Learning from the Bees–Holland

“Are we there yet?” Jacqueline looks out from the Frankfurt airport. We had what we thought was a long three-hour layover in Germany, but it honestly took us about that long to find our way through the airport to our flight, which was waaaaay at the other end of a loooooooong series of terminal.

Well, after a full year of planning and anticipating, Jacqueline and I are now in Harlaam, Holland with our bee friend Ferry and his lovely wife, Anna! Yesterday was a whirlwind of plane travel, customs, and more plane travel. I finally figured out how to move my photos to my computer (no small feat for a techno-wimp like me…).

Gathered for good conversation, good cheese, and sane political talk.

So, here we are on a rainy, blustery first day, making plans for bee fun. Today, we plan to visit Ferry’s apiaries, which are stashed about town. Ferry has been making woven hives of many kinds, and his work is beautiful. This afternoon, he plans to take me to his office where he keeps his skeps and his straw. My fingers are itching to learn!

Ferry showed us his straw square hives, which have dense, thickly woven walls and wooden, deep frames. The skep is a thin-coil, light-weight swarm catcher you can attach to a long pole!

We’ve shared how conflicted the relationship between natural and conventional beekeepers is, world over. We’ll be visiting a local Waldorf school with hives and a large garden, and get to see how beekeeping looks in schools here. There is so much to see and to do, but my focus is on soaking up all the many ways of beeing, and bringing home new perspectives so that our bees continue to benefit from all this cross-cultural sharing. I’ll do my best to post again tonight so show you what you’ve seen today!

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Daena Rose

    Hope you both have a superb time and welcome to Europe. I’m hoping I might meet you in England later. Love these straw box hives!!!

    1. Susan Knilans

      Yes, we’re so excited about all the very different “bee things” we are seeing here!

    2. Barbara Neebel Meier

      I look forward to vicariously sharing this experience with you both. Blessings for al that you will discover and share.

  2. Catherine Fogarty

    Thank you for taking us along!

  3. Debby Cochran

    Oh how exciting, you are both there, really, really there! Your photos are exprensive and beautiful, especially the one at the table. Ferry’s skeps are indeed finely crafted, I’m wondering why the square ones are thin walled, beatiful non the less.
    Looking forward to all that you are soaking in, through your travels and experiences in Holland.

    1. Susan Knilans

      Deb, they are not thin walled. They just look that way. They are a full two inches thick, easily.

  4. Thea Hayes

    The skeps you are showing us are beautiful, functional and open the mind to many possibilities. It’s great that you are feeling comfortable enough with your computer skills to document your journey in Holland, Susan; thank you for that. Hello to all the BeePle at the Conference; we look forward to future collaboration!

    1. Susan Knilans

      I’m going to do my best to post daily. As you know, I am not a person who stays up late, but I might need to be a night owl to get in all the news each day!

  5. Diane

    You made it! Hooray!How wonderful! The pictures are beautiful! Thanks so much for taking us along on your wonderful journey to learn about bees. Keep well and enjoy your time there!
    Wish I was there with you!

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