When we “keep” bees, we often make decisions that affect their biological vitality without realizing it. From hive designs and how we move around a vulnerable open beehive to objects in your surroundings that can minimize mutual frustration (such as cedar tree bark), you can care for bees calmly, inexpensively, and without having to introduce toxic materials into their home. This is natural beekeeping, and it can help control diseases, wax moths, beetles, and mites.
When we learn to calm our relationship with bees, we begin to notice little personal things that we can do to infuse that relationship with love and respect, which amazing creatures like ants, wasps, and bees deserve.
Les Crowder began keeping bees (he often states that they began keeping him) in Bernalillo, New Mexico, 40+ years ago. He began looking for ways to raise bees without antibiotics in his teenage years and has been breeding honey bees for disease- and parasite-resistance ever since. In 2012 he wrote the book Top-Bar Beekeeping, published by Chelsea Green and soon to be translated into Spanish. He has an interest in the consciousness of Nature, and nowadays continues to teach and advocate nontoxic management of beehives around Austin, Texas.