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Emily Cressey

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since Mar 03, 2014
Lynnwood, WA. USA
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Recent posts by Emily Cressey

Thank you - I appreciate your unique insights.

5 years ago
Hi Jacqueline (again),

What is your philosophy on beehive management?

I want to adopt a low-maintenance bee hive management style, primarily for the health of the bees, rather than laziness. My sense from reading about Warre Hives, is that you can pretty much get away with just removing honey once a year, in Spring, and making sure the bees have enough room to keep building via adding boxes to the top and bottom.

I do not want to use chemical treatments for varroa and other pests, nor do I want to feed sugar to the bees. Reading an excerpt from your book led me to believe that swarming was also beneficial to hive health.

To what extent do you find it necessary to actively "manage" your hives, versus leaving them alone to fend for themselves?

Thank you,

5 years ago
Hi Jacqueline,

I don't know if you have ever met Valerie of, she is a beekeeper and energy healer of some kind, I believe.

She has done a lot of work, including consulting with physicists about subtle energy, geopathic stress lines, etc.

She is also experimenting on a small scale with some energy tools, and bee hive recordings - and so far seems to have good results in keeping her and other in her area (colorado) hives alive.

I feel that this is a controversial topic since it is hard to "prove" or "see" but I was wondering if you had any insights on this due to your unique connection with the bees.

E.g. Is this type of energy helpful/healing to the bees?

Thank you,

5 years ago
Hi Jacqueline,

I love your posts and videos with Paul. Thanks for visiting Permies this week!

I am in the process of building my first two bee hives. One is a Warre and one is a Kenyan Top Bar. I am excited to see how they work and what the differences are.

I had a question about modifications/customizations - specifically - are there any you recommend?

My plans include:

1) Deep Litter Trough: I decided to go with the "DEEP LITTER METHOD" on my KTBH and have made a bottom "trough" type box that attaches to the bottom. I think it was Phil Chandler who recommended this, and I saw your post about it on my other thread discussing this specifically. He mentioned in a follow-up that this trough debris tended to get fairly dry (and he is in a wet climate). I was wondering if you had any recommendations on how to manage this area - I want it to be a healthy part of the hive environment. I am planning to fill it with debris like leaves and woodchips.

I am also reading the Warre Hives book and saw some discussion in that about different styles of bottom/base for the Warres - such as ones with a removable back panel so you could sweep out debris (like dead bees) from the bottom of the hive. Is this something you would recommend? Have you ever tried a large empty box at the bottom of the hive to do some "deep litter" in a warre box as well?

2) I am putting windows on all my hives so I can observe them.

3) Do you have any finishes you recommend? I am in a wet climate (Seattle) and don't have a bee hut. I am planning to put one hive on the south side of my house, close to the building/possibly under the eaves for some protection, and the other hive out in my flower garden. I want to preserve the hives without compromising the bee health/environment. What are your opinions about paint/oil/charring, etc. to preserve the hive?

Any other building changes/modifications that you think work well?


5 years ago
One challenge I've been having regards raising meat in an urban setting in as "natural" a way as possible.

Ideally we would rotate pasture as Paul recommends for all animals, but we don't have enough land for that...

The two primary variables seem to be housing and feeding.

So, options include

1) Animals live in runs/pens/cages and are bought store food/pellets (this is presumably the worst, but still preferable in my view to store bought)

2) Animals live in a bigger pen/run with ideally areas that could be sectioned off to provide some if not all fodder. I am thinking of a small run with chickens that opens out into my sideyard, for example, where I do my composting.

3) People bring fodder to animals: Yard/Kitchen waste, refuse from schools/restaurants, weeds from the side of the road/empty lots

4) Employ technology like chicken tractors, chicken tunnels, grazing frames (slightly above ground to protect grass/fodder from getting grazed too short) within a pen

My concerns are particularly with

1) Rabbits - get horribly sick when in contact with ground? I am planning on raising them in cages which seems sad/not preferred.

