This beekeeping practice is respectful of bees and their lifestyle. To ensure healthy production, numerous checks are carried out and the specifications are very precise. Organic beekeeping encourages the use of natural remedies against diseases that can affect the colony, synthetic molecules are strictly prohibited. The requirements of this practice mainly concern 4 points: the hive, bees, harvest and beekeeper.
The hive is the only element brought by the beekeeper to make honey. The latter must be mainly made of natural materials, most often it is made of wood. The location of the hive is also very important. To preserve the quality of the honey, the foraging areas are very delimited.
The apiary must be placed within a radius of 3km around nectar-bearing plants from organic farming or growing spontaneously. It must also be at least 12km away from polluted areas or containing GMOs.
The bee is essential in the making of honey, it is important to take care of it. Honey is the only source of consumption that bees use during hibernation. Beekeepers always leave enough honey for their bees to spend the winter. The development of beekeeping makes it possible to limit as much as possible the decline of bees, which are essential to biodiversity and the survival of ecosystems because of their role as pollinators. In addition, honey and solitary bees (mostly present species) know how to live in perfect harmony. In a rich and balanced environment, they are even complementary.
Harvesting is essential for the quality of the honey. It takes place mainly in the spring, the beekeeper harvests the surplus of winter honey. He only gets what’s extra. When harvesting, the beekeeper makes sure to take only the upper part of the hive, containing only honey. The body of the hive, containing in addition to honey, larvae, the queen is left to make the colony last. To proceed with the harvest, the use of chemical repellents, dangerous for the bee is completely prohibited. The beekeeper preferentially uses cold smoke sparingly to calm the bees. Other, more modern means are also used, such as mechanical repellents allowing bees to remain in the body of the hive during harvest time.
The beekeeper who advocates organic beekeeping follows a certain philosophy:
- Respect the biology and natural behaviors of the insect
- Feeling responsible for bees
- Respect the ethics of fair exchange: honey belongs to bees and not to the beekeeper who only provides the hive
- Preserve its environment by protecting biodiversity, forests, honey and nectar plants. This biodiversity is the main source of pollen and nectar reserves for bees.
Organic beekeeping is not just an animal farm. It is an association between humans and bees!
It is extremely rare to find a beekeeper who does not like these bees, not investing in saving them or not respecting them. The bee offers us its most precious treasure and in exchange man offers him housing, care and protection to fight against his disappearance. Both parts of this association find benefits. Such an association is, in biology, called mutualism. Expression much more adapted than the word exploitation.
The hive and bees bring us many miraculous products, it is important to respect them and take care of them. Bee Nature knows this and makes every effort to preserve them.