A colony of bees is a superorganism. This is the most important and fundamental concept a natural beekeeper must know. All natural beekeeping is built upon it. Every management practice springs from it.
The entire colony, including the cavity, the comb, associated life forms, and the bees themselves function as a single living entity. It breathes, feeds, remakes, thinks, survives and is selected for, as a single entity.
What Bees Do Best
For eons, bee colonies have been assaulted by pests, climate and environmental changes. Yet, they have adapted and successfully survived with thriving populations entrenched across most of the old world. Beeing is what eons of time have proven the bees do best. And they are good at it! They:
- select a suitable cavity
- establish a functioning, reproducing superorganism
- maintain adequate food reserves
- balance colony dynamics with seasonal needs/resources
- defend the colony from diseases and pests
That colony will:
- be located in a suitable location
- have an internal nest structure with form mirroring seasonal function
- breath, ventilate, cool and heat itself according to it’s needs
- allocate the proper resources and time to reproduction, foraging, overwintering
Anything less and a colony’s health and survival are put at risk.