As I watch spring emerge in the Bee America apiary—tiny green buds unfurl from the tips of branches, blossoms emerge from flowering trees, and honeybees swoop out of the hive on reconnaissance missions—I started to wonder about the complex relationship between bees and plants.
The True Source Honey program, which Bee America is a member of and fully supports, is an organization that strives to keep the honey supply chain honest, transparent and accountable. Specifically, the True Source Honey program aims to ensure that the honey you purchase is:
· Ethically sourced in a transparent and traceable manner from known beekeepers and brokers;
· Moves through the supply chain in full accordance with U.S. law and without circumvention of trade duties; and
This weekend we rejoiced to see signs of life from our beehives. The temperature had finally warmed up enough to encourage the bees to leave the hive in order to do some early scouting flights and spring cleaning. We also saw some of them down at our little creek, taking sips of the cool, clear water. While spring is not officially here in the Washington DC area, signs heralding its arrival are everywhere including the daffodils and snowdrops bursting into bloom, flowers emerging from the tips of redbud trees, and cherry trees laden with heavy, fragrant blossoms.
About this time each year, I start dreaming longingly of spring. While our share of bitterly cold days in the Washington DC metro area is small compared to other regions of the country enveloped in a deep freeze or buried in feet of snow, it still gets well below freezing here for days at a time in January and February. I worry about how our bees are doing. While they are well equipped to overwinter much harsher conditions, there are always unforeseen problems that can arise.
At the start of 2013, we decided that one of the major themes we plan to emphasize this year is helping our children learn the value of money. As part owners in our honey business, our three children have contributed to Bee America’s success in a variety of ways: monitoring the beehives, placing labels on honey jars, preparing orders for shipping, etc.
This is the final entry in a three-part series that I was inspired to write after reflecting on all we at Bee America had to be grateful for since we started to company—our honeybees, our customers and everyone who has helped us along our journey.
In this second of a three-part series on how honeybees have aided people and improved the quality of their lives, I’ll focus on efforts in Kentucky to reclaim surface mining land and revitalize the Appalachian economy and the role honeybees play in this promising undertaking. In part one of the series (11/29/12), I discussed the contributions honeybees made in helping pilgrims settle in America.
In the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I wanted to reflect upon three distinct ways in which honeybees have assisted humans in their endeavors—both in the present day and in the past. In this first post, I’ll discuss the contributions honeybees made in helping pilgrims settle in America. In my next post (12/06/12), I’ll describe how Kentucky is leading the way in restoring pollinator habitats and forage on reclaimed surface mining land.
References in the scientific literature attest to the healing power of honey in wound care. Due to its acidic nature, honey assists the immune system in killing bacteria and fungi. It is also hyperosmotic (i.e., due to high concentration of solids and low moisture content), which helps to pull out excess fluids and secretions from the wound. Furthermore, because it is so viscous, honey helps to maintain the ideal level of moisture to ensure proper healing. Additionally, honey contains an enzyme that converts glucose to low levels of hydrogen peroxide, which acts as an antiseptic.
As our honeybees have evolved from a hobby to a passion to our company, Bee America, our interest in all things related to “bees” has grown as well. Just recently, we acquired a stunning piece of art from a talented metal sculptor, Jeremy Maronpot. It was an early Christmas present from my wife, Tamara. Actually, it was supposed to be a surprise, but it’s hard to keep emails private when you share a computer with one another.