Skep Beekeeping in the Heathland – 1978

Skep Beekeeping in the Heathland – 1978


in the region of cultivated heathland
between Bremen and Hamburg in langinfelder near Zitenzen lies the farmstead of the
head beekeeper Georg Klindworth his speciality is skep beekeeping a large
skep stand is directly adjacent to the house the l-shaped home apairy with
space for 270 skeps this is where the majority of the standing stocks spend
the winter its orientation to the east and the south provides them with a
maximum sunshine during the winter the entrances of the escapes are shaded from
the Sun to prevent the bees being tempted out too early in the year in
March if the weather promises to stay warm the beekeepers remove the sun
shades now it is time for the cleansing flight during which the bees rid
themselves of the excreta from their winter feed the large-scale beekeeper
also needs several big out stands for his 700 winter stocks they are located
on the periphery of the cultivated land close to the Virgin moorland with its
sprinkling of birch alder and willow trees closest to the farm is the out
stand near Marsh host its rectangular closed construction provides the escapes
with a maximum of protection against wind and weather
many of the beekeepers seasonal tasks are performed in this rectangular space access to the isolated winter stands is
usually quite difficult the single stand in woodland cover and
the a twist and bustle is also oriented to face the Sun care is taken that the
bees are able to fly straight out and find dry resting places on the grass in
front of the escapes they have the necessary water supply close at hand the first spring feeding is provided by
hazel willow and alder close to the winter stands at this third large winter
stand near alphas housing in the warm Sun the bees are now busily collecting
pollen and water to help build up the brood nest by mid-april it’s time for Gale clinvar
to prepare the escapes for the spring migration in doing so he takes the
opportunity of inspecting the stocks to assess their condition no beekeeper is ever without the smoker
the smoke from the smouldering tanzy subdues the bees which are already
actively tending their brood covering cloths made from gauze or
curtain netting are used to seal off the mouth of the Skip during transport they
are be tight while allowing air to circulate the entrances stay open until evening to
allow the bees to forage freely the cloth must not come loose during the
long journey to keep it tight the corners are twisted up before they are
fastened on the shelves beneath each skep wax
covers Nordhoff the food cells and dead bees have been collecting throughout the
winter – the beekeeper this debris is an indicator of the remaining food supplies
in the sket and the population of the stock the fact that the bees have built
onto the dark old combs of the bottom of the skip to enlarge the brood nest tells
the beekeeper that there is a good queen inside while inspecting and preparing his
stocks the beekeeper is assisted by another beekeeper and an apprentice the
colonies that have been assembled at only a few stands for overwintering are
now going to be transported in small batches to better nectar and pollen
yielding areas the majority of them including the best stocks are to be set
up in the Alta land this extensive fruit growing area between star de and Hamburg
to the south of the Elbe is the preferred spring migration place for the
heathland beekeepers to the back of the large Outlander farmhouses the orchards
of the fruit growers extend over a large area in groups of up to 20 skips or
singly the winter stocks are now distributed on small migration stands
the escapes are put out immediately on arrival in the early morning before continuing his journey to the
next migration stand the beekeeper opens the flight entrance which has been
stuffed with moss or grass for transportation this allows the bees as
soon as they have arrived at the new site to set out on their first
orientation flight the same day a portion of sugar candy is
placed under each scab as be food shallow beechwood dishes with three
carved feet are traditionally used for this purpose the feet prevent the bees
from gluing the dishes to the shelf with propolis and wax by feeding the bees the beekeeper types
them over the period of sparse foraging before the fruit blossom is in full
swing he prevents the stalks from being delayed in their early spring
development if food were in short supply the bees would build fewer brood cells
and thus interfere with the Queen’s egg-laying activity welcome the covering cloths are removed and will
not be needed again until the escapes are taken back home there’s an agreement
between beekeepers and fruit growers that the stalks migrate to the outer
land in time for the first flowering which is the sweet cherry blossom a
fortnight later the sour cherries are in full bloom pollen is collected into the pollen
baskets on the bees hind legs the protein-rich pollen grains are used
in rearing the already numerous brood in the skip and thus help to promote the
growth of the colony the sugary nectar yielded by the
blossoms is the source of energy for the bees in the scale when the sour cherry
blossom is over the last blossoms to be worked by the bees in the outer land are
pear and apple in mature orchards these trees are planted in long rows often
alternating with one another the small migration stands are
distributed all over the orchard area the fruit growers are keen to get the
trees pollinated as thoroughly as possible once a week the beekeeper inspects the
stocks in the migration stands when a colony has developed vigorously
the bees begin to build large cells at the lower edge of the comb for the
drones to be reared in in order to encourage the bees to enlarge the brood
nest for the workers instead the beekeeper cuts out most of the so-called
drone comb for this purpose he uses a special instrument with a blade and hook
known as a drone knife the pieces of comb removed in this
operation are collected for melting down to wax at a later date in the course of these inspections the
beekeeper pays special attention to the size and food reserves of his stocks in good years when the bees have lots of
natural food some of the sticky candy remains behind on the feeding dish in
years like this the colony develops at a rapid rate and the first queen cells
signal the colony’s readiness to swarm a premature queen cell is being removed
here as well if the beekeeper discovers a
particularly weak stock while cutting off drone combs he can promote its
development by placing the scape we’re a highly vigorous stock in the same brood
rearing state as stood up to now as the foraging bees always return to their
accustomed location this enables the beekeeper to equalize his stocks the bees remain in the altar land for
three to four weeks their pollination activities are so important for the
fruit harvest that the local fruit growers pay a fee for every stock that
is placed in the orchards whereas the beekeeper is interested in the rich
early nectar and pollen yield for his colonies so fruit growing and beekeeping
go hand in hand Central Europe northern Lower Saxony preparations for the
swarming period in ass kept a puree at the beginning of May food supplies for
the bees of the cultivated heathland area are low the beekeepers living here
do their best to tie their stocks over this period by migrating to regions of
higher nectar flow and pollen yield thus kept colonies belonging to Gale in
thought master beekeeper from Zippin s’en were taken to the outer land near
Hamburg on their spring migration in the extensive fruit growing region the bees
were able to gather a rich harvest of nectar and pollen for several weeks on
end and the stocks developed vigorously after being transported back home to the
large out stands the stocks must be supplied with food by the beekeeper so
that their development does not slow down before the impending advent of the
swarming season sugar solution is readily accepted by the bees the
beekeeper replenishes the feeding dishes underneath the sket several times a week in several of the escapes the combs have
already been built down as far as the dish the bees are busy feeding their
brood the strength of this stock indicates that it will soon be ready to
swarm during the winter months the beekeeper
had already started extensive preparations for the time when his
approximately 700 stocks will swarm at Clint Ward’s farm
most of the beekeeping equipment is stored in the loft for the best part of
the year for example the swarm catching bags are hung up to air the Wooden’s
files for the escapes are also kept up here kaylynn port inspects his working
equipment piece by piece in the barn he checks the swarm catching bags fetched
from the loft these one-and-a-half meter long tubes of
