This week Growing Food and Sustainability was fortunate enough to have Heather Swan give a talk on beekeeping during one of our training sessions. Heather informed us about behaviors and beekeeping practices as well as bee’s importance in agriculture as pollinators. She also gave insightful anecdotes about her own personal experience working with bees. When she was done we sampled some honey, such as the light and highly prized tupelo honey to the rich and molasses-like buckwheat honey.
Heather taught us many fun facts about honey bees:
-A healthy colony may contain as many as 60,000 worker bees.
-2,000,000 flowers must be visited to create a pound of honey.
-During the winter, bees will form a cluster in the center of the hive and vibrate to create heat. The center of the cluster may reach up to 81 degrees Fahrenheit.
-The military has used bees to locate explosives and illegal drugs because they have an extremely sensitive sense of smell.
-When bees are “swarming” in search of a new hive, they are in their least aggressive state.
Back in the garden:
We harvested our first cabbages and radishes. Plenty of rain and few weeds meant slightly less work in the garden itself. We have also been making kale pesto and screen printing T-shirts in preparation for our Harvest Festival on Saturday, August 11th.
A personal note:
I will be leaving Middleton this weekend and as such will not be continuing to work with GFS this summer. It was a pleasure to meet all of the hardworking participants with whom I grew, delivered, preserved, ate, composted and appreciated vegetables. This summer I got closer to my food, literally, thanks to GFS.
Sustain your Growing,