What did bees do before beekeepers?

Have you gotten interested in natural beekeeping recently?  Have you been to “regular” bee school and come away confused by all the focus on diseases and mites and chemical treatments and other things that your heart tells you, deep down, shouldn’t really have anything to do with bees?
Do you somehow feel like you are all by yourself in a crowd – the only person concerned about the way we are treating bees?
I promise you – you are not alone.  I felt that way for a time too.

But with all the “sturm und drang” in the news media now about the plight of the honeybee – and especially the concern about “CCD”, (the acronym we use for the scariest of all the current bee problems:  “Colony Collapse Disorder”) —  it’s not surprising to me any more how many folks are searching for healthier and more natural methods of beekeeping.

I had a similar experience when I first got interested in honey bees.  I attended a conventional beekeeping course, and I left those classes thinking “There has just GOT to be a better way”.

There was all this insistence that you MUST treat your bees.  You MUST feed your bees.  You MUST do this and you MUST do that.  But never any talk about what honey bees do, or when, or why, or how they do things when they are doing them their own way.

I definitely felt alone – everyone else seemed to be buying into these methods and the chemical treatments and the manipulations.  But I still had a question.  A lot of questions, actually, but one big one that to me seemed crucial to understanding bees and beekeeping.

Finally, on the last day of bee school, at the big Q & A session – I gathered up all my courage and got brave enough to ask my biggest question.   I thought it was a simple question.  Here is what I asked:

“What did bees do before we gave them wax foundation?”

Wax foundation

Wax foundation

Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?  All I wanted to know was how the bees made honeycomb before beekeepers came along and provided them with rectangular sheets of beeswax with  pre-printed hexagons on them.  But when I asked that question, you could have heard a pin drop in that classroom.
I still don’t understand why there was such a silence.  Maybe it was just too “radical” for a beginning beekeeper to challenge anything about the way bees have been kept in America since 1853.    But in the end what happened was this:

I had asked the question.  But I got no answer.

So I set out on a quest.  What did bees do before beekeepers gave them wax foundation?  Or more to the point, what did bees do — before beekeepers?
In very simple terms that quest led to the founding of Gold Star Honeybees, and our very simple answer to a very important question.  Top Bar Hives – filled with clean, natural wax honey comb – beeswax made by bees, for bees.

“Because this is what bees did before beekeepers.”

What bees did before beekeepers...

Does this attitude match up with yours?  Check us out at www.goldstarhoneybees.com.  We’ve been looking for you – we need your help in saving the bees.


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2 Responses to “What did bees do before beekeepers?”

  1. Marcia Says:

    Amazing !!!! exactly how I feel, thank you so much for being brave enough to say the words `what did bees do before beekeepers ?`I have used a Lang hive and now have my first TB hive going since last year, I love having my bees in this `bee friendly“ hive, no stress, no smoker, happy bees and beekeeper.

    I am in the process of having a web page put together, it will be called topbarbeekeepingnz.com and along with my blog, I hope to put lots of info out there for others, especially here in NZ, where there is very little known about TB`s and I tend to get scoffed at by the older beeks !!

    • scry42 Says:

      Hi Marcia —
      Seemed the only logical way to look at it! Thanks for posting – and carry on! The scoffing won’t last.
      — Christy

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