THE NATURAL BEEKEEPING TRUST
The Natural Beekeeping Trust (NBKT) is a charitable organisation formed in 2009 in response to the need for an alternative approach to the care of the western honeybee, Apis mellifera.
Our key aims are to educate the public about bee-centred, chemical-free sustainable beekeeping methods and to develop new understandings and ways of relating to the bee that work with the natural behaviour of the creature.
The honeybee is under considerable stress throughout large parts of the world. This is due to a number of factors, including environmental degradation and the use of toxic agrochemicals. A third factor, that receives less publicity, is beekeeper-induced stress. Modern beekeeping methods can be highly intrusive and disruptive of colony function. The result of this excessive interference in bees, over more than a century, is now evident in a marked decrease in the vigour of bee populations around the world. The NBKT promotes chemical-free sustainable bee-centred methods of caring for bees; methods that look at the creature in the round, taking into account its context in its local ecosystem.
Bees were held sacred in all ancient cultures. Their survival was assured over thousands of years. In the last 150 years this has changed dramatically. Almost all of modern beekeeping, like intensive farming, is geared to maximum production. This invariably results in exploitation, as the essential needs of bees and other animals are disregarded. In addition, international trading in bees and queens has resulted in the importation of exotic pests and diseases and research is now raising concern over the effects on native pollinators of both intensive beekeeping practice and also the international bumblebee trade.
In response, the beekeeping industry, concerned for its survival, calls for ever more research to provide answers to the crisis: someone must do something. That call has now been answered, and the answer may displease some, for leading scientists say it is beekeepers themselves who need to change.
This confirms what has long been clear to us in the Natural Beekeeping Trust: the stresses put upon bees through honey-driven, mechanistic beekeeping can only be remedied by putting the needs of the bees first, without compromise. The environmental problems which bees and all forms of life now face as a result of the accelerating destruction of the natural world, the loss of habitat, the toxicity of agricultural practice, and so forth, are huge and must be urgently addressed.
Live and Let Bee 2017. All rights reserved.