The very good Bees For Development charity has a great list outlining nine principles for natural beekeeping:
- The bee colony is treated as a complete organism
- The natural processes of the bees are respected
- Retention of nest scent and heat is crucial
- Intrusion into the colony is minimised
- Bees make all their comb with cell size of their own choosing
- The bees' own swarming impulse determines reproduction
- Colonies are overwintered on their own honey
- Bees are local, adapted to local environments
- Colony density is appropriate to local forage conditions
"Regular observation allows the beekeeper to understand and recognise the health and development of the colony. Management interventions are informed by the bees' own needs. Intervention is minimised, using three broad principles:"
- Do not put anything into the hive which did not come from the bees
- Do not take anything out of the hive which the bees cannot afford to lose
- Be guided by the bees.
Bees for development assists beekeepers living in poor and remote areas of the world - lifting them out of poverty through beekeeping. I recommend you visit their site and consider supporting them.