Archive for September, 2010

A better place for us all

There is something palpable about these new MacArthur Fellows, about their character as explorers and pioneers at the cutting edge. These are women and men improving, protecting, and making our world a better place for us all. “   ~~ Daniel J. Socolow, Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program

Big news for the honeybee.

Earlier today, Marla Spivak, an entomologist from the University of Minnesota who is studying the impacts of nutrition, pesticides, and bee diseases on bee health, was named a 2010 MacArthur Fellow.  These so-called Genius Grants provide $500,000 to each fellow, with no strings attached.

Go Marla!

It’s nice to see people who are working to solve the mystery of colony collapse get a little recognition … and support!

Finding the answer will definitely make the world a better place for us all.


Letters to the Melissae – Food of the Gods

In Ancient Greek mythology and religion, the term Melissae sometimes referred to honey nymphs (also called Meliae) and later became a term that also encompassed several sects of priestess, including the Delphic oracle.  Letters to the Melissae is a series of posts on the spiritual, mythological and folkloric legacy of the ancient relationship between honeybees and human beings.  Photo found here.

Honey at the Table

It fills you with the soft
essence of vanished flowers, it becomes
a trickle sharp as a hair that you follow
from the honey pot over the table

and out the door and over the ground,
and all the while it thickens,

grows deeper and wilder, edged
with pine boughs and wet boulders,
pawprints of bobcat and bear, until

deep in the forest you
shuffle up some tree, you rip the bark,

you float into and swallow the dripping combs,
bits of the tree, crushed bees – - – a taste
composed of everything lost, in which everything lost is found.

- Mary Oliver

Read the rest of this entry →


27

09 2010

That buzzing-noise means something …

“That buzzing-noise means something. If there’s a buzzing noise, somebody’s making a buzzing-noise, and the only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you’re a bee … and the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey … and the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.” ~~ Winnie the Pooh

I love Pooh.  Really, I do.  But as Piglet says, “Pooh hasn’t much Brain.”  So, as National Honey Month comes to a close, I’d like to point out a few other amazing things that honeybees do that give us humans more reasons to love them.  As if making honey (the only food produced by an insect that is eaten by man, by the way) and doing the lionshare of pollinating food crops wasn’t enough! Read the rest of this entry →


5 Honey Hacks

As you know, September is National Honey Month.  Here are five “honey hacks” to help you make the most of your honey.

  1. Has your honey crystallized? Crystallized honey can be liquefied by slowly heating it for up to a minute.
  2. Out of sugar? Use honey!  Since honey is up to twice as sweet as table sugar, use half the amount in honey.
  3. Cooking with honey? To help honey slide off your measuring spoon, simply coat it with vegetable spray first.
  4. Have a minor skin burn? Research shows that honey is an effective treatment for minor burns. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties may promote healing. So if consider reaching for some honey in lieu of burn creme.
  5. Out of moisturizer? It’s said that Cleopatra maintained her beauty with honey and milk baths.  Honey is a humectant, which means that it attracts water and, as a result, is an ideal skin moisturizer.  Apply honey to your face and let it sit for about 15 minutes.

14

09 2010

Thank you Häagen Daz for the Honeybee Haven!

Thank you Häagen-Dazs for the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at UC Davis, which is scheduled to open on September 11th.  The Haven will not only serve as a research and pollinating facility but as a tool to raise awareness about the plight of honey bees.  As the Sacramento Bee has reported, “America is losing its honey bees at an alarming rate for unknown reasons. Last winter, an estimated 33.8 percent of commercial hives died out.”

A map of the Haven.

In addition to honey bees, other bee species are benefiting.  It’s been reported that over 55 types of bees are already calling the Haven home including fuzzy bumble bees, metallic sweat bees, wood-dwelling carpenter bees and solitary mason bees. Read the rest of this entry →


Late Summer’s Garden Delight… Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Edo Shibori’: Beautiful Bush Clover, Buzzing with Bees

Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Edo Shibori’ (bi-colored bush clover) A Bee’s Delight from Late Summer through Mid-Autumn

Ever notice how there always seems to be at least one hopping joint in every town, where the locals routinely gather for their morning coffee or to grab a quick bite at lunch? Yesterday afternoon, I met up with a friend at a just-such a café, and as usual, it was just buzzing with activity. I thought about that place this morning, when I went outside to water the pots on my terrace; noting that my garden has a similar hot-spot. Popular with all the busy bees, my bush clover, (Lespedeza thunbergii), is conveniently situated at a busy garden intersection, between the long perennial borders and the wildflower meadow. From dawn-to-dusk, this elegant-but-relaxed place is just packed with bees and butterflies. The nectar must be very sweet indeed… Read the rest of this entry →


07

09 2010

5 Reasons To Get A Taste For Local Honey

Photo by jfschmit

September is National Honey Month. It’s an ideal time to celebrate honey and indulge in your craving for this sweet and viscous food known as “liquid gold.”  While indulging, why not focus on local honey, or honey made as close as possible to your home?  Here are five potent reasons to step away from the generic honey bear at your local supermarket and instead reach for a jar (or more!) of local honey. Read the rest of this entry →


01

09 2010