Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Simsons raise honeybee/CCD awareness!

Season 20, episode 8: "The Burns and the Bees"

You can watch it here:

Sure, it's silly- it's the Simpsons! But leave it to sweet little Lisa to take on a good cause!

I've been a Simpsons fan for years, and still remember the broadcast of the Christmas episode back when I was about 10 years old. I have enjoyed the show ever since, because it makes me laugh and usually has a good message, too.

This episode was especially well done and I will even confess, the scene with the dead bees and Groundskeeper Willy playing "Amazing Grace" on his bagpipe brought a tear to my eye.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Congratulations to Honeybeads, this week's featured member!!

Congratulations to Honeybeads for BEEing our featured member this week!

Honeybeads is a beekeeper in Central Pennsylvania and finds inspiration in the bee yard and the beautiful Allegheny Mountains surrounded by thousands of busy little muses.

Honeybeads will also be contributing to our blog with posts about beekeeping! How exciting, to get to hear firsthand about everything involved and all about the bees!

I asked Honeybeads some questions about beekeeping and crafting- here are the answers!

How long have you been crafting?

I began working with textiles in high school. I loved combining the textures and colors to elicit a feeling or get a response. I built quite a collection of fabric, leather, embroidered goods and assorted yarns and threads. Folk art and traditional themes inspired me.

How did you become interested in beading?

One night I was watching a shopping channel and they were featuring a set of jewelry tools and glass beads. I got them and loved the way the beads could add another dimension of texture and sparkle to a project. It was an opportunity to work with precious stones and pearls (my favorite) and metals. It is not nearly as intimidating as I expected and I love attending classes, workshops and conferences with skilled artists to get inspired and keep my ideas fresh. A jewelry piece can delight the eye and lift the spirit.

How long have you been a beekeeper?

I started keeping bees in 2005. I have been fascinated with honeybees since I was five years old. My little boyfriend lived next door and his father was a beekeeper. As much as I liked Greg, (we would sneak out behind my swing set and smoke candy cigarettes), his Dad had something in the kitchen that fascinated me: an observation hive. Next to the kitchen table there was a glass window to the world of the honeybees. For hours I was mesmerized watching hundreds of bees tirelessly working together drawing out and filling the comb. The amazing process that changed the blooms of flowers to sweet golden honey seemed mystical. It took nearly fifty years for me don my bee veil and become an assistant to these industrious little ladies. I feel honored to be a part of the queens’ team.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nectar Flow

These blogs could be called the Diary of a Beekeeper. Every year commercial beekeepers follow the nectar flow; moving thousands of bees on a pilgrimage to gather from orange blossoms in Florida, through peach blossoms in Georgia and up through the Carolina's, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and ending in Maine. Local beekeepers, also keep track of the flow. We monitor the blooms from early spring to winter and track the changes in the colony.

I keep bees in central Pennsylvania in the Allegheny mountains. I will share some of my beekeeping adventures.

At a recent meeting of the local beekeepers association there was a heated exchange about the advice a beekeeper had given to the resident of a nearby town. The aluminum siding on the man's home was filled with thousands of bees. He had contacted the association to get help. After assessing the situation, determining they weren't honeybees and attempting to relocate them, the beekeeper finally advised him he should contact an exterminator. There were outraged exclamations throughout the room, "We should never tell anyone to kill bees!" Then a calm voice from the back of the room commented, "Yeah, put 'em in a hive, they'll die soon enough." The room grew quiet.

CCD is a real concern to the hobbyist and commercial beekeeper alike. Every beekeeper anticipates a certain percentage of loss each year for various reasons. But CCD is an unusual and worldwide threat . Every local meeting begins with a report from each person on the status of their hives. In our group we monitor our own hives and have regular meetings with scientists at Penn State University to get the latest updates. A significant number of us do not use chemical treatments for mites and other common applications. Does that make us more vulnerable? Or do pesticides contribute to the problem? Are the commercial beekeepers the significant victims of this problem? Or is the hobbyist just as vulnerable? For now, we just continue to do our regular hive inspections and keep the lines of communication open with each other and the scientific investigators.

I'm thankful for honeybees,

Lorrie (Honeybeads)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quick Update!

