Treatment-free beekeeping…

Posted by on April 9, 2013 at 6:34 pm.

Earlier this morning, I received the official confirmation of my honeybee purchase. I’d received the automated response after placing my order, so it was nice to hear directly from the beekeeper letting me know that they’d contact me when my bee packages were ready to be shipped.

I’m excited about my honeybees but there’s a hint of nervousness too. It’s a new venture after all, and I’m bound to make some mistakes but I realize that’s fine. Part of my apprehension is that many of my views about “bee management” isn’t what’s normally taught in beekeeping circles.

I pretty much want to let the honeybees do their thing, without too much intervention from myself. Normally that doesn’t bother me, since I really don’t care what people think when I’ve made up my mind.  However since I’m “new” to beekeeping I do feel at a slight disadvantage since I have no experience as a beekeeper. As a child, one of my favorite gifts that I received was a book on bees. My parents knew about my love of bees, and provided me with a book on that topic. I still have that book. Throughout the years, my love for bees have increased. However reading, is still not the same thing as being a beekeeper. I’m sure, as I progress with beekeeping some of my views will change, but I honestly don’t think I’ll ever medicate my honeybees. Also, I’m positive my focus won’t be honey production. It’s not why I’m finally getting my bees.

Do we really need to use chemicals to treat honeybees?

Several years ago, I learned about the treatments used on honeybees and  I questioned the medications used to eliminate parasites.  After all honeybees are insects. I can’t help but think that treating the unwanted bugs with a variety of chemicals might have a negative impact on the honeybees. So years before I planned on acquiring bees, I knew that I needed to look for alternative methods.

Part of my research involved venturing online and looking for others that questioned the traditional methods used with honeybees. A few years ago, I stumbled upon Craig Yerdon’s, Organically Managed Beekeeping site. I enjoyed his videos and was disappointed when he went silent. I’m hoping he starts his podcasts again, since I found them incredibly informative.It cleared up some of the cobwebs I had about beekeeping. He’s local! If he ever offers a course at his place I’d definitely make the trek to take his class.

Michael Bush: Treatment free beekeeping

Organic Beekeepers is another online discovery. It’s a  wonderful yahoo group that I stumbled upon about three or four years ago. I believe the host is Dee Lusby, who also practices treatment free beekeeping. Michael Bush, another treatment-free, beekeeper is also part of this awesome yahoo group. I’m thrilled that there are options available for those who want to try treatment-free beekeeping.

I do wish that I could find a local beekeeping group that used the treatment-free approach. I’m hoping that a few members of the Central Maryland Beekeeper’s Association, incorporate this method with their own hives.



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