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Learning Bee Keeping in the most Earth friendly way!

 
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Can anyone recommend a Beekeeping course that is the Organic-natural way to keep bees?  I am new to this and I want to learn this skill in a way that is the most respectful to the Earth.  Thank you!  
 
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Welcome to Permies!!
We did a book giveaway last year with Leonid Sharashkin, Keeping Bees with a Smile
He was awesome, posted quite a bit on the forums, and has classes he teaches. Put his name in the Search function here! Wonderful man, we loved him!
 
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That book is an excellent place to start. It's geared towards very cold climates but it also helps understand things from the bee's perspective. Here's Leo's website https://horizontalhive.com/index.shtml which is also informative.

"Organic & natural" bee classes seem to be rare. I think Leo's would be excellent. Michael Cox runs a treatment free group on Facebook. Check his bees posts here at permies for that address. I suggest taking a beginner class from your local beekeeping organization & when they mention chemicals ask them about alternatives. Read some of the other permies bee threads too. The forum is not a class but it's natural & organic.

In my opinion & experience ... it boils down to starting with strong locally adapted bees in a nontoxic environment with plenty of bee food plants around. Then observe them carefully but mostly leave them alone. Survival of the fittest.
 
Mike Barkley
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https://www.naturalbeekeepingtrust.org/darwinian-beekeeping
 
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Warre hives and beekeeping is also another option.
 
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After seeing Dr. Sharashkin's entries on Permies I bought his book, "Keeping Bees With A Smile." After reading the book I signed up for one of his 2 day seminars in Missouri. It was a long drive from Indiana and then back home. By the way, we were taken back into the forest to see some of his hives. There were approximately 50 people in the group and we were around at least 5 hives and none of the participants were stung. Of course it was October when things were slow in the hives any way but we did see bees coming out of the backs of the hives.

But, the seminar was well worth my time and I came home with both a Horizontal Hive and a Swarm Trap.

Just reading about these had already made my decision. I have a vertical hive and as I'm getting older those supers get heavier and heavier. In the Horizontal Hives most of the lifting, after setting up the hive on a frame for your height,  is a frame full of honey (8 to 10 lbs).

To check on your bees in the vertical hives you have to lift off all of your structure to get down to the bottom box. In the Horizontal Hive you just have to open the lid and select the correct frames to see the queen, etc.
 
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