gauze or curtain netting with their tip and corners reinforced in linen have
been sewn by the staff at the farmstead damaged netting is repaired on the spot
by the master beekeeper the swarm catching bagged serves to catch the
prime swarm when it leaves the skep out of the entrance so the bag should not
have any holes through which the bees might escape in each case the beekeeper makes sure
that all four pins which attach the bag in front of the scape are firmly sewn on
to the corners in the adjacent workshop before the
swarming season a large reserve of traveling boxes has been built up with a
view to selling off the expected prime swarms the joinery work is undertaken by
the beekeepers August fan Bardem and Ingo Lau both on the staff of Clint
Ward’s bee farm the skips are given special attention on
the part of the beekeeper he has to prepare hundreds of woven straw hives
for the swarms here he has laid out the ones in need of repair
he uses his pocket knife to remove loose patches of cow dung with which the
escapes are coated and thereby uncovers the closely packed rows of straw and
reed strips from which the escapes are woven by the spiral roll method regular
care and attention is essential to ensure the durability and stability of
these so-called Luneberg type escapes the goose wing serves as a brush in such
operations worn patches occur most frequently round
the rim of the skip it is not always possible to remove the defective
wrapping down to the last piece the replacement strips of reed have been
soaked to make them pliable we’re larger sections of the edging role
have been broken off the repair is more complicated straw has to be replaced as
well the rice straw used for this purpose originates from special crops
grown without the aid of chemicals only short sturdy straws are suitable for
skip weaving the knife and the all other chief tools
used during such repair work while the top of each new strip of reed is
anchored in the row the beekeeper cuts the tail off clean after first pulling
it tight it is important for the lower rim of the sket to be absolutely even
later it will form a tight seal where thus
kept rests on the stand many of the escapes used here are 80 to
100 years old skips used to be made by the beekeepers
themselves but today it’s no longer necessary to weave new ones
for a good number of years Gayle Clint watt has been able to buy up large
reserves of escapes from abandoned bee farms the side walls of the escapes exhibit
only minor damage and it’s often enough for the beekeeper to insert only a
single clasp now the scape has been completely
renovated if the basket work of the escapes is sound it only has to be
cleared of wax residues left behind after the combs were broken out in the
dome of each skip three strips of foundation comb are now attached these
seven by three centimeter strips of wax cut out of old combs are fixed by the
beekeeper with a mixture of hot wax and fur resin they serve the bees as a base
on which to orientate their new comb building the sky pissed offers the bees further
assistance in their comb building in the shape of wooden rods or spirals cut from
rosewood or backbone into each skip he pushes six of these point its files
at regular intervals through the walls of the hive thus piles are arranged in
pairs and aligned at right angles to the foundation strips the bees build all
around the smiles can stick the combs to them this gives the honey combs the
stability required to extend frequent movements of the scale final work on the escapes takes place in
the open air it is carried out here by Gail Clint Lord son of the head
beekeeper and himself a master beekeeper to protect them against the weather he
plastids escapes with a new outer covering the most suitable material for
this protective coating is cow dung collected on the fields in springtime
this material spreads easily and seals the escapes adhering so closely to the
basket work on drying that not even moisture can loosen it closing the
entrance with dung prevents parasites from nesting in the skep while it is
drying on the shelf in the stand the beekeeper must reckon with several
weeks of concentrated work before all the preparations for the swarming season
at the end of May have been completed Central Europe northern Lower Saxony
work in a heavy skip apiary during the prime swarming period it is early June
in the cultivated heathland area between Bremen and Hamburg for the heavy
beekeepers on the clean thoughts bee farm the season of most intensive work
now begins it is the swarming season of the heathland bees in all the scapes the
bees have built queen cells to rear young Queens nine days after the eggs
were laid the Queen larvae floating in their reservoirs of royal jelly have
developed up to the stage when the cells are ready to be capped over after
another seven days the young Queens are mature sealed and unsealed Queen cells
are continuously checked and nurtured by the worker bees soon after the first
queen cells have been capped over the old Queen leaves thus kept together with
a few thousand workers to found a new colony if a prime swarm is not prevented
from flying it first settles close by preferably under overhanging branches
where it forms a dense cluster from dawn till dusk as long as the Sun
lures the bees at head beekeeper Gail Clint Watt and his assistants watched
the stocks that are ready to swarm and have been brought back from the out
stands to the house apiary to avoid losing bees the prime swarms
have to be called directly on leaving the scale the experienced beekeeper can tell from
their behavior at the entrance whether the bees are about to swarm so he has to keep a continual watch on
the flight entrances he can confirm his suspicions by taking
a look inside the skin a large number of queen cells some of
which have already been kept indicate that the stocks in these escapes are
prepared for swarming if the bees are restless and tend to run
back and forth in the bee ways this is an imminent sign of swarming swarming
begins with the first Scouts pouring out of the entrance they attract the other
bees along with them which in turn hustle out the old Queen the prime swarm
flies off this is the moment for the beekeeper to intervene by spreading a
swarm catching bag over the flight entrance he can prevent the prime swarm
from flying away he uses earth to close a gap which the bees might use as an
emergency exit each swarming scape is marked with a
leafy twig or a wooden tag the swarm catchers have been made by the
beekeepers themselves the bees are encouraged to enter the bag by raising
it slightly above the level of the flight entrance otherwise there is
danger of the bees withdrawing into the skep again the behavior of the crime swarm can be
observed through the transparent gauze in the middle section of the bag also
the humming of the emerging bees is a good indicator of the progress of
swarming every gap between the scape understand
which the beekeeper notices on his control rounds is immediately sealed
it’s usually sufficient to surround the base with the cord if after six to ten minutes no further
B’s emerge from the skip the catching bag can be unfastened and hung up in the
shade under the shade of the shed roof the
bees gradually calm down in a large home APA like this one
several swarms may emerge almost simultaneously the experienced eye of the beekeeper can
detect the first signs of swarming even at some distance and distinguish them
from the customary warm weather activity at the flight entrance prepared with chords and with a swarm
catching bag in his hand the beekeeper is equipped for every contingency warm sunny days and humid weather in
particular encourage the bees to swarm on such occasions anything up to 50
prime swarms might emerge at the fin BOTS home apiary on a single day in
cooler weather swarming occurs only sporadically just as in free flying
swarms the bees in the shaded hanging bags collect around their queen to form
the swarm cluster if on the other hand the bees continue to move about
restlessly while humming loudly the queen is obviously absent a queen less
swarm will be released so that the bees can return to their home scale for two or three weeks the beekeepers at
the home apiary are on their feet all day preventing the prime swarms from
escaping as soon as the bees have contracted to a
dense cluster at the top of the swarm catcher they can easily be shaken out of
the bag during the course of each swarming day
the primes forms are packed in traveling boxes in former times the Heather skeptics
would put the Prime swarms in empty escapes where they would draw out new
comb and store Heather honey before the stocks were disposed of they would not
keep a prime swarm stock with its old Queen over the winter today the sale of prime swarms is a
guaranteed source of income for the clinvar a period hive a purists from as
