There is considerable arrogance in the notion that we must know better than the bees do what is best for them, yet the publication of Charles Darwin's pivotal book, On The Origin of Species just seven years after Langstroth's Hive and the Honey Bee in November 1859 , seems to have made but little impact on this general attitude, even 150 years later. It is as if creationists still hold sway over bee keeping associations.
At the heart of modern, 'natural beekeeping' philosophy is the principle, which I hold to be self-evident, that bees know best what is good for them and that our job is to listen, to watch and to follow their lead. Contrast this with the teachings of the disciples of Langstroth, who insist that they know best when a queen should be replaced, which strain of bee she should be replaced with, and what size cells she should be allowed to lay into. And then they wonder why the honeybee appears to suffer from parasites, 'mystery disappearances' and diseases that were almost unknown before the advent of the movable-frame hive and re-cycled wax foundation.