Thursday, July 1, 2010

Save a Bee Today

Local honey in glass jars,  Project Genesis,  Bee loving plants.

My cousin recently moved from Australia to Chicago.  She has a dog called Charlie, who was to
 re-locate with the family.  She arranged his safe passage through Jet Pets.  (this is not an ad for Jet Pets).  Her Jet Pet Rep called her a couple of days before Charlie's flight to re-arrange it.  She didn't want Charlie to be in the livestock hold with the swarms of bees that were booked on his original flight, beacuse they were very noise and may upset him.  Yes, that's right.  Swarms of bees are routinely shipped from Australia to North America and other parts, because Australia has healthy bees and we don't.  Our bees are dying.

 I recently attended a huge livestock and produce market. I got chatting to a man about his honey,(not his girlfriend, his gorgeous, golden, fresh honey that you put on your toast).  And about his bees.  He is a local beekeeper, a very worried beekeeper, and he explained to me a bit about the world of beekeeping.  About the North American bees dying. About hives being transported from farm to farm to pollinate crops because there aren't enough wild bees to do the job in these mega-farms that now exist.  (last year in Eastern Canada, a truck transporting hives from farm to farm tipped over causing the whole highway to be shut down while they retrieved their bees).

He told me that when you buy store bought honey in those little beehive shaped or bear shaped plastic containers from the grocery store, it's a mix of honey bought by buyers from various parts of the world (here in North America it is often South American).  They buy the cheapest product they can from various sources and mix it, ship it long distances, and package it in plastic.  Double Whammy.  Not locally produced and a plastic jar.

To help protect our bees you can simply plan a bee friendly garden. And buy locally produced honey. (farmers market, specialty store, local grocer, gift shops.)  Just because you buy organic honey at Whole Foods, doesn't mean it is "green".  Where did it come from?  At the farmers market I was at they had strawberries from the USA.  Now, I buy USA berries in the supermarket when I can't buy locally grown.  BUT, at a farmers market you need to watch out.  Vendors are buying from the Food Terminals and selling at Farmers Markets.  Beware, Just because they are at a Farmers Market doesn't make them a farmer or the product local. !Make sure you ask if they are lcoal.

You can check out Plan Bee for how to grow a bee friendly garden.
Less grass, more flowers, water for the bees to drink, no pesticides or herbicides.

I have planted large gardens to encourage the bees, but local honey is something I buy by the dozen and use for gifts. A whole slew of good reasons.  Locally produced, helps the local small beekeeper, delicious sensible and practical gift.

Think about all those gifts you need for teachers, hostess gifts, your hairdresser???? How about a jar of gorgeous local honey tied up with a vintage spoon.
Or a lovely cornbread sweetened with local honey.
Vintage Spoons, Local Honey, Honey Moist Cornbread. Recipe Here

I am linking up for Project Genesis hoted by Suzan at Old Grey Mare.  Check it out and become involved here.


  1. Thank you Chania for bringing attention to the stress put on bees. Even here in Ontario they are being trucked around to various crops to pollinate; how sad.
    Many local farmers have started having their own hives and I can buy from at least 5 or 6 within a short distance from me and I do support them. The same with eggs - no more from the supermarket.
    Farmers markets are starting to spring up in most communites now as people want to buy fresh and know where their food is coming from - all this thanks to the 100 mile diet.

  2. the plight of the little bee is sad, indeed. another good reason to use only LOCAL honey is that it is good for allergies! a teaspoon a day is like having an allergy shot. the local bees pollinate plants that are near you and that you might have an allergy to. eating their honey slowly introduces your body to that allergin and you build up a tolerance. just like allergy shots do. i personally think honey in a jar is beautiful to look at too! your photos are pretty. thanks for sharing today!

  3. This is such a great post. Thank you for bringing awareness to this issue.

    xo Marcie

  4. What an interesting post. I honestly had no idea!!! Thank you for the info!!!

  5. What a great post! We have so many bees in our garden, I love to hear them buzz. I try to have plenty of flowers that they love for that reason. xo Lidy

  6. Great post! We have a bee farmer about 5 miles from us, I buy his bees wax to make a balm for dry skin and it also has natural antibiotics in the wax. I also buy all our honey there. I agree, you have to watch out when it comes to where your "fresh" foods are coming from.

    You have a beautiful blog!


  7. Chania,

    See? I knew some of this, but not all of it. It's a perfect post for the project and has changed my view in mere seconds.

    I am thrilled you joined me for the first Genesis, and so grateful for your ideas.


  8. There is a honey farm in Florida that works on the honor system. They put out pints and quarts, along with a secure box to put your money in. They've been in business for over 70 years! Nice to know folks are honest.

    I had no idea bees were shipped in from other countries, but I do love honey and only buy from farms. The taste alone makes that decision!

  9. Hi Chania!

    I'm here reading up on missed posts!
    and this one about the's so interesting! you are always right on the mark with your informative posts!

    I think a ciabatta toast with some butter and honey are in order! and a cup of tea, of course!

    i'm off!
    have a great first day of July!

    ciao bella
    creative carmelina

  10. Hello Chania....!

    Gee I DIDN'T know this....I mean I KNEW as an Aussie that this IS 'The Lucky Country' but I DIDN'T know we had LUCKY BEES....!! I'm glad our bees are able to help out with the current bee shortage but sad to lean it's so necessary ** shakes head **

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention Chania....!!

    Tamarah :o)

  11. I love your mystery item - I too, drawn to the colour. Love the way you have set it up.

    Clever idea with honey as a gift giving idea. How 'sweet' to receive such a local, natural thoughtful product with a vintage spoon and a fresh cooked loaf of bread.

    Thanks for the wholesome idea.

    Tracey at Velvetine Lily

    x o

  12. CCD is such a big problem in this country. The mega farms with there over use of pesticides has caused this but no one will come out and say it. There is a village in China that no longer has any bees to pollinate their fruit trees that they actually employ people to do it manually. Over time these ppl have left there to get better paying jobs in the more industrialized parts of China.
    This is what over use of Pesticides have done!
    Great post!!!

  13. Great post!!
    Being Aussie myself.. I know I have no scarcity of bees where I live at present.. they are constantly zooming around my balcony.. and dive bombing me as I read.. or is that wasps??? but interesting to hear there is a bee shortage in US.. Thanks for sharing this.. and glad you found the video as fascinating as I did.. xx Julie

  14. Hi Chania,

    Great post. Great ideas. I'm visiting all the participants @ Suzan's Project Genesis - and just added your blog to my blogroll. Kindered spirits. :)

    RE: bees, I am seeing very few bees this summer. I've transplanted many wildflowers from our property to a foundation garden around our house, but the bunnies & deer eat the blossoms before they open, making it tough for the bees & hummingbirds. Guess I'll just keep planting more 'til there's plenty for everyone!

    Anyway, I loved your post and I'm looking forward to popping by often to visit you! Happy weekend!

  15. OH MY! My neighbour has bee traps up, because he is convinced we have wasps around here. Haven't seen any wasps around here... now I am attempted to go over there and destroy it while he's on vacation just don't rat me out.

  16. Those vintage spoons are lovely. I'd be happy to own one or even two maybe. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Wonderfully interesting and important post. Thanks for the information. Good idea to buy local honey, very good point. Your gardens look beautiful!


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania