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A Brief Introduction.

Welcome to the Heretics Guide to Beekeeping. This is a website for which I've generated numerous articles and details of projects - most of which have remained half-written - and the more that are generated, the more difficult it becomes to know exactly where to begin ... and so I've decided to start by uploading one or two current projects, and adding the others as and when time permits. And so - for the time being at least - I can only suggest you pop back every now and again to see what's been added.

The construction of the website itself is of the simplest form possible, as I firmly believe that content and a fast downloading time are far more important than a cleverly coded presentation.

There are several themes which will be running throughout this website: one is that beekeeping need not be expensive - that it's not essential to own beehives made to the same standard of quality as seen in the Chippendale furniture which graces so many homes - and that perfectly servicable beehives can be built for an investment of a few pounds.
A related theme being that 'perfection' can be a cruel taskmaster, and that sometimes adopting a 'good-enough' philosophy can be much kinder on the brain.

One important theme lies at the heart of why the title of "Heretic's Guide" was chosen. It would appear that over the last few decades, beekeeping has developed into something approaching a religion, with fundamentalist churches having been formed at both extremes of the beekeeping spectrum: at one end of which can be found advocates of a inflexible scientifico-technological approach, epitomised by an obsession with cleanliness to the point of sterility and the liberal administration of chemicals in order to impose an illusory control over Nature. At the other end of the beekeeping spectrum can be found 'natural' beekeepers - essentially a protest movement against those who keep animals as nothing more than cogs in a food production machine. Unfortunately, some natural beekeepers employ vague, inconsistent and baseless principles (such as encouraging the build-up of detritus to mirror conditions within a tree cavity), and who display a disconnected and romantised perception of life within the natural world.


Happily there are also many beekeepers who occupy what might be described as 'the middle ground' - who, whilst wishing to keep bees with care and consideration, do not subscribe exclusively to either of these extreme camps, but can see that some merit lies within ideas from both. It is for such beekeepers that this website is being compiled - a Heretical examination of claims made within both of those extremist camps, and to expose some of the woolly and unsubstantiated thinking which prevails there ... for, as Carl Rogers once said: "The intolerant "true believer" is a menace to any field."

'Little John', Lincolnshire, May 2023



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