When asking five beekeepers a question about bees or beekeeping you often get five different answers - and all have their reasoning to support them.
However, not one of the answers has ever been confirmed by the bees.
We cannot ask bees a question in a way they understand, nor do we understand what they are telling us.
An element of speculation has historically been part of our knowledge about bees and always will be. Through observation and research our knowledge is evolving over time. What we nowadays know about bees is different to what it was hundred years ago, and in hundred years from now our knowledge about bees will be better again.
It could also be wrong drawing the conclusion that the knowledge of a beekeeper who has kept bees for over fifty years is better, compared with someone who is into it for only a few years. Whilst the practical experience plays an important part, it also depends how much time and effort you invest to update your knowledge, along with an open mind to accept new discoveries made by others.
Last but not least, all answers and advice are influenced by motivation.
A commercial beekeeper with 2,000 beehives has a different perspective on beekeeping, compared to a hobby beekeeper with two hives in the backyard. What is right or important for one beekeeper might not be relevant for another and is not necessarily in the best interest of the bees.
Whatever the motivation is for keeping bees, it can only be sustainable when it has benefits for both, the bees and the beekeeper.
Our motivation is driven by our fascination for these amazing little creatures, interacting with and caring for each of our hives and providing them with a healthy environment in which they can grow and prosper, supporting them with the best of our abilities in their challenge to survive our "modern way of life".
Bees are adaptable - and whatever we do interacting with bees can either help or work against them.
Bees survive despite what we sometimes do to them.
The difference between bees and humans:
Bees are trying to adapt to the environment - we humans are trying to change our environment to suit us.