Dear Friends and Supporters
In our last newsletter we indicated that we were embarking on a new project. Our decision to create a new website with a large collaborative element with regard to its content has now come to fruition, and we are pleased to present freelivingbees.com.
In recent years many people in diverse parts of the world have directed their endeavours towards creating or facilitating habitats for honeybees. Our regular “Arboreal Apiculture Salons” have served to bring together admirers and supporters of the honeybee who share an interest in providing bees with places to live that are closely aligned by the honeybee’s preference for forest dwelling.
We are thrilled with the responses we have received to our offering this new platform. People clearly appreciate finding connection, and learning about what others are doing. A big thank you to everyone who has shared their projects and observations of nests established ‘in the wild’. More about this in the recording of our last arboreal apiculture salon.
People supporting free-living bees give their time and material resources freely, indeed some people’s dedication to the idea of giving something back to the bees is astounding, and a great source of inspiration. We have been pleased to support the fundraising initiative of Celine Loqueville in France who aims to provide a wide range of loghives in similar habitats in the Burgundy Region of France. Celine has submitted a beautiful article about her vision to Natural Bee Husbandry Magazine, so you will be able to find out more in the winter issue in early February.
Natural Bee Husbandry Magazine continues to flourish, weaving many new connections between bee people in the world who inspire and support one another; what we all have in common is our insight that there is much to be leant from the bees, and from each other. Join our growing community of authors and readers here and do consider taking out a gift subscription for a friend who might appreciate what the magazine has to offer.
Looking forward to the year ahead, here’s a date for your diary: Our next Arboreal Apiculture Salon will take place on 23rd January 2021 with special guest Sabine Bergman from Germany. Sabine is a pioneer within the European Zeidler community and promotes arboreal apiculture throughout central Europe (https://www.sabienenimkerei.de). Thanks to her teaching at a residential Rudolf Steiner school countless youngsters have been introduced to the traditional skills of tree-beekeeping and the true life-style of the honeybee.
We are delighted to congratulate our tree beekeeping friends in Poland and Belarus on their 6-year effort to achieve representation for tree-beekeeping culture in the ICH UNESCO list. Tree Beekeeping is now recognised by UNESCO as an important intangible cultural heritage raising awareness of its significance worldwide.
The Bees without Borders conference in November organised by FreeTheBees in collaboration with the Natural Beekeeping Trust (UK) and Honey Bee Wild (Lux) was a tremendous success. The purpose of the conference was to give international exposure to French research into free-living bees. You can read Paul Honigmann's conference review here. Videos of the conference are now available in English, French and German here
There can hardly be better things to immerse in with heart and soul than the ways of the bees. Imagining - especially now when much of their activity is not visible to us - the wonder of life within a hive, the cycle of the bee year, will certainly help us to not become inured to the idea that our future lies in leading our lives “distanced” and in fear of the unknown.
We wish you all the best for these last days of Advent. May the Holy Nights of Christmas bring peace, courage and strength to meet the challenges coming towards us. Remember to share your joys and sorrows with the bees in your life.