It is because of the freedom given to our honey bees to gather nectar from the plants of their choice that our honey varies slightly in color and flavor. From very light, that of Locust trees, Clover, Alfalfa and Bush Honeysuckle to light amber & amber in color from Wildflowers, Linden trees, Tulip Poplar trees & Japanese Knotweed, (a local invasive plant). All of which embody a natural delicate flavor that will delight your taste buds!
As many of you are aware Honey bees are in danger. The demise of the Honey bee has been in the news many times since the autumn of 2006. Nationwide losses have averaged 35-40%. The problem has been given a name…Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD for short. The public is aware of the loss of our honey bees. It’s been a hot topic in the news. I’ve been interview by local press and news media many times, to include a South Korean broadcasting company, all asking “what do you think is causing the losses?” Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to research but we still have no definitive answer.
Two parasitic mites entered the U.S. in 1984 and 1987 and they’re still here causing problems. We try to care for our bees as natural as we can and treat for mites by using herbal mite treatments derived from the Thyme plant. This extract is applied late in the season after all honey for human consumption is removed from the hive. This treatment along with using screened bottoms in the hives helps to lower the numbers of these parasites and keep our bees healthy.
I honestly believe if we pay attention to nature we can learn to preserve what we have. In my opinion “Our Honey bee is like the Canary in the coal mine”. Honey bees are dying, some other pollinators have disappeared. This is telling us something! Are we listening? Give this some thought…are we just using too many pesticides? Think about it, look at all of the lawn treatments used, what about all the herbicides used in the fields, killing off many of our wildflowers which some people consider weeds. The honey bees’ diet is becoming limited with our monoculture type of plantings. We are surrounded by corn and soybeans, both of which are treated with systemic pesticides and topical herbicides. Why are our honey bees disappearing? View the 60 Minutes video “Why are Honey bees disappearing?”. Like us, Honey bees need a varied diet. This means they need a variety of different pollens. Pollen is their protein food, nectar their energy food. The more varied species of plants they collect their food from the better their diet. We try to place our colonies in areas where they can still access a varied selection of wildflowers and trees. We are still suffering losses but not to the extend as some of the commercial beekeepers who have lost as much as 60-100% of their colonies.
If you have land available that is not commercially farmed with corn or soybeans and not treated with commercial herbicides or pesticides and you would like to help support the existence of our honey bees give me a call. If I think you have a good location to support honey bees that is easily accessible with my vehicle I may consider placing an apiary on your property.
If you would like to “help the honey bees” by providing a location for the placement of some bee hives give me a call at: 610-751-4483.
Photos on this page – © Bill Mondjack 2017