Beekeeping is a hobby followed by many people nowadays. Numerous people now believe it as a form of leading a life that takes care of the environment and the planet that we live on. However, there is no secret that certain activities done by us can negatively affect the land and the living organisms around us. To minimize the negative impacts while practicing beekeeping, people find new ways. Ethical beekeeping is one such approach that is safe for the bees and the planet. But what does it actually mean?
What is Ethical Beekeeping?
Ethical beekeeping mainly refers to practices that permit the bees to maintain their natural behavior in their colonies in the wild areas. It can be called a bee-centered approach that focuses less on organic honey production and other products for profit. However, this doesn’t mean that the beekeepers who sell honey for a living are following unethical ways. If they follow necessary measures to take care of the bees’ wellbeing, they are also doing things ethically.
There are numerous discussions of ethical beekeeping centers on the treatment of bees. While the treatment of honey bees is a significant thought that merits scrutiny, moral beekeeping doesn’t stop at the apiary door. The activities of beekeepers influence family, companions, different beekeepers, people in general, and surprisingly the actual climate. On the other hand, knowing more about ethical practices will help you know the kind of beekeeper you want to be and why you have opted for it.
Practicing ethical beekeeping not only ensures you have a flourishing & strong colony, it means you will enjoy your beekeeping hobby more by knowing that you are doing your bit to save the planet and the bees too.
What Practices Are Considered Unethical?
Commercial and large-scale honey productions are considered unethical approaches. This is because these practices tend to place profit and mass production before the health of bees and the planet. Some other practices include –
- Using Oversized Hives – It sounds normal, especially for the big industries that cram bees into smaller spaces for the sake of mass production. But, doing this with bees leads them to work harder to produce more honey to ensure enough food for them to consume during colder months of the year. A large amount of honey is needed to fill all the spaces to insulate the hive and keep themselves warm. Doing these tricks makes them work harder, even to death.
- Using Artificial Insemination Method – Artificial insemination can have detrimental effects on the bees, like weakening the gene pool. The queen bee leaves the hive to meet thousands of male drones in the natural mating process. The fastest & strongest drones catch up with the queen, and she ends up mating with only 10-20 drones. This makes sure that only the best genes are passed onto the next generation of bees. Artificial insemination, on the other hand, prevents this natural process. If the queen bee repeatedly mates, the overall gene pool will weaken over time.
- Transportation of Hives – Honey bees are usually required to gather a mixture of nectars of various flowering plants. Transporting them to places where only the specific type of flowers can cause a nutrient deficiency in them. This lack of nutrients weakens their immune system, making them more vulnerable to diseases.
How to Become a More Ethical Consumer?
Probably the easiest way to become an ethical consumer is to buy natural honey directly from a beekeeper or a genuine honey brand like Geohoney, as they follow all ways to bring high-quality honey products to your doorstep. Apart from this, they never over-burden bees that can cause harm to them and on the planet also.
Whether people opt for beekeeping as a hobby or sell honey products, following an ethical approach is essential to keep the colony healthy and create more sustainable activity. In addition, researching and educating ourselves will help us learn new ways to contribute to the environment positively. Though beekeeping is not a hobby or task for everyone, working with these beautiful creatures can be truly rewarding.