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Tag Archives | beeswax

“The four major inventions transforming beekeeping from a sideline interest to an industry appeared within a fifteen-year span: the moveable frame hive (1851), the wax comb foundation (1857), the centrifugal honey extractor (1865), and the bellows smoker (1873).”

Rev. Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth = Bee Space / Langstroth Hive
Johannes Mehring = Wax Foundation
Fransesco de Hruschka = Extractor
Moses Quinby = Smoker 

 [via Bees in America - How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation]

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HONEYLOVE <3

[photo via Angela Giorg]

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[via teetoo] “Bumblebee on a blue lupin in my garden”

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WE LIKE YOU TOO!!! Thanks so much for your support!!

http://www.facebook.com/honeylove.org

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Born to bee wild: How feral pollinators may help prevent colony collapse disorder
By Enrique Gili

According to the Department of Agriculture, CCD has accounted, at least in part, ?for 30 percent of bee losses annually, since 2007. It’s also jeopardizing beekeepers, rural economies, and the farm communities that depend on those bees. Worldwide honeybees pollinate 400 crops, while adding an estimated $15 billion in revenues per year to the U.S. farm economy.

Despite their pastoral image, the burden placed on the domesticated honeybees is a weighty one. Bred for their non-aggressive demeanor and ample honey production, they’re also expected to help propagate tens upon of thousands of acres of flower-pollinated crops on farms throughout the U.S. and Europe.

As scientists and beekeepers have been literally and figuratively? beating the bushes to understand CCD, they’ve often turned to the? role genetic diversity plays in the overall health of bee colonies. And recent research published in the peer-reviewed science journal PLoS ONE suggests honeybees are as adverse to monogamy as they are to monocrops.? In fact, mixing it up, so to speak, can yield unexpected and surprising benefits for honeybee populations. Honeybees — whether feral or domesticated — need variety. Not only do worker bees spend their waking hours hopping from plant to plant, but some queen bees are also promiscuous, mating with multiple males in a brief period of time. And, as it turns out, there’s a biological rationale for this promiscuity; the overall fitness of the hive depends upon these multiple partners.

“Most bees, ants, and wasps mate singly. Honeybee queens are different ?in that regard — producing highly productive hives that dominate their landscape,” says Heather Mattila, a researcher at Wellesley College.

In the study published in PLoS ONE, Mattila and her co-author Irene Newton found that bees — like humans and other species — depend on helpful bacteria to aid in digestion. And the genetically diverse bee colonies they studied had a significantly greater number of probiotic species living in their guts than the more uniform hives. Moreover, the uniform beehives were 127 percent more likely to contain harmful pathogens than their more diverse counterparts.

“We’ve never known how genetic diversity leads to healthier bees, but this ?study provides strong clues,” says Matilla.
 

…not that there’s one simple fix for CCD. Diversity is just one part of the equation. “A lot has to do with pesticides and nutrition,” Cobey adds. “The amazing thing about bees is they bounce back [for a while]. But at some point they collapse.”

Scientists and beekeepers alike are working furiously to prevent that from happening. But in the meantime, it might be wise to ask: What if we turned back the clock on agricultural production and allowed honeybees to forage and frolic more freely?

[click here to read the full article on grist.org]

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HoneyLove + Borage
Random fact of the day… did you know that borage refills with nectar every 2 minutes!!

“According to old wives’ tales, borage was sometimes smuggled into the drink of prospective husbands to give them the courage to propose marriage.” [via Mary Campbell, A Basket of Herbs]

“Bristly or hairy all over the stems and leaves…the flowers are complete, perfect with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals… Traditionally borage was cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today commercial cultivation is mainly as an oilseed… [Borage] has a sweet honey-like taste and as one of the few truly blue-colored edible substances, is often used to decorate dessert.” [via Wikipedia]

Photo credit: HoneyLover John Fedorowicz

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ARTICLE: Beekeeping: a hive of activity for the young

“’The bottom line is that understanding the bee is a way to understand nature – the pollination process and the food chain,” says Andrew Pendleton, head of the Bee Cause campaign. “Surprisingly enough, bees are flourishing in urban environments. This could be due to the lower amounts of pesticides used in cities, or the fact that bee-friendly gardens are clustered together, so bees do not need to travel as far.”

“Beekeeping is incredibly popular among the young,” he says. “At BuzzWorks we allow them to collect the honey, and dip their hand in warm wax and watch it congeal into a glove. Our observation hive has them completely absorbed, watching the steady movement of the bees and pointing out the queen. It is an opportunity for them to learn where their food comes from.”

It is important, he says, that people learn to bond with bees in their childhood. “When people become young adults, they might put beekeeping to the back of their minds,” he says. “But later, when they reach their thirties and are a bit more established, they might recall their first experiences and take it up again. That’s why providing that early exposure is so vital.”

Article by Jake Wallis Simons | Photos by MARTIN POPE
[click here to view the full article on telegraph.co.uk

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Bees at work, the ‘waggle dance’

“They dance a special dance usually performed on a vertical surface of the hive, communicating the direction of a potential food source and its distance from the hive to other bees around… The distance the food source is from the hive is represented by the proportion of time the bee spends wagging its tail in the dance and the direction is represented by the angle to the vertical the bee adopts for the wagging portion of the dance…”

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Sleeping Bear Farms
Chipley, Florida

[weyouwant]

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