Without bees, there would be no world - or at the least no world in which we can sustain the nutritious lifestyle we need. Bees are responsible for pollinating one sixth of all plant life, including 400 types of our agricultural crops. Pollination means plants can fruit, set seeds and breed, providing food and habitat for many of the world's marvelous wildlife and insects.
We all know our bees are in danger, but why?
Agriculture, breeding for productivity and the use of pesticides on crops they pollinate make them extremely vulnerable, especially for infections spread by mites. Colonies are often shipped around, for example for pollination of almonds. This disrupts the bees' hibernation and leads to the spreading of mites and diseases.
Without bees, we would have no almonds, avocados, broccoli, kiwifruit, watermelons, pumpkins, passionfruit, zucchini and a whole range of flowers. And honey of course.
Why choose organic honey and other foods?
Some large scale bee farms just kill off the bees because it's 'too expensive to keep the bees alive over winter'. Some smoke them out during collection, making them less likely to defend themselves while the keepers replace their honey with a substitute no where near as good for the bees' health as their own honey is. There aren't many hives managed ethically but those who keep their bees according to the Natural Beekeeping Trust will only take the ‘surplus’ honey and harvest during spring. Even though it's difficult to judge how much honey a hive requires to function optimally, at least you know the bees are treated well.
Conventional fruit and vegetables are grown with the use of pesticides and insecticides, which are harmful for the bees when they store the flower's honey. If you buy organic instead, you know the bees who pollinated your food weren't harmed in the process.
Why choose honey from local hives?
These bees help your landscapes flourish.
Why choose honey over other sweeteners? Honey is the least 'gas-guzzling' sweetener. Processed fructose syrup made from beets and corn are energy intensive in growth and production, as well as the cause a of many ethical problems.
How is honey made?
Honey is the bees’ source of nutrition, the perfect fuel their bodies during hibernation. They make it by visiting flowers, collecting the sugary nectar and storing it in their 'honey stomach'. When their honey stomach is full, they fly back to the hive and pass it on through their mouths to other worker bees, who chew it for half an hour and pass it on again. Once the honey is finished, the bees store it inside honeycomb cells, drying out the substance with their wings so it becomes more sticky. Then they seal the wax lid and save their food for winter. Only this is where the beekeepers come in and steal their food. One single teaspoon of honey for us takes a lifetime of work for 8 bees.