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Chelsea Green Blog

Are We Condemning Bees to Death?

“Could it be that bees are telling us that the methods we are using to manipulate them, although well intentioned, are actually condemning the bees to death?” — Ross Conrad, from Natural Beekeeping (Revised and Expanded edition)

Bees are some of the hardest workers in all of agriculture — but they’re on the verge of collapse.

Since its publication in 2007, Natural Beekeeping has guided both beginning beekeepers and experienced ones interested in switching to organic methods through a challenging era, when mysterious diseases and disappearances have threatened bees worldwide. This week, we’re proud to unveil a revised, expanded, full-color edition of Natural Beekeeping — on sale for 35% off.

The current state of industrial honey production is bad news for bees, and Conrad explains why small-scale beekeepers are sorely needed at this critical time:

  • Bees in commercial honey production are fed pollen substitutes and corn syrup — but what does this do to their immune systems and overall health? Just like us, bees are more resilient when they’re fed real food, in their case real pollen and nectar from diverse crops.
  • Small-scale, local beekeeping efforts avoid the stresses of trucking bees across the country to perform “pollination services” for monoculture commodity crops.
  • As the costs of fuel rise, farmers will opt for raising their own pollinators instead of renting them — and they need to learn natural beekeeping to help raise the strongest possible bees.
The most immediate difference readers will notice with the new edition is the gorgeous full-color design including tons of photos. The expanded edition also offers new sections on a wide range of subjects, including the basics of bee biology and anatomy; urban beekeeping, and more. Browse the Table Of Contents here. Ross Conrad’s new DVD is another teaching tool for the aspiring bee whisperer. Get clear examples of Conrad’s practices and tips, along with footage from one of his popular workshops. The DVD is available alone, or as a bundle along with the book. Watch the trailer below. And remember, the book is on sale for 35% off this week.


The New Farmers’ Almanac: A Collection of Essays for Beginners

What agrarian future can we realistically build together? This is a question the Greenhorns hope to answer in their latest book, The New Farmers’ Almanac 2015. Greenhorns is an organization for young farmers—a non-traditional grassroots network with the mission to promote, recruit and support the entering generation of new farmers. It exists to celebrate young […] Read More..

How to Achieve Resiliency Through Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening

In today’s world the marketplace distorts our values and our dependence on petroleum keeps us from creating truly sustainable agriculture. So, how can we achieve true wealth and at the same time make society around us more resilient? The answer, Will Bonsall believes, is greater self-reliance in both how we grow our own food, and […] Read More..

Bramble On: The Ins and Outs of Growing Raspberries

Fresh, ripe raspberries picked straight from the garden in the morning. What could be a better start to your day? According to Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard, growing your own berries is entirely possible for anyone with a bit of space and a passion for the fruit. Brambles grow from the north to […] Read More..

Turning Meat into Money: How to Raise and Sell it Ethically

The consumer demand for grassfed, pasture-raised, and antibiotic-free meats is on the rise, putting farmers and ranchers in a unique position to make a decent living on meat that is produced ethically. But, how exactly do you turn meat into money without resorting to the large-scale industrial techniques of today’s confinement-operations? Look no further than […] Read More..

How to Grow Strawberries Indoors

It’s strawberry shortcake season, which means strawberry harvesting season. But for those of you with no outdoor space for gardens, fear not—you can plant, weed, and harvest all from the comfort of your own home! That’s right: it is possible to grow strawberries indoors, from small spaces. According to R. J. Ruppenthal, author of Fresh […] Read More..