Biodynamic Beekeeper having great success with HoneyBees
By Emily Barry – Bee Time Magazine| Posted: Friday, June 25, 2018 11:11 am
Imagine being able to communicate with different aspects of Nature to bring balance and harmony to this planet? Well, Barbara Westfall has done just that. Not only has she figured a system out, but has travelled to 15 countries to teach these techniques to local residents. According to Barbara, “It is an honor to teach local people how to communicate with Elementals, Nature Spirits, Devas and other aspects of Nature. The techniques are easy to learn, simple and very cheap if not free. Empowering people to transform ALL discordant energies in their communities and bring unity to their lands is a true joy for me.”
It was a beautiful spring balmy warm day. Blue skies with puffy white clouds. It had been a warm spring so far. Life was sprouting her head with all the crocuses and early spring bulbs. Visiting a bee sanctuary to get the latest ‘buzz about bees’ from a recognized bee innovator was not something I was looking forward to, but getting outside was. I am slightly sensitive to bees and now I have to interview a local resident who apparently is keeping bees with a smile. Her success with bees is well known in the area, but I wanted to see firsthand how she is accomplishing this challenging feat.
As I drove up the lane way of ‘Tranquility Valley Trees Bee Sanctuary’, the weeping willows were in flower along the laneway. They swayed with grace in the wind, majestic and it felt like they almost welcomed me. Barbara greets me as I step out of my car. She offers me a bee jacket to wear if I am nervous. However, she assures me that I will not get stung. “If you leave the bees alone, they will leave you alone.” Nervously, I decide to waiver the coat and see what happens.
The bees were everywhere. It’s funny you don’t notice bees so much in the city but here you could hear them just buzzing quietly on their way past you. I asked her about the numbers of bees. “It is spring and willow is one of the first real pollen foods for bees. It is a high quality protein and they use it for growing their brood cells (baby bees). They are only concerned with the success of their hive. So they will fly 50,000 miles in their short life to collect food for their hive before they die.”
You can feel her passion about bees. Her land is spotted with different beds of plants, lots of beds. As we walked I asked her “How did you get into beekeeping?”
She laughs as she raises her eyebrows and shaking her head in disbelief.
“This was not something I ever thought I would be doing. I have a B.Sc. in Agriculture in Crop Science. But during her M.Sc. degree, I developed a whole slew of health issues; side effects from taking the birth control pill I believe.
“I developed high cholesterol at age 22 even though I ran 5 km a day. I tried 3 stints of six month dietician based diets and my cholesterol landed at the second highest level possible 18 months later. My Doctor told me I would be taking allopathic drugs for the rest of my life. No way! The pill had already caused me so much damage in my body!!!!”
She was so emphatic that she was not going that drug route.
So I asked her how she dealt with her high cholesterol?
“I walked out of the doctors’ office and started to read and take alternative health classes. It took a while, but ONE dose of the right homeopathic remedy cured my cholesterol! It cost me $60. Image the cost and side effects of years of allopathic drugs? Little did I know that this was the start of 30 years of health challenges…… each one taking me deeper into energy medicines to find more solutions. Solutions for lumps and bumps, migraines, giardia parasite, hematuria inherited genetic disease, hay fever, candida, and FINALLY chronic fatigue. That was a biggie. I had felt that the Universe had just pulled the rug out from under me. My life came to a standstill. I was in pain walking around 1 block! And the diarrhea from the giardia….. no amount of toilet paper could deal with that!” She was laughing hard.
“Thankfully my Dad had taught me as a little girl to continually ask questions until I found MY TRUTH. That was the gift he gave me. So the search started. I spent about $30,000.00 before I found the major missing link – the raw food diet. Each thing I had tried up to that point gave me another piece of the puzzle. But one month on the raw diet, drinking green smoothies, and my 5 year struggle with pain disappeared.”
I said “Ok, I am confused. How did health challenges lead you to beekeeping?”
“Thirty years of health challenges had taught me that there are ALWAYS answers to every challenge. In the search to find my answers I had learned to communicate with Nature. One day my husband and I opened up a conference call with Spirit at our farm – one we bought 25 years earlier. The farm was left wild since WWII, organic, and filled with apple trees, hawthorn trees, and a gazillion weeds. We wanted to know what to do with the farm that was good for the planet? I received 3 emails in 3 weeks about BEES.”
I looked at her with more confusion. “How can you remember that?”
“Because I remember telling my husband that I think the Universe wants us to do bees at the farm.
He said “It is your baby! I’ll support you, but you figure it all out.”
My husband turned out to be a fabulous and gentle beekeeper with great ideas.