2) How to set up relationships to get food waste - has anyone done this successfully? Do you need a business card? How hard/easy is it? I'm a shy non-schmoozer for the most part...

Other thoughts? Any examples from people doing this successfully?

Guinea Pigs

All on my list of "possibles..."

5 years ago
One form of leverage is convincing people who already have a "list" in marketing parlance, or a "sphere of influence," if you will.

I think the church idea is a great example. One gardener I have seen online "LDS PREPPER" is his youtube handle, speaks at Mormon churches where gardening and food storage is a value. He puts on seminars there where members are encouraged to attend and learn the skill and then apply it to their own gardens. Then, in turn, it would be very simple, I would think to have the church yard as a display or demo garden, although some of the LDS churchs are kind of strict about their properties, I think... but another denomination might have more flexiblity... and you'd have rallied all the new converts with a simple 2-hour meeting/demo.

Here in my town, I have seen volunteer groups "sponsor" a small garden at the library, at the senior center, and at the elementary school. The key there is having a group with an ongoing commitment to upkeep.

Hemenway's other example, I think was neighbors rallying around a cause - like the traffic circle/hub art and gardens in urban intersections. These seem fun, but take a lot of buy in from the neighborhood, I would think.

Look for areas that already have a lot of people who are volunteering or doing activities, but need some direction or a fresh focus. Funding/grants would also help, I would think. You could ask the townships about green initiatives.

For example, my son's preschool got a grant from the city to help fund their "wilderness playground." They took out the plastic slide and put in trees, a water feature, an all-wood play platform, giant digging pit, etc. to help kids get "back to nature." This is on the edge of the church parking lot.

Something like a rain garden, or permable sidewalk grant could turn an area into a beautiful edible landscaped mini-garden.

5 years ago
We are in Lake Forest Park, WA - a suburb of Seattle, WA USA.

We are allowed

8 chickens/fowl
No Roosters
Housing must be a certain distance away from building structures on neighbors land (I think 15-25').
Runs can be along fence lines...

Housing must not be a nuisance and attract flies or rats or smell bad.

I love seeing chicken laws change. Good luck!

5 years ago
I really like chives because on a tour (or anytime) people can pick off a leaf and eat it, and kids don't know what it is. Beautiful Flowers, Too.

Mints are also good this way because the grow so fast and are good in pots. You could have a "mint garden" and people could sample different types of mint and see if they could tell a difference.

Edible Flowers are good - who has eaten a flower, but it's a bit of a thrill right? Naturtiums, miniature roses, violas, calundulas, borage.

Bee/Butterfly plants - anything that's going to be covered with bugs can be fascinating. Think blue flowers!

I also think live animals are a big draw for children and everyone... a tiny hen house/run and/or fenced bee hive is very interesting indeed.

Stuff people can eat and stuff people don't know how it grows til they see it is good. Think prolific and easy.

Brambles top the list in my mind. Alpine strawberries are fun and easy. You can start a bunch from seeds and get a bit of fruit the first year.

Snap dragons and other flowers that "do something" - I always was taught to squeeze the cheeks of the snapdragons to get them to open their mouths, and that was fun in the garden.

Kids love Edible Pea Pods on a trellis, too.

Bean pole teepee or something they can climb in/sit on. Weeping mulberry also comes to mind. They want to be IN THE BEDS exploring.

Am I going down the right track here... are any of these what you were thinking?

5 years ago
I have seen hugelkulture beds in "city garden tours" and they seem to be thriving and doing well. The aren't super tall, but I think scale is relative to location.

I'm going to attach a picture of the logs I'm putting under the end of my berm to build out a hugelkulture bed on the tip.

The bottom is going to be logs, second layer leaves and evergreen boughs from yard waste collected around the neighborhood, and the third layer (top for now) is going to be wood chips.

... Not sure where to find that much dirt, but we're still digging in other parts of the yard, so we'll see. Hope I don't have to buy it...

5 years ago
I posted a bunch of pictures with links from drop box. None of them work. ;(

I opened a flickr account and posted them there, and can't figure out how to get the URL from flickr photos. Any tips?