Beekeeping Philosophies


Philosophies in beekeeping can be broken down into two major categories: Chemical and Organic.

The idea behind the Chemical philosophy is that modern chemical science has given us tools to know more about bees than they bees themselves. There are chemicals to fight diseases, and even some to prevent them from happening. There are better materials than wood for a hive, such as styrofoam as it has better insulating properties that wood, and certainly lasts longer. During the last half of 1900s, more beekeepers, especially commercial beekeeper maintaining thousands of hives, embraced these methods as they sustained their bees. But much like introducing any chemicals into a living organism, there is a cycle of dependency that’s difficult to break.

While BABA respects the opinions of others, BABA is philosophically an Organic beekeepers group. Being Organic has many meanings to many beekeepers, but its general principals say that generally the bees know how to take care of themselves better than we do, and as such, man-made chemicals don’t belong in a hive. While an Organic beekeeper does recognize the signs of diseases in the hive, and will try and prevent or remove them, they don’t use man-made chemicals, and thus don’t become dependent on their use. By removing chemicals from the equation, the bees are left to build up stronger immune systems, and thus be more tolerant to chemicals that the beekeeper can’t control, such as exposure to fertilizers and insecticides introduced within a few miles of their hives.

While BABA members consider themselves Organic Beekeepers, they don’t shun science. Quite the opposite, many come from a scientific backgrounds from the many universities in the Boston area. Beekeeping and science happily coexist when beekeeping is looked at from an empirical level, making logical conclusions based on the sharing of experiences and facts. BABA members understand that there is no right or wrong way to nurture bees, only what we understand though logic and reason today, and what we will learn in the future.