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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Stratham, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Student studying beekeeping!

    Hello all!
    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!

    Regards,
    Kelly Allen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Student studying beekeeping!

    Welcome. IMHO, studying bees is good, living them is better.

    1. The nutrition bees give surpasses anything we provide including those in New York City. Unless you have acres of flowering crops, I doubt placing a few plants nearby will make a meaningful difference for the 50,000 girls per colony. The best we can do is avoid sprinkling chemicals on their food.

    2. Like us, Honey Bees are not indigenous and we share the same origin - Africa. We brought them here, help procreate them, work to keep them healthy and manage them. They are where we are. They pollinate 1/3 of our food. Two percent of us manage 90 percent of all colonies. These two percent work for their money, their contribution to the rest is an order of magnitude greater than their income and compared to their bees, they have it easy. Our relationship is best described as symbiotic.

    3. Except for the drones, all bees are hard working women. As to their keepers, beyond suits fitting better, not only don't I think it matters, except for something to sting, I don't think they know we exist.

    4. You found a great start. I've heard more is written about the honey bee than any other animal on earth. Besides us, they were the first to get their genes mapped. With little effort, you'll be drinking from a fire hydrant. I suggest concentrating on material generated from those with hand's on knowledge.

    5. Keep looking here and you'll find plenty as well as a few of mine.

    Get some bees, good luck and keep us posted.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,663

    Default Re: Student studying beekeeping!

    welcome to the forum, and good luck with your academic pursuits!

    you will find this resource very helpful, there's lots of stuff here if you want to search through the archives.

    as for other resources, there are two in particular that have been invaluable to me:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm, and
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,007

    Default Re: Student studying beekeeping!

    Welcome Kelly!
    1. natural forage is the healthiest diet, insects are not people and do not require and sometimes not even tolerate the same supplements as mammals

    2. the current stance of vegans demonstrates the symbiotic relationship of people and bees

    3. most of the registered beekeepers in Florida and at bee workshops are women

    4. Egyptian, Myan and Judeo-christianity all include bees

    5. you are welcome to quote either of my websites - americasbeekeeper.com or americasbeekeeper.org
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Student studying beekeeping!

    >1. Would it be possible to create safe, nutritive supplements for bees based on infusions prepared from plants known to provide nutritive healing properties?

    The plants do this for you. It's called "nectar".

    > Are there plants that you know to be particularly healthful for bees to forage on?

    Ones that make nectar.

    > Would the infusion concept be redundant or even damaging?

    Yes.

    > Are there ethical issues with this idea?

    Honey is expected to come from nectar.

    >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.

    People have kept bees for thousands of years because they feed themselves and us. If the area can't support bees there is no reason to keep them there.

    >2. What do you think of possible ethical issues surrounding the harvesting of honey/hive products from bees?

    People have kept bees for thousands of years because bees are hoarders and they store far more feed than they need if it's available.

    >Certainly, the relationship (in a healthy, compassionate apiary) is mutualistic, but what is your opinion of the human-bee relationship?

    Bees don't need us. We need bees. If you keep bees in such a way that they have what they need and you take the surplus I think it's not detrimental to the bees.

    >3. Do you find there to be a special role for women in beekeeping?

    There have been movements in the past centered around women in beekeeping from time to time. Jay Smith and C.C. Miller certainly talk about what their wives contributed and Jay Smith highly recommended queen rearing to women. Grafting takes more hand to eye coordination than strength or endurance and women typically are better at that than men.

    >Do you have any thoughts on sustainability as it applies to feminism, nature, movements in social ecology, and the keeping of bees?

    There are the obvious connections between sustainability (working with Mother Nature) and feminism. I can't think of additional ones.

    >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?

    Certainly Tammy Horn's books would be helpful to you in this pursuit.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: Student studying beekeeping!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maykronata View Post
    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?
    For these two questions, you may want to get copies of a couple books by Tammy Horn (http://www.tammyhorn.com/)
    Beeconomy: What Women and Bees Can Teach Us about Local Trade and the Global Market (2011)

    Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation (2006)

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