At Steller Apiaries we believe natural beekeeping is about keeping outside the box...literally. We pride ourselves on being top bar beekeepers that were made for bees. Bees have existed for more than 30 Million years and we've only been keeping them in hives for the past 4-6,000 years. They had to be doing something right without our help!
The practices we're most proud to announce that we follow are:
*We keep our bees in more natural hives that are associated with better bee health.
*As a result of using these types of hive bodies, we can say our hives (As well as our honey) are COMPLETELY MEDICATION FREE!
*We do not use four-sided frames for the bees to build out their comb structure. We use top bars to allow the bees to naturally cling to each other and build out their comb without obstruction.
*We do not use stamped foundation for our bees. There is no 'one size fits all' for humans, why should bees be any different? Allowing the bees to build all of their cells to their specific size also promotes health throughout the colony by not leaving excess cell size available to mites when larvae and pupae are gestating in the cells
*We cut, crush and strain our comb to harvest the honey, and nothing else. We do not mix our varieties of honey and you don't need an expensive honey house to process honey!
*Once we harvest wax from a colony, we don't put it back. Brood comb is often reused until it is unsuitable to be put back in the hive. Every bee that is born from a cell leaves behind cells (like our skin cells)
*We do not pasteurize our honey. What you do get is the raw, unprocessed, perfect honey that includes all of the health benefits associated with honey, pollen, propolis and the nutrients and enzymes they each contain.
*Our method of beekeeping is more related to 'outside observation.' Using our observation window we can see the bees progress without actually hindering their progress. Every time you open the hive and smoke the bees, they are gorging on honey unnecessarily while you simultaneously remove their retained heat and nest scent.
*We harvest our honey in the spring time, AFTER the bees have made it through the winter with their hard earned honey stores
We are 'backyard beekeepers' that practice a natural alternative to the commercial beekeeping industry. We pride ourselves on practicing, as well as providing information on alternative hive designs and construction. We sustain our bees without medication or stamped foundation and strictly keeping in alternative hives, such as the top bar hive and Warre hive, but we practice with many non-traditional hives even from an alternative beekeepers standpoint! We strive to make aware that honey bees are necessary for the sake of their pollination, not to manipulate them for honey production.
We believe that a natural approach is the right approach to sustaining the bee population and we're doing our part to naturally and organically pollinate food sources and blooms alike!
Many have heard about the epidemic killing the bees, known as Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. We firmly believe the constant over-medication, strain and manipulation of bees for commercial quantities of honey are larger culprits than many in mainstream beekeeping are willing to admit. Keeping honey bees has become about the ease of tending for the beekeeper, not the honey bee. Sustaining your bees naturally and providing them the essentials they need can produce healthy colonies of bees that readily provide noticeable pollination, honey production, beeswax, and even duplicate and swarm. Caring for your bees naturally and sustainabley can provide hobbyists with very healthy bees. And healthy, happy bees provide us with essential and beautiful pollination as well as the best local honey you can get your hands on!
Steller Apiaries is located in Jackson, Michigan on eight glorious acres filled with our own vegetable garden, native wildflowers, and beautiful countryside.
Our goal for more than a decade has been to provide our earth with happy, healthy, sustainable, and plentiful hives of bees without unnecessary intervention or harvesting more than our fair share.
Download our: 2018 Top Bar Hive Order Form and/or our
2018 Package Bee Order Form below!
...We strive at keeping outside the box
HOW CAN I HELP???
Many ask how they can help, check out some of our suggestions below:
Plant a Garden
Blooms, vegetables, or herbs, all are great pollen producers that will get your local bees buzzing! You will also notice an increase in bloom and/or yields in plants! Save a honey bee, thank a honey bee!
Start your own backyard hive
Contact us to learn about starting your own backyard hive. We offer hive plans, beekeeping lessons, unassembled hive kits, hive building workshops, and fully assembled hives for sale. Whatever degree of beekeeping you're looking to achieve, we can help you reach it!
Support local beekeepers by purchasing their honey,wax, by-products
We are proud to be a part of Plenty Left, Etsy, as well as previously participating with The Green Market of Jackson to sell our hive by-products. You can also check out our online store for some of our other great products! Check out your local nature center, too! They have great outlets to local beekeepers, ours, The Dahlem Nature Conservancy has an Ecology Farm we're honored to have been a part of!
Here are a few timeless books that have amazing information and studies supporting the need for more natural beekeeping. Take a look!
THE QUEST FOR THE PERFECT HIVE By Gene Kritsky
BEEKEEPING FOR ALL By Abbé Émile Warré
THE BACKYARD BEEKEEPER By Kim Flottum
THE BEE FRIENDLY BEEKEEPER By David Heaf (Also see his natural hive study notes in a link above)
TOP-BAR BEEKEEPING By Les Crowder & Heather Harrell
THE BAREFOOT BEEKEEPER By Philip J. Chandler
IN SEARCH OF THE BEST STRAIN OF BEES By Brother Adam
APITHERAPY, BEE VENOM THERAPY & PROPOLIS
THE BIBLE OF BEE VENOM THERAPY By Bodog F. Beck, M.D.
BEE PROPOLIS By James Fearnly
HEALTH AND THE HONEY BEE By Charles Mraz
Our hives don't all look like the square, stack-able, hive. We pride ourselves on using 'top bars' in all our hives. They eliminate the 'one size fits all' of foundation
We practice and promote sustainable beekeeping that is designed for the sake of the bees, not the honey and not the pocketbook
Honey has been renowned for its healing properties, but there are therapies that are designed around the sting of the bee, the healing vapors of propolis, and the buzz of a hive. Learn more about our Healing Bee Haus