Who we are
We are beekeepers who decided to look at their apiaries not from the point of view of honey production, but bee biology, their needs and their nature. We want our bees to be most important in our apiaries. We have decided to put away all the chemical substances, toxins and biocidals, which most beekeepers use in their apiaries. Beekeepers say that using them is „treating” bees' dieases and mostly varroosis caused by the mite Varroa destructor. But in our opinion this is just the half of all the truth. The other half is that those chemical substances are used to produce more apiary products and having bigger honey harvest. We do not claim that productive apiary is bad – quite the opposite! But we believe that the production of honey, wax, pollen or popolise could be done in a different way, and honey bee can live in the balance with nature. Scientists, not only from remote parts of the world, proved that bees can live without all that toxins – however some of them may have some of their productive traits decreased. We decided to make an effort in our apiaries to balance natural needs of bees and our wishes to obtain bee products. We believe that this is the best way for all the beekeeping in the long term.
We have decided to start working informally. But we want to formalize our actions in time establishing an organization. We believe that some legal basis will give us more opportunities. We want to establish an association in time. We are still discussing the legal possibiliteis for us and the final version of our formal rules. Now we just want to show You directions of our work and our views and opinions.
Being one of us
We are a Polish group of beekeepers. While establishing „Bee Brotherhood”, based on our views and experiences in previous organization, we have decided that we want to be the group joining people who resigned of all the „chemical” treatments in their apiaries (either with the pesticides and other toxins or any „natural” but biocidal substances). We invite all the people who think in the same way to join us. We are fully aware that not everyone may decide to withdraw all the treatments. This is out of many reasons, and everyone has hers or his own. It is a tough choice, and a costly one. But if a person wants to keep bees in natural ways and would want to skip the treatments in some time in the future, we gladly invite her or him to cooperate with us. When we have our formal organization, we are sure that such people would have their place in our group as an „supporting member”. Thanks to that they may closely cooperate with us in selection of resistant bees, promoting natural and bee-friendly ways of keeping bees without toxins.
This is us
Bartłomiej Maleta – one of the originator, initiatior and founder of „Bee Brotherhood” and Natural Beekeeping Association „Free Bees”. He has not been treating bees in any ways since 2014 – unfortulately with various effects. In this time his apiary was going twice through collapses. Now he has several dozens of bees kept without treatments. Bartek is an advocate of keeping bees without wax foundation. He believes that „Expansion Model Beekeeping” is the best and the fastest way to get through evolutionary bottleneck, propagate and spread bees that are able to cope with varroa mite. Bartek writes an internet blog www.pantruten.blogspot.com. He published articles in beekeeping magazine „Pszczelarstwo” about natural beekeping methods using natural selection and keeping bees without wax foundation. In 2018 he was joining two intenational bee events – also as one of the speakers. The first one was Treatment Free Conference in Neusiedl am See in Austria (April 7-8th 2018) nad the second „Learning From the Bees” Conference in Doorn, Netherlands (August 31st – September 2nd 2018). During those events he interviewed such beekeepers as Erik Österlund, Juhani Lunden, John Kefuss and Thomas Seeley.
Łukasz Łapka – one of the originators, initiators and founders of „Bee Brotherhood” and originator of Natural Beekeeping Association „Free Bees” and its chairman for some years. Łukasz treated his bees last time in the Autumn of 2014 and even though his apiary went through collapse and recovery cycles, it is fully sustainable since that time. After collapses his apiary not only stabilized itself, but also his bees brought some reasonable amout of honey! Keep it up! Łukasz has several dozens of bee colonies now. He is an advocate of „small cell” (4.9mm) and foundationless beekeeping. He propagates „Expansion Model Beekeeping” in transition to treatment free beekeeping. Łukasz has his webpage www.pasiekalapa.pl, writes popular blog www.llapka.blogspot.com, and publishes films on his Youtube channel „Pasieka Łapa”. He published articles in beekeeping magazine „Pszczelarstwo”.
Marcin Zarek – one of the initiators and founders of „Bee Brotherhood” and member of Natural Beekeeping Association „Free Bees” for many years. He is originator and initiator of the project of selection and exchanging bees called „Fort Knox”. The project has been sustained since 2015 and it has proved its strength for the last years. It has been very well accepted on Treatment Free Beekeeping Conference in Austria and was met with interest on „Learning From the Bees” Conference. Marcin has his treatment free apiary for some years now – with various effects. He is an advocate of foundationless beekeeping. In fact he has never put any foundation in any of his hives ever. He always asks: „What is this foundation?”. Marcin belives that bees shoud be local and kept with as simple methods as possible. He has about 20 honey bee colonies. He is also an author of this internet webpage of „Bee Brotherhood” and keeper of forest-beekeeping science club in the Faculty of Forestry at University of Agriculture in Krakow
Mariusz Uchman – beekeeper and graphic designer. Right from the start he actively supports establishing „Bee Brotherhood” group and he shares his talent to make the content of the webpage more attractive. He is the author of our graphic images that You can see next to the texts about us, and also images related to bees and beekeeping that You can find on this webpage – either in specific articles or here: (http://www.bractwopszczele.pl/media1.html). You can also see Mariusz's works on his facebook profile: (https://www.facebook.com/rysunek.kontrolowany). Mariusz keeps bees without wax foundation, and for some years he has made efforts to keep bees without treatments. But in his apiary – as in other people's – he had some total losses on the way. Mariusz collects honey using „crush and strain” method. He has couple dozens bee colonies.