©Irmela Schautz, Illustration from the book by Michaela Vieser and Irmela Schautz "From coffee-traders, caterers and whitefish taps - occupations from bygone times" C. Bertelsmann
During Middle Ages, tree-beekeeping was meant to be the professional collection of honey from wild or half-wild bee colonies, performed by tree-beekeepers. This word comes from the Latin word "excidere" (cut-out/resect) and the ancient German word "Zeideln" (cut honey).
Stone age people - as well as nature people of today - had been collecting honey of wild bees. But they did or do not do this profesionally. The tree-beekeepers, whose profession can be dated back to the Early Age, collected the honey of wild, half-wild or domesticated bees in the forests. They did not keep the bees in timbered bee-hives but in natural nesting sites in trees (artificial caves/hives).
The tree-beekeepers educated guilds with certain legal traditions and carried out their own legal jurisdiction. In 1296, there was proof of an own jurisdiction in Feucht and of an own master of tree-beekeepes. This privileged status was noted by emperor Karl IV in his "Zeidel Freyheit Brief" in 1350. This document enfeoffed the tree-beekeepers with their own jurisdiction. As exterior sign of this privilege, their heads lead a white bar, the tree-beekeepers were allowed to have a weapon (crossbow) and were wearing a specific green costume with the typical long pointed cap (have a look at the tree-beekeeper's emblem at the castle in Feucht and on different Lebkuchen). For this reason, the tree-beekeepers had to lead the emperor safely through the forest of N¸rnberg, to deliver some hundredweights of beeswax to the Stephansdom, Vienna each year and some more other things.
It is interesting that this privilege (right of the tree-beekeepers) has never been cancelled, not even by the reformation of the Weimar Republic. Thus it is still valid today. You can find some jurisdictional traces of this privilege nowadays in Civil Law Code with its paragraphs regarding bees.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported (Abbreviated (en)) article Zeidlerei from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia.In Wikipedia a liste of authors is available.
From left to right: Luciano Bartolomeo, Antonio Gurliaccio and Florian Kuttner
The keeping of forest bees in living trees and hives disappeared nearly completely from Europe at the end of the 19th century. The traditional technique has survived in Shulgan Tash Nature Reserve in southern Ural, Russia. Within the frame of a WWF project, financed by DEZA (Centre for development and cooperation), this technique has been studied and it was determined to bring back the traditional tree-beekeeping to Poland. This has resulted in more than 100 tree-beekeeper caves in living trees and hives, distributed in central Poland. The bee colonies are constantly and successfully taken care of by local beekeepers. In 2014, the "comeback" of this knowledge to Switzerland and Germany was realised with WWF and an initial seminar of the community "Free the bees" (André Wermelinger).
Antonio Gurliaccio, member of BIENENBOTSCHAFT: Education as tree-beekeeper in summer 2015 at a workshop at a centre in Ballenberg, Switzerland. He expanded his professional knowledge in 2016 at a tree-beekeeper competition "Barciowisko", an event of the forestry office Augustow, Poland.
In 2017 he even achieved the first rank with his colleague Florian Kuttner during the International Competition.
From left to right: Martin Götz and Antonio Gurliaccio
“Back to the roots - view of the future” - The rediscovery of the old tree-beekeeper trade and the insights of the latest scientific researches related to the life of the honey bee do confirm our work. This natural fashion of beekeeping does mostly correspond to the chosen conditions of the honey bees in natural hollow trunks.
According to the scientific research work of the well-known honey bee scientist and beekeeper Thomas D. Seeley, these natural homes support swarm intelligence, genetics, natural selection as well as Varroa tolerance for wild living bee populations. We see a big chance in our pioneer work for a healthy and thus flourishing future of our actually threatened honey bee. And if the bee is doing well, the nature and human being is also doing well. We are proud to be a creative power of this path.
Bienendemokratie (Honeybee Democracy) by Thomas D. Seeley
“The Most Captivating Science Book of the Year.” – Financial Times
Auf der Spur der wilden Bienen (Following the wild bees, The craft and science of bee hunting) by Thomas D. Seeley
Die Honigfabrik (The Honey Factory: Inside the Ingenious World of Bees) by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Tautz
Handlungsanleitung für artgerechte Bienenhaltung mit Pseudoskorpionen (Guidance for species-appropriate beekeeping with pseudo-scorpions) by Torben Schiffer
If as a gift or if you want to handle the saw by yourself: in 2018 you will have the opportunity to participate in one of our log-hive workshops at BIENENBOTSCHAFT. We will manufacture together with you log-hives following tree-beekeeper’s fashion and adapted to the latest studies of Torben Schiffer (beenature-project) and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Tautz (Hobos). Of course, you may take your B3 log-hive with you at the end of the workshop. We are happy to welcome you!
Workshop Spring I
Workshop Spring II
(each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
in Kirchgasse 25 in 61184 Karben
Antonio Gurliaccio, Manuel Schüle, Michael Altstätter, Florian Kuttner, Leandro Marasco, Timo Schinz, Martin Götz
Biologist Torben Schiffer (beenature-project) on March 23rd, May 25th and September 14th
Urs Heusser (Beekeeping of the dark bee Apis Mellifera, Switzerland) on March 24th
Norbert Dorn (bio-dynamic beekeeping ) on May 26th
Including hand-made special tree-beekeeper tools/instruments at your disposal
Including a trunk for your own log-hive
Including catering costs (3 x warm bio-lunch, 2 x evening meal, coffee, tea and soft drinks)
Those persons who have a certificate for chainsaw and protective clothes may effect the previous work by themselves. Otherwise, this work will be done by our instructors. You may bring your chainsaw (max. 12cm width and min. 35-40cm length).
Protective gloves and protective clothes, according to weather warm and rain-resistant, penknive and axe. Maybe you need a car with a trailer on the last day (for transportation of the log-hive, which may have 180cm length and a diametre of 50cm).
If requested, we can deliver your finished log-hive to your home with our van. Fees are calculated according to the effort incurred.
Welcome & Instructions
Presentation: history of tree-beekeeping, log-hive & construction of log-hive
Explanation of the tree-beekeeping tools and production run
Sealing log-hive + metal tape
Choice of the wooden trunk, practical start of log-hive construction
Practical work log-hive construction B3
Mutual evening meal
Scientific talk of our cooperation partnership with Beenature-Project with Torben Schiffer and subsequent discussion group
Talk & Instructions
Practical work log-hive construction B3
Practical entrance hole and opening for revision
Wooden nail, wooden strips, pillow for cover
Mutual evening meal
19:30 - 21.00
on March 24th Urs Heusser, Beekeeping of the dark bee Apis Mellifera, Switzerland
on May 26th Norbert Dorn, bio-dynamic beekeeping
on September 15th, guest speaker will be specified
Talk & Instructions
View in the humming log-hive/tree-beekeepers trees at BIENENBOTSCHAFT with tasting of honey
Modern tree-beekeeping mounting of a log-hive with rope technology and practical work with arborist Martin Götz
Finishing of the log-hive, transportation & finitum
If you have any further questions or need more information, please contact us by email. Your contact person is Antonio Gurliaccio of BIENENBOTSCHAFT.
The registration is binding only after payment receipt of the seminar fee to our account in time. Seminar/course fee: € 575. Please transfer the total amount of € 575 to the following account up to four weeks before the workshop.
IBAN DE95 501 900 006 001 132 049