Posts Tagged: National Honey Bee Awareness Day
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
Without the honey bee's pollination services, there would be no peppers, such as the ones that administrative assistant Nancy Dullum of the UC Davis Department of Entomology is holding. Bees pollinate one-third of the American diet.
So today, on the eve of National Honey Bee Awareness Day, it's time to pay tribute to the insect that makes it all happen.
The goals of National Honey Bee Awareness Day: to promote and advance beekeeping, to educate the public about honey bees and beekeeping, and to engage the public about the related environmental concerns.
The next major celebration involving the honey bee is the grand opening of the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, set from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 11 on the grounds of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, Bee Biology Road, University of California, Davis.
The key goals of the garden, a half-acre bee friendly garden planted last fall, are to provide bees with a year-around food source for the Laidlaw Facility bees, to raise public awareness about the plight of honey bees, and to encourage visitors to plant bee-friendly gardens of their own.
The event will include garden tours, hands-on demonstrations, educational speakers, and children's activities.
What's planted in the haven?
Fruits, vegetables, herbs and ornamental flowers.
Among the trees: almond, apple, persimmon and plum.
Among the ornamentals: salvia, seaside daisy, purple coneflower, Mexican hat flower and roses.
Herbs? They include basil, oregano, mint and rosemary.
Fruits and vegetables? Look for strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, watermelon, artichoke, broccoli and eggplant.
And peppers? Does the haven have peppers?
Definitely! They're not ready for Peter Piper to pick, though.
Foraging Honey Bee
Without this "something," your table fare would be sparse.
And now, there's an official day to celebrate them.
The second annual National Honey Bee Awareness Day is set Saturday, Aug. 21.
The good folks at Pennsylvania Apiculture last year launched the first National Honey Bee Awareness Day to "bring together beekeepers, bee associations and clubs, as well as other interested groups and individuals to connect with communities and advance beekeeping."
They created a website filled with educational information, fun facts about bees, and how to help them survive.
This year the focus is on honey, local honey. The theme: "Local Honey-- Good for Bees, You, and the Environment!”
Of course, bees are more valuable for their pollination services than the honey they produce. Honey bees pollinate about one-third of the American diet. In fact, it's said that "between 50 to 80 percent of the world’s food supply is directly or indirectly affected by honey bee pollination," according to the National Honey Bee Awareness Day website. "Whether it’s pollination of apples, or pollination of the seeds to produce grain for livestock, the food chain is linked to honey bees. The world's production of food is dependent on pollination, provided by the honey bees."
So it was with great concern that we read last week about the killing of two bee colonies at an urban farm in San Francisco. Seems that someone invaded the Hayes Valley Farm--where the non-profit San Francisco Bee-Cause keeps its bees--and deliberately sprayed pesticides inside the openings of three hives. Two colonies collapsed and died--and not because of colony collapse disorder (CCD). The third hive sustained major losses.
Pesticides. Pesticides killed them.
Each hive held between 60,000 and 100,000 bees, so around 200,000 bees died.
Ironically, the bee hives were there not only for pollination, but as educational tools. And the honey was to be sold to benefit more educational activities.
Some theorize that the culprit hates or fears bees, and sought to eliminate them.
Perhaps the vandal would want to exist on foods NOT requiring bee pollination, such as wind-pollinated or self-pollinated crops like barley, corn, oats, rice, rye, sorghums and wheat.
All hail the honey bee.
Tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 22) is the first-ever National Honey Bee Awareness Day, as proclaimed by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
It's "hive time" this insect has its own day.
After all, as Vilsack says, bee pollination is responsible for “$15 billion in added crop value and is an essential component of the production of more than 90 food crops.”
Vilsack points out that "Honey bees are critical to the process of pollination of our crops throughout our country and an important part of maintaining a stable and sustainable ecosystem."
He hopes that Honey Bee Awareness Day will "help highlight this important role, as well as the significant threat honey bees now face from the phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder (CCD)."
"The role" and "the threat"--two good reasons to increase public awareness.
We bee-lieve, however, that we shouldn't limit National Honey Bee Awareness Day to a single day in August. The entire month should be National Honey Bee Awareness Month.
Honey Bee on Almond
Honey Bee on Buckwheat