• Letters to the Melissae – Storytelling the Bees

    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. 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 […]

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  • Nature is Quite Forgiving

    Reflections on Nature and Recovery I walked to the back 40 this morning with my two teenage sons and our very excited family dog to pick blackberries. As I reached into the thorny bush to gently massage a clump of juicy ripe berries, I was struck with the thought of how quickly nature heals herself […]

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  • Bee poems: Oh, for a bee’s experience of clovers and of noon! (A bee poem by Emily Dickinson)

    THE BEE by Emily Dickinson Like trains of cars on tracks of plush I hear the level bee: A jar across the flowers goes, Their velvet masonry Withstands until the sweet assault Their chivalry consumes, While he, victorious, tilts away To vanquish other blooms.

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  • Butterfly Weed (Aesclepias Tuberosa): Bold, Beautiful and the Life of the Midsummer Garden Party

    Bring color and bees to your garden with the Butterfly Weed Oh to be a butterfly! Just imagine fluttering upon the delightful butterfly weed blossom; saturated in golden-orange color and loaded with sweet nectar. What a feast! Why I’d flit from flower to flower, happily sharing precious pollen with hovering hummingbirds and buzzing bees, from […]

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  • Leave Me the Birds and the Bees, Please

    Italy bans the use of neonicotinoid pesticides to protect bees. “Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT.  I don’t care about spots on my apples.  Just leave me the birds and the bees, please.” Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell Did you see this little news item that ran back in May:  “Italy Bans Pesticide for […]

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  • Penstemon, Rudbeckia and Veronica: An Easy, Breezy, Flowering Combination for Mid-Summer Meadow Gardens

    Gardening for bees and humans alike: black-eyed Susan, sky-blue speedwell, and beard’s tongue Bees buzzing in the garden, sun-tea brewing on the terrace, and books piled high beside the hammock; sweet summertime is here at last. I love waking up to early morning sunshine playing upon the warm, summery colors in my garden.

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  • What is CCD, or “Colony Collapse Disorder”?

    What is it about that title? Hmmmm…….. ED Erectile dysfunction, RLS restless leg syndrome, ADD Attention deficit disorder. One thing I have noticed about human nature is that we need to identify, label and vilify the “disorder” so that we can blame someone else, create a patented wonder drug complete with research funding to solve […]

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  • Japanese Honey Bee: A Unique Defense Against the Giant Hornet

    The Japanese honey bee (Apis cerrana japonica) has evolved a unique defensive behavior to combat Japanese giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia).  It’s a defensive behavior that has taken centuries if not eons to develop. In the picture above, we can see this formation, called a “bee ball,” which is enveloping two hornets. Why is the Japanese […]

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  • Happy Birthday to Henry Fonda

    Remembering the late Henry Fonda, beekeeper and father of Peter Fonda Happy birthday to Henry Fonda (RIP) an amateur beekeeper who reportedly gave friends jars labelled “Henry’s Honey.” The beekeeping connection was reinforced when Fonda’s son Peter won an Academy Award nomination for playing a beekeeper in the 1997 movie Ulee’s Gold.

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  • Delightful Plants for Honeybees and their Human Friends

    Container Gardening with Herbs and Edible Flowers Guest post by The Gardener’s Eden, which can be found on Facebook or at http://www.thegardenerseden.com/. It looks like spring has sprung at last – the signs are popping up everywhere. Farmer’s markets and garden centers are bursting with herbs and flowers, veggie seedlings and hanging baskets. The growing […]

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