Beekeeping: the Next Generation

With the increased usage of pesticides coupled with the decline of the honey bee, evidence points that commercial beekeeping practices are unsustainable.

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persimmon tree blossoms
The persimmons in my yard have been larger and more productive thanks to my bees.
Photo by Jonathan Hargus©

It’s time for something better. Here’s what the next generation of beekeeper looks like using one word: Sustainable.


Naturally, in painting a picture of sustainable beekeeping using words rather than brushes, unsustainable commercial beekeeping practices will be automatically exposed and brought to light as ‘methods of madness.’

Top 3 qualities of next-gen Keepers

Quality #1

Locally based beehives, never crossing state lines/Local pollinators for in-state pollination only.

Having locally-based beehives and beekeepers is imperative to the honey bees’ ability to adapt to one climate area.

Commercial beekeeping practices involve transporting bees from one climate and season into another which does not allow for honey bees to adapt to their new area before they’re again moved away to another.

Beehives that move across state lines inevitably spread disease and pests common to honey bee colonies. The stress of transportation lowers the immune response and the bee suffers.


Quality #2

Conservation & Restoration of Native wild forage areas using Permaculture Principles and Ecological Landscaping.

The next-gen beekeeper won’t be looking for sites and locations to put his/her beehives; they will make them.

Creating a proper environment for our pollinators must begin with conserving the areas that remain. The loss of forage fields increases dramatically with land clearing and development every year, every month and every day.

Areas of devastation must be restored to a landscape that provides food for pollinators, habitats for countless critters, and food for mankind. This Bis known as a sustainable system: something that gives without end because we give back to it regularly.

Improving the landscape in an ecological manner creates a healthy environment for everyone. I’m not talking about pretty lawns covered in grass. I am talking about neighborhood lawns that produce food, forage and habitat in a closed-system of zero waste.

Learn more about ecological landscaping from my post: The Ecological Landscape.

There’s also an opportunity to learn how to make a living as an Ecological Landscaper at the following link:

https://thebeekeepingmentor–permacultureskillscenter.thrivecart.com/regular-eco-landscape-mastery-school/


Quality #3

Mentors & Apprenticing Education

In my opinion, I feel that commercial beekeeping practices are hand-in-hand with modern educational systems that create debt as a by-product.

Education that does not prepare for practical life skills should be allowed to run its course into extinction.

To go to school for the purpose of getting a degree so that you can get a job to pay back school loans for the rest of your life, does not make sense to me.

What’s more, this style of work is created to make the man at the top remain there and keep the laborer at the bottom, broke.

Education used to be based on a Mentor/Apprentice relationship. Practical learning and teaching are needed again for true life skills. Skills that add value to society and communities for thriving, happy lifestyles.


black walnut tree providing shade
This young Black Walnut Tree provides at least 3 things: Shade in summer, forage for bees, and food for my wife and I! Photo by Jonathan Hargus©

*These qualities will inevitably lead to better beekeeping & environmental practices while also abandoning commercial ones.

It is no secret that modern agriculture is devastating our earth. With the illogical method of planting thousands and thousands of the same plant in huge monocrops, pests and disease are sure to abound and flourish.

With these larger communities of pests and disease come the need for pesticides, herbicides and fungicides and guess what? They get into our food and we slowly die of poisoning.

The catch

Some of you may have realized by now the potential problems with keeping bees within state lines. Pollination.

The sheer amount of pollination needed cannot possibly be met by in-state beehives without migratory efforts.

And this is true. However, the Problem is the Solution. Let’s use almonds for example: There are not enough bees to pollinate California almonds unless they are brought in from other states. This is the problem.

Here’s the solution: growing, producing and eating locally grown food sources. If you live in a climate that peach trees grow in, then grow your own peaches. If you want blueberries then grow your own blueberries.

Eating locally produced goods would result in countless benefits: fresher food, less fuel and oil for trucking, healthier food without toxic sprays, self-reliance, independence, better quality soil, cleaner water sources, thriving beehives…the list goes on. Really.


This is what the next Generation of beekeepers look like to me. What about you? Please feel free to add your own visions in the comments below. And as always remember,

~Weeds are Wildflowers, let them Bee!~

Jonathan Hargus/Beekeeper Extraordinaire

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