Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
July 28, 2014, 07:25:04 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: ATTENTION ALL NEW MEMBERS
PLEASE READ THIS OR YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE DELETED - CLICK HERE
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Will the real "natural" beekeeping, please stand up!  (Read 5016 times)
BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« on: December 14, 2008, 09:29:06 AM »

Seems we all use the term "natural" in our own way. And yes, this has been discussed before. And probably will many more times. But when is enough already?

I've discussed and questioned smallcell users over the years about calling smallcell "natural". And when I point out that forcing bees onto all smallcell foundation is far from what they would build themselves, I always seem to get the "Well, it's MORE natural than large foundation" as the explanation.

I've discussed TBHs and how some claim TBH's are "natural". And when I point out that beyond the comb, there is little else about TBH's that could be called natural. But the rationale is "Well, it's more natural that standard hives".

I've discussed Warre hives with others, and asked about the claims that this is "natural" beekeeping. And again, the same "Well, it's more natural than some other hive" is usually expressed.

I've questioned others about comments on blogs, and have been told that "natural" is left open to personal interpretation and used as seen appropriate by anyone.

So you got at least three main factions, all claiming "natural". Smallcell users who force bees onto one size foundation, you have TBH people in their unnatural horizontal hives, and you have the Warre crowd that keeps bees in unnaturally enlarged hives.

I think once you remove bees out of their own selected environment, and force them to occupy any beekeeper supplied hive, it's NOT natural. And if the only requirement to use and throw around the term "natural" is to find one example of something "less natural" of what you have, wouldn't we all be able to claim being a "natural beekeeper" in status?

Seems to me, when asked to defend or explain using such a term, many can not do so beyond suggesting some obscure comparison. And using "natural" is usually used to trash another type beekeeping method that one disagrees with. And then further used to promote one type of beekeeping.

What we need is to find the one worst way of keeping bees. Just one example. The absolute worst "unnatural" way of keeping bees. Then everyone, every method, and every hive, can then from the highest mountains, be proclaimed once and for all, to be "NATURAL", after being compared to this one example.

Then we can go back for a short period of time actually explaining, learning, and placing value on each type of beekeeping for the pro and con's that each have to offer, without bias, without self promotion, and without agendas. Of course that would last until someone coined another term like "low stress beekeeping"....oh wait, that's already happening.   rolleyes Well, whatever it would be, I hope "organic" is not the one......  grin

Can't we all just slap on the "natural" label for all beekeepers. Afterall, we all do it for honey with the "pure" label.  grin

Thank you for listening.

BjornBee - The best natural beekeeper! (Don't mind the new title. I used the same flawed rationale as what others do with using the term "natural". I found one beekeeper worse than me, so I now am claiming to be the best based on a comparison)  grin

Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Jerrymac
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6047


Location: Wolfforth Texas


« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2008, 10:08:05 AM »

Out in nature where the bees are left to fend for themselves, they will move into any cavity and fill it with comb. The closest thing I have seen that the bees did for themselves that would equate to a top bar hive is when they moved into a flat roofed home between rafters 16 inches apart. If you could have cut out that whole part of the roof and placed it on legs it would have looked like a TBH. Then you could possibly cut the wood between the combs and been able to remove the combs one at a time. These were pretty straight combs. No they were not 90 degrees from the edges. More like 45 degrees. But it was still close to a TBH configuration. I have taken them out of walls where there were extra boards in the wall. They would build down from the top and then build down from the bottom of the boards. It was a lot like your basic Lang hive. I have seen them build out in the open. No walls, just a roof to hang some comb on. They have been known to build hives in the branches of trees. In tires. Gas tanks. Flower pots. Any cavity they can find they build a nest.

Now suppose someone built a box looking much like a Lang hive body and inside he placed some frames with thin pieces of wood that one could call starter strips and sat this box outside. And just suppose a swarm of bees moved into this box all on their own. And they built their comb following those wooden starter strips. I don't know about you but I would call that pretty natural.

Now these bees are never treated with anything. But sometimes something robs their honey.