far afield as South Germany have already placed orders for swarms to upgrade
their stocks 1 prime swarm can provide them with anything from two and a half
to four pounds of bees the same evening the travelling boxes provided with B
candy are sent for dispatch by rail if no further Prime swarms can be
reckoned with today all the swarmed escapes are covered over with transport
cloths made of gauze the flight entrances are left open until
the evening when the escapes are taken to the nearby outstand at Marsh Horst
where the beekeeper waits for the second swarms or castes to emerge from the
escapes the empty spaces will be filled with
further swarming escapes taken from the other out stems depending on the number of overwintered
stocks the Clin would be farm can reckon with anything up to 700 Prime swarms in
a given swarming season to encourage swarming all the other
stocks in the home apiary are fed with sugar syrup which in the old days used
to be laced with the little spirits this is because only well-fed bees are
prepared to go swarming Central Europe northern Lower Saxony
work in the hewa SCAP apiary during the castes warming period early in the
summer the beekeepers allow their stocks to swarm in order to increase their skep
colonies the prime swarming period of the heather bees is followed in June by
the period in which second swarms or castes are thrown off the beekeepers of
Clint Watts large-scale bee farm are expecting the castes at the marsh cost
out Stan on account of its enclosed arrangement and location in a birch
alder and pine wood this position is particularly suitable for the work
occurring at this period once the prime swarm has flown seven
days after their cells have been capped over in each skip the young Queens are
ready to emerge during this time the bees are gathering nectar and pollen to
supply the colony the bees are now restless and run back
and forth in the bee waves some individuals are occupied in uncapping
the cells containing the fully developed Queens immediately on emerging the young queen
surrounds herself with bees in order to leave the scalp the first cast is thrown
off about seven to ten days after the prime swarm headed by the old queen as
migrated in contrast to the prime swarms which
are caught at the scat entrance in special swarm catching bags the
beekeeper allows the castes to escape year after year they collect on
particular trees one of their favorite swarming places is a group of pine trees under their branches several of the
cast’s each weighing one to one-and-a-half pounds
connect together they connect to form a swarm cluster of increasing size the queens of the various different
castes find their way to the outside now is the time for the beekeeper to act
with a joke he shakes the swarm clusters into a catching scale while the scape is resting on the ground
the bees again congregate around the Queens inside it consolidating once more
into a cluster on the branches swarming bees soon form
a new cluster again the beekeeper collects the castes at
regular intervals two or three times he shakes swarms into the same caching
scale in the course of the swarming day the
castes increasingly tend to collect directly at the stand or in the
immediate vicinity by means of a skip placed on the eaves
the beekeeper offers the storm a dark hollow which invites them to enter all day long for several weeks on end
the master beekeeper Gail clinvar junior never stops dealing with the casts swarm
clusters should never be left on their own for too long otherwise they will fly
off to permanent quarters collecting skips are smaller lighter straw vessels
without clustering the entrance is stuffed up the Virgin Queens emerge in the colony
at intervals of about two days warm weather encourages them to swarm in
however bad weather delays their swarming a particular noise known as
Tooting is a sure sign that further Queens are ready to emerge if a caste is thrown off now the swarm
follows the Queen out of the SCAF entrance in a regular cascade as more and more swarms are thread off
and collect under the branches and the eaves the beekeeper assembles the filled
catching scapes in order to provide for the cast’s in a part of the marsh Rost quadrangle
away from the swarming activities the beekeeper has assembled empty scapes
which were previously provided with strips of foundation comb and wooden
spirals he fills each skep with about two wooden
platters full of cast beans they usually contain several Virgin Queens only one
of these will remain alive she and bees will form a new stock to prevent the bees dispersing again the
escapes are immediately sealed be typed with covering thoughts the entrances are
still stuffed from the plastering of the basket work second swarm bees are also filled in two
escapes containing old comb without honey or brooms one and a half pounds is the usual
starting weight of a new colony to ensure good air circulation and
temperature Equalization the a purist first lays the escapes on their sides on
the shelf young queens are also removed
individually from the catching steps together with a small number of workers
they are transferred to specially made wooden nucleus boxes named cleaned
bottles after their designer so that they can form small temporary colonies
as soon as the beekeeper has supplied each box with a ladle full of bees he
starts to search for the Queen’s among the throng one by one he places young Queens among
the beans the idea is to obtain mated Queens to
hold in reserve during the three-week castes warming
period about 200 boxes are filled in this way at Clint Ward’s P farm the candy placed on the floor of the box
provides the bees with nourishment to start with because the flight openings
remain closed for the first few days the castes transferred to escapes have
meanwhile settled down quietly about 24 hours later towards evening the
beekeeper places the scapes upright as there is now no danger of the bees
departing again he opens up the entrances that have been stuffed with
cow dung the bees now set about enlarging the
entrance of their scape by knowing it and smoothing it all around with
propolis the sealed nucleus boxes are set up in
the open three days after they have been filled when the larger of the two escape
openings has been unstopped the young queen can fly off on her
mating flight the spacing between the boxes makes it easier for the bees and
their queen to find their way back to their own place at this time a number of tasks for the
sketchiest overlap at the more distant out stands like this one of zazen holds
the recently restocked castes kept have to be cared for they were taken out
during the evening hours the obstructed entrances were opened immediately now
the following evening the covering cloths are removed on this occasion the
beekeeper places a dish of sugar syrup under each of the scapes a splash of
syrup inside escaped aims to lure the bees down to the food supply after
standing undisturbed in the open for a few days the boxes are inspected for
queen ripeness well built up combs brood cells filled
with eggs and the first honey indicate to the beekeeper that he can rely on a
native queen here see then closes up the flight opening the second nursery colony is also Queen
right and therefore augments the reserve of usable Queens be too small combs consisting only of
drone cells and the eggs in several of the large cells tell the apiarist that
the clean in this nuclear colony has remained unmated so she has laid only
infertile drone eggs on average he finds positive
results in three-quarters of all the boxes if a box has been deserted by the
bees he concludes that the young queen has gone astray as work continues the
beekeeper allows two to three castes to swarm out of each skep in the marsh
hosts out stand until 10 to 12 days after the prime swarm he takes action to prevent further casts being thrown
off and thus depopulating the stock he now removes all the remaining Queen
sells the stock is said to have been superseded Queen sells still containing
virgin Queens are laid aside for the time being furthermore he cuts the comb edges off
about 15 to 20 centimeters from the opening of the scalp in this way the
bees receive more space to build up new combs which they can fill with honey he uses a special scape knife to do so to ensure that a superseded stock has a
queen he finally opens one of the Queen cells he has removed and allows a Virgin
Queen to rejoin the colony he makes sure that she is perfectly developed by covering them with cloths the
superceded escapes are prepared for transport to more distant out stands skip by skip the beekeeper works through
all the 700 colonies of his apiary in this way he gives them the best possible
start for heather honey gathering from these gaps the sections of comb removed are
collected for wax pressing at a later date just like the castes shaken in two
