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Honey Bees and Their Homes

Did you know that honey bees don’t have origins in the United States? Instead, they’re native to places like Italy, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and several other tropical and subtropical climate regions. Despite this, it’s definitely possible to make your honey bees feel right at home here in the States. Learning about different bee housing now means you can have happy hives later.

Honey Bees and Their Homes: Which is Right For You?

There are different species of bees that thrive in different climates; some of them don’t mind the colder weather, while others prefer warmer tropical climates. The Apis andreniformis, also known as the black dwarf honey bee, is relatively rare and can be found in tropical and subtropical regions of Southeast Asia. Whereas the Apis florea which has a much wider distribution of bees in the same area.

But enough about the bee’s history and homeland! Let’s move on to the different types of hives that are available. You wouldn’t think that a difference in hive could create an impact on the progress of honey making, but it does. That’s why it’s important to understand which type will work best for your honey bees.

Top-Bar Hives

honey bees

Top-bar hives are horizontal in shape and sit high above the ground on wooden legs. This design has been used for many centuries, but back in the late 60’s and early 70’s it was slightly refined and redesigned for better access. One of the benefits of using the top-bar hives is that since it’s raised off of the ground, it’s more difficult for pesky predators to disturb or destroy your honey hives and bee babies.

Top-bar hives appear to mimic a hollow stump or tree, giving a bit more of a natural feel or setting for the bees. They’re easier to work with, because the honeycombs within the hives are more accessible. This, in turn, causes less disruption for the bees. Top-bars usually have a window or space for a window to be installed. That way, you can sneak a peek at the busy bees without bothering them. The windows also allow some sunlight in for warmth.

Top-bar bee hives don’t fare well in places that experience harsh winters, so they’re ideal for places with warmer climates. The design is very nice, but they really require an extra watchful eye when the bees are initially introduced. At this stage, you need to be checking to be sure they follow the lines along the top-bar.

Langstroth Hives

honey bees

honey bees

The Langstroth hives are a simple design of hive boxes that can be stacked on top of one another in order to expand the hives as the colony grows. These boxes generally contain pre-built frames that have a wax foundation for the bees to build and extend their combs from. The frames are removable, making them a little easier to work with come honey harvest time.

Beekeepers seem to find this style of hive very easy to work with. They also feel as though the bees can actually produce more honey in the Langstroth than they do in most other hives. Although it’s easier for the beekeepers to work with this specific hives, it’s not easier for the bees. The fact that the frames are pre-built with the wax foundation makes it a top choice for the keeper of bees, but for the colony this causes health issues due to the predetermined cell size.

Warre Hives

honey bees

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This is one of my favorite hives so far. The Warre hive is designed with more of a natural habitat in mind for the bees. The design is very similar to the Langstroth, but the roof is slanted, and its interior is set up much differently. The hive boxes can be built from the bottom up, so as your colony continues to grow bigger, the hive houses can too.

Unlike some other designs, the Warre hives do not require a lot of monitoring. It has bars across the top similar to those of the top-bar hive, so that the bees can build the comb from the top to the bottom. In this sense, it’s also similar to the Langstroth, except there are no pre-built cells. There’s also a quilt added into the interior of the roof, which helps insult the hives. This makes it a better choice in colder climates. Also similar to the top-bar hive, there’s a space for a window to be installed in the lower section of the hive. Though this hive makes things a little harder for the keeper, it makes it much easier for the honey bees. In my opinion, it’s worth it!

Dr. Tarrin P. Lupo shows a video on beekeeping for beginners and beekeeping basics:

These three hives are a few of the more well-known and most used beehives used when beekeeping. There are all sorts of beehive designs and styles available for purchase. There’s also always the DIY route, which can be very educational and fulfilling IF it’s done right. I hope you enjoyed this article on the three basic honey hives. Happy Beekeeping!

Do you plan on raising your own bees at home or already have them? Let us know your beekeeping secrets in the comments below!

Here’s a beginner’s guide to keeping bees if you want to start one!


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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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