First of all- Yes, we're still featuring team members!! :)

This week's was a little late, but as a head's up, the featured member is LonesomeRoadStudio! I need to get her interview questions squared away- but her feature post is on its way very soon.

Another update that I wanted to add- Last week I created a store on to help raise money for CCD research. My etsy items have not raised much money for the bees, and I don't have any art shows lined up this winter where I can at least hand out information about CCD, bees, and our team. Since CafePress is free, I figured, why not put up some products and if I sell any, I'll donate my cut.

So, here's the store!

Each item sold donates $5 to honeybee research- so if you've got any bee lovers on your Christmas List, BEE sure to check it out!

Peace, Love and Bees,


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Congratulations to SturmDM, this week's featured team member!

Congratulations to SturmDM on being our featured member this week!

Doris deserves special recognition this week for her dedication to bringing awareness and appreciation to honeybees, and being such an active member of our team!
She donates 10% from all of her sales (and 20% of each bee item) to Penn State for Honeybee Research!

Doris is a very talented artist in the medium of crochet. This hat titled "Me, Queen Bee", won the Etsy Hookers (crochet hookers, that is!) Hat Challenge:
Here is the blog of EtsyHookers entry in honor of Doris!

Doris creates all kinds of different things with her crochet- blankets, stuffed animals, shawls, hats, even clothes and accessories for pets!

For the feature, we asked Doris a few questions:

1. How long have you been crafting?
I have been crafting (namely crocheting and knitting) for about 40 years on and off.

2. How did you become interested in crochet?
I learned to knit and crochet in school when I was a girl in Germany, but a lot of my more advanced skills (like reading patterns and more complicated stitches) are self taught. I prefer to crochet because it seems to be easier on my hands because I only have to manipulate one crochet hook instead of two knitting needles.

3. When did you hear about CCD?
I learned about CCD by watching "Silence of the Bees" on PBS about a year ago.
I was shocked, outraged and scared, especially since this has been going on for quite some time. I just didn't now. I decided to name my shop Honey Bee Crochet to raise honey bee awareness and because I donate a certain percentage of my profits towards Honey Bee Research. I learned a lot since that first time I saw that movie on TV a year ago, and I especially discovered that there are a lot of other individuals, like me, concerned about the welfare of our bees. I learned that GMOs and pesticides are partially to blame for CCD and that also we people are sufferening from the chemicals we are forced to ingest. I would encourage everyone to watch this movie:

Thanks Doris!!

Here is a huge list of some of the resources Doris has shared with the team- BEE sure to check them out!

Here's some very easy reading, some very basic and simple honey bee facts to skim over:

Super Pesticides:

A closer look at CCD from a Proffessor of Entomology at UC Georgia

Note: Fall Dwindle Disease was the original name for CCD

Also you can find the Who's Who in North American Beekeeping (and Canada) from Bee Culture magazine:

And then there's the American Beekeeping Federation with all kinds of interesting information

and then there's UC Davis' Bee Briefs - short articles about important information

Here you can subscribe to the Apiary Newsletter from the Entomology Dept. of UC Davis

and last, but not least, let's not forget Haagen Dazs with their wonderful support of the Honey Bees. They're working together with UC Davis and Penn State and are really stepping up to the plate for our little industrious, threatened honey bees. This is a great website to start learning from and have your children participate because it's colorful, interactive, fun and totally family-friendly:

They even have a learner blog for the little ones, teaching them to write to the lawmakers and get involved - way to go Haagen Dazs (I'm buying my ice cream from you!)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Featured Member: SparkleJess!

Congratulations to SparkleJess for being the very first featured member of our team!

SparkleJess deserves some special recognition for bringing GMOs and this documentary to the attention of the Honeybee Helpers Team:
The World According to Monsanto

From the website:
On March 11 a new documentary was aired on French television (ARTE – French-German cultural tv channel) by French journalist and film maker Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto - A documentary that Americans won’t ever see. The gigantic biotech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years.

According to Jess, "EVERYONE should see [the documentary]. This will be the biggest change to the worlds food supply, in how it is produced, and the chemicals put into our earth, any generation has ever faced."