escapes the superseded stocks also need repose and the proximity of good
foraging grounds for favourable development their young Queens make
their nuptial flight at this time it may happen that a queen fails to return to
the scape and the colony becomes queenless in this case the heather
apiarist can have recourse to the mated queen in one of the clint water nucleus
boxes such queens are put into small nursery
cages the opening of which is sealed with be candid these so-called Queen cell cages are
made by the beekeeper himself out of Willow Wood they are provided with for
long ish slits and a spur for anchoring them the beekeeper takes a number of
filled nursery cages along with him when he inspects the superceded colonies on
the out stands if he is uncertain whether a stock is Queen right he cuts a
wedge-shaped piece out of a comb in the middle as far as the brood nest he inspects it thoroughly to see whether
the queen has laid eggs in the cells if he is unable to detect any eggs
he must assume that the queen remained unfertilized or has been lost a stock in
this commission is provided with a new queen by fixing a queen cell cage inside
the skep the bees of the colony get into contact with the Queen via the slits and
if she finds acceptance they eat their way through to her and gradually release
her the scape is provided with a sticker in this way all the superseded stocks
are controlled by the beekeeper this test proves positive on average once kept in 10 has to be
provided with a caged screen in front of the accustomed standing
ground returning foragers are already waiting to carry their supplies through
the entrance since the middle of the swarming period a number of plants are
in nectar flow around the out stands they help to bridge the gap until the
Heather migration starts in August in the vicinity of the out stands the
bramble blossom attracts the bees in the wood in the bushes alongside the paths
it is many the buckthorn older but honeysuckle is also a favorite here out
on the pastures and field margins thistles and white clover are
particularly important in former days buck wheat crops provided the main
source of forage for the heifer bees at this time of year and additional feeding
of the late castes was unnecessary in fields and at the wayside the bees now
prefer corn flowers as well as in particular chamomile as a source of
nectar and pollen when the foragers return with this load
they are able to communicate information about the source of nourishment as soon
as they reach the scape entrance a further source of food is found on
leaves particularly in oak woods the bees collect the sticky oxidation caused
by a feds known as honeydew the bee farms colonies are distributed
over six permanent out stands located along the margins of the cultivated land
about 30 caste colonies occupy the stand near the Alpha size arm or the loose
arrangement of sites makes it easier for the bees to find their way home here the beekeeper is checking their
progress within two weeks this colony has built Newcomb in the empty sketch
down to the first pair of spirals steps where the combs are built right from the
start proved to be very productive of Qom
honey here seven of the nine combs produced in
a nooner bug types kept have already been built if necessary the apiarist will
straighten irregularly built combs cells damaged in the process are soon replaced
by the beans he carefully adjusts the beasts face between the cones to some stocks have already built their
combs down to the center pair of smiles and laid out all nine cones if the sketchiest discovers a queenless
colony while inspecting the comb development shakes the rest of the bees
part of the scale before hand he makes perfectly sure that no Queen is present the evicted bees will beg their way into
other colonies the escapes remain on the out stands for several weeks up to the
time of migration to the Heather the bees are engaged in building out the
combs rearing the brood and laying up the necessary stores with the help of
castes the beekeeper has succeeded in increasing his stocks threefold Central
Europe northern Lower Saxony summer work during the Heather flow in a scab a
puree at the beginning of August the skip a
purist said Clint Watts commercial be farm in Lion Felder near wilkinson have
only a short time to examine the total stock of skips since the end of the
swarming time they have assembled about 1,500 Heather honeybee colonies on
several large out stands a hundred scapes are positioned understand that
twist and bust both about eighteen kilometers from the bee farm the bees in
the newly reared cast colonies and the original stalks have increased in the
skips during the past six to eight weeks and built out their cones the beekeepers
are taking an inventory of the state of their stocks while at the same time
preparing them for the migration to the chief honey flow of the year the
colonies should consist of as many workers as possible to optimize the
yield of nectar and pollen that is why the a purists pay special attention to
the state of the cones any Queen sells laid down in the
meantime and all drone comb sections are removed the reason is that drones and
new queens are superfluous in a colony with a mated Queen Jan koum is often built up right into
the crown of the skip by cutting it out the beekeeper encourages the bees to
build out new combs which they can then fill with stores after inspection the escapes are covered
with light cloths which allow air to circulate they are to be transferred
this very evening besides the young master beekeeper Gail
clinvar jr. the tour assistant beekeepers Ilkka Bulman and August fun
bargain artwork here all available staff of the bee farm have to join in this
major operation after a while the master beekeeper himself
Galen thought senior joins them at the time of filming he was 71 years of age
he started beekeeping with only 70 winter colonies fifty years previously the empty feeding dishes are now laid
aside the a purists had encouraged the development of their stocks after the
swarming period by feeding them sugar syrup in the pieces of comb removed one can
see drones in all stages of development from they develop drones just about to
emerge from their cells and lobby without being fed by the nurse bees they
will soon die the pieces of comb are meticulously collected together as soon
as the beekeepers find time they will be pressed for summer wax in several escapes the combs have been
built down as far as the feeding dish straws which serve the bees as landing
places in it are also removed by blowing smoke from his pipe and by
tapping lightly the beekeeper makes the bees detach themselves from the cones it is important to work quietly and
gently to avoid frightening the beans with the narrow blade of his
long-handled skip knife or with a hook at the other end the beekeeper can work
deep inside the skip and fetch out the smallest pieces without damaging the
adjacent comb surfaces the square gauze cloths afternoon food
types round the perimeter of the skip to prevent the bees escaping from the
basket in transit occasionally the beekeeper comes across
sweet colonies like this one that have not built out their combs beyond the
first pair of spirals as it is not worthwhile thinking a stock like this to
the Heather he leaves the skeptic open in addition he marks it with a twig for
with a wooden sticker the for beekeepers required about two
hours to process the hundreds kept standing here after a short break they
will proceed to the next out stand the entrances remain open right up to
the moment of dispatch to allow the bees unobstructed entry and exit during the
day for stuffing the entrance holes the
beekeeper is looking for suitable pieces of moss in the vicinity of the stand he
places it ready in spaces on the shows on other stands he makes use of grass as
well immediately before transport the
entrances are sealed tight after the bees of being driven back into the
escapes by smoking B’s which were still out foraging will
beg their way into haba colonies and thereby increase their strength the escapes are stacked close together
on the resides in staggered formation sudden movements and rolling from side
to side have to be avoided so that the bees do not panic and the basket work of
the escapes is not damaged as the comb sections are arranged vertically jokes
during transport can be quite well absorbed the entrance holes are always on top the gauze cloths allow free exchange of
air and thus ensure the necessary temperature equalization it’s a small number of skips left on the
out stands will be collected up to enable the beekeepers to look after them
more easily on one stand very weak colonies are united or later added to
another colony the destination of the summer migration is the lüneburg heath
because this is one of the only areas where large expenses of Heather have
survived the beekeepers have to travel anything from 60 to 120 kilometres to
get there this long-distance migration did not become necessary until 30 years
ago up until 1955 there were sufficient eath clans in the vicinity of the home
farm in those days the escapes were transported by horse and cart after a
two-hour journey the first migration stand is set up on the heath in the
evening hours the Heather stands are vital to the scat
a purist all his efforts so far this year have been directed at getting the
bees to harvest heather honey all the foraging the feeding to tide over gaps
in nectar flow and all the other beekeeping measures have served to
increase the number of colonies and to promote their development up to the
Heather flowering time the beekeeper built the stands himself several decades
ago to protect them against wind and rain they are often located on the edge
of a coppice they are aligned East or southeast said that the escapes catch
the earliest sunshine anything between fifty and a hundred
escapes can be accommodated on one Heather hug stand this far excels the
capacity for small migration stands used in the orchards of the altas land the
entrance holes are opened immediately the escapes have been set up this
enables the bees to orientate on their first foraging flights early the
following morning a second Heather out stand is filled
with the escapes loaded near twists and bustle earth stands are situated in the
southern part of the new neva heath near main holds several evenings in a row the
Clint bought B farm transports it escapes to the Heather until all the
available standing grounds are occupied most of them lie in an area reserved for
military training the experienced migratory beekeeper times the migration
in accordance with the Heather nectar flow he does not set up his colonies on
the heath until the Heather starts flowering this usually occurs by the
10th of August after the shake-up during transportation
the bees need some time to settle down in the escapes and get accustomed to the
new location when the master beekeeper visits his
stands the following day he takes care to protect himself very well at first
there must not be a single gap between veil and jacket the woven horsehair
panel of the veil is provided with a leather lined opening for the beekeepers
pipe up until the time when the Heather is in
full blossom and nectar flow the bees need feeding to tide them over the gap a
shortage of food would impair the Queen’s laying activity and endanger the
brood in the nest and as one has to reckon with substantial B losses in the
Heather anyway lack of food would considerably weakened the stocks the beekeeper provides the bees with
food at the same time as he removes the covering cloths on the home stands he
uses feeding dishes and wooden platters for the sugar syrup or honey water but
here on the migration stands the single portion of candy is simply placed on a
piece of plastic foil on a hot August day like this the
beekeeper cannot hold out long under his veil he takes advantage of the
opportunity to stuff his pipe again dried tansy leaves are used for this
purpose each colony receives a portion of about two pounds of sugar candy this be food takes some time for the
bees to assimilate so they have provisions for several days without a
surplus of food occuring which the bees would put away in their combs it has taken the beekeeper an hour and a
half to perform all the tasks at this stem the covering cloths are kept
bundled up until they are taken home again a fortnight later in the second half of
August the heifer is in full bloom in good weather the bees now find plenty of
pollen and nectar in the blossoms of calluna vulgaris the heaven every three or four days the beekeeper
does the rounds of his 15 Heather out stands to inspect the state of the
stocks as here near the small town of Dorfman during the two weeks since the beginning
of the Heather migration the B’s in this skit have drawn their combs almost down
as far as the Shelf request and in sampling the escapes the beekeeper is
keen to see whether the bees are already storing honey if a poorly built out firm structure
indicates as a colony is weak he places the scape where a well built out scape
had stood with a view to increasing its bee population the weaker colony is strengthened by the
foragers of the previous strong stock returning to their accustomed location
to optimize the honey harvest all the steps should be equally populous and
well built out the most favorable arrangement is for
the migration stands to be in the center of the best foraging area and not too
close together the fact is that large continuous areas of Heather like this
one on the robb egg slopes are becoming less and less common in the lüneburg
heath these days grasses and birch trees are proliferating since sheep grazing
has been on the decline especially in the military training areas which occupy
a major part of the heath woodlands are gradually taking over to avoid over foraging the heather crop
the migration beekeeper has to obtain a new license every year from the local
authority responsible for the area permitting him to use the stands and
stipulating the number of escapes he may set here so migration stands number 61
in the administrative district of Salta felling Bosco is licensed for 100 scape
colonies ever produces better nectar if the soil is poor in humors and
relatively heavy but weather conditions before and during the flowering period
are also a decisive factor temperatures of around 20 degrees centigrade and
morning mists are favorable for nectar and pollen gathering but if long periods of low temperatures
and drought prevail or cold rainy conditions endure the bees will start to
interfere stores of honey that is why the beekeeper makes sure during each
inspection round that they are continuing to lay up stores and he
checks how well the honey cells are being filled the steps have been standing in the
Heather for three and a half weeks now if favorable conditions endure the
beekeeper will let his bees work for him for a further week before taking the
stalks back to the bee farm around the 15th of September in a good summer the escapes on the
Heather out stands have increased in weights by as much as thirty five pounds
each their combs now contain the Heather skip a purists entire year’s harvest of
honey after the bees have been shaken out at the home farm the beekeepers will
start to break the combs out of the escapes and harvest the honey Central
Europe northern Lower Saxony autumn work in a Heather skip apiary in a big a
puree like that of beekeeper Clint wort which lies near Zippin ‘some in the
cultivated heathland area between Bremen and Hamburg there are typically seasonal
jobs while the Heather was in flower Clint warts 1,500 scapes stood in stands
on lüneburg Heath after the bees had collected the heather nectar and pollen
for several weeks they were returned to their stands at the home a period in nearby Marsh host there are about 400
escapes those to be overwintered are selected and those from which honey will
be harvested are prepared in the early morning the beekeepers
August fun bargain and Elka Bulman begin this task they go through the escapes
one by one in the escapes from which wax and honey
will be harvested the bees are sprayed with sugar solution this will make it
easier to remove them from the combs if the heather flowers gave a good honey
harvest the bees will have built as shown here their combs completely to the
underside of the Skip and already sealed the cells full of honey that will give a
good yield of comb honey in each sket to be harvested the entrance is closed with
moss whereas the skips selected for overwintering are immediately placed
back on the shelves sometimes the old dark combs are found
inside the escapes and no newly built light combs no comb honey and little
pressed honey will be harvested from such scapes often the neighboring scape is entirely
differently built up reflecting the condition of the colony and the richness
of the honey flow where the hive comes from thus kept selected for overwintering
like this one should be 3/4 full of well-built combs not to own thus kept
warm as to be in proper condition the entrances of the winter escapes are left
open but entrances of the escapes selected for harvesting must be sealed these escapes will be prepared for the
next stage of harvesting the removal of the bees from the skin after the removal
of the bees the brood will have to be killed this will be done by suffering
and for this purpose Gail Kim bought son of the head beekeeper and himself a
master beekeeper digs square holes in the ground and enlarges them towards one
side he stuffs moss around the edges to make the join airtight hazel twigs support sulfur impregnated
