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Tag Archives | honey love

Breakfast without Bees?

“Without honeybees, many foods included in the breakfast [on top] would become too rare for most people to afford. Shortages would affect an array of fruits, as well as jams and jellies, almonds and even milk, because dairies use alfalfa (which needs pollinators) as a protein-rich feed for dairy cows.” – ScientificAmerican.com

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“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” 
-Albert Einstein

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gardendog:

Cat House Cut-Out

I responded to a call on the Backwards Beekeepers rescue hotline last week when a guy got back from an extended trip to Mexico to find that bees had taken up residence in his cat’s house on the balcony of his Marina del Rey apartment. He returned home to find his balcony covered in dead bees and peeled back a rolled up carpet to find the hive bulging out of the fabric cat house. Penniless from his vacation, he plied my conservation guilt to take the bees off his hands gratis. In cases where I don’t have to drive very far, I often find myself making this bargain, though as my beekeeping expenses add up, I find myself a little resentful of the exterminators making hundreds to kill or remove the “pests.” At any rate, I digress. 

The morning after picking up the bees from the balcony, I brought them to a couple’s house I had met on a previous rescue. As vegans, they have no interest in the honey, but they know that the urban environment is the future for the honeybee and were only happy to make their beautifully landscaped backyard available to my cat house bees. 

This was my first cut-out, and like all firsts, I made a few mistakes. The first mistake was that I did it by myself. Probably could have used someone with some experience in my ear, but I figured I had read enough and watched enough videos…not so much. The second mistake was that on my first cut-out, I elected to move the bees into a top-bar hive I had just built. The hive in itself wasn’t the problem – it was built to spec with wood molding for comb guides. The problem was tying in the salvaged comb. It did not want to cooperate at all. In the end, completely covered in honey, pollen and all things sticky, I was able to make it work but it wasn’t without tremendous effort. The final mistake I made was briefly unzipping my veil just a fraction of an inch. It was just enough time for a bee to shoot the gap and sting me between the eyes. It actually didn’t hurt all that bad, but later that night my face had swelled up pretty good. I woke up the next morning looking like a Navi from Avatar. 

The best part of the entire experience came when I found the queen in a pile of bees on the ground. I held out my finger for her and she walked right on. I then held my finger just inside the top bars and she instantly rejoined her compadres. 

I was also able to harvest a Mason jar full of fresh, raw honey. Nothing has ever tasted quite so sweet. This was easily one of the best, most educational experiences of my life. Can’t wait for the next cut-out, though no matter how itchy my nose gets, I’m staying zipped up :)

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WHO: Laguna Bees
WHAT: NEW BEEKEEPERS! 
WHERE: Laguna Beach

from lagunabees blog:

Day 1- Beekeepers Extraordinaire (well at least we like to think so)

Rob and Chelsea went last night and rescued our new swarm from a pine tree over looking the water in Pacific Palisades. Rob captured them in a one foot square cardboard box and had duct taped the flaps so that the bees were locked in for the night. 

Rob and I nailed and glued the 2 hive boxes and 20 frames and then we put on our beekeeper suits. The photo below is of us – just before Rob cut open the cardboard and got the bees settled into their new hive. It’s on the deck facing north so they can “enjoy” the afternoon sun and cool sea breezes. 

The colorful gardens below have a huge variety of native plants and trees including sage, lavender, mint, goldenrod, daisies, bougainvillea, pine, yucca, olive and many more. 

Leslie and I hope our transplanted bees like their new home… can’t imagine its TOO hard to adapt from their ocean view in Pacific Palisades to their brand new home overlooking the ocean in Laguna Beach. Rob says we have a 50% chance they’ll stay. He said it usually takes about three weeks to know…. personally I think they already know that they have found “the good life”.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-5JzZyTtH6oo/TezhYgYOf8I/AAAAAAAATCg/qn2sdMz6Cf4/tumblr_lmc5ozolOW1ql40bmo1_500.jpeg

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gardendog Honeylove Swarm Capture

“When a swarm of honeybees showed up at my work, my colleagues were eager to get in on the action. Everyone pitched in – from keeping track of the roving swarm and talking to the neighbors, to helping me get to the bees and bravely documenting the capture. 

All the bees made their way into the box, and luckily just a day before I’d built a top-bar hive for a friend who Chelsea persuaded to let us keep bees in his backyard. Later that evening Chelsea and I showed up to his house with a buzzing box, and after some assurances (*and a tiny amount of peer pressure) we installed the bees successfully.

We checked up on them a little over a week later and they were already building lots of comb and looking happy. We’ll see in a couple of week if they choose to stick around in my DIY top bar hive. Check back to see how the CG bees take to their new home.”

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gardendog: Honeylove Swarm Capture

“Chelsea and I drove out to Glendale a couple of weeks ago to respond to a couple calls on the Backwards Beekeepers rescue hotline and were able to capture two beautiful swarms. And just in time too. The exterminator showed up just as I was boxing up the second swarm from the hedge in front of a triplex. He wasn’t thrilled about missing the opportunity to bill his client, but was happy that the bees would be given a new home. Apparently this wasn’t the first time the Backwards Beekeepers beat him to a swarm.”

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I need it… when the moon is bright
I need it… when you hold me tight
I need it… in the middle of the night
I need your HONEY LOVE

http://images.we7.com/image/182x182/12526.jpg

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Vegan Beekeeping
by blog.lagusta.com

The vegan ethic is complex and nuanced.  Any vegan that says otherwise is itching for a (respectful, intelligent, I hope) fight.  So I may as well be calling this piece, ‘It’s actually impossible to be vegan, but we are all doing our best.’  To me, veganism is about trying to live in harmony with the planet.  My beekeeping is not an exception to my veganism.  It is a well-thought out amendment. It might even make me a better vegan, depending on how much of this you follow along with.

Still, I am a beekeeper and I am a vegan and that is a sticking point for about 50% of the vegans I know.  This is my attempt to explain my position.  I am vegan because I deeply care about animal rights.  I dig the other benefits, but in my heart, I believe eating animals is wrong. My purpose for saying so is that it needs to be clear from the start that I really care about bees. I am not arguing that I think killing bees or treating them with anything but the utmost respect is OK.  I don’t keep bees because they fall outside of my deeply felt consideration.  In fact, I think bees are amazing… 

Whenever I think about the shortcomings of the human species, I always end up being reminded of the near perfection of bees.  Selfless, female-dominated, self-reliant, dancing, mysterious bees.

Human life as we know it is dependent on bees. It is true that there are wild bee populations; but they are dying. It is a widely held belief within the beekeeping community, and those educated about what commercial beekeeping has done to the world’s bee population, that small-scale “backyard beekeepers” hold the key to preserving disease resistant stock that can survive to pollinate all the foods upon which vegans and non-vegans rely. About 1/3 of the human diet can be traced back to bee pollinated foods…

The point is vegans need plants, and plants need bees.  And bees make honey.

Click here to read the full blog post

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WHO: Eric Tourneret
WHAT: “The Bee Photographer”
WHERE: thehoneygatherers.com 
WHY: “I grew up in a village on a mountainside above Annecy. When I learned about the dying out of the bees, my instinct as a child of the countryside told me something was wrong in our relationship with nature. I chose to commit myself to the bee and pass on the idea of a living nature.”

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Honeybees ‘entomb’ pollen to protect against pesticides

By sealing up cells full of contaminated pollen, bees appear to be attempting to protect the rest of the hive. 

Honeybees are taking emergency measures to protect their hives from pesticides, in an extraordinary example of the natural world adapting swiftly to our depredations, according to a prominent bee expert. 

Scientists have found numerous examples of a new phenomenon –bees “entombing” or sealing up hive cells full of pollen to put them out of use, and protect the rest of the hive from their contents. The pollen stored in the sealed-up cells has been found to contain dramatically higher levels of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals than the pollen stored in neighboring cells, which is used to feed growing young bees. 

“This is a novel finding, and very striking. The implication is that the bees are sensing [pesticides] and actually sealing it off. They are recognizing that something is wrong with the pollen and encapsulating it,” said Jeff Pettis, an entomologist with the US Department of Agriculture. “Bees would not normally seal off pollen.” 

But the bees’ last-ditch efforts to save themselves appear to be unsuccessful – the entombing behaviour is found in many hives that subsequently die off, according to Pettis. “The presence of entombing is the biggest single predictor of colony loss. It’s a defence mechanism that has failed.” These colonies were likely to already be in trouble, and their death could be attributed to a mix of factors in addition to pesticides, he added… 

Bees naturally collect from plants a substance known as propolis, a sort of sticky resin with natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities. It is used by bees to line the walls of their hives, and to seal off unwanted or dangerous substances – for instance, mice that find their way into hives and die are often found covered in propolis. This is the substance bees are using to entomb the cells. 

Click here to read the full article – Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent

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