Bee Hut – Reverence for Bees

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Jacqueline Freeman of Friendly Haven Rise Farm is my favorite beekeeper. Rather than raising thousands of colonies and focusing on honey production or crop pollination, she raises just a few and focuses on the happiness of the bees. I have visited beekeepers that show respect for the bees, but Jacqueline takes it much farther and shows reverence for the bees. In this video she shows us her bee shelter, or, as she calls it “a bee house”.

When hives are on the south side of a bee hut, or bee shelter like this, then they get shade in the summer, sun in the winter and all year protection from rain. They are up, off the damp ground. This makes the hive easier for the bees to care for, healthier bees and an increase in honey production. Sometimes honey production can be increased as much as five fold.

Jacqueline points out that the pacific northwest has the same weather as the United Kingdom: wet and drizzly.

These hives are mite free. What does Jacqueline use to keep the mites off? Nothing. No miticides. No insecticides. None of the so-called “organic” solutions (powdered sugar, essential oils). What she does do is provide three season nectar forage close by. If the bees don’t have to go far to get their nectar, then that is less stress. And they are getting nectar that is high qaulity and free of pesticides or herbicides. Plus, since she has just a few hives, the bees get all the nectar they need from nearby – jacqueline’s property wouldn’t be enough to feed a hundred hives, so the bees would have to venture farther and to lower quality nectar sources.

Since the hives are protected in the bee hut, then they don’t need paint!

The Friendly Haven Rise Farm website is at

I want to thank Barthélémy Glumineau for editing this video and making it look so damn professional!

You can visit with Jacqueline and other excellent permaculture beekeepers at the Honey Bees forum at

Relevant threads at permies:

music by Jimmy Pardo


Bruce Bartlett says:

Inspiring idea. I like the naked wood that the shelter allows.

Todd Warner says:

Good for her for her good beekeeping. But mite free? She would have the only mite free hives in the USA. Possible, but I think this bit of overstatement diminishes her message. That being said… we need more treatment free beekeepers.

MrsBokdebok says:

How (and when) did she move all the hives into a new location? What about the "5 inches or 5 miles" advice we all get about moving hives around? I have 4 top bar hives, and they need winter PNW protection — but don't know how I would manage moving all of them under one roof.

Urban Evergreen Bee Sanctuary says:

great! I will come out!

havfaith S. says:

I use chickens to control pests and diseases in my hives. They are in my chicken run. Chickens sleep under the hives for cool shade the summer. So far so good. 

Dirtpatcheaven says:

Wow, we have done just about everything but bees…we have dead land and I figure we need something growing to feed them before we get them…but this lights a fire under me to get it done NOW! I love your Reverence for Bees podcast!!!

Martin Miljkovic says:

how much in kg is 5 times more?

Martin Miljkovic says:

hat type of the bees are those? Italian? Carniolan?

anthony marasco says:

very hi tech….thanks 

Marilynn DeSilva says:

slywlf, if you are planning to keep bees in Florida more for pollination than honey, you might look into the tropical pollinator bees that are native to this hemisphere (unlike the honeybee that has become naturalized here). I'm not sure if Florida is tropical enough for them, but if they can survive in the area you plan to move to, they will pollinate as well as supply small amounts of honey. I don't know the botanical name for that species, but maybe someone reading this can direct you to a source if you are interested.

Tim Fergel says:

I was hoping for a more intelligent response.

barba rossa says:

that's because you are not nice.

Cory Collins says:

I like it, heck it's almost nicer than where i live (was that a bed in there?)! i'm curious if you know how much honey she gets from this hut? also.. where were the bees? i guess they were busy, but I kind of expected to see a few.

Joseph bagofcarrots says:

You are a true Hero Paul Wheaton!

Barnyard Bees says:

I love natural bee keeping, without pesticides. I live in Georgia, and I watch youtube videos from a man called Fat Bee Man. He also lives in Georgia. He has been bee keeping over 50 years. If any of you get the chance type in fat bee man, or fineshooter. He is very wise. He does everything all natural.

nannerin says:

Right on!!! Thank you Paul.

paul wheaton says:

On this occasion I did not wear my bee suit.

RonRay says:

Paul, did you have a suit on or did you feel the bees wouldn't sting you…?

Vention1MGTOW says:

2. I have a big hedge in my yard with those broad leaves. It's in a weird spot and I would like to replace it with a garden bed but then I noticed that there is a ton of yellow jacket and honey bee activity in that hedge. I suspect there are nests hidden deep inside that hedge.
All summer I've had yellow jackets protecting my garden from pests. Never knew where they were coming from but now I suspect I know. Looks like I'm going to have to keep the hedge. It serves a useful function.

Vention1MGTOW says:

I have always been kind of dissatisfied with the conventional wood bee hives. They have them sitting out in the cold wind, rain, and snow and then they are surprised when their hives die. Since bees regulate the temperature in their hives, it seems like it would be wise to add a layer of some kind of non toxic insulation around the outside of each box, and place the hives under at least partial shelter, like a big evergreen tree (where it stays dry except in the hardest rains). Smart lady!

Tim Fergel says:

If I got close to that nest, I would have been stung.

slywlf says:

This has inspired me! I am moving to northern Gulf coast Florida soon, and my partner and I want bees – not necessarily for honey, though that would be nice too, but for pollination of our organic garden and flower beds. Obviously the hives will need protection from both rain and sun – far more intense in Florida than in the north west, but a similar protection should help 😉

ECOmantiqueira says:

A biodynamic farm, plenty of organic palnts, healthy flowers for the bees. The bees under a roof, naked wood for the beehives… perfect for the bees.

Charles Courville says:

Thanks for the info 😉

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