Here at Bello Uccello Apiary the bees are still flying around on those wonderful sunny days we are having, and at “the robber baron hive”, as we affectionately call our very strong Italian bee hive that loves to rob the other hives in the apiary, there were hundreds of new baby bees born this week and they were out doing their first orientation flights. We did an experiment on one of the hives and put blue styrofoam inside the cover to see if the bees liked the insulation. This method has been mentioned on many websites. The result was that the bees immediately started to gnaw the foam into tiny pieces and take the blue styrofoam out of their house and dump it on the ground. They do that with anything they don’t like in the hive. Interesting, that this “inert substance” which we humans all put in our homes for insulation and which is not supposed to affect our air quality, does not meet the building code standards of the bees here at Bello Uccello. So we learned one more thing from the bees about the “inert blue styrofoam” and helped the bees with the removal of it from the hive. We will never quite look at the blue foam without questioning what it is doing to our air and to us. All the hives now have wonderful biodynamic/organic oat straw insulating their lids. We purchased the straw from the biodynamic farm in Bear River – Bear River Farm.The surplus straw is going in the cold frames where we grow our winter greens and veggies here at Bello Uccello Estate.
WHEN IS HONEY NOT HONEY – when it does not have any traces of pollen in it. Today we received an email from our provincial beehive inspector, referring to the following website:
This is worth reading from the beginning to the end, if you wish to have information on what is happening to the honey which you are probably eating. Nothing in the article was news to us, other than the statistics on the sheer volume of this ultra filtered, corn syrup laden, “edible product” which is labeled as honey, which is out there. This ultra filtered honey does not have the pollen and the propolis and the enzymes which unpasteurized and gravity filtered honey has. We all eat honey because it is good for us and it tastes good too. But like the thousands of acres of “GMO inedible corn” which now grows in Idaho, so goes the millions of pounds of honey from China and India etc which has everything from heavy metals, illegal antibiotics,and perhaps even some corn syrup from that inedible corn. We call this particular phenomena which is happening on a global level: the Food Wars. Whether we know it or not, we are all involved in the Food Wars. Knowing the facts on what is involved to make pure wildflower honey allows you to ask the right questions before you purchase that jar of honey.
Here is what we do to make one jar of honey:Stressless Conditions for the bees and their hive, as that is where they make the honey: 1. no antibiotics or any other chemicals are given to the bees 2. no chemicals, pesticides, herbicides mitecides are in the apiary or around the hives 3. no pollination services where the bees are moved to feed on mono cultured crops – the beehives stay in the apiary . 4. no plastics in hives Honey frames taken to honey house: 5. bees make the honey and we take the frames to the honey house directly from the hives and within a few hours we have extracted the frames. 6. the frames are spun around in a stainless steel drum and the honey is thrown out of the cells where it was made by the bees 7. the honey drops to the bottom of the drum where a tap is located to drain off the honey through a mesh net, which is like a jam making sieve, into a pail. The honey is not pumped or artificially pushed, it is gravity poured. What stays behind in the net is small bee parts which you would not wish to find in your honey and some larger pieces of wax, but the bottled honey is full of pollen, propolis and even some wax. 8. when the pail is full we pour the honey into clean glass preserve jars and screw on the lids.
Unpasteurized honey: no heating in the process which would kill the enzymes etc
Wildflower honey: bees fly in the wilds of nature and find nectar and pollen from natures diversity, as it comes into season. when you eat mono-crop honey, like lavender honey, apple blossom honey, blueberry honey,or any other mono-crop, you are eating honey from bees which have been exposed to many stressors in order to make that honey. How do I find good honey? After reading the website noted above and reading our notes on how natural, real wildflower honey is made, you are now prepared to ask the right questions. Visit the place where your honey comes from, buy local honey from your area, ask the beekeeper about his bees and his honey, buy organic honey if you can’t directly deal with a local, known supplier, and better still, buy biodynamic honey because they have the highest standards in the treatment of the honey bee.