bee farm

Kodachrome, enlarged 4 times, by Paul A. Zahl.

From “Back-yard Monsters in Color,” National Geographic, August, 1952.

Velvety black and yellow bumblebee fur has a deep pile. Carrying pollen grains caught on the hairs from male to female flowers, the bee helps propagate many farm crops. This bee is the only insect which pollinates some types of red clover. Others have tongues too short to reach the nectar, and so are not attracted to deep flowers where they would pick up pollen.

If you ever feel rejected by someone, you can tell yourself they just haven’t evolved to meet your needs. The right bees will find you, don’t worry.

MORE AU IDEAS

• “My stupid friends roped me into a mall scavenger hunt and you’re on the list” AU
• “We both wanted to rent a bike for an hour but the only one they have is a tandem bike” AU
• “You’re adopting the cat that I’ve been trying to adopt for a week now” AU
• “You just moved into the house next to my mom’s and she has you doing her yardwork” AU
• “I’m on a terrible date and you’re my waitor please help me” AU
• “My brother/sister asked me to break up with you for them i’m so sorry” AU
• “I’ve been receiving all your freaking mail since you moved out and you keep getting weird gifts from your brother make it stop” AU
• “Our dick landlord just evicted us both” AU
• “We both just moved in with our siblings and they’re neighbors” AU
• “I’m your neighbor and I can hear you fucking someone who shares my name” AU
• “Your cat got my cat pregnant and now I have all these kittens please take them” AU
• “I’m your ex, you are a cop, and I just got arrested for being drunk and disorderly” AU
• “Remember that one time in college when we were at that party and you asked a random stranger to pretend to be your boyfriend/girlfriend? Yeah well that was me and we’re adults now” AU
• “You’re sort of famous and we vaguely know each other through bumping into each other all the time but the media thinks we’re dating” AU
• “You’re a cop, I’m a firefighter, we always work the same shifts” AU
• “You always ask me for help but I have weird health conditions that prevent me from doing so” AU
• “Your roommate cheated on me and I just threw your laptop out the window thinking it was his” AU
• “My kid just shot a bottle rocket into your window” AU
• “We’re both in the vegetable isle and I just burst into tears while staring at the cabbages” AU
• “That’s my fucking fish that you just caught give it back” AU
• “I’ve had a crush on you since the 11th grade but you’ve hated me ever since that one time” AU
• “The advertisement did not do you justice” AU
• “You jipped me of those concert tickets so I came to your house asshole” AU
• “You think I’m nervous because you’re interviewing me for this high end job but actually it’s because you’re stupidly hot” AU
• “Oh shit this isn’t my car” AU
• “You fell off the map 6 years ago and you think you can just waltz back into my life. Literally. You’re the dance instructor for my best friend’s wedding and we have history” AU
• “It’s 2am on the night of my 21st birthday and we gotta fix this fucking mess by morning or else we’re fucked ” AU
• “My dad’s a cancer patient and you’re his nurse” AU
• “Did I mention that I had a dream about you last night? Oh right we’ve never talked about before” AU
• “Lol this was a terrible idea” AU
• “juSt a game? jUST A GaMe????? FUCK YOU I WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO WIN” or the “so competitive it’s almost sexual” AU
• “Aren’t you the person from marti gras last year?” AU
• “We’re both on the same multiple stop flight schedules to go to the same destination so we might as well stick together. Also your shoulder is a very comfortable pillow.” AU
• “Fuck you and your bee farm I’ve had enough” AU
• “We’re in an exam study group and I just send you my nudes by accident oops” AU
• “Somehow my gallery sculpture piece looks exactly like you how weird” AU
• “That tattoo on your chest is the exact same as mine” AU
• “I was actually awake when you did that thing” AU
• “Why do we keep running into each other when we live on opposite sides of the country?” AU
• “We need to be really quiet but you have the hiccups” AU
• “Why do you always walk your dog at exactly 12am every night? Do you not enjoy sleep?” AU
• “For the love of God, what is making that noise?” AU
• “Somehow you manage to scare me everytime we run into each other and i already get frightened very easily let me live” AU

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This bee is licking sugar from a q-tip as part of a “proboscis extension reflex” assay.  This experiment, at a lab in Penn State University, is used to test the memory and learning ability of bees.  Researchers expose the restrained bee to a smell and then offer it a sugar reward.   Then after a pause, they expose the bee to the same smell and see if it sticks out its tongue (also called proboscis) in anticipation of the reward.  If it does, then you know is has learned to associate the smell with food. 

