Without bees and other pollinators to transfer pollen from plant to plant, we wouldn’t be able to grow and harvest the fruit and vegetables that form more than a third of our global food supply. National Bee Day falls on August 17th each year, and it’s the perfect time for bee fans everywhere to show a lot of love for these iconic little winged insects. From cultivated apiaries to wild hives, bee colonies are the buzzing heart of plants, flowers, vegetables, and so much more.
You’ve likely heard of and enjoyed the benefits of honey before – that sweet, naturally golden syrup that goes so well with foods and beverages in the place of normal sugar – but what about honeycomb? The natural “packaging” for honey, honeycomb is also created by bees, is safe to eat, and has just as much to offer in the diet (and even around the home)! So what’s the difference: honey vs. honeycomb, and how can you make sure you’re experiencing all of the advantages of both? In this step-by-step suggestion guide for honey novices, we’ll explore not only the differences between these two marvels of nature but the many benefits of these two fascinating bee by-products.
As the name suggests, it comes directly from hard-working bees, but the intricate and fascinating process of its creation is as much an art as it a science. So how exactly do bees – the tiny, busy gatherers of pollen and makers of golden honey – find the time to create this marvelous substance, too? The answer starts, as with most of the wonders produced by these incredible insects, with a worker bee and a flower.
There are numerous reasons why bees are dying off around the world. According to a recent USDA-sponsored survey administered by the Bee Informed Partnership, the current rate of mortality for bees in managed hives was 44% in 2016—up 3.5% from the previous year. And while the “Colony Collapse Disorder” (or CCD) terminology refers to a specific phenomenon in which the majority of a hive abruptly abandon a queen, her larvae and full honey stores behind (sometimes overnight), the decline of honey bees across the planet is not simply the result of CCD alone, but a complex amalgam of ecological and industrial changes.
Here is an overview of some of the major risks posing a threat to honey bees’ health & productivity:
You may be surprised to learn that there are over 25,000 species of bees on our planet! You may have heard of the Apidae family—which is often the most commonly known. This family encompasses honeybees, carpenter bees, and bumblebees. With these families, they all serve a specific duty as pollinators in our agricultural world.