About Us

What is natural beekeeping?

We set out to explore this question in 2015 when we began to develop a community learning project in the area of Vejer de la Frontera in Southern Spain, an area historically known as Vejer de la Miel (Vejer of the Honey).

Natural beekeeping, as we understand it, encompasses a wide range of beekeeping practices, but most importantly embodies a respectful attitude toward bees and their natural processes. Thinking about bees through anthropocentric, economic driven lens has become the norm in our society, but anyone taking time to slow down and observe nature, not as a mere manifestation of matter, but rather as a soul filled living system worth listening to, can develop a renewed relationship of respect and awe towards this species. People practising beekeeping have the wonderful opportunity to connect with their environment, and with the rhythms of nature through observations of the hive and it’s cycles.

In an effort to understand the hive and its environment we have initiated a community-learning environment where novice, as well as more experienced beekeepers, can share their knowledge. Within this learning community we also created an artist residency program, where artists are invited to respond and reflect on the work that is carried out in the apiaries. In our learning community, we explore issues of sustainability and regeneration, allowing the hive to be self-sustaining without needing to be fed by the beekeeper or treated for disease, and self generating, being allowed to swarm freely.

We cannot talk about bees without talking about the landscape they are in. We cannot talk about the landscape without talking about the human beings that inhabit the landscape with their cultural and agricultural practices. These are dynamic networks of interactions; relationships and patterns between honey bees ∞ the landscape ∞ human beings. We know that ecosystems and social systems do not operate in isolation, both depend on and influence each other, creating a complex adaptive system known in the field of systems thinking as Social – ecological systems.
This Project developed in an effort to engage in a social-ecological problem-solving approach to the current adversities facing the honeybee. Working with local people, it cultivates a community of natural beekeepers who see their hives as an integral part of their permaculture projects or smallholding gardens, and with artists to raise awareness to the fascinating stories hidden within the hive.