You see, I have 35 years of science training. We had this farm for 25 years naturalizing on her own. And now I had 30 years of alternative health/ energy medicine training. What a great combination to now apply all my problem solving skills to the bees. I was collecting my tool kit all those years.”
She was touring me around her property. They have well over 20 honey bee hives that I could see but not all the same design. They had planted medicinal beds of plants for the bees and started a permaculture orchard. It is not a clean looking orchard. It has a ton of plants at many different heights.
I ask “So how does all these types of plants and orchard have to do with your beekeeping?”
She responds gently with “Bees were just the entry point into a much larger challenge. My bees did really well ….. located on an organic farm, using energy medicines for all their challenges and hive designs that are totally warm for bees. I knew from my personal health challenges, you have to align with the natural abilities/ biology of the organism to regain health. Raw food for humans is fabulous. We weren’t born with BBQ lighters in our hands.”
We both laughed. I wondered how many things we assume are normal for humans but really are not?
As gentle as the breeze blows past us, she speaks “Bees must be allowed to do what bees do. They have been doing it for millions of years and succeeding. So I had to find the way of least interference. Their home must be warm like a tree trunk (their natural home). Derek Mitchell, from the UK, published a scientific paper in 2015 which concluded that tree trunks with thick 4-6 inches of insulation, are 4-7X warmer than a langstroth bee hive – the most common hive used in North America. Bees like 95F in the brood/baby chamber of their hives. Langstroth hives are less than 1 inch thick wood. They are cold in the winter. Beekeepers do their best, but bees must eat lots of food to stay warm all winter. Now, how good would your health be if you lived and raised your children in a cold house?”
“Not good I suppose. I could see that my kids might get sick.” This made sense to me. “But what does this have to do with what you are doing here and all these plants?”
Barbara eyes shone with such light as she explains the links.
“Ahhhh, bees like 95F in the brood/baby chamber. These medicinal plants are both for bees and humans. I think hive warmth is one of three top problems with beekeeping. They get sick, we give them drugs. The get weaker. They cannot fend off viruses or other pathogens. Given a warm home, biologically appropriate ORGANIC food and medicines, and permission to make the choices they need for their own evolution inside a hive ….. we will see bees come back.”
“I went to an Eastern Apiculture Society conference back in the summer of 2015 at the University of Guelph. The keynote speaker was Dr. Mark Winston, a 40 year honey bee researcher from Simon Fraser University in B.C. Canada. He gave a talk about the future of beekeeping. He outlined how we must totally revamp beekeeping so that it aligns with bee physiology. He mentioned things like natural food supply, different hive designs, less honey harvest, NO chemicals inside the hive, let the bees swarm, etc. Beekeepers were stunned. This talk is on his blog called the ‘Manifesto’. Then he asked how many beekeepers in the room practice ‘chemical free beekeeping? THREE hands out of 500 beekeepers went up, and my hand was one of them.”
I was stunned. Only 3 people out of the 500 beekeepers there were experimenting with using no chemicals inside a hive?
Shaking her head in disbelief “Yup. I know. I realized then how different I was. At the end of the talk, I asked Mark ‘How many university level researchers do you know who are even experimenting with alternative hive designs in North America?’
With my eyes about to pop out of my head from curiosity she said “NONE that he knew of. Don’t get me wrong. Beekeepers are a fabulous group and try a gazillion experiments to try to make the langstroth hive design work. They are trying everything to keep their bees alive using the same equipment …..because its expensive to change equipment …….. but boy it is getting really expensive to keep using it when it doesn’t work. Some beekeepers I know are losing 80% of their bees over winter. It gets expensive to keep replacing bees.”
I was trying to wrap my head around all the challenges beekeepers have to deal with. I had no idea beekeeping was sooooo challenging.
“The ONE comment I can still hear Mark saying clearly to the audience …… so clear it must have bounced off everyone’s head ……….
You humans want healthy organic food to eat. So do the bees.
You could hear a pin drop in the room.”
Barbara paused to let that one sink in. Bees would benefit from organic food. I asked ‘So how does this relate to biodynamic beekeeping?”
With calm, the science teacher answers “Bio means life. Dynamic means lots of diversity. So if there is lots variety of plant foods available and a huge variety of living organisms, things will stabilize. The system becomes self-correcting and self-balancing. We are trying to mimic healthy natural ecosystems. ‘Variety is the spice of life’ as they say. Can you imagine eating just corn and soybeans for 2 months straight? We know that bees need a variety of pollen/protein sources for health.”
My head is screaming now with all the news about bees and neonicotinoid pesticides.
I said ‘But the pesticides ……..”
She knew it was coming. How could she not. It is all over the news.
Quickly Barbara’s response was “I know. I know. I know!!!! I know all about pesticides. You know what’s ironic about all this? I have a Masters of Science degree in pesticides. Like how crazy is that to have that in my background too?”
