Sunday, March 13, 2011

Organic or Not Organic - that is the question...

I've been doing a lot of reading & studying this winter about organic beekeeping, or managing a hive with as few chemicals (or no chemicals) as possible.  I realize it's along the same lines being a vegetarian or buying "organic" at the grocery store, but a few thing really resonated with me.

1)  Beekeeping was the last agricultural endeavor that adopted chemical pest control. Up until the late 1980's, beekeeping was virtually chemical free.  That's when the Varroa mite was introduced to American hives.  Commercial beekeepers wanted fast answers, and in short order, there were chemical solutions.  If you look at it another way, for hundreds of years, there were no chemicals or pesticides used in beekeeping.

2)  You are what you eat.  I've been told this, as I'm sure you have been, since a young child.  If the bees are eating chemicals, then it's inside the wax and inside the honey.  That seems to defy logic.

3)  If there are relatively simple ways to manage pests, and get unadulterated products from the hive, that seems superior to me.

I can understand why commercial beekeepers rely on chemicals: time is money.  But for the rest of us, I think we can invest a bit more time, and keep the chemicals to a bare minimum.

I just bought Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Beekeeping by Ross Conrad after listening to a speech he gave.  So far I think he makes some really good points.

So I'm hoping to try some Organic pest control this season, and if there's anyone else out there that wants to experiment, let's compare notes this year.

Talk to you soon...