Werner Gysi in YYC!: Colony management using a holistic/biodynamic approach April 13th-15th, 2012

Werner Gysi, author of Harmonic Farming: Bees, is coming to Calgary April 13-18th, offering workshops through A.B.C. Experienced beekeeper and farmer from BC, Werner will be sharing his story about practicing Rudolf Steiner’s systems of biodynamics in his care for his honeybees, the earth and each other. Werner is passionate about sharing information about the current beekeeping and agricultural paradigm and how biodynamics alleviates the chemical and environmental pressures of commercial and industrial impacts on honeybees and the earth. To learn more or register for the keynote speaking engagements or the workshop, please go to www.backyardbees.ca/courses.

With Eliese Watson from A.B.C, Werner will be keynote speaking in Calgary on Friday April 13th and also in Red Deer and Edmonton on Sunday April 15th.

Werner’s Keynote Speaking Outline

Bees: a holistic/biodynamic approach

Werners presentations in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton will not only include details of Rudolf Steiner’s principals of biodynamics and the concepts of celestial mapping, but how these principals apply to his apiary. As a biodynamic beekeeper, Werner’s greatest goal as a beekeeper is to a) reduce stress on the bees and, b) To live in harmony with the environment. Werner has extensive experience working with both Langstroth and Kenyan top bar designs, he will share his insights on how both work and the limits and advantages of both designs. Werner will also share what he values most, which is learning how to be sustainable in his beekeeping practices by remaining independent from other sources and relying on his own beekeeping strengths such as: making his own foundation, using management to control diseases, and understanding that keeping bees starts with the fall management and learning which teas to feed in fall and spring. Werner will also review concepts of biodynamic spring beekeeping management practices.

Werner will also be teaching a workshop on biodynamic beekeeping practices on April 15th in Calgary. Here is the course outline for the Saturday workshop!


Colony Management Using a Holistic/Biodynamic Approach

Course includes a copy of Harmonic Farming: Bees for each participant.

9:00 Introduction, the basics (5′)

Introducing myself and mentioning influences that brought me to were I am today (see write up on web page “about the author, background, education, experience”) and expand a bit about why I am a dreamer.

A briefing on inspiration received along my path, foremost from uncle Roebi, Rudolf Steiner and Maria Thun and my “inner self” (mention that we should take information and process it consciously, listening to our heart, trying out things) (5′)

Why a holistic, sustainable way to produce food? (30′)

Explaining my view of mother Earth using an equation: Earth+seed=life+death=Earth (a cycle) in order to explain why I consider a holistic approach mandatory.

The philosophy of Rudolf Steiner (body, mind, spirit, intuition, and how I apply it in my daily life related to agriculture, in particular in regards to:

-ether or in biodinamics called life form

-astral (senses and intuition),

-ego (to be, spirituality)

-energy flow (slide)

Introducing the calendar from Maria Thun (slide) (5′)

Definitions used in bio-dynamics that relate to beekeeping: (5′)

-root, flower, fruit, leaf days (slide) this first hour is the same as given during the seminar

10′ break


The anatomy of the bee (20′)

The queen, bees, drones

queen cells, cups, bee cells, drone cells

Life cycles

frames and brood nest

The environment (20′)

Unpredictable impacts

Predictable impacts

Equipment and tools (10′)

Timing (20′)

Using the calendar (Maria Thun)

Natural pointers (fig. 4-2)

Managing an apiary with 7 hives (fig. 4-4)

Question period to first part (20′)

11:30-12:30 lunch

12:30 (Practical oriented part)

(1st time that the colony is opened)

Harvest, Preparing the colonies for winter (August) (20′)

SMC (sustainable mite control)

feeding teas

Preparing hive for winter

Sorting frames, what to look for

Cleansing flight (Early March) (10′)

The scrap board, determine strength

Diagnose for nosema and AFB

(2nd time that the colony is opened)

SMC and IPM (integrated pest management (Mid to Late March)) (20′)

Mite control (SMC, IPM)

Pollen sources

Worker bee laying eggs

Uniting weak hives

10′ break


(3rd time that the colony is opened)

Spring Management (May, fig. 9-2) (50′)

Mite control (SMC)

Feeding teas if required, collecting plants for tea

Starting with a nuc

Why counting bees?

10′ break


Breeding (20′)

fig. 9-2, forced swarming, splits

Swarms (10′)

Types of swarms


(4th time that the colony is opened)

Observing (Summer time) (10′)

Removal of drone frames

Adding a honey box

Honey processing (10′)



Storing honey and frames

Recycling wax (15′)

The equipment

The frames

Making a mold (5′)

Explain and show 5 min movie to make mold and produce foundation

Question period to second part (20′)

2 responses to “Werner Gysi in YYC!: Colony management using a holistic/biodynamic approach April 13th-15th, 2012

  1. Werner will also be teaching a workshop on biodynamic beekeeping practices on April 15th in Calgary. Here is the course outline for the Saturday workshop!
    Looks like a great workshop,

    Registration page says that workshop is on the 14th?


  2. I would like to mention an online course that is available. Living at the core of all of Rudolf Steiner’s work is his “Philosophy Of Freedom”. This book gives his principles of free thinking and free morality developed in his ascent to freedom. A new online Philosophy Of Freedom Study Course is available at http://www.philosophyoffreedom.com . Its Free and includes videos, illustrations, and diagrams to help study the book.


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