Natural or Conventional – The Big Debate: hosted by Stroud BKA

For the last couple of years I have given talks about natural beekeeping as part of winter program of Stroud Beekeeping Association.  This year Stroud BKA have organised a debate, titled: ‘Natural Beekeeping is the way forward for British Beekeepers’.  I am proposing the motion, with Heidi Herrmann as a seconder.  The counter proposal in favour of conventional beekeeping will be put by Will Messenger, seconded by David Maslan.  The debate should be entertaining and informative.  In addition to statements from both sides, the audience will be allowed to question the debaters to draw out the essence of natural beekeeping compared with the conventional approach.

The debate will be held on Wednesday, 15 January 2014, 7:30pm to 9:00pm at:

St Dominic’s Primary School

St Mary’s Hill


Inchbrook is on the A46 going south from Stroud towards Nailsworth.
You do not have to be a member of Stroud BKA to attend.  If you can think of someone else who might be interested,  please pass them the details, as Stroud BKA are keen to have a full hall.
Gareth, Cotswolds
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11 Responses to Natural or Conventional – The Big Debate: hosted by Stroud BKA

  1. jen3972 says:

    I wouldn’t be able to attend this but might there be any transcript/report of the debate? I’d be absolutely fascinated to hear how it develops.

  2. I wish you had a podcast or you make it available on the internet

  3. Elyse Pomeranz says:

    Being in Toronto , Canada I cannot attend this event although I would be so grateful to hear it. Any chance of recording it and making it available. I just watched the film ” More than Honey” and I am desperate to have some real , in depth , conversation and debate , by beekeepers , among beekeepers….Thanks for considering making it available. Sincerely, Elyse Pomeranz

  4. solarbeez says:

    Yes, how about a podcast for your US followers! I’d like to hear some discussion about how constantly opening up the hive can be harmful, or that maximum honey production is NOT beneficial to bees. I’m tired of bee exploitation. We recently saw the movie “More Than Honey” and were appalled when the bee hive owner let his bees get sprayed in the almond orchards. There were no captions for the German (or Swiss) beekeepers so I can only hope they were more in tune with nature.
    I think the focus should be on doing everything possible to get the bee populations back up even if it means cutting back on pesticides and honey production.

    • Paul says:

      I saw a subtitled version. The first Swiss beekeeper in the film describes how his family have kept bees in that isolated valley, which has no pesticide use, for many years. He raises the local black bee which is well adapted to the harsh winters, so when he sees a bee which looks wrong (too yellow) to be one of his he flicks it off a bush. He later kills one of his queens for mating with another race (Carniolans, I think) from over the mountain. Later he goes to talk amicably to the guy with the Carniolans, who says they’re great, rarely sting, loads of people have converted to them. I reckon I’ll stick with the black bees, says the first guy.

      The bit with two women beekeepers is about raising queens. They are selling the queens by post. This is sort of a half way house between a very-low-intervention style like the old chap’s, and the super-intensive bee farming of the big American operation.

      At one point the old chap and his wife discover they have foul brood disease so the bee inspector woman tells them they must destroy the colony. They do this, and burn the frames, but it is obviously distressing to them.

  5. Pablo says:

    The chats and discussions in the beekeeping meetings could be
    recorded and shared. It is difficult to find podcast about beekeeping issues;
    it would be benefitial to make awareness of new ideas and to promote development.
    Also, I think that there is a free platform for broadcasting
    through the internet. If I can find it I will post later just in case
    somebody finds it usuful. I used it in an IT conference and it worked brillantly
    – you can share your desktop screen and review documents together, etc.
    Using the new technologies, the distance should be a barrier for the interaction among associations around the globe.
    Best wishes from Belfast.

  6. simplebees says:

    Our hosts are aware that there have been requests for a recording and will see what they can come up with. It is, after all, their show.

    Pablo: Thanks for your enthusiasm. Although the last post you submitted linked to a host of recordings of interest to beekeepers, a quick listen to some of them indicated they are more appropriate to conventional beekeepers who want to play games with their bees and force more honey out of them than natural, bee-centred, beekeepers.

    Gareth, Cotswolds

  7. jonBinspired says:

    Congratulations Gareth and Heidi on winning the debate for the Bee; 33 for and 14 against:

    ‘Natural Beekeeping is the way forward for British Beekeepers’

    It was a great 2 hour debate with over 120 people attending.

    Jonathan, Somerset UK

    • Elyse Pomeranz says:

      I’m so delighted to hear of the results and would love to know if it was recorded in any way? We over here in Canada could use the conversation/debate to help us in our work. Warmly,Elyse Pomeranz

  8. simplebees says:

    A recording has been made and is being edited by our hosts at Stroud. If the outcome is worthwhile it will be made available.

    I would also like to place on record my thanks to our hosts for hosting us and organizing the evening.

    Gareth, Cotswolds

    • Elyse Pomeranz says:

      From Toronto, Canada, Elyse Pomeranz

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