I was stunned at the synchronicity of what she was saying. She showed me the bee watering station. It was beautiful …… lots of stones, crystals, seaweeds and shells. The bees seemed to know her and want to be in her energy field. I have never noticed bees being so gentle, calm and focused on their one task right then. It was like they wanted to come and say hello to her and toddle off.
“The bees were the canary in the coal mine. I knew how to keep bees healthy on an organic farm, but what about on traditional farm land? I agree with Napoleon Hill’s realization that ……..
“If you can conceive of it, believe in it, then you can achieve it.”
“Humans are very powerful beings. When we set our mind to something, call in the Universal Energies to help, knowing that this would benefit the Highest Good of All, it is only a matter of time before solutions start showing up. And that is what happened. When I asked for specific help to understand something, articles showed up in my email, products showed up, courses appeared, etc. You just have to pay attention to the synchronicity and KNOW IN YOUR HEART, that this IS a benevolent Universe. Belief, faith, trust and gratitude are daily accelerators”.
Anxiously awaiting the magic bullet answer ……. I spurted out …..
“So what was the answer?”
In soft tones with confidence, Barbara explained “It all comes back to energy. Everything is made up of energy. I knew from all the healing work I had done with myself that unconditional LOVE is a super high frequency energy that can restore balance to everything. It must be able to either transform, transmute, dissolve or entrain any low frequency or discordant molecular structure to a higher frequency that is not destructive. I am not sure how it works at the energetic level. I just know it does. With this, we have the ability to clear discordant energies not only from within us, but from the bees, the land, the plants, the water, and all life. LOVE is the ultimate medicine.”
This just popped out of my mouth …. I was surprised at the question.
“Is there any science behind this?”
Smiling and nodding her head she says “Absolutely. At the 2015 EAS conference, I approached several bee researchers to consider working with Source Energy Medicines, flower essences, and warmer hive designs. Scientific papers have now been published from many countries to show that energy medicines can restore balance in all systems. Biodynamic beekeeping uses herbal tinctures to restore balance in the body. Even this has been scientifically tested with great positive results. Main stream science is starting to open its doors to holistic health alternatives. There always was lots of science to show how, say homeopathy works, but until a crisis hits, those options were not really welcomed. Even epigenetics and how the environment affects gene expression has tons of science behind it…… People and beekeepers are ready now. Consciousness is changing on the planet. People are looking for clean ways to regain their health and clean ways to live sustainably.”
She guided me to sit in a chair 5 feet from a hive and just watch the bees at the door. It was a warre hive, tall and skinny, like a tree trunk. As she explained how it worked and why the bees liked it, she sat ONE foot from the entrance and would often poke her nose closer to smell the honey being made. Watching the bees pulls you into a very relaxed state, almost a reverie.
“Given a warm home, good organic nutrition, love and respect to choose their evolutionary path forward, what organism will NOT do well?”
“Bees want to connect with humans, and work in a co-creative way with them. Each bee works for the HIGHEST GOOD of the HIVE. Bees are showing us unity consciousness.”
“Hmmmm …… sorry …….. ah what did you say? …… I am puzzled by that term ….. unity consciousness…….. never heard it before. What is that term unity conscious mean?” I pondered out loud.
Looking at her bees Barbara explained “It means that you are aware that your every thought, emotion, belief and action you take affects the whole world. Even better, you ONLY enact the thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and actions that SERVE THE HIGHEST GOOD OF ALL. The bees have it figured out.”
The foragers are coming in with lime green pollen, from the weeping willow trees. I can see the guard bees defending the hive entrance against ants wanting in for food and warmth. Some bees have their bum pointed away from the entrance and wings moving fast to scent to the flying bees that this is home. So many bees circling before they land on the landing board, it looks like a very busy airport. And they just crawl on top of each other all the time. How can they possibly get all this work done crawling over top of each other inside a dark hive?
“They are just waiting for humans to learn from them and engage with them. They love us enough to teach us the difficult lessons. I am honored to be their student. What they share with me, I share with the world.”
Two bees are at the door grooming each other. The girl ‘worker’ bees even feed the male ‘drone’ bees. Go figure!
Barbara continues “I love people. I love teaching. I love Nature. Apparently I am one of many to help society find their way back to balance and harmony with Mother Earth. My heart bursts with gratitude and love to live such a harmonious life with Gaia and all her kingdoms. I am blessed. I am living my Dharma with ease and grace.”
I could just feel the contentment she feels with her life. The bees crawl on her and she talks to them. I don’t think I have been this peaceful in a long time. It is hard to believe that I am sitting so close to a bee hive and with only love for these little Beings of loving light. Maybe I should take a course with Barbara.