Researchers have used this test to show that very small amounts of pesticides and even “inactive" agricultural spray additives are harming bees’ ability to remember where their food is.

This bee was photographed for a story on honeybees in the May issue of National Geographic.

- Anand Varma (@anandavarma), National Geographic photographer

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Honey crop! #honey #honeybee #homegrown #farm #farming #homesteading #bee #apiculture #honey

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Litha/Midsummer (Summer Solstice): June 21-22

Midsummer, or Litha in some traditions, is the Summer Solstice—the longest day and shortest night of the year. The power of the sun is at its peak and plant life is flourishing. However, contained in the moment of the sun’s triumph is the seed of its decline, for the days begin shortening again after this point. (In Celtic traditions, this is dramatized as the Holly King of winter defeating the Oak King of summer in combat. The situation is reversed at Yule.)

This is perhaps the ultimate “live in the moment” Sabbat—enjoying the abundance of the present without worrying about the future. There will be time for that later in the year.

The closest Full Moon to this date is known as the Mead Moon, so mead and honey have a special connection with Midsummer. It is also said to be a time of intense faerie activity, hence Shakespeare’s play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Things to do for Midsummer, whether or not you’re Pagan:

  • Have a picnic lunch in the park.
  • Hold a sumptuous barbecue feast and invite the neighbors.
  • Visit the beach.
  • Go camping.
  • Visit an apiary (bee farm) and get honey and beeswax right from the source.
  • Harvest herbs from your garden or a plot of land where you have permission.
  • In an example of the delightful appropriateness of nature, sunflowers are usually in full bloom at this time. Obtain an especially nice one, or a bouquet of them, and give it a place of honor.
  • Make a playlist of songs praising the sun and summertime and listen to it all day.
  • Build a bonfire in the evening (with the proper permits and following all fire safety regulations, of course). After it dies down, jump over the embers.
  • For the really hardcore…stay up all night and watch the sunrise. At least it’s a short night!


Midsummer falls on June 21 this year. Have a blast!

Lavenderwhisp’s Witch Types Master Post (Jan 2016)

Witch: magical practitioner

Elemental Witch: Witches who work around the 5 elements: Water, Earth, Air, Fire, and Spirit.

Earth Witch: Witches who specifically work with their magic around the element of Earth, through grounding exercises, rock/soil collecting, crystal magic, and Green Witchery. Earth zodiac signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Types of Earth Witches:

Green Witch: use plants/herbs/flowers in herbal and natural magic, such as using them in spells and creating remedies with them.

Garden Witch: A version of a Green Witch, they enjoy working with the earth through gardening and using their herbs and plants to help and care for their families and loved ones.

Flora Witch: Similar to the above witches, they work with flowers in their practice. Their Book of Shadows would likely be full of Green Witchery, such as than herbs and herbal recipes, and flower classifications and associations.

Marijuana Witch: A type of Green Witch, Marijuana has been used for spiritual and medicinal purposes throughout history. These witches use marijuana for magical purposes and use herbal recipes with marijuana. 

Rock Witch: Witches who work with all rocks, including stones and crystals. They enjoy geology and their Book of Shadows is full of geology and crystal healing. They are most likely involved in a scientific field, such as geography or archaeology where they can be close to the Earth.

Crystal Witch: Witches who work with stones and crystals, such as through crystal healing. Their Book of Shadows will most likely have information about the stones, chakra balance, and crystal meditation.

Forest Witch: A witch who enjoys the company of trees and live amongst them. The seclusion is perfect for cottage magic and tree magic. They also enjoy the company of fey and woodland animals, and use local plants.

Swamp Witch: Witches who live within the swamps, use swamp plants, and enjoy the company of swamp animals.

Desert Witch: A witch who lives in the desert, enjoys the natural desert scenery, uses desert plants, bones, sand in their practice, collects desert rocks, and befriend desert animals such as snakes, lizards, and scorpions. They also tend to use the elements of Wind and Fire as well as Earth in their practice. They normally worship desert deities and study desert lore in their area.

Sand Witch: Sand witches live where a lot of sand is in the local earth, such as the desert or the beach. Their home is filled with different types of sand and rocks.

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pretty-love-ly  asked:

Isn't supporting bee keepers by buying honey kind of a good thing? Like its a double edged sword bc we shouldn't use animals as food and all but right now with the changing climate and GMO crops and colony collapse disorder it's killing off bees and we desperately need them, so isn't it a good thing that bee keepers are keeping bees alive?

