pollinators

answers

Well, it was a long day today, especially since I was up until 2 am last night finishing up preparations for Bloomin Earth!! It was so worth it though. What a great time. More to come, but for now I think I need to sleep some more.

Since I promised crossword answers, though, I thought I better post them.

Here they are:

bee crossword answers

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honeybee crossword puzzle

crossword pic

I’m getting ready for the Bloomin Earth Eco-Fair that happens tomorrow, here at Kitchener City Hall. It will be indoors, since rain is threatening. Just in case that was making you nervous.

But back to my preparations. I’ve polished up a crossword puzzle that I created for my honeybee workshops last year. I’ve spruced it up a bit and put my SKG website on it. It’s still the same great puzzle, though, and I thought maybe those of you who are not able to attend might like to try it out. Especially if you have kids – mine are working on the puzzle right now, as you can see from the photo above.

Here’s the puzzle:

bee crossword

I’ll post answers for you tomorrow. Enjoy!!

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beautiful bees

honeybees

A friend sent me the link to a website full of beautiful bee photos, so I have to share!

The Bee Photographer

Such crisp, clear, close and personal shots of honeybees. I love how it brings their beauty to light. Pollinators are such an important part of agriculture. So many of our foods today would not be here if they were not pollinated by insects. Or, if they did exist, would be pretty expensive due to the manual labour that would be involved in making sure pollen made its way from the male bits to the female bits.

Honeybees are not the only pollinators; there are many other types of bees, wasps, butterflies, and miscellaneous insects that do a pretty good job of making sure we have fruits and vegetables to eat. This year I’m hoping to build myself a solitary bee house. Solitary bees are very well-behaved. They tend not to sting unless you’re actually squishing them or otherwise pissing them off. They have no honey or colony to defend. They just gather nectar and pollen to stockpile with each of the eggs they lay, so the larvae that hatch from the eggs have some food to eat.

If you drill a piece of wood with holes about 4″-5″ deep, with a 1/4″ drill bit, you can attract ¬†solitary bees. They are reportedly great fun to watch. You can get leafcutter bees, which line the holes with perfect circles of leaves from rose bushes or other plants, and seal in the eggs with the same. Mason bees make a sort of mortar with mud to seal in their eggs.

There are other types too, which I’m hoping to learn more about. And I’m hoping to get a chance to watch them and identify a few different varieties. You can do this too in your yard or on your balcony! You’ll be making your piece of Earth more pollinator-friendly, without all the hoopla of honeybee husbandry.

But if you want to read more about the hoopla, you can check out my old honeybee blog, which I haven’t updated in quite awhile. It tells the story of my beekeeping beginnings, all the ups and downs and silly mistakes along the way.

The Healthy Honeybee

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honey

pail of honey

This pail of honey was extracted in my beekeeping mentor’s honey house. It’s not really a complicated process, but for a bit more explanation and photos please visit my other blog:

The Healthy  Honeybee

domestic wildlife

bees on a frame

A few years ago something about honeybees sparked my interest. I can’t pinpoint exactly the event or moment that started my passionate research, but here I am: entering my second winter season as a beekeeper. I just put the bee escapes on my hives yesterday – you can read about it here – in order to clear the bees out of the honey supers so I can come back to collect this year’s honey.

The honey was probably what started it all: DIY honey. How sweet is that? Mmmm. Very sweet, as it turns out – but I had to wait two summers to get it! My honeybee blog is an adventure story: a record of my good and worse moments, my learning moments, and all the help I’ve had along the way.

Before I bought my bees, I spent a good year researching and learning hands-on. I wanted to be sure that I really wanted to do it. Turns out, bees are incredibly fascinating. It’s beyond honey now. I like bees for bees. And honey. But bees are cool too. Only 5% of bees make honey. The rest still pollinate and are very important to the well-being of humankind on the planet; without bees we would only have about 1/3 of our food choices left to us.

Not everyone needs to be a beekeeper in order to help the bees; plant some flowers, or veggies that are actually fruits – like squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers – and you will be providing a food source for wild bees. They will pollinate your crops and you will have food to eat. Some of the nectar and pollen they collect will be used to grow the next generation of bees, and the cycle continues.

If you plant flowers and fruity veggies, thank you!!