paper which will later smolder under the scapes altogether he prepares five holes in
this way the process of removing the bees is aided by the use of an elastic
empty escape only escapes bound with cane are usable here the escapes are
bounced rhythmically in order to drive all the bees into the empty scape the beekeeper then checks to make sure that
the entire colony has been driven out of the scale he calms the bees with smoke from the
beekeepers pipe he always attempts to find the Queen in
the mass of bees bees from such a colony with their queen
will then be added to a previously selected scape in order to increase its
population winter colony is constituted in this way should now weigh 5 pounds the sketch to overwinter is then
returned to the stand while thus kept earlier emptied of bees is brought to
the sulphur holes by farmer Yan Clint bought the beekeepers brother nearby
Gale Clint bought jr. and his father are also cooperating the old beekeeper
frequently checks the insides of the escapes which hold the proceeds of the
year’s work the scape was usually be bounced 30 or
more times in order to empty it this work requires not only physical strength
but also skill and experience breaking the combs has to be avoided patience is needed in the search for the
Queen the beekeeper would Vance the skip once more if no Queen were found the escapes with fortified populations
are closed with special cloths so that they can be taken to the overwintering
place the same evening last August Georg and Elka go through
the shelves one by one the old beekeeper personally suffers the first escapes for
that purpose he lights me prepared smoking strips and then stands the skips
on the moss ring round the hole bees removed that the beekeeper does not
want for his overwintering escapes are collected in an empty scape reserved for
sale they will have been ordered long beforehand in order to work on the 60 escapes here
in the marche host stand the operators require half a day with
five people working the removal of the bees is the job of
August and Georg the experienced beekeepers and the young Elka helps the
old be master undertakes special tasks such as the suffering while his brother
Yan transports the escapes as soon as several colonies have been
assembled for sale the beekeeper fills them into crates the colonies are sold weighing four
pounds each that makes about 20,000 bees per colony the package crates are home made on the
farms it is work that is done during bad weather and mainly in wintertime the individual weight of every crate has
to be taken into account these from different colonies put
together will allow only one queen to live and to head their new colony bees which have flown away will collect
in the winter escapes as shown here in the foreground escapes whose combs are
built down to the smiles at the bottom the beekeeper let’s peas in one out of
every three colonies overwinter in their own scape of the remaining two he adds
one be lot to the skep selected for overwintering and sells the other lot in the meantime the remaining brood in
the combs of the emptied escapes has been killed by the sulfur fumes for transport the entrance remains
closed and the escapes are stood on their base in this way bees are
prevented from entering thus avoiding honey robbing new sulfur paper is immediately put into
the holes in the ground in order to protect the combs from heat the strips
are placed into the lateral cavity above which the scat entrance is then aligned it has got warm under the beekeepers
protective hood with its front woven from horsehair I’m for a cigarette the
escapes must remain in place for about five minutes to prevent the bees from scenting the
heather honey and collecting on the sulfate escapes these are removed from
the area as soon as possible yon takes them to the farm which
consists of three buildings farm living quarters and shed in the barn is a storeroom where the
escapes are packed so that myosin bees cannot get at them when stacking them
Yan is careful to ensure that the combs remain vertical so that they do not
break under the weight and let the honey flow out the entrance should be on top a good skip can yield over 30 pounds of
Heather honey in a good year up to 1,000 skips are
stored here in the next room the beekeeper prepares the bees for
transport the bees readily drink sugar solution survey are supplied during
transport with water for possible cooling and nutrients crystallized honey
put into a top container serves as food for the often long train journey the bees can sustain themselves on this
for three days the water used for hand-washing will
later be used as food for the bees the colonies of bees for sale will be
supplied to order two beekeepers all over Germany the returns on each colony
are about 50 marks the beekeeper will take them straight to the nearest
railway station so that they catch the evening train the beekeeper also has a home a period
on the farm located undisturbed behind the farmstead it’s a good overwintering
place facing the Sun in space for up to 270 escapes the
colonies are fed here in readiness for overwintering the transport cloths have
already been removed from the escapes for sugar solution food containers are
put under the steps cut straw gives the bees a foothold so that they can drink
the liquid ordinary sugar has been used to make the
solution to kilograms of sugar to 1 liter of warm water the bees are given as much food as they
would use in a day’s work in warm weather to attract the bees to the food the
beekeeper pause a little solution directly into each skip sometimes bees for overwintering are put
in empty escapes and they build new combs down to the bottom spirals in
quite a short time overwintering colonies are located in
four or five other places nearby as well as here behind the farm a total of 600
to 700 colonies are prepared for overwintering about ten times as many as
a single ever beekeeper could maintain using only traditional technology the
five beekeepers in Gale enforce business can work with such a large number of
escapes only through the use of modern transport and certain rationalization
techniques after bees in all the escapes have been
fed for the first time the beekeeper must continuously ensure that the bees
can obtain enough food to guarantee overwintering before he restarts the
work he lights his pipe smoker dried firms are usually burnt in it because there is little nectar for the
bees in late autumn the beekeeper must feed them every two to three days on his rounds he gets to know the
condition of the combs in his newly constituted colonies in which the last
brood of the air is now emerging in order to ensure successful overwintering
the escapes with their contents should weigh 32 to 35 pounds after two to three
weeks of feeding on sunny and warm October days these can
still be seen flying before they cluster together for the cold winter months when the cold comes the btfo will cover
the entrances with a screen to prevent the bees flying out on sunny days with
this the beekeepers work for the air is done Central Europe northern Lower
Saxony harvest of heather honey in a skip a puree autumn is harvesting time
for Heather honey on the farm of Georg Clint bought this apiary is located in
the cultivated heathland area between Bremen and Hamburg and
specializes in comb honey and pressed honey in the building facing the
farmhouse the beekeeper works on the escapes from which the honey combs are
to be removed up to a thousand straw escapes are stored here out of reach of
the bees the stability of the combs in a skirt is preserved by six thin rods or
spirals carefully inserted through the sides the bees have fixed their combs to
the smiles so they must now be carefully removed thus piles are cut from either
rose or black alder wood and will be used again next spring the combs are
also cemented securely to the walls and the top of the skip but a blow at an
angle to the combs will loosen them the honey harvest begins with the
removal of the comb honey Gail Clint watt reserves this work for
himself comb honey is heather honey sealed in new white combs which have not
been used for brood rearing besides every comb has empty wax cells and
darker cells filled with honey and pollen these different pieces of comb
are divided and placed in a wax barrel and a honey barrel the comb honey is cut
and packed as pound or 1/2 pound portions by Edel card The Apprentice
comb honey is a speciality of the heathland beekeeper only Heather honey
is thick enough not to run out of the cells after they’re cut in a Luneberg tight heather skep the
bees draw out nine comb comb honey is found primarily over the central brood
nest in the scat at the top and along the wall behind the brood nest comb
honey consists of completely built and well filled cells because bees seal the
cells only after they have been filled out with honey for some time the
