This now takes us into what I consider to be ‘SUSTAINABLE’ farming and living, which by my definition requires that we could produce exactly the same in 100 years’ time what we do now. That takes us beyond simply keeping bees, but it does define how we think bees should be kept/farmed.
We cannot change the air; the water, nor quickly how our land is farmed, but we can change the way we look after them and the food we ‘provide’ for them. Clearly the closer we can get to how they evolved – the better – for them and us. Man has for ever plundered bee homes for their honey as have some other animals, so that is within the evolutionary plan, which leaves the hives we keep them in and the food they can fly to harvest as factors within our control.
If we are to keep the genetic strength in our honey bees we need as many of them as possible to be free roaming over as many different landscapes as possible – which means we need lots of bee keepers across the country, including inside our towns and cities where the air is worse; the water the same as elsewhere – but most of the plants the bees feed from will not be chemically contaminated. Now for the Hives which is the only other thing we can change.