ForestBeehive is a Honeybee Sanctuary in pristine woodlands of Maine

  • Our woodland apiary is far removed from any argicultural and industrial sources of pollution: we are adjacent to a 3000 acre wildlife sanctuary with its pristine woodlands and meadows that provide our honeybees with rich Spring-to-Fall foraging resources.

  • We are pesticide-free and our local bee colonies and beehives are not subjected to any chemical or acid or oil treatments -- no antibiotics or fungicides or acids or essential oils are ever used

  • We provide our bees with the best housing: the extra thick walls of our stationary long, deep horizontal hives are insulated with 1.5'' of natural wool providing 6 times the insulation value (R6) of conventional hives -- ideal for bees' development and for surviving cold Maine winters.

  • Instead of the using plastic or conventional store-bought wax foundation replete with pesticides, we either let our bees build their own natural comb or use pesticide-free wax foundation from a remote mountain region of Spain where the bees are far removed from any agricultural crops and forage predominantly on wildflowers.

  • In our pollinator gardens we never use any pesticides or herbicides.

    3 Main Pillars of Natural Beekeeping

        Per F. Lazutin "Keeping Bees with a Smile"
    Pillar #1 The Right Natural Habitat
    In his most influential modern book on natural beekeeping "Keeping bees with a smile", Lazutin states that the most important factor for successful natural beekeeping is having the Right Natural Habitat: clean unpolluted land and water, forests and meadows located far from agrochemical pollutants, the habitat that would provide the bees with rich Spring-to-Fall nectar/pollen resources. More...

    Pillar #2 Never Feed Sugar to Bees
    Sugar only contains carbohydrates. Bees need vitamins, protein and micronutrients from nectar, honey and pollen. Note: to stop sugar-feeding you need to have Pillar #1 The Right Natural Habitat. More...

    Pillar #3 Never Medicate Bees
    Never use any chemical or acid or any oil treatments, no antibiotics or fungicides or acids. Strong locally adapted survivor bee colonies have already learned on their own how to naturally coexist with Varroa mites, etc. and survive without human intervention. Quoting "Keeping Bees with a smile": "These strong colonies will give offspring that are likely to be disease-resistant. Conversely, treatments create all of the conditions for negative selection (weak propagating the weak)".

    Medicating the bees is problematic in the long term as mites and similar parasites will eventually build up resistance to any new treatments while the medicated and "overly coddled" bees would only learn to rely on constant human intervention and would thereby be denied their primary defense mechanism of natural selection. More...

    Our Youtube channel 'Boris The Bee Guy'
  • Nov 22, 2022 Honey bees now live 50% shorter than in the 1970s?! What happened to the bees in the last 50 years??

  • Oct 21, 2022 Fall Honey Harvest -- Maine Wilderness Honey - Natural Beekeeping: no chemicals/no sugar feeding

  • Oct 2, 2022 Vertical Beehives and a Crazy Landlord OR Why Natural Beekeepers Use Horizontal Beehives

  • Sep 14, 2022 Honey & Bee Bread: Natural Beekeeping vs. Conventional Industrial-style Beekeeping

  • Aug 10, 2022 What is Natural Beekeeping

  • Jul 30, 2022 Honeybees and Airplanes?!

  • Jul 20, 2022 'Mad' honey, bad honey & how to select honey

  • Jun 16, 2022 Bees, Trees and Music

  • Jun 12, 2022 Our Pollinator Gardens or What's important for successful beekeeping

  • Jun 1, 2022 Expanding the apiary - how to space the beehives

    It is important for apiaries to be miles away from any agrochemicals and pollution!

