Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Do Creationists Run Bee Keeping Associations?

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.


David said...

I agree that the more natural approaches work the best in the long term, although I don't agree that this has much to do with Creationism.

This is the same type of mentality with the corporations with big dairy or poultry farms. They optimize livestock for high production in the smallest spaces but in doing so require a high level of artificial controls (like antibiotics and hormones) to keep everything going. Bee keeping is one of the agrarian endeavors that can manage themselves with the smallest input from us. We would benefit more from observing how nature works than to try to manage it ourselves.

Edgar said...

I don't know what you're talking about. I am a Young Earth Creationist. However, I am NOT interested in UNsustainable beekeeping practices. I am no "disciple" of Langstroth. I am interested in keeping bees in as natural a habitat as is possible in this fallen world. Sounds like you have God issues - not Beekeeping Association issues. Mostly, I hear ignorant statements about bees being around for millions of years. So if you could guide me to that Creationist led beekeeping association you mentioned in your post, maybe I can help them to recognize the error of their ways. But I don't think Creationists have the monopoly on unsustainable, un-natural, chemically controlled and environmentally manipulated beekeeping. Trust me, there are plenty of those whose faith is in Evolution, and they could care less about sustainable agricultural practices.

The Barefoot Beekeeper said...

What do you mean by my having 'God issues', exactly? I don't have any issues with 'God', as I don't recognize the concept.

And if you read my post more carefully, I said "It is as if creationists still hold sway over bee keeping associations." The "as if" part is quite important.

As for "ignorant statements about bees being around for millions of years", may I gently draw your attention to the considerable body of FOSSIL EVIDENCE - which I appreciate is quite embarrassing for creationists. You deny their existence, or think that 'God' put them there as some kind of practical joke, but the fact is that WE HAVE THE EVIDENCE for evolution so it is no longer a theory, but a demonstrable fact. Unlike 'God', who is a figment of superstitious imagination. IMO.

Emberh said...

Neither evolutionism nor creationism are demonstrable and, scientifically speaking, are therefore both theories. The fossil record has not yet provided the "missing link" and we can no more watch a species evolve into another species than we can watch God create matter.
That said, I too am a Creationist and I too believe that bees should be cared for as naturally as possible. We humans have demonstrated over and over again that the more we mess with the design and purpose of a species, the more problems we create. Cow's should eat grass, chickens should eat bugs, and bees should make their own comb.

wordlings said...

I personally don't see why it is assumed that Creation vs. Evolution has any bearing on this topic. Bees DO know best for themselves - any thinking human cannot disagree with that. I suspect people on both sides of this issue do think, and are also thoughtless about it depending on the individual person.

Enjoying your Barefoot Beekeeping book. It is a treasure. Thank you for writing it.

Barefoot Beekeeper said...

Evolution is entirely demonstrable: new fossils are being found every day that fit perfectly into the picture. It is way beyond being a mere theory.
Creationism, on the other hand, has absolutely no evidential backup whatsoever.

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