Would you not call this natural just because they moved into a man made box?
Logged

rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

 Jerry

My pictures.Type in password;  youview
     http://photobucket.com/albums/v225/Jerry-mac/
BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2008, 11:28:34 AM »


Would you not call this natural just because they moved into a man made box?

No.

What your asking me to do, is answer whether something is natural, based on a set of criteria you have outlined. My comments were based on the various criteria thrown out from one type of beekeeping to another, all making claims they have the "natural" setup for keeping bees. My comments were that nobody has that claim, and much is based on personal agenda, bias, and promotion.

If you want to get way back into the corners of beekeeping, we can start with one point, that being your comment on the premise that bees will build in anything, so it all somehow qualifies as being natural.

Bees may or not be in an area if left for mother nature to dictate. We call Russians, "Russians" because they come from a particular area. And the same for Italians, etc. And I'm not going to debate, discuss, or somehow suggest because bees were taken out of their natural element, that this alone disqualifies based on that premise alone. What I am saying is bees are often in areas, that they may not of naturally chosen. That sometimes bees choose nesting cavities for reasons much dictated by where a beekeeper places a managed colony, and the resulting swarm is forced to select a nesting cavity based on the local conditions. We do know from studies, that bees are programmed, if adequate nesting sites are available, to select a precise size cavity and with certain characteristics. But what we do is keep bees where we want them, and the bees may not have the proper cavities, or do not have enough adequate cavities since beekeepers may keep bees in grouping much more populated than what bees would do dictated by nature. There are many examples of animals or insects, that were forced to change or adapt due to human influence on the environment. And I could easily claim that a polar bear living at the city dump is no more natural than a bee colony living in a gas can. Both may have adapted to local conditions, and although some would say that this is nature evolving and some could even say it is "natural", I would argue differently.

So the whole idea that "feral" or "natural" is what nature would of chosen to begin with simply because bees adapted to conditions dictated and controlled by man, throws about  everything else along the path out of whack.

To me, there is no one way of beekeeping that can claim "natural" status. I think there is merit is suggesting that there are perhaps a more natural way of doing things. That if one was to suggest a list of things to keep bees more naturally, then a list could be made. But I keep reading, and hearing, people make claims such as "I wanted to keep bees naturally, that's why I chose a TBH" or suggesting that smallcell is natural, and so on. I think my gripe is more to do with the promotion and selected narrow views that because one is a tad bit LESS unnatural, that it should be called natural. Which to me is wrong. Nobody has natural bees, a natural hive, or a way of keeping bees naturally.
Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Jerrymac
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6047


Location: Wolfforth Texas


« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2008, 11:52:58 AM »

Well.....

If you want to get really technical....

Anything that evolved in this world is natural. Therefore man is natural. Therefore anything he does is natural.
Logged

rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

 Jerry

My pictures.Type in password;  youview
     http://photobucket.com/albums/v225/Jerry-mac/
BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2008, 12:13:14 PM »

Well.....

If you want to get really technical....

Anything that evolved in this world is natural. Therefore man is natural. Therefore anything he does is natural.

That would be another angle to blow up that whole idea that one crowd denegrates another in their own self promoted and slanted viewpoint.   grin

How about taking that concept over to the radical TBH and Warre sites, and get back to me and let me know how that goes over.... shocked
Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
annette
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5311


Location: Placerville, California


« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2008, 06:14:04 PM »

I call myself a natural beekeeper because I do not use any chemicals in my hives. Only what the bees put in the hive is in the hive (except for the powdered sugar dustings I do occassionally for the mites and feeding them granulated sugar syrup when necessary) I don't know what anyone would think about this, but I don't care. It is natural enough for me.

I know I am not able to call myself an organic beekeeper because of the sugar feeding and dusting and not knowing where they are foraging.

Annette

Logged
fermentedhiker
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 514


Location: Midcoast Maine


« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2008, 09:50:47 PM »

A difficult question to answer.  I'm doubtful that you'll be able to find a consensus on it let along come to an agreement as to it's true meaning.  I guess you first have to start by defining how strict you have to be in comparing wild bees and managed hives.  Which means ignoring the unnatural condition of being managed hives in the first place, ignoring the fact that(at least for US beeks) they aren't native, ignore the fact that most of us are dealing with mongrels of various subspecies that wouldn't likely have opportunities to interbreed.  I'm probably forgetting a couple but I can already see a pattern of allowances for how we need to do what we do.  So where to stop and where to start hmmm........

