This small book, a hidden gem that has never before appeared in English, is essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of the honey bee and the future of humanity.
IWER THOR LORENZEN (1895-1976) was born in Harrislee Flensburg, Germany, and began his career as a teacher in 1914. Whilst serving in the First World War, he became acquainted with anthroposophy – as founded by Rudolf Steiner – through a fellow soldier. After the war he returned to teaching, later moving into special education. He set up his own school near Hamburg in 1949, where he remained until his retirement. Having worked as a volunteer in the Zoological State Institute in Hamburg from 1935 onwards, Lorenzen was also a biologist who was revered for his love and knowledge of beekeeping, particularly amongst biodynamic farmers. He published his key work on beekeeping in 1938 and wrote another nine books as well as numerous articles on the insect and animal world, metamorphosis and evolution.
The honey bee has lived in close association with human beings for millennia. Tragically, however, humanity’s once intimate connection with this unique creature has been harmed by our increasingly utilitarian and exploitative dealings with the natural world. We are now in urgent need of re-establishing a deeper relationship, not just for the sake of the bees themselves but for the whole of nature – and of course for ourselves.
Lorenzen – a true master beekeeper – provides numerous insights to enable a more fruitful engagement with the living world. Offering an enrichment of the knowledge and practice of beekeeping, he discusses the origins of the honey bee, its relationship to the floral kingdom, the digestion of the bee, the treatment of bee diseases as well as appropriate beekeeping techniques. He also develops subtle spiritual concepts such as the idea of the bee colony as an ‘individuality’ and ‘group-soul’, providing new depth and wisdom to our understanding of how bees live and work.