(Thanks also to team member SturmDM for posting the link from Jess!)

Jess creates dog toys, fabric art, and eco friendly photography in her Etsy shop. Her shop name is SparkleJess, but she also has a 2nd shop, . Sparklejess dog toys are eco-friendly and ethically sourced from non-toxic materials: organic cotton Harmony Art fabrics, filled with organic cotton or untreated Canadian sheep wool. Hand made in Canada, SparkleJess dog toys are stuffed with wool *(unless stuffed with organic cotton!) from the family farm in the BC Chilcotin Valley, from sheep raised on organic pastures, without flea dips or powders, taken to a small wool processing shop, and batted on a 100 year old machine. This wool has not been put into chemicals to burn off the vegetable matter like conventional wool, and dogs love the natural lanolin smell!

We asked Jess a few questions:

How long have you been crafting?:
Since I was little! I grew up without a television for most of my life, so I spent my spare time creating.

How did you become interested in eco-friendly crafts?:
I became interested in eco-friendly crafting about four years ago. At the time, I was working in the costumes department in the film industry, so I was spending 24 hours working with fabrics! I worked with a Costumes Designer who only used natural fibers: linen, silk, and lots of organic cotton, and it was then I began see a difference between these natural fabrics and the synthetics I'd been used to working with.

Around the same time, another person I worked with taught me about how toxic fabric dyeing is, and about fabric finishes: anything with a stain guard or non-wrinkle label on it has been chemically treated. Then, a very sweet grandmother working as a cutter at my local fabric store, happened to mention that the fabric I was buying (and all the fabric the store carried) was sprayed with insecticide before it was shipped, and I should pre-wash it before I used it. Well, I never did use that fabric! I started buying organic fabrics online and haven't looked back, now I use organic cottons for 95% of my sewing.

When did you hear about CCD?
Earlier this year I saw the PBS documentary "Silence of the Bees". I couldn't believe my eyes, that there are areas in the world where bees have been wiped out due to over-use of pesticides, but more frightening, something called CCD is affecting hives in many parts of the world: and it can't be explained why bees are dying. I posted photos on etsy called "save the bees", of bumblebees in my neighborhood, only to discover that there was an Etsy Bee Team with the common concern over CCD and the bees!

Recently, I happened to catch a greenpeace conference on my local cable channel. Percy Schmeiser was speaking about GMO's. Percy, a 68-year old Saskatchewan farmer, is well-known to Canadians for fighting Monsanto, a huge company that produces genetically modified seed. The company of Monsanto had sued Percy and his wife because they found their GMO seed on his land, even though Percy Schmeiser had not put the seed there.

What I didn't know, though, about GMO seed was what Percy Schmeiser was saying in this televised conference: that GMO seed contains a terminator gene, that renders the seed unusable for the next growing season, so that the seed companies can make money on their seed every year. I immediately wondered about the connection between this terminator gene and the slow disappearance of the bees: after all, the areas where bees are disappearing are areas where non-organic produce is being grown!!

I did more research: I watched the documentary "The World According to Monsanto". The sad thing is that the GMO seed also requires MUCH more pesticide use than organic seed does, but that GMO seed threatens to take over organic seed, due to the wind/how pollination happens. Since scientists have documented that bee populations are affected by pesticides, I'm very concerned about what will happen to our bees if the GMO seed takes over and crops become monoculture.

I think we can make a difference in our everyday purchases. For example, 95% of canola seed is now GMO, due to how seeds pollinate, carried by the wind. The chemical that HAS to be used on GMO canola in order to make it germinate, is agent orange. Therefore, if you only choose one organic product to buy, buy organic canola oil. It helps that tiny amount of organic farmers that are still producing organic canola, and you know that you are helping the earth the seed is grown in, the people who harvest the seed, and most of all, you give our bees a fighting chance!
Thanks so much, all the best,

See SparkleJess for organic dog toys and bags at the Vancouver's "Green" Christmas fair, Sunday, December 7th, 11am-6pm at the Cambrian Hall on Main St!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey

I just received this book in the mail last week and have been trying to read a little bit each night before I go to bed. So far, I'm fascinated by it. The author, Holley Bishop, wants to study bees and beekeeping and becomes an apprentice to a beekeeper (Donald Smiley) in the Florida panhandle. I'm just a little into the first chapter so far. The author has spent a day with Mr. Smiley, the beekeeper, checking on his bees and now the chapter is going into a little bit of a history lesson :) (pictures!)

