Our bee adventure started in the spring of 2018. We just survived the deadliest wildfires in the history of Portugal.* Together with our land and the forest, our dream to start a small ecological camping went up in flames as well.
We found a traditional cork hive in one of the burnt houses. It miraculously survived the fire. The owner told us we could use it, so we put it on our land. A couple of weeks later we had our first natural swarm.
We saw this as a sign and decided to have more bees for the honey and the pollinating of the area.
After several years, courses, lots of research and field experience, we took the step to start a real bee farm. This with consensus of the old local farmers who lost many beehives during the wildfires, but are now too old to start again.
Like with everything that we do here, we keep the bees totally natural and with the greatest respect for nature. That’s the way we grow food, build and live our life here.
For the beekeeping this means that we don’t use any chemicals to protect them. Also no acids or essential oils that are marked as ‘natural’.**
This to keep the bees healthier and to give the them the chance to build up resistance against diseases and viruses.
As a result of this method, we probably have one of the most healthy bees in the world. Clean mountain air and water. No industry. The soil is clean. No farms, so no use of pesticides.
Unfortunately, like most beekeepers around the world, we are dealing with the consequences of globalization. The (accidentally) imported Varroa mite and the Asian wasp (Vespa Velutina) are the greatest threat to the bees today.
The good part is, we became really creative in finding solutions. I build a muzzle to give the bees a save entrance and we put up traps with different mixtures to find out which works the best.
So the Asian wasp can reasonably be kept under control (although they killed two hives last year).
About the Varroa. All bees in Europe have them. They are the reason (together with agriculture pesticides & herbicides) why so many bee populations die. Sometimes beekeepers loose up to 60% of their hives. That happened to me last season. It’s a hard road.
There is also good news. Many studies have shown that the bee can adapt. As long as you give them a chance to do so. And that’s exactly the reason why I keep my bees naturally.
Info about honey and my dried kaki’s will be on a separate page on this website. Coming soon.
** Several acids and essential oils are marked natural pesticides because traces are naturally found in the beehives and honey. That is true but I don’t believe that it’s healthy for the bees to get those natural substances in such a high doses.