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VIDEO: “There is a lot of problems with bees, we’ve all read about it in the newspaper and I really think that the brain trust of the city, these people who get hooked on beekeeping in the city may very well provide the future of beekeeping… It would not surprise me at all if the future of the honeybee itself is in urban beekeeping.

-Bryon Waibel (Her Majesty’s Secret Beekeeper)

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Photo: A swarm of bees, partly loaded with pollen, returns to its hive in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
(Frank Rumpenhorst/AFP/Getty Images)

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Beeswax Bottles Candle Set
Recycled Wood Beehouse
Cast Stone Bee Skep

Bee Tumbler

The Beekeeper’s Bible

Honeycomb Stick

Chalkboard Honey Pot

Worker B Treatment Stick

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“The World Needs More Beekeepers” – Bill Compton (True Blood)

WE AGREE!! Please help Los Angeles based non-profit HoneyLove.org raise money to protect the honeybees!!  Check out the awesome True Blood charity auction on ebay going on now through November 26th!!

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Huffington Post Article:

Kosher Honey: Making It a Sweet Rosh Hashanah With Bees


“At no time during my experience in a New York City rabbinical school did I think I would ever be donning full beekeeper regalia and watching as thousands of bees made honey on a farm in Michigan’s Amish country. But that is precisely what I found myself doing for the first time this past spring.

In addition to learning about the honey-making process, I’ve also learned about colony collapse disorder, the unexplained phenomenon of worker bees disappearing from hives causing a shortage of bee honey in recent years. I learned this from Don and Carol Ragan, a lovely couple who own the Windmill Hill Farm in Croswell (located in the “thumb” of Michigan). Carol first contacted me in February immediately after reading an article in the Detroit Free Press about Kosher Michigan, the kosher certification agency I started. She wanted to know what was involved in obtaining certification for her bee honey.

I told her that I would have to get back to her because I really wasn’t sure what it took to certify bee honey as kosher. The mere fact that bee honey is kosher is itself odd. After all, it is a product of the non-kosher bee (no insects except for certain locust species are deemed kosher by the Torah). So, how can a product of a non-kosher animal be kosher? It is believed that honey is kosher since it is produced outside of the body of the bee. But that isn’t totally true. In actuality, bees suck nectar from flowers with their proboscis (mouth) and this nectar mixes with saliva and is swallowed into the honey sac, where enzymes from the saliva break down the nectar into honey. The nectar is never digested, but rather transformed into honey by the saliva. The honey is regurgitated when the bee returns to the hive and the water is evaporated, thereby thickening it into honey which is then sealed in the honeycomb. The rabbis of the Talmud explain that bee honey is kosher since it is not an actual secretion of the bee, but rather the bee functions as a carrier and facilitator of the honey-making process.

All of this is interesting because honey is a staple food of the Jewish New Year’s holiday of Rosh Hashanah, which begins this year on Wednesday, Sept. 28… Among the familiar traditions of Rosh Hashanah are the dipping of apple slices in honey and eating honey cake…

“We’re passionate about making honey,” said Carol Ragan. “When we first discovered hives on our Croswell farm we were excited to experiment with making honey. We never realized how much we would come to enjoy it or how much of a market there is for honey products.”

Even with colony collapse disorder, beekeeping is on the rise throughout the country. New York City legalized recreational beekeeping last year, and even Michelle Obama had a beehive installed outside the White House.

…While the Bible describes Israel as “the land flowing with milk and honey,” it was more than likely referring to date honey. Bees were not common in Israel thousands of years ago, but today Israel has about 500 beekeepers with approximately 90,000 beehives that produce more than 3,500 tons of honey annually.

The basis of using honey in baked goods and dipping apples into honey on Rosh Hashanah is to have a sweet year. While the secular New Year is kicked off with toasts of champagne, the Jewish New Year is launched with the sweet taste of honey. And maybe a little sugar high too.”

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

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HONEYCOMB RING

jBare Design donates a portion of the profits from their honeycomb ring to
The Center for Pollinator Research
and the study of Colony Collapse Disorder.

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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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