Sensitive Beekeeping: Practicing Vulnerability and Nonviolence with Your Backyard Beehive
“I am convinced that, for the moment, the most common point of view is: ‘How little can we spend on the bees and still get them to make honey?’ If some beekeeper says, ‘Feed them sugar water,’ their point of view must be: ‘Because it’s cheaper than honey.’ If not, then they are just repeating what they have been told without having their own point of view. No one who bases their thinking about bees on observation would ever think to feed them sugar, which comes from a root (beet sugar) or a stem (cane sugar). This sugar is simply not their diet, and digesting it must be difficult for them.” —Jack Bresette-Mills
You might have heard that bees are in trouble. Actually, we are all in trouble. Honeybees are essential to the health of our planet and our food supply, and backyard beekeepers may be the answer to increasing our population of strong, healthy honeybees. We can contribute substantially as beekeepers. We can help in a thousand ways to save and increase our honeybee population while watching our gardens grow!
“Sensitive Beekeeping” means many things—beekeeping without fear and without a veil; beekeeping for the sake of the bee instead of profit; and learning to care for bees through our own observation and sensitivity for the beehive.
Through such an undertaking, we can transform ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. We can care for bees in this way from the beginning and improve over the years as we gain sensitivity for these creatures and come to hear what the bees have to say to us with time, practice, and patience.
Jack Bresette-Mills shows how anyone with a backyard can care for a beehive as the bees also care for us and help us become more self-aware and sensitive to the world around us.
C O N T E N T S:
1. The Basics
5. Getting to Know Bees
6. Organic, Biodynamic, Economic
7. The Beeyard
9. General Maintenance
10. Moving a Hive
11. Priceless Honey
12. Bees in Trouble
My Favorite Bee Books and Websites
About the Author
Jack Bresette-Mills, a native of Michigan, has interests in beekeeping, piano tuning, carpentry, writing, math teaching, and sky watching. His book and weekly podcast, Reasoning with an Optimist, has made many people smile. For the past 18 years he has tended bees, both in his backyard and helping others care for be