Northern Bee Books
Natural Bee Husbandry is published by Northern Bee Books. Please contact us at or telephone +44 1 (0) 1422 882751

In this Issue

Issue 3 - April 2017

Putting a Number on Natural Derek Mitchell, UK

Darwinian Beekeeping: An Evolutionary Approach to Apiculture Thomas D. Seeley, USA

Insulation and Ventilation in Honey Bee Hives William Summers

The Bienenkiste Hive Erhard Maria Klein, Germany

Look, Listen and Learn John Phipps, Greece

Keeping Bees Alive During a Canadian Winter Jane Fowler, Canada

Book Reviews David Heaf, UK

Natural Bee Husbandry - Edition 3

Cover Photo: The joy of freshly built comb, John Phipps


Excerpt from the Editorial

In NBH No 1, David Heaf produced a comprehensive guide to bee-centric beekeeping with a list of goals to which a beekeeper might aspire. For many reasons, not all beekeepers who want to practice ‘natural’ beekeeping will be able to fully achieve those goals immediately, but certainly, for me, as editor, it is very pleasing to know that beekeepers are working in that direction.

In this issue, Derek Mitchell further explores defining natural as regards bee keeping and in doing so, shows that by degrees, inevitably, many of us stray from the “Absolute Natural”. However, by approaching the subact in a scientific way, by looking at the enormous variations that exist in the homes that the bees chose or that we choose for them, not only is Derek able to “Put a Number on Natural”, but he also allows us to be confident that by keeping bees in a bee-centric manner we are assuredly on a very sound path.

Later in these pages, Tom Seeley, as well as advising readers how to adopt an evolutionary, “Darwinian” approach to beekeeping, describes in much detail the difference between bees in their wild state and when managed in hives. Inevitably, conclusions can be drawn that modern methods of beekeeping, whilst meeting the needs of beekeepers, fall far, far short of what is best for the bees themselves.


John Phipps


Jacqueline Freeman

Washington State, USA

John Haverson

Stockbridge, Hampshire, UK

Dorian Pritchard

Dip. Gen., PhD

Gareth John

Natural Beekeeping Trust

Tom Seeley

Cornell University, UK

Heidi Herrmann

Forest Row, London, UK