My name is Kelly Allen and I'm a student at Goddard College studying sustainability, permaculture, and beekeeping. I came across this website in my research and I'd love to talk to some folks about bees. I don't have any bees myself (yet) and I'm still green to the art, but I'd like to change that! (I've only bee stung once, and that was years ago, so I am VERY new!) I'd love to learn more about what you all do and share ideas. I have a few questions that I'd like to ask people in general, if any members have a free moment:
1. Would it be possible to create safe, nutritive supplements for bees based on infusions prepared from plants known to provide nutritive healing properties? For example, a diluted infusion of water, honey, or a water-honey mixture prepared with red clover blossoms. This could be set out in a shallow dish for the bees to harvest at will. Are there plants that you know to be particularly healthful for bees to forage on? Would the infusion concept be redundant or even damaging? Are there ethical issues with this idea? Ideally, bees should be able to get most of their nourishment from their forage, but many bees don't have access to such lush, pristine, and diverse climates.
2. What do you think of possible ethical issues surrounding the harvesting of honey/hive products from bees? Certainly, the relationship (in a healthy, compassionate apiary) is mutualistic, but what is your opinion of the human-bee relationship?
3. Do you find there to be a special role for women in beekeeping? Do you have any thoughts on sustainability as it applies to feminism, nature, movements in social ecology, and the keeping of bees?
4. Are there any resources you can suggest regarding beekeeping, sustainability, traditions/rituals in other cultures related to bees, bee symbolism as it relates to religion, or bees as they relate to American history?
5. Are there any personal stories of note regarding beekeeping that any of your members would like to share with me? Information shared will be put into a report that only my adviser will read, but it will be saved for potential future use in later writings, which may be read by other advisers.
I hope this list isn't too long, as I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to contact me anytime!