Overview: Much of the food on our tables comes from the intrinsic act of pollinating the flowers that become the fruits, vegetables and nuts we eat, but agricultural practices, pesticides and politics are making that simple act of nature more difficult everyday. Honey bees pollinate one third of the food we eat, yet alarmingly honey bee populations in this country have fallen by half since the 1940’s and continue to decline. Honey bees are threatened by indiscriminate pesticide use, disease, industrial scale mono-culture farming and powerful corporate lobbying interests that work to influence the EPA and USDA, who are our gatekeepers for a safe agricultural system. Our very food system is under threat and rests on the wings of these tiny insects and the commercial beekeepers that move them from farm to orchard pollinating crops that native pollinators can no longer adequately accomplish.
This film will follow migratory beekeepers and their bees throughout a growing season, joining them as they stop to pollinate the myriad plants and trees that depend upon honey bees to grow and produce our food. Much of the work moving bees is done at night when the bees are in their hives so few people actually get to see what these beekeepers do. Throughout the journey we will meet farmers, scientists, chefs and academics to give perspective to this complex food system that we all depend on. We will explain the problems of modern large scale agriculture, offer ideas on how it can be improved and learn about these pollinators that are a subculture of agriculture and a vital cornerstone of our entire food system. It’s a cinematic road trip that will result in a feature length documentary film about the importance of pollination to our food system, the complex interrelationship between migratory beekeepers, their bees and the agriculture system that needs these migratory honey bees in order to grow the food we eat.
Ever wonder what your bees encounter in your apiary? This site will tell you how they’re doing in regards to floral sources, the amount of pesticides the may encounter and nesting sites for native/wild bees. You can also become a citizen scientist and help to gather information on bees in your area
Our last post about how to stop honey from crystallizing struck a nerve of at least one reader who contacted me directly. The point was made that honey with anything added was no longer natural, must be labeled as such, and, in their opinion, was not the right thing to do. Personally I don’t plan to add corn syrup to my honey for personal consumption or for sale. Here is an article on why honey crystallizes and argues that it is not a bad thing. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
Cooks Illustrated, a renowned cooking magazine, recently had an article on how to keep honey from crystallizing. The “secret” is to add a small amount of corn syrup. Read more here to learn why it works and to find the amount of corn syrup needed.
Recently the Georgia Pacific Corporation in Green Bay WI displayed that it is more than just a paper company and they are environmentally sensitive. A swarm of honey bees was outside one of their mills. The easy answer would have been to kill them by spraying them with some sort of insecticide. Instead they contacted the Brown County Beekeepers Association. Read the full story here.
April Kustov, Wisc State Hive Inspector, spent 2 days with BCBA members inspecting hives and sharing her knowledge. April was thorough and focused during hive inspections and spent a generous amount of time with each beekeeper, explaining and demonstrating as they went through each hive.
She also was our featured speaker for the BCBA meeting (Wednesday 8/21/2019) There was plenty of good conversation, great questions and valuable learning for all attending. THANK YOU April ! So nice having you with us !
The Brown County Beekeepers Association recently partnered with Girl Scout Troop 4679 from West De Pere, WI to assist troop members on their Girl Scout journey. The members Brooklynn Steier, Nicki Waystedt, and Skylar Schultz, participated with BCBA club members to construct, paint and install a hive as part of their Outdoor Journey. The Girl Scout Outdoor Journey is focused on environmental stewardship. The girls learn how to care for our planet by minimizing our ecological impact and to be an advocate for nature. Working with BCBA is a perfect fit for the girls to complete their Journey due to the important role bees play in our environment. The girls certainly have talent painting and were very engaged in installing the nuc in their new home.