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. :roll: Well, whatever it would be, I hope "organic" is not the one...... :-D
Can't we all just slap on the "natural" label for all beekeepers. Afterall, we all do it for honey with the "pure" label. :-D
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) :-D