It Comes from a Flower



For most of us it comes from a jar. For the men and women who run our apiaries—it comes from a hive. But for the bees making it—it comes from a flower. Hundreds of them. Star thistle flowers, clover flowers (above), basswood, sage, blueberry, sweet raspberry, orange blossom and sourwood flowers. I could go on. We call the honey we gratefully acquire from the work of our bees varietals. With each different flower, a different varietal—and a different sublime taste, all thanks to the beautiful work of those buzzing bees. From our table to yours. —Zeke

Buying Bee Raw Honey > Single Varietal Honey > Rare Single Varietal Honey

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Topics: Save the Bees, Bee Trivia

How Many Bees Does it Take?

"It takes one entire colony of honey bees (nearly 30,000 bees) to pollinate a mere one acre of fruit trees."

Zeke Freeman
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Topics: Bee Trivia

The Nightlife of a Bee



The Great Sleepy Bee. Where do bees go after a long hard day of work? Not to bed, rather back to the hive where they will actually rest. Bees don't sleep in the same way we do, but they do stop their activity and go into a dormant state. Some bees do have working functions during the night, but most of them will return to the hive for some shuteye.
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Topics: Save the Bees, Bee Trivia

Eye See You



Like other insects, the honey bee has compound eyes—hundreds of single eyes (called ommatidia) arranged next to each other, each with its own lens and each looking in a different direction. This doesn't mean that the bee sees lots of little pictures, as each ommatidium sees only one intensity, contributing a 'pixel' to the overall image perceived by the compound eye, just like a single photoreceptor in the retina of our own eye. But there are differences between the bee's view of the world and ours.

The bee has fewer ommatidia than we have photoreceptors, and they are not evenly spaced. And of course the bee sees colours differently, relies more on image motion than on shapes, and much more.

Bees may not have eyes in the back of their head, but you can be sure—they see you well before you see them. —N.B.
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Topics: Save the Bees, Bee Trivia

She's Such a Ten!



Staggering. Yes, she's as beautiful as a ten. And yes, when this beauty stings you, it hurts ten times more than the last beauty you had. Her figure? Stunning. But I hear she's a ten figure gal. She is. 144,000,000,000,000 to be exact—which is the ten figure number of bees in the U.S. today. And yes, that's 144 Billion. Stunning, yes, but let's keep it that way because these beauties are in jeopardy, disappearing at an alarming rate. For instance, Since 2006, North American migratory beekeepers have seen an annual 30 percent to 90 percent loss in their colonies; non-migratory beekeepers noted an annual loss of over 50 percent. Similar losses were reported in Canada, as well as several countries in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America.  Find out how you can help save these beautiful bees.—N.B.

The Save the Bees Fund > Seeds that will Save the Bees > Raw Honey Gifts
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Topics: Save the Bees, Bee Trivia

She Gets Around



We won't call her promiscuous—but she does get around. The queen bee that is. When one queen survives in a colony, she will fly out on a sunny, warm day to a drone congregation area where she will mate with 12-15 drones. If the weather holds, she may return to the drone congregation area for several days until she is fully mated. The young queen stores the sperm in her spermatheca. She will selectively release sperm from that one mating flight for the remaining 2-7 years of her life.

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Topics: Save the Bees, Bee Trivia

A Day in the Life



Bees live in colonies. In those colonies there are 3 types of members: queens, drones, and workers.

The queen can live from 2-5 years, while the drone only 40-50 days. Drones are male bees, yet most of the bees in the colony are workers making honey and stinging for defense.

The workers are females and they live from 1-4 months.

As you can see, bee life varies wildly, each with its own lifecycle. Here's a closer look. The lifecycle of the worker bee: Egg (3 days), Larva (6 days), Pupa (12 days). This is a total of 21 days from egg (baby) to adult worker. The lifecycle of the drone is 24 days, while the queen's is 16 days.

What do bees actually have in common? Clearly not their time on Earth. Rather, in common is their interconnectedness—their reliance upon each other, and their respective roles, to survive as a colony. 

Sounds a little bit like that other buzzing colony known as the human race. —N.B.


The Save the Bees Fund > Seeds that will Save the Bees > Raw Honey Gifts
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Topics: Save the Bees, Bee Trivia

The Beautiful Breathing Bee



Yes, bees breathe. But not with lungs, or through nostrils, or even through gills. Rather, bees breathe through a complex structure of tracheae and air sacs.

Oxygen is vacuumed into the body through openings on each segment of their bodies. They pull air in, then close their outermost vents and force the air into little tubules that get smaller and smaller until they reach the cells they need to.

What is the most common way bees suffocate? Humans—and our use of pesticides. The reason for this is that bees cannot breathe when they are coated with most of the chemicals we use in our flower beds and gardens because they close off the vents crucial to the way oxygen is brought into their bodies.—N.B.
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Topics: Save the Bees, Bee Trivia

Are We Doing Enough to Help Save Our Bees?



For the last several years scientists have fretted over the future of bees, and although research has shed much light on the crisis, those in the bee business—from hive keepers to commercial farmers—say the insects remain in deep trouble as their colonies continue to struggle. More >
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Topics: Save the Bees, Bee Trivia

Combs Come to Cannes



No, you're not seeing things—you're seeing honeycomb couture at the famed film festival in Cannes. The enormous dress, made to look like a tessellated bee hive, was constructed out of old biscuit packages and spotted on nothing less than the red carpet on its way to a screening of The Past—a film with clearly a lot of buzz. —N.B.
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Topics: Bee Trivia

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