Mankind has been keeping bees for thousands of years. We first domesticated bees in Ancient Egypt. We harvested them for their honey, one of the world’s most healthy foods and the most nutritious sweetener. The practice spread all over the world.
As time passed, we modernized the keeping of domesticated bees. We started to use chemicals, like pesticides and herbicides, and hives built of plastic. These chemicals and materials contain ingredients that threaten the health and fitness of the bees and the beekeeper. These methods include sugar water feeding, artificial insemination of the queen and pesticide treatments.
Thus organic beekeeping was born. It seeks to avoid the worst traits of modernity. Bees should not be treated as honey making machines. Their health should be taken care of too. The health of the bee contributes to the health of me.
In organic bee keeping:
1)The location of the hive must be an unpolluted area.
2)Natural methods must be used in the feed, the methods and the materials
3)Conventional veterinary medicine and pesticides must be avoided.
A beekeeper doesn’t need to follow all these to call himself a practitioner of organic beekeeping. Some of the limitations may be impossible for a recreational beekeeper. A good example is the requirement for an unpolluted location. Good luck with that if you live near any city. But if the honey is to be certified as organic then all those rules must be followed.
These rules can be very exact.
The beehive must be surrounded by 3 miles (4.82 km) of organic farmland or natural vegetation. The number is taken from the distance that a bee travels in order to find food. The land must have enough food and water sources for the bees.
In organic beekeeping, the hive must be built with natural materials. Unpainted wood or timber is okay. The tools that come into contact with the bees must be clean and not a source of pollution.
An organic beekeeper should not harvest all of the hives honey. He must leave enough for the bees in order for them to survive winter or dry seasons. The bees must feed on the honey they made instead of unhealthy substitutes.
All these ensure that the bees produce the purest, the best and the most nutritious honey imaginable. Too much contamination of pollutants will cause the honey that we eat to become unhealthy as well. Organic beekeeping aims to keep both humans and bees healthy.