David Heaf keeps his bees west of the Welsh hills on the coast of the Lleyn Peninsula. Undoubtedly one of the leading lights in the movement towards more ethical practice and holistic methodolgy in beekeeping, David's contribution to the body of research and knowledge in the field of sustainable beekeeping is considerable, and his insights are informed by a thorough grounding in Goethean Science. David's excellent masterclasses are always well worth making a journey for, as he rarely ventures out from the Welsh Hills. David Heaf's two books "The Beefriendly Beekeeper" and "Natural Beekeeping with the Warre Hive" belong in every aspiring beekeeper's library.
"I'm a hobby beekeeper with nearly all my colonies on natural comb in either Abbé Émile Warré's 'People's Hive', or Claude Bralet's 'Wild Hive'. I chose natural comb to optimise chances of the bees coping with the Varroa mite without any use of chemicals. To ensure that queen renewal happens entirely naturally, I practise no swarm control other than to be vigilant for issued swarms, and provide bait hives nearby. Although I visit my bees frequently, opening the hive is rare, i.e. largely confined to adding boxes underneath n the spring and harvesting honey in the autumn. Since I switched to notreatments in 2007, my year-on-year colony loss rate averages 24%. Links to my pages about both aforementioned hives can be found at www.bee-friendly.co.uk"