As the environment becomes an ever-pressing subject, so does the sustainability of its creatures - including bees.
When more beekeepers utilize the sustained, ethical practices of keeping bees, we make sure bees, which are so critical to our ecosystem, are around for a long time yet.
That is why we created this resource.
To bring sustainable honey to the forefront of the industry. Studies now show that, all over the world, bee issues are on the rise. There are higher mortality rates and, accordingly, lower levels of honey produced.
Honey and bees themselves are absolutely crucial for the environment and, not to sound overly dramatic but, to the success of our planet.
Before we go further into why the sustainability of bees is so important, let’s define the term and walk through the best, most up-to-date practices.
Let’s comb through this topic.
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What is Sustainable Beekeeping?
First, let’s explain what we mean by sustainable beekeeping.
This is pursuing the responsible management of bees and prevailing the success of their honey at a steady rate. In modern history, we have taken honey from a natural process with limited equipment and transformed into a highly expensive, manufactured endeavor. There’s been a lot focus on reaping the most honey, and not on the health and longevity of the hives and bees themselves.
By bringing bees back as the focus, we can create change.
There are three main aspects to sustainability.
Supporting nature and its natural ecosystems. This includes the health and longevity of animals and their natural processes.
Meeting the needs of our human society, while still making sure continuous success for generations to come.
Making sure we are using resources in the most ethical and effective way.
Each of these pillars is vital to sustainability for the bees and humans alike. Because our relationship with bees is more complex than they giving us honey and we managing their hive. It is much more in-depth.
- Many of the fruits and vegetables we love require pollination. Avocados. Broccoli. Peaches. These and many more need bees’ pollination to grow and thrive.
- Products we use everyday stem from bees pollination, like cotton, and even their beeswax, which is used in a variety of items like beauty products.
Without a sustained bee population, we do not only lose the delightful honey we stir into our Earl Grey tea and adorn onto toast. After all, there are many ways to use honeycomb.
The impact grows so much deeper.
When we promote sustainable practices, we help bees stay around to pollinate and promote the survival of many plants, fruits and vegetables we love and, in turn, animals and humans that rely on those resources.
What Contributes to Sustainable Beekeeping?
A few of the most prominent factors that make up sustainable beekeeping itself include minding:
- The behavior and survival of the bees and queens
- The level of survival of pests, such as viruses
- Impact of bee management products, such as chemicals
- The number of colonies the beekeeper(s) can manage effectively
In short, renewable beekeeping puts a focus on the natural process bees do on their own. It puts the bees at the forefront and decreases external forces, such as pesticides and over-involvement that humans have often imposed.
New Sustainable Practices
Here are some of the bee sustainable practices to put the bees and their honey first.
- Using a bee-first hive.
Sustainable beekeeping utilizes structures like top bar hives, which allow the bees to create their own hive. It’s a big contrast to modern beekeeping, which has brought in manufactured, false combs that coerce bees into building a comb into a human-determined, premade size. Sustainable beekeeping with this type of open-ended framework allows the bees to build the comb in the manner and shape that comes naturally to them.
- Keeping the comb organic.
Chemicals and gasses were introduced to help limit disease and infection. However, they stir up additional issues and pollution. Sustainable beekeeping allows the bees to work as nature intended, without the additives.
- Giving the bees more control.
In each choice or process of the beekeeping process, sustainable beekeeping gives more control to the bees. This means less invasion from the human beekeepers, such as not eliminating bees they believe to be unproductive.
Benefits of Sustainable Beekeeping
With a focus on the sustainability of bees, we support many other plants and food products. After all, it’s estimated that about 80% of US crops are dependent on the honey bee.
It’s important to remember that bees have been around and flourished for 1,000s of years. It is only after our modern history, in which we’ve tried to control bees with set hives and chemicals, that populations have decreased and more issues popped up. Going back to the natural processes encourages the success that was experienced before overly-intrusive methods.
So, cheers to promoting bee’s working the way they were meant to - and all that scrumptious honey as a result!
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