Let's look a comb in descending order starting with least natural; Large cell foundation < small cell foundation <maybe mixing small cell/drone comb/large cell foundation in the same box< foundationless frames< top bars of some sort which let the bee drawn comb not only at the desired  cell size but also allow them to choose the final shape of the entire comb< anyone want to chime in on what might be even more natural?

As far as hive shape/style whatever, I have to confess I don't have enough knowledge or experience doing cutouts of feral hive sites to have anything useful to add here.  I look forward to reading others posts on that score.

Personally I'm not too concerned with achieving what someone else defines as natural.  I am interested in learning how bees manage the health of the hive and attempting to use a hive style and entrance/ventilation arrangement etc... that allows the bees to do this most efficiently(ie the fewest number required to stop foraging and work instead on hive maintenance/management).  Undoubtedly not an original thought on my part i'm sure.

Hope everyone had a great weekend
Adam

 
Logged

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
--Douglas Adams
JP
The Swarm King
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 11668


Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


WWW
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2008, 10:33:54 PM »

Quote from Bjornbee "So you got at least three main factions, all claiming "natural". Smallcell users who force bees onto one size foundation, you have TBH people in their unnatural horizontal hives, and you have the Warre crowd that keeps bees in unnaturally enlarged hives."

You left out starter strips and foundationless frames in whatever box you choose. Bees will build colonies in just about anything but allowing them to build their own size comb is 100% natural.


...JP
Logged

"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 7369


Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


WWW
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2008, 02:32:39 AM »

There are many advantages to having moveable frames in a hive to just throw it out the door. 
Within the context of moveable frame hives a natural hive would be one in which the bees are encouraged to build comb as they would in the wild and be treated (meaning lack thereof) as if they were wild.  No chemicals purposely introduced to the hive by the beekeeper.

We can come up with all kinds of qualifiers to what is natural, but what it really all boils down to is how natural can we keep the bees within legislated and regulated limits (moveable frames).  Since most states require removeable frame hives attempting to remove that condition from the equation or definition is ludicrous.

I use no chemicals, except sugar and as little of that as possible, in my hives and allow them to draw the type of comb they want as I don't use foundation.  To me, that is as natural as the law currently allows.  What I've just described also includes TBH and several other variations as well.
Logged

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2008, 07:15:00 AM »

You left out starter strips and foundationless frames in whatever box you choose. Bees will build colonies in just about anything but allowing them to build their own size comb is 100% natural.


...JP


I agree, from the sense that if bees build their own comb without foundation.

Ironic that you keyed in on this. I had read two websites and a recent blog, all indicating that they chose TBH's because they wanted to do things "naturally". But instead of promoting the benefits of TBH's, they equated and used negative comments that TBH's as the way to keep bees because foundation in standard hives were contaminated due to the foundation used. Which is an example of selective "half-truths" for one's own promotion, due to the fact that you can have foundationless comb (natural as some call it) in any hive you select. Natural comb, not using foundation, and having clean comb, can be achieved in ANY style hive you keep. It is NOT exclusive to one type of hive.

If you list some items to what beekeepers could do to be MORE "natural", you would normally use such items as (like Annette said) no chems, comb drawn by bees without foundation, etc. But the fact is, almost all items, can be used on such a list, in any hive. 

It's the total concept of being "more natural" that one should be promoting. Regardless of one's type of hive. But what has happened, is "factions" have been formed, and self promotion of one type hive or another is done, many times with distorted views, half-truths, or negative assumptions towards other type of hives. And then you see the attacks and ill-will being displayed. A real shame.
Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
JP
The Swarm King
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 11668


Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


WWW
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2008, 08:33:06 AM »

Quote from Bjornbee "It's the total concept of being "more natural" that one should be promoting. Regardless of one's type of hive. But what has happened, is "factions" have been formed, and self promotion of one type hive or another is done, many times with distorted views, half-truths, or negative assumptions towards other type of hives. And then you see the attacks and ill-will being displayed. A real shame."

