HONEY BEES ARE FOREST DWELLERS
Honey bees are millions of years old, our hunter gatherer ancestors did not keep bees, they hunted bees for their honey in tree cavities and rock faces high up in nature. Bee hunting began to be superseded by beekeeping some 10,000 years ago, when people started farming and domesticating plants and animals.
Tom Seeley’s fascinating research in his book, Following the Wild Bees, shows the difference between bees as nature intended (unmanaged colonies) to commercial beekeeping (managed hives). Read More
So, the domestication of the bees, taken them from their natural environment to man made homes, combined with the rise of industrial farming practices, use of chemicals and the removal of their natural habitat (the trees), has led to the bees health being in a critical condition. In response to this situation, a global movement has risen to protect the wild honey bee. One part of this is giving the honey bees homes that supports natural behaviour, from this we have been producing log hives. We have utilised timber from trees that have come to the end of their life because of wind fall or disease. To date we have placed twenty hives in England and Portugal.
BENEFITS OF LOG HIVES:
The shape of a hollowed-out log closely replicates a natural tree cavity. This means the bees make their comb to suit them.
The walls of a log hive are much thicker than is found in most commercial bee hives, providing greater insulation. The bees then expend much less energy cooling their home in summer and warming it winter and can focus on their health rather than survival.
Log hives are elevated on long legs. By being higher up the bees are kept out of the cold damp air at ground level where conventional hives exist.
We are still able to check the hives to monitor disease and bee health.
When Bees are provided with these regenerative habitats and hives treated as nature intended, colonies have shown dramatic improvement in health and a significant drop in disease. Our own human involvement with the bees can then be focused on tree planting and species diversification for increased forage. Our vision is around the world bee-centred habitats spread one valley, one village, one town, one region at a time and ultimately millions of colonies return to the trees.
We are currently exploring the next phase of homes for the bees, experimenting with different production methods and materials. You can sign up for our newsletter from the home page, where we will be sharing more.