Erkki has held courses on Apicentric Beekeeping every spring since 2016. The courses have been in Finnish apart from a 2019 and 2023 courses in English. Erkki held a ”Caring for Bees” workshop at the Nordic Permaculture Festival in Norway in 2023 and has written about his beekeeping in NBH – The International Journal for Bee-Centred Beekeeping (NBH28: (Re)wilding Bees at Iso-or-vokkiniitty). One of his designs in his Permaculture Diploma Portfolio is ”Caring for Bees” using the Design Web framework.

”As my thoughts have evolved the course content has gone more towards a holistic view of honeybees, beekeeping in permaculture, darwinian beekeeping in different hives and (re)wilding honeybees.”

The main take-away of the course should be to direct you to a holistic view of honeybees and beekeeping which is not offered in mainstream beekeeping courses. After the course you will understand that there is not only one way to be with bees and that beekeeping is not per se natural. I believe the course will benefit both total newbies to beekeeping as well as more experienced beekeepers. It is of course also for permaculture practitioners who are interested in including honeybees in their design. I am a learner myself, open to discussions and I don’t have all the answers.

 (Erkki Poytaniemi)
Erkki presenting the construction of a topbar hive on the course in 2016.

At Iso-orvokkiniitty (South-West Finland) we have had bees since 2014 in standard wooden Farrar hives (2/3 Langstroth), top bar hives (TBH), Warré hives, Biboet type ”log hives” and log hives made of tree trunks (since 2022) – all together less than 10 populated hives overwintering at the moment. I haven’t treated my bees for varroa since 2019. I have switched to ”Darwinian beekeeping” methods since 2021-22 in all hive types. The purpose of the log hives is to experiment with (re)wilding honeybees. I am also gradually trying to switch to Nordic Dark bees in order to find genetics that could cope with (re)wilding in the Finnish climate. In all this there is a lot to discuss and learn even though I don’t have ready recipes. You will go home with more questions than you had before the course.

The course will include biology of bees as a superorganism, different thoughts about natural, organic and beecentric beekeeping, and even some practical advice.

At Iso-orvokkiniitty we strive to act according to permaculture principles. For us beekeeping is not just a box to tick in the design – beekeeping and the honeybees should be managed according to permaculture principles.

You are welcome to the course whether you are absolute novice to beekeeping or an experienced beekeeper looking for some new inspiration and thoughts. One day will not make anyone into a beekeeper.

Place: Online (Zoom)

Time: 6th April 2024: 10.00 – 17.00 Finnish time (9.00 – 16.00 CET)

 (Erkki Poytaniemi)
Looking into a a top bar hive in April 2019.



10.00    Wellcome, Check-in round

10.30 Introduction

11.30 – 11.45 Pause

11.45  Understanding honeybees using permaculture principles

13.00 – 13.30 Pause

13.30 Apicentric beekeeping, Beekeeping with different hives etc 

14.30 Caring for honeybees, (re)wilding

15.00 Discussion and Check-out

16.00 End

Register here by buying the course:

For more information contact: Erkki Pöytäniemi
erkki (ät)
tel: 050 5505225

Erkki hauling up a log hive.

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