"Bees are an indicator species, reflecting the health and status of our life environment as well as the interdependency and interconnectedness of all life on earth. Traditional beekeeping and farming understood and acknowledged the natural life forces of the bees. Modern beekeeping and farming practices have lost this ancient knowledge and this loss has taken its toll on the bees on multiple levels. We have to shift paradigms in order to save the bees."
--Michael Thiele, Holistic Beekeeper, The Melissa Garden
The Save the Honeybee Foundation is an educational and research organization dedicated to providing pristine, protected habitat – sanctuary – for honeybees and other pollinators in order to remove stressors that challenge their ability to heal from disease states that are killing hives worldwide.
These “stress variables” include pesticide and herbicide use in the environment, automobile pollution, airwave pollution, and a dramatic reduction in the numbers of wildflowers through "mono-cropping."
As part of this effort, the Foundation practices methods of keeping bees designed to enhance the overall health and well-being of the bees and to prevent disease states from occurring. These methods include non-invasive, holistic hive management techniques; the inclusion in habitat of high quality medicinal herbs and other plants for pollen and nectar sources; and the use of vitalistic and biodynamic healing techniques.
The final goal of the Foundation is to raise awareness about honeybees and other pollinators and to disseminate the results of our practices through music and published written works.
Our vision is of a sanctuary where honeybees and medicinal herbs and plants are held sacred. The sanctuary is located on pristine land. Caretakers and guests of the sanctuary will be asked to cultivate a sense of heart-centered reverence in relationship to the bees and plants. Indeed, caretakers develop the capacity to acknowledge the spirit and intelligence of the plants and bees and to perceive the living world with the heart. In cultivating the use of the heart as an organ of perception we follow the work of Stephen Buhner, Jake Felsenstein, Masanobu Fukuoka, and Henry David Thoreau. While our understanding and use of vitalistic and biodynamic healing techniques are our own unique creations, they have been informed by our readings of Rudolf Steiner and Juliet de Bairacli Levy.
Within the sanctuary honeybees live in hives with natural honeycomb, with minimal foundation designed to allow the honey harvest and observation of the hive to occur with minimal disturbance to the bees. The bees both forage from, and receive biodynamic teas from, the medicinal herbs and plants in the sanctuary. Queens are raised by the bees themselves, according to the natural instincts of the hive. In addition, we do not manipulate the drone population. Sugar or other imitation hive foods are not fed to the bees. We use vitalistic and biodynamic approaches to the treatment of varroa mites and other dis-ease states. In addition, we use sound healing therapies to help restore honeybee health to hives, including tuning forks, mantras/chanting, reiki, didjeridoo and other instrumental vehicles for sacred sound. These holistic beekeeping techniques were developed from within our own apprenticeship relationship with the bees and are closely aligned with the ideas of Gunther Hauk (Spikenard Farm and Apiary) and Michael Thiele (Melissa Garden).
Plants and medicinal herbs are understood to be teachers and healers and are grown and harvested with care, respect and gratitude. The forage and teas the bees receive from these plants is thus be infused with this heart-centered energy, as are the healing products that are created from the plants and the hives. Our understanding of plants has been guided by the written works of Stephen Buhner, Gail Edwards, Pam Montgomery, and Susun Weed, to name just a few.
We intend to create a refuge away from the stress and toxins that have become our culture’s norm. We dedicate ourselves to beauty, love and gratitude and from this dedication we will create our honeybee and medicinal plant sanctuary.