Bees and trees have belonged together as far back as we can remember.
The image above depicts beehives that are placed at the edge of a forest, in what looks like a pristine location. This is another great way to get your bees 'into the forest,' but it is not the sort of tree beekeeping this blog post refers to. The theme of this post is wild bees living in hives that are inside the tree itself.
In recent years, an increasing number of people are interested in returning to these old ways, bringing harmony back between the bee and its environment. Bees bring many advantages to their environment and leave no footprint of any kind.
Rewilding bees, or returning them to the wild, is also growing in popularity in many places.
Bees living wild in this way have an apparent vitality that is clearly evident in these videos.
In the first video below, you'll see The Natural Beekeeping Trust in Britain creating their first “Zeidler” tree hive on Pertwood Organic Farm in Wiltshire. A tree hive for honeybees is carved into the heart of a giant 150-year old ash tree in the featured video. This act does not harm the tree and is in fact beneficial to both the honeybees and the tree.
This is the natural way wild honeybees seek to create a nest for themselves when left to their own devices, undisturbed and in harmony with their tree home and the environment
Jonathan Powell is trustee, and he has been trained in the old Eastern European tree beekeeping methods. Watch as he demonstrates the making of the tree hive from start to finish. This was a labor of love, and the response of the bees is nothing less than absolute approval. Stay tuned near the end to see the delight of the bees.
This 4:51-minute video by Heidi Herrmann captures the general process and the response of the bees.
The bees' resounding approval of Jonathan's good deed makes for a moving conclusion to this unique film. If you'd like to explore this form of beekeeping further, you can find out more about the Natural Beekeeping Trust and learn more about Pertwood Organic Farm here.
The next story is similar, featuring another natural beekeeping group, Apis Arborea. They are known for preserving and protecting honeybees by rewilding them.
Their 3:30-minute video captures the first 10 weeks of the life of honeybees in a log hive.
To explore info about the horizontal log hive you can find more at Apis Arborea.
Last, but not least, for bee lovers who enjoy handiwork and woodwork or making structures, here are two short videos. This first one is a 6:50-minute video by Gaia Bees about The Art of Log Hive Making that has had over 2.5 million views.
For more information, you can go to the Apis Arborea link just above.
You'll find the second video below. This 4:13-minute video tutorial by Apis Arborea shows how to make vertical log hives.
Do you know beekeepers that use this old-fashioned art of tree beekeeping? We'd love to know the various places in the world where this or a similar manner of beekeeping is practiced.