Hi there pretty-love-ly!

We’ve been tricked into believing that honey is simply a byproduct of the essential pollination provided by farmed honeybees. Did you know though that the honeybee’s wild counterparts (such as bumblebees, carpenter and digger bees) are much better pollinators? They are also less likely than farmed honeybees to be affected by mites and Africanized bees. The issue is that these native bees can hibernate for up to 11 months out of the year and do not live in large colonies. Thus, they do not produce massive amounts of honey for a  $157 million dollar a year industry.

Honey and the Different Types of Bees

Honey bees: Honey bees make a large quantity of honey (possible due to the size of colonies – that is, many worker bees collecting nectar). Honey consists of nectar combined with a ‘bee enzyme’ that goes through a process of concentration in the honeycomb before it is capped by the bees.

Bumblebees: Bumblebees, in one sense, make a form of honey, which they collect in nectar pots to be eaten by the colony, including the newly hatched worker females. However, the process of concentrating, capping, and the making of honey combs does not happen in bumblebee colonies, nor is nectar stored over winter, since only the queen survives and hibernates, whilst the rest of the colony do not.

Solitary bees: Solitary bees do not make honeycombs. They construct egg cells which they provision with a ball of nectar and pollen that will be consumed by the new larvae.

Honey bees will pollinate many plant species that are not native to their natural habitat but are often inefficient pollinators of such plants.

The crops that can be only pollinated by honey bees are:

• Guar Bean
• Quince
• Lemon
• Lime
• Karite
• Tamarind

The crops that are pollinated by bees, in general, are:

• Apples
• Mangos
• Rambutan
• Kiwi Fruit
• Plums
• Peaches
• Nectarines
• Guava
• Rose Hips
• Pomegranites
• Pears
• Black and Red Currants
• Alfalfa
• Okra
• Strawberries
• Onions
• Cashews
• Cactus
• Prickly Pear
• Apricots
• Allspice
• Avocados
• Passion Fruit
• Lima Beans
• Kidney Beans
• Adzuki Beans
• Green Beans
• Orchid Plants
• Custard Apples
• Cherries
• Celery
• Coffee
• Walnut
• Cotton
• Lychee
• Flax
• Acerola – used in Vitamin C supplements
• Macadamia Nuts
• Sunflower Oil
• Goa beans
• Lemons
• Buckwheat
• Figs
• Fennel
• Limes
• Quince
• Carrots
• Persimmons
• Palm Oil
• Loquat
• Durian
• Cucumber
• Hazelnut
• Cantaloupe
• Tangelos
• Coriander
• Caraway
• Chestnut
• Watermelon
• Star Apples
• Coconut
• Tangerines
• Boysenberries
• Starfruit
• Brazil Nuts
• Beets
• Mustard Seed
• Rapeseed
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Cabbage
• Brussels Sprouts
• Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage)
• Turnips
• Congo Beans
• Sword beans
• Chili peppers, red peppers, bell peppers, green peppers
• Papaya
• Safflower
• Sesame
• Eggplant
• Raspberries
• Elderberries
• Blackberries
• Clover
• Tamarind
• Cocoa
• Black Eyed Peas
• Vanilla
• Cranberries
• Tomatoes
• Grapes

Check this chart to see which type of bees can pollinate those crops.

While you may spread a heaping tablespoon of honey on your morning toast without thinking, creating each drop is no small feat. To make one pound of honey, a colony must visit over two million flowers, flying over 55,000 miles, at up to 15 miles per hour to do so. During a bee’s lifetime, she will only make approximately one teaspoon of honey, which is essential to the hive for times when nectar is scarce, such as during winter. At times, there may be an excess in the hive, but this amount is difficult to determine and large-scale beekeepers often remove all or most of it and replace it with a sugar or corn syrup substitute. Can you imagine someone removing all the fruit juice from your house and replacing it with fruit-flavored soda? It may still give you energy, but eventually, it will probably make you sick.

BEES DIE FOR YOUR HONEY

Another thing to think about while you sit by your beeswax candle and contemplate the lives of these little fellows is that bees must consume approximately eight pounds of honey to produce each pound of wax! And the more we take from them (bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis) the harder these creatures must work and the more bees are needed, which isn’t good news for a population that is dwindling.

