Below is a very brief account of my journey so far. I study honey bees, not beekeeping, and I am always eager to learn more of what they have to teach me. I love this quote by Sue Hubbell in A Book of Bees: “The only time I ever believed that I knew all there was to know about beekeeping was the first year I was keeping them. Every year since I’ve known less and less…”
In March of 2017, the American Bee Journal published an article by Dr. Thomas Seeley titled Darwinian Beekeeping. Dr. Seeley is the Horace White Professor in Biology in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, and has written such landmark books as Honeybee Democracy, and The Wisdom of the Hive.
In his March, 2017, article, Dr. Seeley contrasts the way that honeybees live in the wild with what we've subjected them to [my words] with our modern conventional/commercial beekeeping equipment and practices.
By March of 2017, I was already well down the path of creating Bee Tree Hives. I was basing the design on what I believed the bees themselves were teaching me in my own apiaries, and what I felt in my gut was not in the best interest of the bees - based on my study of their biology - as regards our modern conventional/commercial beekeeping equipment and practices. I was also in conversation with members of The Natural Beekeeping Trust, and other preservationist beekeepers around the globe.
Dr. Seeley's article provided profound confirmation for me at every point. His chart (which I've included below) corroborated everything that I had been thinking, and all of the features that I had designed into the BT Hive. My goal, with Bee Tree Hives, is to address every difference, related to the hive cavity, that Dr. Seeley lists in his chart. And, in addition, to address many of the other differences that are caused by the fact that conventional Langstroth hives do not give honey bee colonies sufficient, uninterrupted control over their own micro-climate and micro-ecology.
With due credit to American Bee Journal, and Dr. Seeley, here is an image of the chart:
Dr. Seeley's article was reproduced here: