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Greek cities often used animals as identifying symbols on their coins…

The bee was associated with Ephesus for many reasons. According to the writer Philostratos, Imagines 2.8, the Athenians who came to colonize Ionia, where Ephesus is located, were led by the Muses, who took the shape of bees. Artemis’ priestesses were called melissai or “bees” of the goddess (Inschriften von Ephesus 2109), and were directed by “king bees” (essenes), priests who served a year-long term under strict rules of purity (Pausanias 8.13.1); the ancient Greeks and Romans didn’t realize that the leader of a beehive is a queen, not a king.

When the Ephesian Artemis appears in her stiff Anatolian format, bees are often shown on her belt or tight skirt. Indeed, D.G. Hogarth, who excavated the earliest levels of the sanctuary found gold ornaments, some in the shape of bees, that could have been attached to an image’s garments. Some scholars trace the Ephesian Artemis back to an earlier Anatolian goddess whom the Hittites called Hannahanna, who sent a bee to wake up the god Telepinu from sleep/death. On Ephesus’ early silver coins, the bee appears alone on the obverse, with only an incuse stamp on the reverse. 

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Article by N’ann Harp:

“When early colonists first sailed to the New World in the 1620s, they brought along their cherished European honey bees, introducing Apis mellifera to the North American continent. Here, while sowing the seeds of statehood, our pioneer forebears continued to practice the customs of rural England, where honey bees had long been treated as family members. “Telling the bees” about births, marriages and deaths and including them in special occasions was part of the fabric of family life.

“Today, small-scale, organic beekeeping is making a timely comeback, with renewed interest in and respect for these lost arts from a simpler time…

Humans share with honey bees an ancient, intimate and symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit. Although the fossil records indicate that honey bees were thriving on the planet for an estimated 70 million years prior to the appearance of man, human beings and these highly-evolved social insects quickly developed an enduring affinity for each other.

Our interconnectedness goes back at least 10,000 years, when humans began to record their honey-hunting activities in charcoal and chalk pictographs on cave walls. Honey was a valuable food source for our ancestors and they collected it avidly.

As the hunter-gatherer societies settled into self-sustaining family groups, small garden plots became a familiar center of agriculture and social stability. Honey bees adapted to the increasingly organized agricultural system, attracted to the flowering fruit and vegetable crops that sustained their own hive and honey production needs. In return, the bees enhanced pollination and increased harvest yields for their human partners.

Over the intervening millennia, this interspecies friendship has evolved into the practices of modern beekeeping, generating dozens of crop-specific industries. Roughly 100 of the world’s favorite food crops are now directly reliant upon honeybee pollination, which translates to about 40 percent of the human diet.

Today, however, the very capacity for cross-species cooperation that gave rise to the human-honeybee relationship has also given rise to a host of unintended consequences, including a phenomenon dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder, in which resident honey bees simply vanish from hives.

Something is seriously wrong and scientists are stumped. Some observers call the situation the “perfect storm” of circumstances, which includes the proliferation of pesticide and chemical use in mono-crop production; poor queen breeding practices; loss of genetic diversity; immune system weaknesses; global trade expansion, introducing alien pests against which local bees haven’t had time to develop resistance; mystery viruses; and the usual pests, threats and challenges of sustaining healthy, resilient colonies that can produce strong queen bees.

Hope for saving the world’s hardest-working pollinator may lie in finding ways to dramatically increase honeybee research funding, which is being decreased in some states, due to budget cuts…

A powerfully positive alternative action, encouraged by under-funded researchers, is for private individuals to take up small-scale beekeeping.

“An army of amateur beekeepers could become part of an eventual solution by helping to collect field data in a wide array of microclimates and conditions,” suggests David Tarpy, Ph.D., the state apiculturist and an associate professor of entomology at North Carolina State University…”

Click here to read the full article by N’ann Harp on voflnatural.com

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Just made up a new case of RAW ORGANIC LOCAL HONEY from our honeybee rescues 
to give to our HoneyLove sponsors!

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“Bees figure prominently in mythology and have been used by political theorists as a model for human society. Journalist Bee Wilson states that the image of a community of honey bees “occurs from ancient to modern times, in Aristotle and Plato; in Virgil and Seneca; in Erasmus and ShakespeareTolstoy, as well as by social theorists Bernard Mandeville and Karl Marx.”

Despite the honey bee’s painful sting and the stereotype of insects as pests, bees are generally held in high regard. This is most likely due to their usefulness as pollinators and as producers of honey, their social nature, and their reputation for diligence. Bees are one of the few insects regularly used on advertisements, being used to illustrate honey and foods made with honey (such as Honey Nut Cheerios).

In ancient Egypt, the bee was seen to symbolize the lands of Lower Egypt, with the Pharaoh being referred to as “He of Sedge and Bee” (the sedge representing Upper Egypt).

In North Americayellow jackets and hornets, especially when encountered as flying pests, are often misidentified as bees, despite numerous differences between them.

Although a bee sting can be deadly to those with allergies, virtually all bee species are non-aggressive if undisturbed and many cannot sting at all. Humans are often a greater danger to bees, as bees can be affected or even harmed by encounters with toxic chemicals in the environment (see also bees and toxic chemicals).”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee

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‘Citizen Scientists’ To Help Gauge Wild Bee Population

Scientist Gretchen LeBuhn is trying to save the nation’s wild bee population. But to achieve her goal, she’s resorting to some unconventional means, namely the help of ordinary citizens from across the country.

On Saturday 100,000 ‘citizen scientist’ volunteers will spend about 15 minutes counting the number of bees that visit “lemon queen” sunflowers they’ve planted following instructions on LeBuhn’s website,www.greatsunflower.com. Participants will monitor the flowers for bees twice monthly through the end of the summer, uploading the information into a central database.

Studies have shown that pollinators affect 35 percent of the world’s crop production, but climate change and a little-understood phenomenon called “colony collapse disorder” are threatening honey bees, a key pollinator. Though researchers have reported a drastic decline in the populations of domesticated honeybees since at least 2006, the statistics on wild bees have remained more elusive.

LeBuhn hopes the new data will help scientists identify where native bee populations are doing well and where they’re doing poorly. Hopefully, the hundreds of thousands of sunflowers planted by volunteers will have the added benefits of providing wild bees with an enriched and expanded habitat.

“We’re really leveraging science dollars to do a survey we could never do using traditional methods,” said LeBuhn, an associate professor at San Francisco State University. “It would just be incredibly cost prohibitive. I was thinking of sending my grad students up to Napa [County] and having them count bees,” she added. “But to do that at any bigger scale than one county would be impossible. So it’s amazing to get all these people participating.”

Participants don’t need to know whether the bee they’re watching is a bumblebee, a carpenter bee or a honeybee, LeBuhn said, though a guide available on her website can help with identification.

There are more than 4,000 different species of native bees in North America, according to Science Daily, but many of them have already disappeared. LeBuhn says that of the nine species of bumblebees known to live in the San Francisco area, researchers have only been able to find four of them in recent years.

Click here to read the full article by by Lucia Graves on huffingtonpost.com

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People fear that if there’s a beehive on their rooftop, they’ll be stung… [but] Honeybees are interested in water, pollen and nectar… The real danger is the skewed public perception of the danger of honeybees.

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Bug Girl writes:

I love books, and I love words, so I was excited to find an website that specializes in breaking down the origins of common catch phrases.  Today’s phrase: The Bee’s Knees.

According to that site (and a few other sources), references to “bee knees” occasionally occurred in the early 1900?s:  ’Bee’s knees’ began to be used in early 20th century America. Initially, it was just a nonsense expression that denoted something that didn’t have any meaningful existence…..That meaning is apparent in a spoof report in the New Zealand newspaper The West Coast Times in August 1906, which listed the cargo carried by the SS Zealandia as ‘a quantity of post holes, 3 bags of treacle and 7 cases of bees’ knees’…… Zane Grey’s 1909 story, The Shortstop, has a city slicker teasing a yokel by questioning him about make-believe farm products:

“How’s yer ham trees? Wal, dog-gone me! Why, over in Indianer our ham trees is sproutin’ powerful. An’ how about the bee’s knees? Got any bee’s knees this Spring?”

Pretty much everything I’ve read, though, agrees that the likely popularization of the phrase really occurred in the 1920?s, the period of the flappers.  ”Bee’s knees” is part of a fashion for nonsense rhyming slang from the Roaring 20sThe common feature of the slang expressions was mention of an animal part with some alliteration thrown in.  Some of my favorites:  ”elephant’s adenoids”, “caterpillar’s kimono”, “gnat’s elbows”, “kipper’s knickers”, and “eel’s ankle”.  You have probably heard another phrase that’s survived from that period:  ”The Cat’s Pajamas.”

All of these phrases generally translate to what, today, would be said as “Awesome!” (Although I suspect there is a newer word for that, but I’m just too old and un-hip to know about it.)

The phrase occurs in print in several places in the US in 1922; Newspapers published “Flapper Dictionaries” to explain the strange and baffling lingo of those damn kids.   There is a reference to the term in a Flapper Dictionary from Missouri in 1922; The Newark Advocate, (Ohio) in a 1922 piece printed:

“That’s what you wonder when you hear a flapper chatter in typical flapper language. ‘Apple Knocker,’ for instance. And ‘Bees Knees.’ That’s flapper talk. This lingo will be explained in the woman’s page under the head of Flapper Dictionary.”

Alas, while the concept of the phrase referring to the collection of pollen on actual bees’ knees is appealing, it appears not to be the case.

If you want to have a fun 20?s flashback, here’s some Harold Lloyd driving around NYC.

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Backwards Beekeepers: Hollywood Hills cut-out

Backwards Beekeepers: Hollywood Hills cut-out

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Solace by James Zanoni 

Shot on a Canon 7D. Red Rock Micro Custom Rig | Canon 50mm 1.4 | 17-40mm 4 | 100mm 2.8 macro 

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EXCITING NEWS:
Today we started setting up a “Bee Nirvana” next to this private bass pond!

The space was generously donated to us by Dr. Robert Cassar to create a
HoneyLove Sanctuary for the Rescued Honeybees of Los Angeles.

Thank you Jeremy for the introduction… and thank you Adam for your help!
….stay tuned for more details and photos!

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