Spring greetings. The bee season has started beautifully with many swarms spontaneously moving into log hives and related dwellings in Sussex, Kent, Wiltshire and Somerset. Great compliments to all the avantgarde beekeepers providing great habitat choices for honeybees. We applaud the work of Suffolk Tree Hives, Beekindhives, Phil & Lynne Cowley Jones, Boomtree Bees and Simon Kellam - all part of what is fast becoming a worldwide movement to truly rehabilitate the honeybee.
Save the date
We’re pleased to let you know that preparations are well underway for a Learning from the Bees event in Berlin, organised by Mellifera and produced by the Ambeesadors in partnership with ourselves.
Taking place from 29 August - 1 September 2019, the programme will feature a tree-beekeeping “Zeidler” workshop and the contributions of a range of international speakers including Tom Seeley and our Trustees Heidi Herrmann and Jonathan Powell. Full details will be available towards the end of May. You can register your interest here.
Natural Bee Husbandry Magazine
This unique publication to which so many of our friends in the bee-centered universe have contributed is going from strength to strength. Thank you to all who subscribe to this marvellous journal that aims to highlight much of the inspiring bee work happening in the world; if you’re not yet part of this positive community, subscribe here.
We are pleased to say that over 70% of the tree hives at our La Donaira rewilding project in Spain survived the winter. As most of these are 2018 swarms, this figure is quite remarkable. For 2019 we are hoping the bees will advance more deeply into the forest and occupy natural cavities. Currently we are testing new techniques for converting large tree cavities into smaller ones suitable for bees. We use just clay, sand, straw, sticks and hessian - sealed with olive oil and bees wax.
Earlier this year we had the great pleasure to host a visit from Antonio Giurlaccio and Moses Mohrs of the brilliant Frankfurt tree beekeeping project Bienenbotschaft accompanied by Torben Schiffer (beenature project) & family. It was a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our ties with like-minded folks in Germany and consider future co-operations.
Torben Schiffer and his co-operation partners Bienenbotschaft were recently featured in an excellent documentary on German television. We hope it will be available with English subtitles in due course, and have offered to sponsor this. It is thrilling that the results of learning from the bees - and returning bees to the trees is an excellent example of this - are increasingly aired on mainstream media, and for Torben (left in picture below) to prove himself such an engaging advocate.
Visionary Earth Lawyer Polly Higgins
In great sadness we share the news that this Easter Sunday Polly Higgins who spoke at Learning from the Bees 2018 crossed the threshold of the spiritual world.
We can be certain that she will continue her vital mission in the “next dimension” as she called it herself. Polly faced her leaving of this earthly world with absolute equanimity, but this does in no way diminish our deep sense of loss. Now it will be up to all of us to support the mission that was her life. Please help it flourish by becoming an Earth Protector. We close this Easter newsletter with Polly's own words, spoken in an interview with George Monbiot shortly before her passing:
" ... there are millions who care so much and feel so powerless about the future, and I would love to see them begin to understand the power of this one, simple law to protect the Earth – to realise it’s possible, even straightforward. I wish I could live to see a million Earth protectors standing for it – because I believe they will.”
See Polly's last interview here