Home Natural Beekeeping Practices Contact Us

We follow natural beekeeping practices in how we build our hives and care for the bees in them. Natural beekeeping is similar to organic farming versus pesticide-dependent farming. We believe hives managed in accordance with nature result in stronger and healthier colonies and better honey.

Most beekeepers rely on antibiotics, chemical pesticides and other compounds to control pests in their hives. Beekeepers often complain about environmental pesticides killing their bees. It is a problem. A recent Penn State study found the highest concentration of pesticides in the hive wax were those added by the beekeepers themselves! These pesticides permeate the hive, sicken bees over time and leach into your honey. We do not use them.

Organic farmers develop biological diversity to disrupt pests in their fields. They purposefully maintain and replenish soil fertility naturally, not with chemicals harmful to the environment, so as to use nature's tremendous resources to resist pests and produce awesome crops. We use an equivalent approach in beekeeping. It works well, requires more work and does sacrifice honey production. We believe the benefits of healthier hives and honey are worth the effort and additional cost.

Structural
We use Langstroth hives. The Langstroth hive was invented in Philadelphia, PA by Rev. Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth, the father of American beekeeping.

We enhance the normal langstroth hive structure with:
  • Cedar wooden components
  • Screened bottom board
  • Entrance reducer
  • Slatted rack
  • Vivaldi box a.k.a. Quilt box
Sustainable Apiary
Traditional beekeeping maximizes short term honey production at the expense of bee health. The sustainable apiary is one that leverages local biodiversity and nature to make strong colonies.

Features of a sustainable apiary include:
  • Avoid bees with southern genetics in northern climates
  • Keep bees that are naturally resistant to mites
  • Allow bees to naturally develop
  • Create nucleus hives to reproduce successful colonies
Beekeeping Practice
We care for the bees by giving them all the resources they need to thrive, resist disease and pests naturally and then stay out of their way.

Some things we do differently than others are:
  • Preserve the hive ecosystem
  • Avoid use of antibiotics and pesticides
  • Swarming is a good thing!
  • Protect empty comb naturally