I wish I had more time to read, as I'm really excited about the book! Hopefully after I move next week, I can spend a little more time with it.

If any other team members are interested in reading the book with me, I'm sure if you pick up a copy soon, we can coordinate and read it together- just let me know! Leave a comment here on this blog post! :)
I got mine for pretty cheap, used, from Also there's always the library!!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Autumn Harvest hat with Beeatrice, the bee

Hello fellow Honey Bee Helpers!

Here's my entry for our Autumn Challenge that is due tomorrow. I am entering my other unique hat with the bee that is in her fall colors of orange and brown, instead of the traditional yellow and black. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I am a Western Honey Bee.
I work both day and night,
collecting honey from a tree
and plants to save my hive.

Sometimes my fellow worker bees
get lost, I don’t know why.
When I return to my colony
they are no where in sight.

What is this thing called CCD?
What is a bee to do,
but keep on working busily
making honey for me and you

I heard it in the willow wind.
It whispers to us all:
“we’ve been around millions of years,
don’t let the last bee fall!”

by Doris M. Sturm

Friday, September 12, 2008

Two New Treasuries Today!!

We currently have not one, but TWO treasuries of our wonderful team. Yaaaayyy!!

One in the Treasury- All PINK Items from your shops, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. I realize it's not yet October, but it never hurts to bring awareness to TWO causes, right? CCD and Breast Cancer. So.. Let's BEAT 'EM!

Click the link and give some feedback :)

Our Treasury West treasury was created in honor of the August Challenge. Way to go participants! If you created an item for the challenge and it's not here, it's only because I didn't know about it- so convo me on Etsy (samanthasartstudio) and I'll rotate things around so your Challenge Entry gets some love, too!

Thanks for all your hard work, honeybees, and for sharing the treasuries, and commenting, and all the wonderful things you do for the honeybees.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What should the Fall Challenge be?

Please vote in the poll on the right- Sunday September 14 is the last day for voting. On Monday, we'll know what the new challenge theme will be!
The Challenge entries will be due October 20. That gives us about a little over a month to work on our challenge entry, and also some time to think of a new challenge to start in November. And frees you up for Halloween as well!

Here are the options that have been placed into the poll. If you would like to add another option to the poll, please add a comment to this blog post and I'll add it.

General Fall Challenge- what do you think of when you think of fall? Halloween? Colorful leaves? Thanksgiving? Pumpkins? Harvesting of food? Warm fall colors? Cinnamon and apple pies? Whatever you think of, create an item for your Etsy shop based on any of your loves in the fall.

Fall Leaves- Everyone thinks of colorful leaves when they hear the word "Autumn." Create an item with based on the colors of fall leaves: Typically brown, red, orange, yellow, burgandy, and dark purples are all colors of a beautiful Fall! Or create an item with actual leaves in the design. Or both!

Harvest- Squashes, pumpkins, cornucopias, mums, corn, sunflowers- In almost every picture of a fall harvest, these items are shown. And lots of these items are brought to us by our dear Honeybees (and other bees) pollinating efforts! Pick some autumn foods and do a challenge related to them- add in a bee or two, if you wish!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Yay! The Chicago Botanic Garden!

My husband and I went to visit the Chicago Botanic garden during Labor Day weekend.
It's definitely a place that takes all day to see everything, so we decided to pick out a few gardens that we definitely wanted to see. One was the Fruit and Vegetable garden. It was nice, how the different gardens were all set up- but as we walked through the garden, I sadly didn't see anything about bees. Throughout the botanic garden are little signs that you can read, full of tidbits and interesting information- I thought surely the fruit and vegetable garden would be full of information regarding the importance of bees.

But much to my surprise and delight, as we meandered down the garden path to exit the fruit and vegetable garden, we were led into a breezeway next to a small building... called The Beeline! It was a whole display dedicated to honeybees. They even had a volunteer there answering everyone's 448905483 questions about bees, hives, and bee life. They had a display of different bee products- honeys, propolis, pollen granules. They also had a small hive that people could look into and see- and try to find the queen, of course.

