07917 677667 beesatbobs@btinternet.com RJ beekeeping, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

I have been keeping bees for a time now. I have my own way and view of bee keeping. I have long felt that different means should be thoroughly investigated and tried (before being condemned!) and have been doing this of late. I began looking at the variety of different hive types, aside of the popular and traditional ones. Hives such as the Rose Hive, the Dartington Hive, the Zest hive, various Top Bar Hives and the principles of how bees are kept in each of them. I have invested in these hives and put bees into them to see how they perform.Then there is the subject of materials from which hives are made: wood, polystyrene, plastic, (straw, and clay) Looking at hive designs brought about the question of frames and foundation: full frames with and without foundation and how they perform against using top bars only with just starter strips.
This led me to investigate the way in which the bees are housed and handled using these structures and in general. As I investigated I began to question what I have learnt and been taught: ways and means, hives and frames, to suit the bee keeper, not really the bees. I am beginning to wonder if I have got it wrong, that we have got it wrong, and that the “powers that be” are badly wrong. This is a serious deliberation and one that will require an awful lot of thought and further investigation. It certainly should not be dismissed or discounted just because it is not the way we are accustomed to. The recent increase in bee keepers is a good thing – as a generalisation (though I feel there are serious issues as to the teaching) but I feel that what is being taught may not be the best way for the bees.

I urge EVERYONE to take a good look at what I am saying here, and take the time to look at what has been written by people such as John Harding, Rudolf Steiner, David Heaf, H. Storch to name a few. I am prepared to make redundant all that I have invested in, and start again if need be to get it right, because what matters most to me are the bees.
How about you?

Droning On!