As the sun reaches its highest position in the sky and the bees’ broodnests in the hives (under ideal conditions) approach the form of a sun-like sphere, our work at the Trust, too, is characterised by greatly heightened activity this midsummer.
Learning from the Bees Conference
Our conference Learning from the Bees, which has been the focus of our activities for more than a year, is very near now. It has been an interesting journey from first conceiving the need to organise a gathering of bee people across a variety of disciplines - then envisioning an event worthy of the honeybee and relevant to people who engage with the bees lovingly - to actually bringing the ideas down to earth, in a manner of speaking. Of course, when it comes to bees, the heavenly is never far away.
Perhaps this is why - despite the hard work and the inevitable crises that arise whenever mere human beings attempt to work together - we feel buoyant, enthusiastic and ever refreshed as we walk the path towards our great celebration of the Bee, our much-anticipated “non-beekeeping” conference.
There is magic at work here, and we thank the bees and all the beautiful people who have inspired us with their enthusiasm, their interest and participation. So many have contributed in thought and deed and for this we are deeply grateful.
Bee lovers from more than 30 countries will convene in Holland in late summer - a lovely prospect indeed for all of us privileged to be there, meet one another, be inspired and evolve our ways of relating to the bees in our lives, the bees in the world.
Let Bee - Setting new guidelines for sustainable bee keeping
We have also brought to a successful completion our “Let Bee” project, in which we, together with our partners from SmartBeeing in The Netherlands and Aronja in Macedonia, formed a consultancy taskforce on the theme of setting guidelines for “sustainable beekeeping” in Turkey. This two-year project involved many eye-opening field visits and fruitful memorable encounters with beekeepers in Holland, Macedonia, Britain and Turkey.
The beautiful rewilding project location
We are in the early stages of an exciting honeybee rewilding project in Andalucia in Spain. In brief, the owners of a mountainous holding extending to 2000 hectares have enlisted the NBKT’s practical support in transforming a conventional apiary of 100 layens hives into a dispersed forest setting for honeybees that represents a decisive departure from beekeeping with the purpose of honey-production. To help evolve a cohesive vision of the land and its creatures in harmony - to inspire fresh ways of thinking about the honeybee, its place in the world and our task to safeguard it.
This has involved numerous excursions by several of our trustees to Southern Spain to lay the groundwork for the creation of a habitat for honeybees that accords with their intrinsic need to live undisturbed and thereby allow the power of natural selection to work its magic towards re-establishing the bees’ long lost vitality and resilience. We look forward to sharing the project for the first time at the Wild Bees, Bees in Trees, Rewilding parallel session at the learning from the bees conference, and hope to apply some of the lessons learnt in other projects.
This year we have given support to a number of smaller rewilding projects, have donated to and participated in a promising French documentary film project, and given various talks and interviews on the bee themes close to our hearts.
The True Beekeeper