Busy as a Bee for my HONEY
Ok you guys, Fess Up. Last week I gave you a heads up about getting some yard work done since it was so nice out. Well how many of you did? Or was it “fritos n football” in Deep Couch City?
Just what I thought! Take a look at me. I’m busy as a bee for my “honey” and you know why?
Because September is National HONEY Month. and I thought that meant I had to really take care of “angela” or in your case, whomever your boss is!!!.But NO. It’s the honey we relish, that oh so sweet nectar. I got the “skinny” on that too, so here goes.
The first thing you need for Honey is flowers. Without them the bees have nowhere to go; and while many of you don’t think of planting perennials in September; it actually isn’t a bad time of year to plant flowers, it’s never too early to start planning for next Spring. Start by making plans to build your own bee friendly garden! More and more gardeners are dedicated to helping the bees by adding to the shrinking inventory of flower-rich habitat in their area.
Plan on planting native flowers and select single flower tops such as daisies or marigolds that produce more nectar and make it easier for bees to access pollen. Also remember to avoid using herbicides or pesticides in the garden that can be toxic to bees.
It’s hard to imagine anything more pure and natural than one-ingredient honey. Produced by bees from the nectar of plants and flowers, honey essentially flows from hive to the table. With more than 300 different honey varietals found in the United States, all with a unique color and flavor, you are sure to find a honey varietal you will love.
The journey of honey begins with humble honey bees. Whether buzzing in their hives or foraging for nectar in wide open fields, honey bees are a critical component of today’s agricultural market. They perform the vital function of pollination, or the transferring of pollen from plant to plant, thus fertilizing the plants and enabling them to bear fruit. In fact, about one-third of the U.S. diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants and honey bees are responsible for about 80 percent of that process. Major crops that depend on honey bees for pollination consist of almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries – the list goes on and on.
For centuries, honey has been thought of as a kitchen staple, but honey is so much more than a culinary ingredient. Honey’s versatility is endless, spanning the bathroom vanity, the gym and even the medicine cabinet. Honey is a humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture, thus giving your skin a natural glow and the perfect ingredient to add to your beauty routine. Honey is an effective and all-natural energy booster, containing approximately 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. Finally, honey has been used for centuries as a natural cough suppressant, helping to soothe and relieves the irritation of a cough.
All the wonderful benefits of honey could not be made possible without the incredible honey bee. The National Honey Board is committed to finding ways to help beekeepers maintain the health of their honey bees and was among the first to provide funding for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) research in early 2007.
A "bakers dozen" of Perennials to help the Bees
Bees are losing habitat all around the world due to intensive monoculture-based farming practices, pristine green (but flower-barren) sprawling suburban lawns and from the destruction of native landscapes. Just planting flowers in your garden, yard, or in a planter will help provide bees with forage. Avoid chemically treating your flowers as chemicals can leach into pollen and negatively affect the bees systems. Plant plenty of the same type of bloom together, bees like volume of forage (a sq. yard is a good estimate).
Honeybees are vegetarians. They want to forage pollen and nectar from flowers up to three miles from their hive and bring that food back to provide food for themselves and the beehive. Contrary to what the media might have us believe, they are not out to sting us. Here are a few tips to avoid getting stung. 1. Stay still and calm if a bee is around you or lands on you. Many bees will land on you and sniff you out. They can smell the pheromones that come with fear and anger it can be a trigger for them to sting you. 2. Don’t stand in front of a hive opening, or a pathway to a concentration of flowers. Bees are busy running back and forth from the hive, and if you don’t get in their way, they won’t be in yours. 3. Learn to differentiate between honeybees and wasps. Honeybees die after they sting humans (but not after they sting other bees!), wasps do not. Wasps are carnivores, so they like your lunch-meats and soda. Honeybees are vegetarians.
For the full scope of the ways to help aid the BEES – refer to QUEEN OF THE SUN – “what are the bees telling us“