Rather than treating bees as ‘honey production units’, the natural beekeeping philosophy is about providing optimal conditions for the health of the honeybee colony.
Modern conventional beekeeping and agricultural practices, such as crop spraying, hive movement, frequent hive inspections, artificial queen rearing programs, routine medication, and sugar water feeding, reduce the vitality and weaken the immunity of the honeybees.
The difference between conventional beekeeping and natural beekeeping is like the difference between a monoculture farm producing maximum crops versus a diverse biodynamic or permaculture garden.
Natural beekeeping is a gentler bee-friendly approach that prioritizes care for the bees, allowing them to build natural honey comb and to harvest only when sufficient honey is available. This results in healthy bees and delicious raw honey!
The disappearance of the bees
Frightening but true – we no longer have enough honeybees to pollinate all our crops.
Wild honeybees are nearly extinct in the UK, Germany & Northern China, and from 1985-2005 there was a 53 per cent decline in UK managed honeybee colony numbers.
It’s not just about the honey
Rather than a focus on ‘taking from’ the bees, natural beekeeping is about ‘giving back.’
In a natural bee-centred approach, bees are allowed to construct natural comb, thereby determining their own cell size, population mix, colony size, and rear their own queens and Drones.
The Kenyan Top Bar Hive
Beekeeping Naturally promotes the Kenyan Top Bar Hive as one of the most effective natural bee hives for backyard and small-scale Beekeepers (Bee-carers).
Tips for Natural Beekeeping
Keep Bees for the Bees’ sake and value them as pollinators first (apicentric), and honey producers second.