Bone Lake Meadows Apiary Blog

making the planet a better place one hive at a time.

Bastards October 18, 2011

Filed under: food sources — dronedude @ 8:44 pm

Dear Friends,

FRESH has organized a petition to stop Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) sweet corn from reaching grocery shelves. I’ve just signed it, and hope that you will join me in asking supermarket CEOs to refuse to carry this product.

For the first time, Monsanto is marketing a GM corn that will be sold directly to consumers and go directly to grocery aisles. The corn is engineered to kill insects with Bt toxins and to resist heavy spraying with Roundup herbicide. Already, Roundup resistant crops have resulted in an epidemic of over 21 types of resistant superweeds. Even more alarming, recent studies have linked Roundup with birth defects in animals, and Bt toxins from GM foods have been found in the bloodstreams of pregnant mothers and their unborn babies.

Let’s nip this in the bud now. Trader Joe’s has already indicated they will not carry GM sweet corn. Sign to tell the rest of the top grocery chains to follow suit.

http://bit.ly/qQeSE4

Thank you,

DroneDude

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Another adventure for winter October 4, 2011

Filed under: kelseybee!,team awesome — queen frederica @ 10:37 am

Hello from the 100 Acre Wood, also known as the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England. Unexpectedly, it’s been quite sunny and nice out but it is most definitely fall. The leaves are beginning to change and the grapevines are the most beautiful shade of red. Things are starting to slow down and prepare for a winter rest.

You might wonder what I am doing here or why I am writing about it because it has nothing to do with bees or honey. No, I am not just writing to talk about the English countryside and the romance of it all. I have come here to a tiny village called Forest Row to study something very relevant and important to honeybees. For the next 18 months I am being trained in biodynamic horticulture at one of my new favorite spots on the globe: the biodynamic agriculture college

A few years ago when I started getting into bees I was exposed to the world of plants. Anyone who keeps bees quickly learns what good bee food is as the season progresses. Many people think that bees will visit any flower but this is far from the truth. Just like people, bees are attracted and prefer certain foods. They, too, cannot live off just one or two things. They know what they need and what is most nutritious. As Beekeepers, we must make certain that we surround our bees with a variety of nourishment. In support of healthy bees, I started learning more plants honeybees frequent and planting them.

In the process of learning what bees like and planting for them, I starting planting for me too. My first year was a wild one! I got a little crazy with all the planting and failed at thinning as it all grew in. Going to pick a squash or cucumber was like venturing into the wild unknown. Either way, it was great to watch everything grow and even better to eat! After learning the potential of growing veggies I decided next year I would actually plan it so I could avoid the store and only eat from the garden. 2011 was the tastiest summer of my life.

The difference between fresh, local food and stuff that comes from a great distance, genetically manipulated or ripened in a warehouse is immense. Our food system is beyond backwards and won’t last. Agribusiness is such bullshit – what happened to the culture part in agriculture? Sustainable doesn’t come in a bottle, bag or laboratory; it comes from the methods and practices that got us here over the past thousands of years. I encourage you to think about where your food comes from and how it came to be. If you don’t know, you probably wouldn’t want to.

I will leave you at that story. My goal here is not to complain about today’s problems but to give you an idea of why I am studying a sustainable form of agriculture, how it sparked my interest and how I hope to change the world. I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful fall and getting your fix of squash!

Also, did you know what over half of the money you spend on our all natural lotions, lip balms and beeswax candles supports my education? :) thank you all!

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October Hives October 2, 2011

Filed under: fall stuff — dronedude @ 9:18 pm

 The past cool crisp October weekend was spent inspecting the hives in our other yards.  I always get a little fall reflective this time of the year when checking the bees because you are always wondering: did I do my best or did I miss something earlier in the season that will come back to haunt the hive this Halloween. This is really important this year because we are not treating our bees with chems or doing high fructose crappy syrup additional feeding. We are asking our bees to be self efficient and strong enough to sustain themselves through the upcoming winter. This year it required us to leave more honey on the hive for the bees than what would be considered normal by other bee people. What we are finding is that the bees look to be in great shape with lots of stored away honey. The photo show one of our Russian hives filled to the brim with fall nectar. It was very encouraging to see that the different varieties of bees in our yards all seem to be in decent shape as far as population, temperament, hive health, sassy young queens and plenty of  honey weight in the individual colony. Now if those bear sightings we have been hearing about from other beekeepers stay to our north, I like our chances this winter.