruit forest, a chicken enclosure and their young son also has his own raised beds in the back yard. The surrounding land is being sculpted with swales and pumice wicks and covered with mulch to retain rainwater to sustain their native and xeric plantings. They have photovoltaic solar panels in the back yard to produce their energy and solar hot water panels on their roof. Greywater and rainwater (collected and dispersed from their 1800 gallon above ground cistern) supplemented by well water nourish all this plant life – via carefully orchestrated drip irrigation. With their family and neighbors, implementing many permaculture principles, they are developing a nurturing and sustainable lifestyle.

Erin English & Andrea Cermanski
Also featured as a residence on a modern homes tour, their dwelling is perfectly woven into a sustainable landscape and productive garden.  Many elements of this design create closure to what would otherwise be lost opportunities and these include: an outdoor shower waters the garden, chickens are fed vegetative scraps, the homes exterior walls articulate sophisticated outdoor living spaces, an 800-gallon cistern collects stormwater and a pumice wick waters fruit trees with roof runoff.  This garden includes several productive raised-beds, a greenhouse, and a sensible group of edible and ornamental plantings, which are all expertly composed within the immediate context of the house, the neighborhood, and the overall landscape of the Santa Fe River’s north bank.  Professionally, English is an engineer specializing in water quality and erosion control and Cermanski is an Art and English teacher and painter.

Bee Keeping Meetings & Training

If you’ve ever thought of keeping bees, now’s the time to get started!

Santa Fe’s Sangre de Cristo Beekeepers Association has emerged from winter hibernation and resumed monthly meetings. An eclectic group of beekeepers including professionals and hobbyists, Langstroth and Topbar beekeepers, they welcome all new members regardless of experience levels. The group meets on the last Thursday of every month in Santa Fe. For more information about meeting locations and events, contact Kate at (505) 984-9887 or join their on-line discussion group to post questions, announcements and photos on their website.

Albuquerque also has an active beekeeping community. For local postings, classes, information and events in central New Mexico, visit the Albuquerque Beekeeping Association website.

The New Mexico Beekeepers Association is an organization that is run by and for beekeepers.  They host annual events and post related news and information on their website.

If you’re interested in creating or supporting a pollinator-friendly environment in your community, consider the New Mexico Pollinator Project. To sign up for the latest news, research and action alerts in addressing honeybee losses contact Loretta McGrath at loremcgrath@gmail.com or call (505) 690-9912.

A newbee on the block, Bee Charmer is a New Mexico organization dedicated to assist children, parents and schools to create bee-friendly gardens, promote pollinators and avoid neo-nicotinoid pesticides. Visit them.

For those of you interested in beekeeping classes or workshops here are a few New Mexico connections. If you are aware of others, please let us know.

Talon Van Howten and Robert Sturm, Ecoversity http://ecoversity.org/beekeeping.html

This class meets once per month on Saturdays and starts April 9th.  Register on their website.

Les Crowder, For the Love of Bees http://www.fortheloveofbees.com

Mark Spitzig & Melanie Kirby, Zia Queen Bees http://www.ziaqueenbees.com

Steve Wall, Buckin’ Bees http://www.buckinbee.com

Nicotine Bees, an important film that connects the dots between colony collapse disorder and the use of neonicotinoid pesticides will be shown in Silver City on March 18th and Santa Fe on May 18th.  For more information contact hillary@volunteersofgrantcounty.org (S.C.)  or info@farmersmarketinstitute.org. (S.F.)