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Tag Archives | beeswax

Bees help make raspberries in Kenya

“A few days ago I visited a friend of mine who runs a farm on the outskirts of Nairobi. Su Kahumbu is an organic farmer who does amazing work with farmers across Kenya promoting sustainable agriculture and innovation…

One of the crops growing at her beautiful model farm are raspberries.

These delicious fruits are one of my favourite desserts… And of course in order to have raspberries on the table you need to have raspberry bushes. The raspberry bushes have flowers that need to be pollinated in order for the beautiful and yummy fruit to develop…

Raspberry flowers are composite flowers – which means that they are actually made up of many tiny individual flowers all joined together.

In order for a flower to set fruit, it needs to be pollinated. On Su’s farm these free services are provided to her raspberry bushes by several different kinds of bees. One of the most common pollinators is the honeybee…

As these are composite flowers, every single tiny individual flower, called a floret, needs to be visited and gently dusted with pollen by a bee. Otherwise there will be no fruits produced.

…The quality, shape, flavour and size of the raspberry fruit are all directly tied to the efficiency of the pollinators. Too little pollen and the fruit is pale, small and not very sweet. It takes many visits by many bees to make a fruit round and sweet..

It is the actions of all these bees who make the delicious raspberries happen!

Please think of the bees that put the food on your table next time you enjoy some raspberries for breakfast or dessert…”

[Click here to read the full article on NationalGeographic.com]

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Los Angeles Councilmember Bill Rosendahl addressing the crowd last Saturday at HoneyLove’s National Honey Bee Awareness Day Event!!

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HONEY FARM” - by LUSH

If you are not familiar with LUSH yet – check them out – they are awesome!

I first encountered LUSH when I went to a Tails for Whales event they put on with Kristin Bauer from HBO’s True Blood. AND just recently… Kristin Bauer started buzzing for the BEES!!

You can check out the little video I put together for IFAW’s event below:

IFAW event @ LUSH from Chelsea McFarland on Vimeo.

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EVERYONE GET EXCITED – SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL HONEYBEE AWARENESS MONTH!!! 

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i <3 bees

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White House Garden Yields a Ton of Produce, Literally!

“Back in 2009, Michelle Obama had a vision to create a garden at the White House. With the help of school children and Sam Kass, assistant White House chef and senior policy adviser for healthy food initiatives, Mrs. Obama’s dream became a reality. The start-up cost for the garden that now graces the South Lawn was $200 and it has produced over 2,000 pounds of produce to date in a 1,500 square foot space.

The produce created at the White House includes a variety of vegetables (lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, etc.) and an abundance of fresh herbs (cilantro, rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme, etc.).

According to Sam Kass, the veggies are not certified organic, but no pesticides are used. Kass tells Better Homes and Gardens, “– we use natural controls. We have ladybugs and praying mantises — they do a pretty good job of keeping our garden pest-free.” 

Veggies produced on the South Lawn garden go to more than just the dinner table at the White House. What doesn’t get stored, canned, or pickled goes to homeless shelters, the Navy mess that feeds the West Wing staff, and to the kitchen for State Dinners.

Michelle Obama has promoted, encouraged, and succeeded in showcasing a healthy food agenda with her White House garden. In addition to her garden, she has also added honeybees to the South Lawn which provide pollination for the garden and, of course, honey, a fabulous alternative to sugar.”

Click here to read the article on ecorazzi.com

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Water Meter Bees

Today Chelsea and I rescued a hive from a water meter in Chase Park in Marina Del Rey with fellow Backward Beekeeper Susan. Susan is a violinist in the Marina Del Rey Orchestra and noticed the bees coming out of the meter after a rehearsal. She contacted the park administration and asked them if we could rescue the bees. They didn’t know about Susan’s bees, but they had planned to call vector control to have another 3 hives in the park exterminated (“foamed”). They were happy to let us rescue the bees.

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I thought it was going to be a fairly small hive because these water meters are checked every few months. Well, this one must have gone awhile because when I cracked the lid, I discovered at least a 6 month old hive. 

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We worked quickly to cut out the comb from the water meter, brush the bees into a nuc box and tie the comb into frames. 

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This was Susan’s first cut-out and she did a great job. Ken, our park supervisor, was intrigued with the whole process, paying careful attention to our every move. He even got his first ever bee sting and could have cared less. 

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None of us could believe how many bees came out of this little water meter. After we brushed the queen into one of the nucs, it was like a stampede to get in. The entrance hole soon clogged, forcing the bees to pack another four nucs to the gills. In the end, we rescued every single bee, saving these prolific little creatures from the foam. 

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“What’s killing the bees? —my question has shifted more towards, “Good lord, what doesn’t kill bees”

“…Colony Collapse Disorder is a problem. But it isn’t the problem. Instead, it’s just a great big insult piled on top of an already rising injury rate. Saving the honeybee isn’t just about figuring out CCD. Bees were already in trouble before that came along. “ 

Maggie Koerth-Baker

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“Welcome to the world, baby bee.”

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1993 Slovenia Moneta Coin Apis Mellifera

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