When you see a jar of honey, you may think of the sweet cartoon hives depicted in childhood stories such as Winnie the Pooh. But most hives are now confined to large boxes (a completely foreign shape to bees) that are jostled and shipped around the country to pollinate crops and produce honey. This is stressful and confusing to the bees’ natural navigation systems. Along the way, bees are lost and killed, and may spread diseases from one infected hive to another. The practice of bee farming often limits the bees’ diet to monoculture crops, introduces large amounts of pesticides into their systems and causes the farmed bees to crowd out the native wild pollinators that may have been otherwise present. Beekeepers (even small-scale backyard beekeepers) will also kill the queens if they feel the hive is in danger of swarming (fleeing their file cabinet shaped homes) or drones* that they deem unnecessary to honey production. * The drones’ main function is to fertilize the queen when needed.

We have got to the point where we mass exploit honeybees as pollinators to fix a problem that should be fixed from the roots and not partially.

“At certain times of the year, three or four trucks carrying beehives rumble along Highway 20 every week. Their destination: California, where the bees are required for pollination services. During my time in California researching dairy farms, I learned about an extraordinary consequence of intensive farming taken to extremes: industrialized pollination - a business that is rapidly expanding as the natural bee population collapses. In certain parts of the world, as a result of industrial farming, there are no longer enough bees to pollinate the crops. Farmers are forced to hire or rent them in”
— Farmagedon. The True Cost of Cheap Meat

The Case of the Disappearing Bees

The question of what will happen if bees disappear may not be far from being answered. Over the past couple of years, stories about bees disappearing and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) have been popping up in the The New York Times, Star Tribune, Huffington Post, PBS, Discovery News and more. If nothing else wakes us up, perhaps the fact that the disappearance of bees has become front page news will. Scientists are rushing to discover what’s causing this problem before it’s too late and before we lose the important environmental link created by bees.

Thus far, there are three main theories/contributing factors:

  • Pesticides

Pennsylvania State University published a study in 2010 that found “unprecedented levels” of pesticides in honeybees and hives in the United States. (If it’s in the bees and hives, what do you think is in your honey?) Some of these chemicals are killing bees, and guess what? The EPA knows about it.

“The EPA identifies two specific neonicotinoids, imidacloprid and clothianidin, as highly toxic to bees. Both chemicals cause symptoms in bees such as memory loss, navigation disruption, paralysis, and death.

Both chemicals have been linked to dramatic honeybee deaths and subsequent suspensions of their use in France and Germany. Several European countries have already suspended them. Last year Slovenia and Italy also suspended their use for what they consider a significant risk to honeybee populations.”

– Mother Earth News

This is old news; this story came out in 2009. But has anything changed here? Not as far as I can tell.

  • Mites and Viruses

With weakened immune systems (stress, inferior food sources, pesticides etc.) bees have become more susceptible to viruses, fungal infections, and mites. Many of these invasive bugs are spread as hives are moved around the country or transferred from country to country.

While there are a number of treatments on the market for the mites, viruses, fungus and other pests that are attacking our colonies, none have solved the problem completely. These treatments can also introduce antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals into the hives in an attempt to prevent or heal the infection. If these chemicals (often on strips) are not removed from the hive after they lose potency, they can, in fact, help the viruses or mites become resistant to treatment in the future.

  • Cell phones

This is one of the newest theories on CCD and may need further testing.

“According to a Swiss researcher who recently published a paper on the subject, the electromagnetic waves from mobile phones have a significant impact on the behavior of honeybees and could potentially be harming honeybees around the world.”

“To test the relationship between honeybees and buzzing cell phones, he placed phones inside bee hives and then monitored the bees’ reaction. He found that in the presence of actively communicating cellphones (those not in standby mode), bees produced the sounds known as “worker piping,” which tends to indicate disturbance in a bee colony.”

– ABC News

Cell phones, pesticides and viruses aside, commercial bee farming – whether organic (where bee deaths are fewer, but still occur) or conventional – does not provide bees with the opportunity to live out their normal life cycle. No matter how small the animal, farming is farming. Whether you choose to buy backyard honey or a large brand, eating honey and using other bee products encourages using bees for profit.

If you truly want to save bees as a whole and not only honey bees because is much more convenient.. then support bee sanctuaries, boycott the agribusiness and its use of chemicals everywhere. Here I leave some ideas and ways to help bees.

