Date(s) - May 28, 2015
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Follow the Honey is delighted and honored to host treatment free beekeeper, biodynamic farmer & author, Jacqueline Freeman, whose recently published, “A Song of Increase: Returning to our Sacred Relationshiop with Honey Bees” has met with rave accolades for its poetic prose, critical insights & prescient message.
Please join Follow the Honey for a talk, book signing & light refreshments.
Jacqueline Freeman has been stewarding bees since 2004. In her first year, she attended bee school where beekeepers were taught to douse their bees with chemical treatments and pinch (kill) the queen each year. She instinctively knew that was not the route she wanted to take. She committed herself to treatment-free beekeeping, seeking ways to recreate the natural methods bees use to maintain good health.
Even with good intentions, she lost all her bees the first few years. Back then there wasn’t as much support for clean beekeeping and it was hard to find books and discussion groups that put the needs of bees first, but she managed to find a few. Meanwhile, she spent thousands of hours watching her bees, hoping to unravel the mysteries of responsible beekeeping.
After many years of bee study, she began to see subtleties in their behavior and to grasp larger lessons about the colonies themselves. She learned to be quiet and listen, watching them for hours on end, asking the bees how to care for them and what would help them thrive. She sometimes saw images in her mind that included information she had never read or known. She carefully recorded her notes and began to realize the bees were indeed communicating with her. Gradually, a richer understanding of bees emerged.
Honeybees were once thought of as heavenly messengers, an expression of the wisdom in the universe, a spark of cosmic consciousness and a gift to the world. When bees became a commodity of modern agriculture, this deeper understanding of their true nature was lost. Right now honeybees are in crisis; their populations dwindling at alarming rates. Prevailing attitudes and conventional beekeeping methods are designed to make beekeeping easier for humans, but not all of these methods are bee friendly.
Now a new, more compassionate movement is emerging. Asking first, “What is best for the bees?,” caring beekeepers are questioning human-centric methods and finding new principles to guide their bee care.
Jacqueline has been treatment-free for more than a decade and her hives are strong. She listens to the bees, observes their behavior and interactions to understand what goes on in the hive and how best to support them. She treats bees with respect and gratitude. This bee-centered approach re-establishes a reverent and respectful relationship with them and a meaningful manner of interacting with them.
Jacqueline’s book, “The Song of Increase: Returning to Our Sacred Partnership with Honeybees,” contains her observations and communications with the bees. This is not a typical user’s guide to beekeeping, rather it offers unique insights that inform and inspire, and in so doing, fundamentally alters our relationship to, and understanding of, bees in ways that help ensure their survival. Her talk is full of gorgeous images and recordings of bee life.
Originally from Massachusetts, Jacqueline has lived in Washington state for the past 25 years where she and her husband are biodynamic farmers.