Issue 1 cover

Natural Bee Husbandry: The International Journal for Bee-Centred Beekeeping

Print $55   //   Electronic $30   //   Both $70   per year (4 issues, quarterly) incl. delivery

‘Natural Bee Husbandry’ will focus on a type of beekeeping which can be described in many ways: sustainable beekeeping, bee-centred beekeeping, apicentric beekeeping, sensitive beekeeping, bee-friendly beekeeping, etc. It will be of special interest to beekeepers who for have for many reasons moved away from keeping their colonies in conventional ways, or who prefer their bees to be kept in hives more suited to the bees’ needs rather than for the beekeeper’s ease of management. Such beekeepers allow the bees to live their lives with minimal interference. The bees build comb freely and swarm and reproduce with queens raised naturally rather than being propagated by the beekeeper via emergency queens. These beekeepers also refrain from using chemicals for the control of pests and diseases and strive to create an environment in their apiaries and gardens which will give the bees at least some year-round forage.

The word ‘husbandry’ was purposely chosen. Firstly, it describes not just management, but management with care and responsibility for one’s charges, just as in olden days it referred to Man’s relationship with the family livestock and crops – and with the immediate environment too. Secondly, many forms of natural beekeeping of today have their roots in the traditional crafts of the past, when natural local materials were used for the construction of hives. The use of plastic is abhorrent to such beekeepers; so is exploiting the bees to the full for whatever hive products can be gleaned from them. Indeed, many natural beekeepers are pleased to keep bees just to help redress the fall in numbers, for the valuable pollination work that they do and for the sheer pleasure of seeing them at close quarters outside their homes or flying around their gardens.

In the words of Wendell Berry:

‘Husbandry is the name of all the practices that sustain life by connecting us conservingly to our places and our world; it is the art of keeping tied all the strands in the living network that sustains us.’

Issue 1 is due out in October 2016 and will feature the following:

  • Editorial – Why a new beekeeping journal
  • My Bee Loud Glade, Heidi Harmann.
  • ‘Apicentric Beekeeping – Origins and Fundamentals’, David Heaf.
  • Why Top Bar Hives,? Phil Chandler.
  • Commercial Beekeeping with Warre Hives, Tim Malfroy.
  • Macedonian Beekeepers Field Trip to A Natural Beekeeping Apiary in the UK, Gareth John.
  • Harvesting Honey from A Cork Hive in Portugal, Antonio Aghostino.
  • Hives for natural beekeeping – review of what the manufacturers have to offer, Editor.
  • Suggested reading list.
  • Book Reviews: Following the Wild Bees. The Craft and Science of Bee Hunting by Thomas D. Seeley. Sensitive Beekeeping – Practicing Vulnerability and Nonviolence with your Backyard Beehive, Jack Bresette-Mills

To buy a subscription please fill out the form below.

warre book

Natural Beekeeping with the Warré Hive – A Manual

$30.00 including NZ wide postage

Keeping bees in a more natural way is growing in popularity throughout the world. Older hive designs are being reappraised, and methods that have been used for over a century are being questioned.

The People’s Hive of Abbé Émile Warré (1867-1951) is one of the older designs that beekeepers find particularly attractive. Several commercial honey producers have already adapted it to fit their needs. Warré’s one-size box with top-bars, natural comb and insulating quilt, create ideal conditions for colony vitality and survival, as well as reducing consumption of honey stores in winter. The hive is now used worldwide in climates ranging from the tropics to the taïga.

This inspiring, practical, clearly laid out book contains everything you need to know in order to build and run a Warré hive. Amongst others, topics include tools, siting, obtaining and hiving bees, monitoring, feeding, wintering, enlarging the hive, harvesting and extracting honey with simple kitchen equipment. An ideal book for the aspiring natural beekeeper.

Softcover, 106 pages.