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Bee Movies, Magazines and Books: Resources for Beekeeping and Honey

Posted on July 08, 2014 | 0 comments


Beekeeping Resources by TheraBee: Books, Movies and Magazines

We get asked a lot to recommend bee and honey-related books, movies and other resources, so we thought we'd put together a short list of some of our favorites. Take a look and feel free to recommend any others.

Movies

All these movies we have seen on Netflix.

Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? The film investigates multiple angles of the recent bee epidemic colony collapse disorder. It also explores the historical and contemporary relationship between bees and humans.

Vanishing of the Bees:   This movie follows a pair of US-based commercial beekeepers as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. Filmed across the US, Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth.

More than Honey: A movie with incredible footage of beekepers and honeybee colonies in California, Switzerland, China and Australia.

The Secret Life of Bees 2008: Not a documentary, but a beautiful story set in 1964 about a 14-year old girl living in South Carolina, who  finds solace in their mesmerizing world of beekeeping.  Starring: Queen Latifah , Dakota Fanning , Jennifer Hudson , Alicia Keys.

 

Books

Honeybee Democracy; by Thomas Seeley (2010)
The Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook: A Guide to Creating, Harvesting, and Baking with Natural Honeys; by Kim Flottum (2012 )
The Backyard Beekeeper - Revised and Updated: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden; by Kim Flottum (2010)

Beekeeping: A Seasonal Guide; by Ron Brown (2011)
The Life of the Bee; by Maurice Maeterlinch (1901)
This is a special book for us since someone gave us an original first edition. As a side note, Maurice Maeterlinck won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1911! There is also a free eBook version here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4511/4511-h/4511-h.htm  

Magazines
Bee Culture
American Bee Journal


Illustration by Clifford Harper/agraphia.co.uk 

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Our Bees Do Not Have Udders

Posted on October 16, 2013 | 0 comments

One the first questions we are typically asked about our honey is “is your honey organic?” While we don’t use commercial treatments in our hives, nor use pesticides on our property, technically, we can say yes. However, that would be a bunch of BS!

Honeybee Flight RadiusThe truth is there is no such thing as organic honey, and if someone is labeling it so, than the first question you must ask is “how are you controlling where the bees are foraging?” You see, hungry bees will forage as far as a 5-6 mile radius from their hive. In order to be certified organic, a beekeeper must have complete control of that radius, ensuring the bees do not fly through pesticides, nor forage on pesticide treated agriculture. That means they would have to own thousands of acres.Honeybees don't have udders

And for those “certified organic” honeys – the question that should be asked is how are the certifying entities tracking the bees to verify a beekeepers claim that the bees do not leave their property? Well, according to an article "The Mystery Behind Organic Honey by LivingMaxWell - "some U.S. certifiers are granting certification to apiaries based on USDA organic rules for livestock. Yes, livestock." I'm sorry, but last time I looked, my bees did not have Udders!

In a 2011 article written by Alex Wild of Scientific America, and a professor on beekeeping said: Organic honey isn’t impossible. It’s just beyond of the ability of most beekeepers. Bee yards situated in isolated spots deep in the Adirondacks, or mountain valleys in sparsely-populated New Mexico, can probably pull off honey free of agrochemicals. Most beekeepers operate within a bee’s flight of pesticides, however, making “organic” honey an illusory proposition.

Alex goes into deeper explanation on this “illusory” problem, so make sure to read it in its entirety.

Further, with the growing use of pesticides and GMO's world-wide, I would think it would be even more difficult to make any organic claims on honey these days. 

Not convinced? Then here's more food for thought:

Is there such a thing as organic honey

The Truth About Organic Honey

Organic Honey, Is There Such a Thing?

I'm Martha Van Inwegen, and that's my perspective!

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