Treatment-free Beekeeping with Dorn’s Apiary
I, Norbert, along with my wife, Gabi, run a small apiary in northern Burgenland near Lake Neusiedl, Austria.
When I was getting started with bees, I attended a beekeeping course, as most people do who are new to the business. However, I quit the course after only the second session. The difference between our idea of life with bees and the content of the course was just too great: swarm control, acid treatment, drone removal, locking bees in the basement, migratory beekeeping to monocultures, pollen traps. Learning about such methods and practices that result in the careless treatment of these small and incredibly fascinating creatures quickly awoke in us the desire for change.
The fact that almost all newcomers to beekeeping go through this type of training and then treat their bees accordingly was appalling to us. Where is the joy of beekeeping, the loving and caring interaction with the bees, if instead one is working against them and thereby creating so much upset and disturbance?
By no means did we want to take part in this!
I began to learn about alternative methods that looked promising: small comb cells, resistance breeding, colony splitting, use of herbs and effective microorganisms, etc. What seemed to be lacking in all of these practices, however, was a bee-centric approach, one that really focused on the bees. Then I discovered Seeley and Bush, who took into account the behavior of bees when considering methods for treatment-free beekeeping. We also integrated the fundamental ideas of Steiner and Gerstung into what for us is a very convincing conceptual understanding. A series of wonderful people and excellent beekeepers then came into our lives, they encouraged, inspired an supported us.
Since most beekeepers are not intentionally trying to harm their bees, but rather are often afraid to change the practices that are stressing the bees, or as the case may be, they feel alone with these problems, we wanted to bring together at least a part of the wonderful community of “bee people” that have for a long time successfully avoided harmful treatment methods and thereby learn from their experience. This resulted in the idea for the first European conference on treatment-free beekeeping, which then became the basis for new projects, education and training (the first treatment-free beekeeping course), and collaboration in various areas (hive design, geomancy, etc.).
With this website we hope to provide those who are interested in this subject the opportunity to learn as well as to share their related knowledge and experience. We will be reporting both new scientific research and personal experience, and we give and gladly receive recommendations of books and movies on this topic.
We are directing the content of our website first and foremost to all those who, as a matter of principle, want to treat animals with respect, and to those who are aware of both their limitations as well as their enormous potential regarding the marvel and miracle of bees. We address those who critically question their role in the current system and who do not believe everything the mass media wants them to believe, but rather those who are ready to take responsibility for their actions.
“Follow the voice of your heart, even if it leads you off the path of fearful souls.“ (Wilhelm Reich)
In this spirit, we wish you luck and many blessings on your new and daring path.
With warmest regards,
Gabi and Norbert