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A reader from Silver City, New Mexico writes:
I'm a recent subscriber to your blog, after reading about the insane (imo) behavior in the food industry regarding bees.

Great work, first off. Thanks.

I am wondering if you have any insight into setting up hives strictly for a permanent establishment of a hive, with no honey collection, and hopefully little to no maintenance. I'm mostly concerned with the bees being happy and self sustaining. Would there be anything that would be done differently? In nature, I would assume the bees would naturally achieve this balance.

Would love to hear any insight on this topic.

--Ed C.

Kirk replies:
Well, My Philosphy is to do what is best for the bees. For example, there is a Bee Log at Farmlab in downtown Los Angeles, where we have our bee club meetings. Those bees will be in that log for as long as they chose to be; no one will mess with them.

I have Hives I go check maybe three times a year, and sometimes remove no honey. We let all our bees draw their own comb. Backwards Beekeepers are low-impact beekeepers, and let the bees do the Managing.