A bee that flies into the beehive

Organic bees – do they even exist?

But yes! The attitude makes the difference

The way bees are handled decides whether a honey has been produced organically or conventionally, not the areas from which the nectar or honeydew comes. The differences lie in the management and animal husbandry. For example what kind of food the bees get and what kind of housing they are housed in. Because of the bees’ large flight radius, it is not always to be expected that they will only fly to organically farmed areas. Even if the organic beekeepers take this into account when setting up their beehives. Which ingredients – and also which residues – honey may or may not contain is regulated solely by the honey ordinance. And this applies to all beekeepers, regardless of whether they have an organic certificate or not.

In addition to the production of honey, the honey bee is also an important livestock due to its pollination capacity. Unfortunately, their living conditions rarely match those in the wild.

For our Beeswax wraps Therefore, only organic beekeepers who work without chemical wax can be considered. Because chemical products that are used to combat the varroa mite or to disinfect beehives, for example, collect in the beeswax due to their fat solubility.

In addition, the “bee dwelling” (or prey) may only consist of climate-friendly materials such as wood, clay or straw instead of, for example, Styrofoam. The queens must not be artificially inseminated and their wings must not be trimmed to prevent them from flying away.

Appropriate beekeeping

A special form of organic beekeeping is beekeeping based on anthroposophical principles. The needs of the bee colony are the focus, not the maximum honey yield! The natural swarm instinct – i.e. the urge to form a new colony when the hive becomes too tight – is not suppressed. If the bees are kept according to their nature, the prey, i.e. the housing that humans create for the bees in order to be able to keep them as livestock in a species-appropriate manner, is not a stable, but a nesting facility. The decision for or against a prey is made by a healthy hive itself, that is its freedom.

We will soon be introducing one of “our” organic beekeepers to you Heinrichsgarten biodynamic beekeeping before who keeps beekeeping according to this type of beekeeping.

If you want to learn more about a respectful relationship with bees, we recommend the book by David Gerstmeier and Tobias Miltenberger: Ecological beekeeping. Published by Kosmos Verlag in 2018. They explain how the “bees”, the entire organism of a bee colony, work and what significance swarming events, natural honeycombs, honey and housing have for a beekeeping that is appropriate to the nature of the bees.

Photo © Heinrichsgarten® beekeeping , Alexander Schlotter