  • Sanctuaries
  1. Spikenard Farm  Honeybee Sanctuary | • Virginia, USA •
  2. New York Bee Sanctuary | • New York, USA •
  3. Native Bee Sanctuary | • Australia •
  4. Artemis Smiles - Honey Bee Sanctuary | • Hawaii, USA •
  5. Urban Evergreen Bee Sanctuary | • Washington, USA •
  6. The Honeybee Helpers | • North West, Ireland •
  7. Bee Sanctuary - The Bee School | • North Carolina, USA •
  8. Bellingen Bee Sanctuary | • Australia •
  9. Morgan Freeman Converted His 124 Acre Ranch Into A Bee Sanctuary To Help Save The Bees
  • Plant your garden with bee-friendly plants

In areas of the country where there are few agricultural crops, honeybees rely upon garden flowers to ensure they have a diverse diet and to provide nectar and pollen. Encourage honeybees to visit your garden by planting single flowering plants and vegetables. Go for all the allium family, all the mints, all beans except French beans and flowering herbs. Bees like daisy-shaped flowers - asters and sunflowers, also tall plants like hollyhocks, larkspur and foxgloves. Bees need a lot of pollen and trees are a good source of food. Willows and lime trees are exceptionally good.

  • Encourage local authorities to use bee-friendly plants in public spaces

Some of the country’s best gardens and open spaces are managed by local authorities. Recently these authorities have recognised the value of planning gardens, roundabouts and other areas with flowers that attract bees. Encourage your authority to improve the area you live in by adventurous planting schemes. These can often be maintained by local residents if the authority feels they do not have sufficient resources.

  • Weeds can be a good thing

Contrary to popular belief, a lawn full of clover and dandelions is not just a good thing—it’s a great thing! A haven for honeybees (and other native pollinators too). Don’t be so nervous about letting your lawn live a little. Wildflowers, many of which we might classify as weeds, are some of the most important food sources for native North American bees. If some of these are “weeds” you chose to get rid of (say you want to pull out that blackberry bush that’s taking over), let it bloom first for the bees and then before it goes to seed, pull it out or trim it back!

  • Don’t use chemicals or pesticides to treat your lawn or garden

Yes, they make your lawn look pristine and pretty, but they’re actually doing the opposite to the life in your biosphere. The chemicals and pest treatments you put on your lawn and garden can cause damage to the honeybees systems. These treatments are especially damaging if applied while the flowers are in bloom as they will get into the pollen and nectar and be taken back to the bee hive where they also get into the honey—which in turn means they can get into us. Pesticides, specifically neo-nicotinoid varieties have been one of the major culprits in Colony Collapse Disorder.

  • Bees are thirsty. Put a small basin of fresh water outside your home

You may not have known this one—but it’s easy and it’s true! If you have a lot of bees starting to come to your new garden of native plants, wildflowers, and flowering herbs, put a little water basin out (a bird bath with some stones in it for them to crawl on does a nice trick). They will appreciate it!

  • Let dandelions and clover grow in your yard.

Dandelions and clover are two of the bees’ favorite foods – they provide tons of nourishment and pollen for our pollinators to make honey and to feed their young (look at this bee frolicking in a dandelion below – like a pig in shit!) And these flowers could not be any easier to grow – all you have to do is not do anything.

I highly recommend also taking a look at this article too as honey is tested on animals, yes, as it says and the article explains honey is tested on dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, mice, rats…

As you can see, there is much more than saying “let’s help the bees by eating honey, vegans are dumb, they need to eat honey because what they eat relies on it”... We can save the bees without taking away the honey they produce, that’s a fact.

Honey is meant as a health food; a healthy food for bees. The more we interfere with their natural processes, both by relying on farmed bees as pollinators (rather than other native wild bees, insects or animals) and to feed our desires for “sweets,” the close we’re coming to agricultural disaster.

Sources

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People who know something about native bees often know about the “Squash Bee” Peponapis pruinosa. However, there are a number of other native squash bees, and here is one.  This is Xenoglossa strenua.  It doesn’t help that it looks mighty darn similar to Peponapis pruinosa…but both the male and females have yellow on the base of their mandibles, while P.p. does not.  Helpful under the microscope at least.  

This specimen is one of the few, and the only recent, records for Maryland.  An interesting note is that this species is not found in Maryland on any native plants, but only on the agricultural squash and pumpkin plants which originated in the Southwest and were migrated here eons ago by Indian farmers.  Squash plants cannot overwinter in the region, but the squash bees can.