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“Welcome to the world of Darwinian beekeeping, an evolutionary approach to apiculture that aims to align beekeeping methods with the natural history of honeybees.

In the following video, Dr. Tom Seeley, a renowned beekeeping expert from Cornell University, shares three key guidelines for practicing Darwinian beekeeping.

“I call this approach Darwinian beekeeping because it’s an evolutionary approach to apiculture but you could also call it natural beekeeping but I do so in honor of Charles Darwin Darwin in writing his book on evolution he described when he got to talking about behavior. He said he referred to the cone building by honeybees as the most wonderful of all instincts.

He marveled for a while how the bees are able to build such regular combs and then he figured out that they actually do so by very simple rules so it wasn’t quite as as marvelous and achievement, evolutionary achievement, as he thought at first.”

“In Darwinian beekeeping, the goal is to enable managed colonies insofar as possible to live in the honey bees original environment, in other words, we’re going to be looking at ways of having colonies live in a beehive that are such, that they enable the bees to live as close to nature as possible.

How do you accomplish Darwinian beekeeping?

1: Keep bees that are adapted to your location wherever it is.

2. House your colonies and small hives that they live in a natural size nest cavity.

3. Line your hives with propolis collection screens because you want to encourage the bees to produce this propolis envelope. It is an anti-microbial shroud that means the bees are not working as hard to fight microbial infections.”

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