Barefoot Beekeeping

I use a method of beekeeping called Barefoot Beekeeping developed by PJ Chandler (www.biobees.com). It is an alternative approach to commercial beekeeping. The term barefoot is used as a metaphor for a simplistic, sustainable approach to small-scale beekeeping using top bar hives. The top bar hive does not use prefabricated sheets of wax in the frames. Rather, it allows bees to build comb as they would in the wild. Many beekeepers think this method maintains a more consistent hive temperature, keeping the varroa mite at bay. Barefoot beekeeping reduces the interference in the natural lives of bees. Nothing is put into the hive that is known to be harmful to bees in way of chemicals or pesticides and nothing is taken from the bees that they cannot due without. It is based on the idea that bees, which have been in existence in something similar to their present form for forty million years, know how to regulate their hives. It is the beekeeper’s job to listen to them and provide the optimum conditions for their well-being. My engagement with the honeybees is based on mutual benefit and cooperation rather than exploitation.