I see the same thing with bowhunters, you have your stick and string guys and your modern gadgets guys, the purists believe gadgetry is an abomination, where compound bow enthusiasts knock purists for not being proficient enough, I happen to use a little of both.

I do what works for me, nothing wrong with experimentation but why force your views on others, there's always more than one way to skin a cat.


...JP
Logged

"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
Scadsobees
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3198


Location: Jenison, MI

Best use of smileys in a post award.


« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2008, 10:12:04 AM »

Depending on how you define natural, the only natural farming would be going out into the woods and picking up some acorns to eat and shooting a deer.

I think it is all a red herring.  We keep bees, and will try to keep them alive, they are hobbies, pets, and sometimes our livelyhood.  I don't keep my kids "all natural" and will gladly stuff them full of antibiotics and other "poisons" if necessary.  Why keep my bees any differently if I can do it wisely?

It is ok to have an opinion, but there isn't really a right way of beekeeping.  Is it better that somebody plunks a hive out  in a field and never touches it again?

Rick
Logged

Rick
TwT
Senior Forum
Global Moderator
Galactic Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3384


Location: Walker, La.

Ted


« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 08:58:45 PM »


Depending on how you define natural,


 but there isn't really a right way of beekeeping. 



now that is what I think, no such thing as natural beekeeping unless you have tree's you can pull honey from, when they are in a man made box natural is gone, now treat with chemicals and not treating is another thing, but the word "natural" is just calling it that not meaning that so dont get confussed people when someone says "natural beekeeping", it doesn't mean what it sounds like.
Logged

THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
Keystonepaul
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7

Location: Elmhurst, PA


« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2008, 11:14:21 AM »

Being new when I think of natural it would mean that the bees are kept pretty much as nature keeps them- they regulate themselves to a great extent. Foundationless perhaps for the correct cell size or on manufactured cells that are close to natural size with less intrusive integrated pest management practices. Really think we need to get past the "it's not natural if we build them a hive" thought process.  That, to me is a given, and when used as a foundation for an arguement about what natural is or isn't is just an argumentative statement anyway by folks that treat thier bees with  "less Natural" (for lack of a better term) methods when it comes to mites, SHB,  etc, etc.  I think that some "natural' people are way to insistent on thier methods being the only way to do things, and the folks that treat with chemicals, antibiotics, etc are way to defensive of thier more than personally acceptable practices.  To me I hope to learn from others experiences and in time, my own experiences, and raise my bees the way that works for me and allow others to do the same with thier bees.  Paul Conway
Logged
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
*******
Online Online

Gender: Male
Posts: 13583


Location: Nehawka, NE


WWW
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2008, 09:19:51 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesunnatural.htm
Logged

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
buzzbee
Ken
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 5424


Location: North Central PA


WWW
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2008, 06:06:55 AM »

I guess here in the US ,before the colonists came ,honeybees were quite unnatural?Weren't they brought here by the Europeans?
Logged
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 7369


Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


WWW
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2008, 01:20:18 PM »

I guess here in the US ,before the colonists came ,honeybees were quite unnatural? Weren't they brought here by the Europeans?

Good question, according to most naturalists/scientists honey bees are not native to the Americas.  According the the archiologists there is evidence that the Mayans practiced beekeeping.  You figure it out?
Logged

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Jerrymac
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6047


Location: Wolfforth Texas


« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2008, 05:50:51 PM »

Then there is this.....


Native American Legends
How the Honey Bee got their stinger
A Cherokee Legend

http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/HowTheHoneyBeeGotTheirStinger-Cherokee.html
Logged

rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

 Jerry

My pictures.Type in password;  youview
     http://photobucket.com/albums/v225/Jerry-mac/
rdy-b
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2210


Location: clayton ca


« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2008, 06:20:26 PM »

Here he is  cheesy   http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=217581
keeping a open mind  cool RDY-B
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.472 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page July 10, 2014, 02:12:18 PM
anything