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4 Tips for Bee Keeping

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4 Tips for Bee Keeping

By Jordan Laio, Hometalk

Domesticated honeybees have been in the news a lot in recent years because of their mysterious dwindling numbers due to colony collapse disorder. CCD seems to be caused by a cocktail of problems, from bee exposure to pesticides, to being fed insufficient food, to environmental stress, to pests like the varroa mite. These factors are exacerbated by a new virus/fungus combination which affects the bees’ already jeopardized immune systems.

Wild populations have also been suffering for lack of habitat due to urban sprawl.  A large percentage of our fruit and vegetable crops in the United States depend on pollination from bees and they are a link in a long domino-chain of species interdependence. Some have dubbed the disappearing honeybees the proverbial canary in the mine.

In reaction, many individuals have taken it upon themselves to keep their own backyard bees, and to do it naturally in order to encourage robust health and disease resistance in their hives. These are pioneers in the world of beekeeping, often eschewing practices considered de rigueur in the beekeeping world, and their bees are thriving.  

The organization at the forefront of this brave new world is the Los Angeles-based Backwards Beekeepers (beehuman.blogspot.com), founded by veteran beekeepers Kirk Anderson (whom his peers know as Kirkobeeo), Russell Bates and Amy Seidenwurm. I got the chance to speak with Ruth Askren, a member of Backwards Beekeepers and active beekeeper, in order to get advice on natural beekeeping in residential landscapes.

Next: How to Be a Backwards Beekeeper

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54 comments

+ add your own
8:15AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

2:52PM PDT on May 22, 2012

Thanks.

7:31AM PDT on May 22, 2012

Thank you.

2:44PM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

Looks interesting and helpful. Thank you.

7:39PM PDT on Oct 1, 2011

I want to have bees,and have room.I like the idea of no chem. but want to make a big investment then lose the whole hive.Where do I start? I would like to start spring 2012.What do I read to do it backward and organic.

11:21PM PDT on Sep 20, 2011

Id like to have a hive, too, but I'm under the same restrictions as Mike & Janis B; but I do have a wild bumblebee hive in an exhaust vent of my house! They're welcome.

12:47PM PDT on Jun 22, 2011

Thanks.

8:27AM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

thanks for the article

9:49PM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

Sadly I have no garden to keep bees in otherwise I would love to.

10:06PM PDT on Jun 12, 2011

The bees have proven to this, the most arrogant of species, how utterly important these small wonderful creatures are to this world's continued ecological health.
I wonder if our species will take this lesson to heart, for good?

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