    Below are some of the studies showing contamination of conventional honey in USA, Europe and Asia by pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and conventional bee chemical treatments which result in potential human health hazards:
  • Contamination of conventional honey by pesticides leads to human health hazards - ScienceDirect
  • USDA study on pesticide/fungicide residues in honey from conventionally managed apiaries
  • Clopyralid applied to winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) contaminates the food products nectar, honey and pollen - ScienceDirect
  • 75% of the world's honey is contaminated with neonicotinoid pesticides - Swiss study UniNE University
  • Distribution of chemical residues in the beehive compartments and their transfer to the honeybee brood - ScienceDirect

    Study: Feeding bees honey is better than feeding them syrup as sugar syrup negatively affects the bees' gut bacteria:
  • When honeybees are fed with sugar syrup, they become short-lived compared to honeybees that are fed with honey  

    Study: Essential oils (like thymol) coat the bees' guts and kill their beneficial gut bacteria
  • Honeybees are negatively affected by essential oils

    Study:Why gentle honeybees are less resilient
  • Defensive honeybees are more resilient


    There are fewer and fewer unpolluted lands in the US that are far removed from agricultural and industrial pollution where the bees can freely forage in pristine forests and meadows uncontaminated with pesticides or herbicides. ForestBeehive natural beekeeping apiary was inspired by this beautiful unspoiled land adjacent to a wildlife sanctuary with its rich Spring-to-Fall nectar resources for our honeybees. Just as this land is unspoiled by chemical pollutants, we keep our honeybees unspoiled by any conventional chemical treatments or conventional sugar-feedings.

    While ForestBeehive is our new apiary, many years ago in Eastern Europe when varroa mite was already rampant and killing off their standard Carpatian bees (aka Russian bees) in droves, a lot of conventional beekeepers there were widely using a so-called "natural" formic acid treatment which, by the way, the locals also widely used then ... to kill off cockroaches...

    At the time I was helping out at a remote apiary where they practiced natural no-treatment beekeeping (1) they only used wild survivor bees from swarms and (2) they used stationary insulated deep Ukrainian horizontal hives with 36 frames each - was great for winterization and easy to manage with no more than 3 hive inspections per year.

    At that natural apiary, within a 3-year period only 1 horizontal Ukrainian hive-hosted colony out of 9 was lost and replaced from a new swarm, which was a better success rate than for their conventional beekeepers at the time.

    At our new Central Maine-based ForestBeehive, we use swarm-caught wild survivor honeybees.

    Difference between Organic Beekeeping, Treatment-Free Beekeeping and natural Beekeeping

    In Organic Beekeeping, common synthetic honeybee treatments like pesticides, antibiotics are not allowed, however, organic-approved acids like oxalic acid, formic acid and essential oils are allowed.
    Essentials oils and natural acids, however, disrupt the bees' pheromone-based communiction and kill many beneficial micro-organisms in the hive and, in the case of acids, cause a dramatic shift in pH affecting the bees' beneficial gut bacteria and health. See Study: Honeybees are negatively affected by essential oils.

    Treatment-free Beekeeping is a widely used but often misunderstood term. Treatment-free does not actually mean hands-off beekeeping, it's simply beekeeping without medicating the bees i.e. even organic-approved mite treatments are not used.

    In Natural Beekeeping, just like in treatment-free beekeeping we do not medicate the bees in any way. No synthetic or organic poisons pollute our beehives and our honey products. Natural Beekeeping, however, adds to treatment-free beekeeping 2 important elements:
  • Clean Natural Habitat with Minimal density of bee colonies per acre of forageable resources (< 1 bee colony per acre)
  • No Sugar Feedings. if we need to feed weak colonies, we only feed with our own honey combs (defrosted/un-capped and sprinkled with water to present as nectar). Avoiding sugar feedings positively affects not only the bees’ health but also the taste and nutritive value of our honey products! Did you know that there's a substantial difference in pH between sugar (where pH is almost neutral) and honey where pH is more acidic - around 4.5? Here's the Study: When honeybees are fed with sugar syrup, they become short-lived compared to honeybees that are fed with honey.

    Although our honeybees have hundreds of acres of unpolluted woodlands to forage in, it is our task as beekeepers to provide the bees with the best possible housing and the best possible care. See our Fall tasks, Spring tasks and Summer tasks.

    As far as mite management is concerned, at this time we use brood cycle interruption with a trapping comb as a single effective purely mechanical method of varroa mite management. Brood cycle interruption method mimics what naturally happens during swarming when for a while no brood is produced for mites to infect.

  • Our Apiary & Team

    ForestBeehive Apiary
  • Fall tasks
  • Spring tasks
  • Summer tasks
  • Late April, 2022: homemade swarmtraps with 5 layens frames each