Chop Wood Carry Water Plant Seeds is a blog about Self-Sufficient Homesteading. How can we live by creating a sustainable bio-diverse world, instead of by consuming and destroying the only one we have? What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lazy Beekeeping or The Tao of Beekeeping

"The fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side. Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those Bee colonies who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
Much to learn you still have my young padawan." - Beemaster Yoda

Most of the problems Honeybees face these days is because of our greedy beekeeping practice. We want MORE honey and to do so we are trying to save all the bee colonies we have. And what do we do when parasites atack the weak colonies or colonies which are way too big? We start treating the bees with things as Apistan and other poisonous stuff. All the issues we experience on this planet (I dare to say) is because of this greedy mind of ours. Mindful and Compassionate Coexistence with the entire Ecosystem is the only way towards a healthy world we live in.
But not all is lost :) there is Natural Beekeeping we can put into practice. Yes less honey for us but healthy bees non the less. Here is an Utopia which could ealily be Reality if we could find courage to let go of Greed; If ALL Beekeepers of the world would stop treating their Bees with stuff like Apistan or even all the Organic Acids for 20 years and let the bees restore their own immunity we could restore the health of Honeybee Colonies :) Can we do this? I wish we can :)

Michael Bush wrote some nice stuff on his web page and in his book about Lazy Beekeeping leading towards healthy Bees. It is a very good read;

"Everything works if you let it"
--Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick
"The master accomplishes more and more by doing less and less until finally he accomplishes everything by doing nothing." --Laozi, Tao Te Ching
"Perfection in beekeeping is not found in a multiplicity of appliances, but in simplicity and the elimination of everything not absolutely essential" --Brother Adam, In Search of the Best Bee Strains
My grandpa used to say that every great invention came from a lazy man. One of my favorite authors said something similar:
"Progress doesn't come from early risers - progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things." --Robert Heinlein
"It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential."--Bruce Lee
"In general, the simpler the system, the more efficient and the larger the amount of work which can be accomplished in a given time."--Frank Pellet, Practical Queen Rearing
In the past few years I've changed most of how I keep bees. Most of it was to make it less work. I'm now keeping about two hundred hives with about the same work I used to put into four. Here are some of the things I've changed ... continue reading

Dennis Murrell wrote this;

"Why Go Natural?
At my earliest age, beekeeping was my passion. Both my grandparents kept bees. And from the 60′s forward, I worked commercial bees in one form or another. During that time beekeeping got much harder as the bee’s were pushed for maximum production, placed in polluted environments, and ended up on the pesticide treadmill. As a result:

the bee’s health declined.
production decreased.
winter survival rates decreased.
disease and pests became endemic.
sugar feeding was necessary.
winter bee loss couldn’t be made up from spring bee surpluses.
I lost my passion for beekeeping.
In the late 80′s, sensing the futility and the wrong direction that modern beekeeping had taken me, I set up a test yard. And I began experimenting with alternative beekeeping solutions. Alternative soft treatments, then small cell and eventually organic methods were tried. At each step my bees got healthier and my beekeeping easier.

But my beekeeping really advanced when I saw that the source of most of my beekeeping problems were the result of my commercial, production oriented focus rather than the lack of some alternative method. Getting to the root of the problem, I went natural.

Since then, my beekeeping, although not free of problems, has progressed in the right direction. It is in tune with what I have intuitively known was necessary all along.

As a result, much of the passion I’d lost for bees, during my commercial beekeeping experience, has returned. And my beekeeping has just gotten better and better."

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