It’s Not About The Honey
I have childhood memories of bees from when my parents kept a couple of hives on a Cornish smallholding that we were raised up on. Forty years on my wife and I moved inland to experience country life for ourselves. One of the first things I did was enrol on a beekeeping course and in 2015 we had our first colony of bees.
A couple of years down the line I stumbled upon a social media article promoting a Tree Beekeeping Workshop being held at the Dartington Hall estate in Devon. It was being hosted by Jonathan Powell from the Natural Beekeeping Trust. I was drawn to the article because of my love of working with wood. I had no idea however that it would change my whole outlook on beekeeping. My ‘bee journey’ was about to take a dramatic change of course. To be honest I’d never even really considered the existence of wild bees before and how they survived in their natural environment. My bee journey was further enhanced a few years later when I joined a small trip to Belarus to spend a few days in the Naliboki Forest learning about the traditional art of Tree Beekeeping® I had questioned some of the practices associated with modern day beekeeping. I never treated my bees for the varroa mite for example and always wondered about feeding bees sugar syrup, really it can’t be good for them can it? The more I researched the life of wild bees the more I realised how far apart some modern beekeeping practices were.