In the world of natural beekeeping, there aren’t many people more famous than Michael Bush of Bush Farms. He has written several books and has a comprehensive website for natural beekeeping. When we first started out beekeeping and were full of questions, the Bush Farms website was my go to for finding answers. Michael Bush travels all over the country speaking about bees and imparting his 30+ years of beekeeping wisdom.
One day while on the Bush Farms website I saw an advertisement for his yearly beekeepers camp. I thought to myself how awesome it would be to attend. I wondered where the camp was hosted. To my surprise, Michael Bush lives in Nehawka, Nebraska! Just a stones throw away from us!! As luck would have it, a very generous donor offered to sponsor me to go to the camp! It was an experience of a lifetime. People from ALL OVER THE WORLD were in attendance. I met some wonderful people from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England, and all across the United States. I made some life long friends and have many new beekeeping contacts.
Below are some of the photos from my camp experience. I was fortunate to be able to drive back and forth each day. I could sleep in my own bed and bring a packed lunch. Most of the other campers were in Teepees and the restroom facilities consisted of outhouses and shower tents.
The camp was held in May, and unfortunately we had a few very stormy nights. Many of the campers had teepees full of water. I felt a little guilty going home to my warm bed each night!
Below is the storage area where we assembled bee boxes and frames. It was sort of an assembly line type set up and I worked with one of my favorite fellow campers, Scott from Colorado, assembling honey supers.
Instead of painting his bee boxes, Michael Bush dips them in a combination of beeswax and resin. It was quite the set up! This old stove was hooked to a propane tank and it took many hours to liquify the wax. Someone had to keep an eye on it at all times including through the night!
This is how Michael Bush organizes his hives. They sit back to back in a line. It was an interesting set up for sure and different from the one we use.
My overall experience of the camp was positive. Mostly because of the people I met and forged friendships with. I did my best to listen closely, take lots of pictures, and absorb the whole experience in order to become a better beekeeper and steward of the environment. To anyone reading this and considering attending the camp I would offer this bit of advice: Be prepared for a true camping experience and bring some snacks!