beekeeper must often jog the sket once more to dislodge the last narrow comb
from it with a special tool the beekeeper
scrapes off the remaining wax from the Skip walls wax has been valued for
centuries so even the smallest pieces are collected in an average year the
beekeeper harvests about two pounds of comb honey from a skip but in a
particularly good year the yield can be 20 pounds comb honey is very highly
prized by Christmas the annual yield will have been sold at 25 marks for a
500 gram pack pressed honey is subsequently extracted in the room in
the barn which can be well heated this work is undertaken by Gayle Clint bought
the head beekeepers son and himself a master bee Heba he uses a Stoddart idle
screw press the pieces of comb which have been cut off during the separation
of comb honey and collected in barrels have seen kept warm in a heated cabinet
for a day at 35 degrees Celsius this allows the honey to flow out of the
cells more easily after cutting up the pieces of comb containing pollen and
honey cells into smaller pieces they are filled into a pressing cloth pipe used
for fruit pressing to prevent the cloth opening during the
pressing the ends are twisted together and laid with the opening facing
downwards in the press the beekeeper washes his honey covered hands in a
special water bucket this water can be used later to feed the bees by turning
the screw he forces the block against the pressing clock through the ribs on
either side the honey flows out of the press and drains off onto the takeoff
board the honey containing tiny pieces of wax and pollen is collected in a
bucket when the honey ceases to flow the press
is opened with clean hands the beekeeper needs the
tightly pressed wax inside the cloth so as to loosen it the second pressing extracts the last
remaining honey from the wax pieces it requires the utmost effort to close
the press once more but finally the last of the honey is squeezed out the pressed honey is poured into
600-pound barrels in order to clear it to filter out coarse pieces the
beekeeper pours the honey through a fine mesh screen she then makes the press ready for the
next run collecting the lumps of wax which remain in the cloth to use them in
subsequent wax processing it takes the beekeeper until January to complete the
work on the honeycombs from his escapes the freshly pressed honey must stand in
the barrels for about two days the remaining particles of wax and
pollen will then have floated up to the surface where they are removed to this impure mixture will be used as
food for overwintering hives or as stimulant feeding during the springtime the honey must be thoroughly stirred
before the beekeeper can fill it into smaller vessels the pressed natural
honey is sold in jars and cans a pound this price between 10 and 15 marks each can is filled with five pound
batches of honey empty can covers the weights on the
scales after putting lids on the cans the apprentice takes them to the
adjoining storeroom for labeling the cartons of honey jars are also stored
here for one-pound apportioning the standard jars of the German bee keepers
Association they’re used the brand of the association guarantees quality honey these special cross-shaped
labels indicate the name of the producer and the relevant identification number
the gluing board is again the responsibility of the apprentice who
finally provides each jar with a marker indicating the type of honey the harvested heather honey is sold
mainly in northern Germany but by mail-order it can be obtained anywhere
in the Federal Republic of Germany to Central Europe northern Lower Saxony
beeswax pressing in a traditional apiary on the cultivated heathland between
Bremen and Hamburg in lyon felder near citizen stands the farmstead of the head
beekeeper Gail Clint bought in late summer when the work of the
swarming season is over the beekeeper has time to deal with his harvest of
summer beeswax this task is done in the main farm
buildings August van bargain beekeeper and
employee of Clint Voss apiaries prepares the wax press in a special wax room he
Kindles a fire with wood scraps under the big cauldron in which he’s going to
melt the wax he uses tap water to help in the melting
process a smaller cauldron is used to heat water for pressing the wax meanwhile enough water has been let into
the wax cauldron and it is heated to boiling freshly cut Beach logs provide plenty of
heat a lot of wax has been saved in big
barrels since wax was last pressed the previous
winter in December and January the wax has been compressed and the barrels
sealed while the cauldrons are heating the containers have been brought up to
room temperature the residues are contaminated with dead
bees larvae honey pollen and fragments of straw from
the sugar solution feeders commonly used in skeptic eating the beekeeper makes
sure that the larger pieces are completely melted and that the wax and
water are well mixed also compact pieces of light wax from drone comb which has
been previously melted must be melted again the liquid mixture is bubbling and
producing steam in the wooden press the cloth used
nowadays is of the type manufactured for pressing fruit pulp special care is
taken not to spill any of the wax freed of course solid contaminants the
hot wax water mixture runs into a wooden tub only tiny particles can pass through
the cloth when it is sufficiently full the cloth
is twisted up the Parma yankin bought one of gales
brothers screws the press closed and the spindle pushes the heavy wooden board
against the ribs at the front of the pressing space this particular model is
known as a starter press after every pressing the big cauldron is
refilled towards the end it takes considerable
effort to turn the screw to maximize the yield the press is opened at this stage
to press the wax a second time the contents of the cloth are loosened
and replaced after turning with the help of boiling water the rest
of the wax is washed out after this effort the pressing is
finished the cloth with the residues is set aside
to cool the wax is added continuously and to keep the vessel on the boil wood
is placed on the fire at regular intervals Oh few words are exchanged as August and
Yan work together before reusing the plot the cold
residues are discarded the next pressing begins because of the danger of the hot
spurting wax and to avoid too rapid a cooling process the presses cover in the tub the wax and water have
separated the lighter wax floats so that the contaminated water underneath can be
ran off once more it is time to refill the
cauldron with further wax to be treated as soon as they collecting and cleaning
tub is filled with wax this can be labeled into moles to form wax blocks care is taken to remove wax only from
the surface hot water in the bucket mold prevents
the wax from cooling too quickly which might cause cracks while hardening the
hot water also serves to keep the wax from sticking to the mold and makes it
easier for the last of their contaminants to settle the press is unscrewed again in order to
turn the cloth on its contents around hot water is added to reheat and rinse
the contents in the same way one cloth after another
is pressed to make room for the newly processed wax
water must continually be let out of the tub if the temperature is allowed to rise
too steeply there is danger that the wax will boil over and catch fire therefore the temperature is regulated
by adding cold water August and Yan must work several days to
process all of the wax saved since the previous winter from three kilograms of crude wax one
kilogram of clarified wax is obtained up to 150 kilograms of clarified wax are
made on a single day of pressing the wax blocks must be cooled at least a
day before finishing this work is done by the head beekeeper Gail Flynn thought
himself his brother Yan helps him the top of the blocks are rounded off so
that the edges are not fragmented during transport at the bottom of each bucket mold a thin
layer of fine impurities has settled out of the wax this layer is paired off the
block and discarded to do this the beekeeper uses a strong
pocketknife typically for summer wax wasps and flies
become embedded in the top layer during the cooling process they must also be
removed the cleaner the wax the higher the price each fetches when it is sold 10 to 15 blocks other product of one day
of pressing because wax is so valuable the pairings
cleaned off the blocks are saved for the next pressing until they are sold the wax blocks are
stored in the loft the average weight of these wax blocks is eight and a half
kilograms there are 50 to 60 blocks of wax in the loft at feet deeper clean
thoughts a pure a 500 kilograms the product of a good year at about 12 marks per kilo each block is
worth 100 marks a useful reserve when special out layers have to be made you

