I was thrilled to be able to attend a day-long presentation by Dr. Thomas Seeley that was hosted by the 4 Corners Beekeepers Association in Durango, Colorado, today.
Surprisingly, the group was fairly small and there were opportunities for individual conversations with Dr. Seeley. And, as I had expected, the time with Dr. Seeley was invaluable.
The most encouraging part of the experience for me was to receive such dramatic confirmation that, at least as regards bee-centered beekeeping, I am on the right path with Bee Tree Hives. The highlight was Dr. Seeley's comment to me, "Keep up the good work. You should write an article for American Bee Journal."
I'm very conscious of the fact that I may sound like I am tooting my own horn here. But I share this for the benefit and encouragement of ALL those who are actually trying to put the best interest of the bees foremost. What we're doing matters, and Dr. Seeley applauds it. His last talk of the day was about the need for beekeepers to do exactly what I'm endeavoring to do with my bee-centered beekeeping practices and BT Hives. (You can read more about this, and see Dr. Seeley's comparison chart here.)
The reality is that the studies that Dr. Seeley has been conducting since the 1960s demonstrate decisively that conventional/commercial beekeeping equipment and practices are not in the best interest of the long-term health, welfare, and vitality of honey bees. That's not how they're designed to live. That's not how they do live in the wild. In fact, they live significantly differently in the wild than they do when they're subjected to our modern, conventional beekeeping equipment and practices.
As honey bee stewards, we can do better.
A few more photos from the day...
The weather was pretty darn nice:
My digs in Durango. Not too shabby:
I was glad I hadn't already purchased this book...
... because I was able to purchase it today and have Dr. Seeley autograph it:
Finally, a very old forager I watched today. Notice her completely bald thorax and the extremely tattered trailing edges of her wings: