Treatment-free, respecting the form and rhythm of the Bee

This website is about natural beekeeping, primarily in the south of England.  It is part of a journey that I started in 2007 with the aim of understanding the subtle art of bee-centred beekeeping.

No, not me: a Russian beekeeper

I first kept bees in 1970 as a teenager, after discovering a beekeeping book of my grandfather one wet afternoon. The bits of decaying paraphernalia that lay at the back of one of the farm sheds suddenly began to make sense.  In those days, beekeeping was a  simple craft, not the intensive, heavily managed, production-driven affair it has become today.

In many parts of the world the honeybee is in a precarious state.  To move away from this we must stop treating the bee as a commodity to be exploited for commercial gain.  Instead we need to grow our understanding of the depths and complexities of the bee and its behaviour, seeing it in its true context as a highly evolved creature and a vital keystone of life.

The bees that live with me are entirely treatment free.  I interfere with them very little, or not at all. The hives they occupy are made by me and created to care for the needs the bee.  Some are designed purely for the bee, others allow a degree of non-intrusive honey harvesting.

I am also an associate of  The Natural Beekeeping Trust.

Gareth John



Picture credit: Steve Mitchell