Danny Hutson

39 thoughts on “Skep Beekeeping in the Heathland – 1978

  1. This type of hive not recommended these days (unfortunately) but I LOVE these films. These beekeepers do everything by hand and their materials are virtually free! I love their Smokers too. Amazing how people and farmers were pure craftsman back then.

  2. This is one of the most fascinating documentaries I have ever seen! This is my third viewing and I've recommended it to my club. It reminds me of when they taught us to multiply with Roman numerals. Yeah, you can do it that way, even build an impressive civilization upon it. Yet, I think the way we do it now is a distinct improvement. Besides, I moved off the farm so that I would never have to be elbow deep in cow manure again.

  3. Now THIS is bee keeping!! The camera even picked up a queen singing too. I’ve seen the new age bee keepers with the new plastic hives. This type of bee keeping seems better to me. I mean seriously they use a goose feather as a brush and those bee colonies are preserved in cow dung. Lol. These guys are bee keeping gangsters.

  4. With pollutants absorbing into our wax this is a great way to cycle wax and not letting it in the skep for more than two years.
    I'd like to see clubs or colleges be permitted here in the U.S. to teach skep beekeeping. A special license be issued to perform skep beekeeping. It won't happen but I'd like to see a comparison of survival between langstroth or other frame hives and skep beekeeping. Obviously the big producers would stick with Langstroth but us little sideliners or hobby beekeepers could have a good time with this.

  5. Olá este produto branco é o que ? alimento ? qual material usado para fazer este tipo de casa para abelhas ? achei muito pratico o manuseio, contato [email protected], poderia me vender um abrigo deste para abelhas ? Estou no Brasil.

  6. Method and innovation from one country to the other are defer, however,there are technique s and things we can learn from whatever information any body is passing on thank you.

  7. I would be interested to see agricultural universities in the states to experiment with skep beekeeping. Even though it is considered illegal in many states of the U.S. I think it could be a different avenue for beekeeping.
    Maybe special state permits allowing skep beekeeping after intensive classes. Fun stuff.

  8. Why were they using skeps? This was the 70’s! Why are skeps illegal now? Why did they gas the larvae?

  9. the still have these bee skeps at the Lüneburg Heath Nature Reserve in Undeloh, Lower Saxony, Germany, if you want to know more about it (and understand German) you can search "Heideimkerei of Luneberg / Wilseder Berg"

  10. Just the sheer amount of manual labor involved in this process really makes you think. We have it pretty easy these days.

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