A few weeks back I spent a weekend learning about bees and natural beekeeping. The course was presented by Tim Malfroy (of Malfroy’s Gold), and organised by Milkwood Permaculture. Bees have always been an interest (which is why we have native stingless bees already), and this seemed to be an ideal opportunity to learn more.
As it turned out, this was more than traditional (ie commercial) beekeeping. Instead, Tim taught us about “natural” beekeeping, which is much more in tune with the needs and desires of the bees. Keeping the bees in a Warre Hive, they are able to grow their own honeycomb, at their own pace.
There are numerous benefits, including a greater resistance to pests and diseases, and more suitability for backyard beekeeping. But most of all, the bees are more relaxed and happy! So no angry bees when the hive is opened, and little to no protective gear.
In the video I recorded above on my iPhone, the whole class is clustering around the hive, and only a few are wearing protective clothing. Everyone felt completely at ease, and it all seemed very natural.
Anyway, much could be written about natural beekeeping, but instead I’ll say two things:
- We now have a hive on order, which should arrive in spring 🙂
- I’d highly recommend the course, and Milkwood have new dates coming up shortly.