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The Barefoot Beekeeper

The Barefoot Beekeeper was the title of my first book, published in 2007. Since then, I have written several more books, aimed at people who want to keep bees in a simple, reasonably natural way, without investing a lot of money and free from the synthetic chemical treadmill.

This podcast is irregular, variable in content and hopefully somewhat useful and interesting to beekeepers of all flavours.

You can find my website at and you will find me on Facebook and rarely on Twitter.




Jan 31, 2013

It is the last day of January 2013 and my resolution to do more recordings has again been overtaken by other priorities - but here we are again with another Barefoot Beekeeper podcast.

It's been an exciting couple of days, with two of the UK's biggest retailers - B&Q and Wickes - announcing that they would be removing garden products from their shelves that contain neonicotinoids - and then a third big company - Homebase - announced that they were following suit.

UK supermarkets are now under seige by campaigners eager to press home their advantage and persuade them to take more garden pesticides off their shelves, so I think we have more good news to look forward to.

There was a session yesterday of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee on pesticides, in which Bayer's representatives gave a rather lame performance, I thought. They looked dazed and confused by questions they seemed ill-prepared for - and then Professor Vyvyan Howard of Ulster University followed up with a calm dismissal of most of their arguments, leaving MPs - at least it seemed to me - in a position of little doubt when it comes to deciding which way to go on the neonicotinoids issue.

So, today's podcast is an interview I recorded in Denver, Colorado, last November with Valerie Solheim, who has some very interesting experiments running with bees.

This interview will be of particular interest to people who have considered the possiblility that there is more to hive location than just choosing a level piece of ground. Valerie suggests that we may need to take account of 'geopathic stress', as her findings suggest that the health of bees may be influenced by forces of which we currently have little knowledge.

I think there is still a lot of work to be done in testing her theories, and I hope some of you will be inspired to carry this forward. Valerie has just published a book about her work called The Beehive Effect, and you can read part of the first chapter at her web site - 

Please bear in mind that when I made this recording, I had already been speaking for over 2 hours and the ultra-dry air had given me a sore throat and an attack of the sniffles, which I have tried to suppress in this recording - but not entirely successfully.

Right at the end is a little more all-female close-harmony singing, recorded immediately after the interview in the hotel bar. 

Richard Soundy
over nine years ago

I am certainly aligned to the fact that hive placement can be an important factor to the bees health. And, there certainly is a plus to placing hives over so called "geo-stress" hot spots. I have proof of this, strictly from my own practices and experience. As a long time mushroom forager, I quickly identify these "hot spots" in the soil, since they also yield an abundance of various fungi.
It is unfortunate that many articles similar to Val's do not make it clear to the reader that frequency sound emanating from bees has nothing to do with the EMF frequencies - there always appears to intermingle the two as if it is one and that is completely wrong per the basic - logical physics as we know it.
EMF is an energy that completely stops -~270K absolute and us as humans can only observe this with our current sensing capabilities in the visual spectrum (a tiny, tiny sliver in the complete spectrum) and apply our experiments in this area using basic optic rules which we were taught ... our true knowledge is very limited. Well, this is also true of "sound" its a sliver with limited knowledge in the broad spectrum of frequencies - my applied knowledge lies somewhere between InfraRed to UV, X-ray and ending in the Gamma Ray region for what it is worth...