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bee_folk: Angels of Agriculture (beefolk, beekeeping, honey bees)

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Created on 2011-01-23 20:46:24 (#689466), last updated 2015-06-11 (118 weeks ago)

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Name:Bee Folk
Location:Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, United States of America
Posting Access:Anybody, Moderated
Community description:A better way to keep a bee
If you're only into beekeeping for the honey expect problems. . . Once our partner in the burgeoning hope of agriculture, the honey bee is popularly considered the "world's most useful insect". If you consider for a moment that all of the wealth of our history has been derived from natural resources the honey bee has played a integral role in creating much of that wealth since the inception of human civilization. For those interested in products like honey, propolis, royal jelly or pollinating more than a third of the world's crops, particularly fruit and nut trees, there is an app for that: apis mellifera, the honey bee. Ancient cultures believed that bees were a direct projection from paradise with a message of healing for the human race, but more recently they seem to be withdrawing their support as we exploit this paradise and demand ever more from our "partners".

It is interesting to note that the current era of bee diseases coincides with the rise of the modern frame hive. Pests that were never before heard of, or were simply natural and marginal aspects of apiculture, are suddenly threats to entire national economies as honey bees, hived in systems of "filing cabinets" with movable frames, are trucked about the country where they are used to pollinate hundreds of thousands of square miles of mono-cropped land laden with pesticides before having their precious stores of nectar forcibly taken and replaced with surrogates, such as high fructose corn syrup. Somewhere our partners have fallen victim to the profit-driven phenomenon of factory farming while we, with our technological prowess, search for answers to the mysterious "colony collapse disorder". I can't help to think that through this purely scientific inquiry we are missing the forest for the trees. In the meantime, while we await the results from the lab, let us bee folk get back to basics of an age-old tradition of partnering with the honeybee for our sake, and for the sake of the bees, themselves.

There are as many ways to keep bees as there are beekeepers. I hope to chronicle my own transcendence from frames and conventional beekeeping which failed for me (and evidence points to it being in dire straights on a global level) to a simpler, more holistic approach that virtually anyone can succeed with. In the interest of open-source beekeeping, here is a resource for backyard beekeepers, hobbyists, gardeners, and nature enthusiasts to ask questions, proffer advice, share stories, pictures, suggestions and inspiration with an emphasis on chemical-free, low-impact, and low-intervention beekeeping.
"The higher the human intellect rises in the discovery [of the bees' aim], the more obvious it becomes that the final aim is beyond its reach."
~Leo Tolstoy, after his own lengthy study of bees.

Interests (62):

apiary, apiculture, apis cerana, apis mellifera, bee folk, bee space, beefolk, beekeeping, bees, biology, blossoms, candles, carniolans, cell size, colony, colony collapse, comb, creativity, do-it-yourself, drones, flowers, forage, frameless, gardening, genetics, hardiness zones, hive, honey, honey bees, honeybees, hymenoptera, invertebrates, italian, keeping bees, langstroth, mead, mead making, native, natural comb, nectar, nosema ceranae, permaculture, pollen, pollinators, queen rearing, royal jelly, russian, smoker, species, stingers, supercedure, supers, sustainability, sustainable agriculture, swarm, swarming, top bar hive, top bars, tracheal mites, varroa, warre, wax
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