Also during the weekend that we happened to be visiting, the family drop-in activity was all about bees, too! You could be the bee and pollinate a flower. They had a giant enlarged diagram of all the flower parts, and different activities for kids to do and learn more about bees.

Yay for the Chicago Botanic Garden!!- Helping to educate everyone to the importance of bees :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bees + Team + Challenge + ♥ + August!!

Lots of our members participated in the August Team Challenge and my oh my, what BEEutiful items our creative team has produced in honor of our very first challenge!! Jewelry was a very common theme.... Bees make LOVELY accessories, don't you think!?

She also created a couple of great bee ACEOs!

Member SturmDM created all these bee items (yes, each word is linked to a different bee!!) and had a couple sales, too! Way to go!:

Member SheilaSatin created a sweet Bee Bracelet- how adorable!

LonesomeRoadStudio created a very cool necklace dubbed "The Buzz!"

SamanthasArtStudio created a BEE Kind bracelet:
NightShadesArt created a lovely Leather Cuff Bee Bracelet:

And Treatsoap created a soap called Bee My Honey- with scents of oatmeal, milk, honey, and cinnamon! YUM!!

I know I've seen some pictures of other members' challenge items, but I couldn't find them in your shops- so I didn't list them here as I didn't want to be a tease in case someone wanted to buy it and it's not listed!

If I've forgotten your item, I sincerely apologize and BEE sure to convo me on Etsy ASAP, and I'll add your item to the blog right away!

I tried to keep track of everyone's but these were the ones I saw posted on the Ning, and I was able to find them the fastest :)
If you're working on an item, let me know when it's done- and you can add a blog here about it, too!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Treasury In PINK!!

Click it!
Leave a comment :)
Share the love!
Put the linky-loo in your shop announcement!
Whoo hoo!

Lately it seems I'm always online about 20 minutes before Treasury West has an opening. Which gives me *just* enough time to pull up our team profile page and check out shops for the items I'm looking for!

Dear Etsy,
Please don't take away Treasury West.

The Honeybee Helpers Team

Thursday, August 14, 2008

HoneyBee Helpers Team Challenge Entry

Here's my HoneyBee Helper Challenge entry everybody...hope you like this little buzzer. This honeybee is crocheted from worsted weight yarn and stuffed with polyester fiberfill. You can see more bees in my shop on Etsy.
Just visit and buzzzzzz around.

Oooops, how did this bee end up on the lady's hat?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Could it BEE? Another TREASURY?

Why yes! Yes it could!

What great timing, since the other team treasury expired yesterday! :)

Click the link, share with friends, add some comments. This time I picked items in bright GREEN!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

HOORAY!! A treasury for us!

Please pass on the link. Share the team treasury loooove! :)

You can also put the link into your shop announcement while the treasury is active- don't forget to take it down though, hehe.

I picked the most colorful selections I could find from our team members. Hope you get some views, some hearts, some sales, and some love!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nightshade's Art's Honeycomb Bracelet

Honeycomb Honeybee leather cuff bracelet
This honeybee was painted on to a carved and dyed honeycomb made of a scrap of tooling leather. The cuff itself is made from recycled upholstery leather.

This is my entry for the Bee Challenge.

My shop -
My blog -

Monday, July 28, 2008

Honeybee Helpers' First CHALLENGE!

August challenge time!
(I am not sure if we will do this monthly always- I guess we'll see how the first one goes.)

Since we're the bee team, why not have a BEE CHALLENGE for our "initiation challenge"?

* Even if you already have bees in your shop, depending on how long your projects take to create- you could create another bee to keep in stock, or do something new and entirely different.
* If you can't come up with any bees for your shop, you could play around with something using the colors yellow and black, and/or find some cute bee charms to add to a project. (I've seen bee charms available around Etsy!)
* And, feel free to do any type of bee that you want. Our team focus may be on the honeybees, but if you're feeling more inclined toward a bumblebee or wasp, then so BEE it!
* I've seen many cute bee fabrics around local fabric stores, too.

Since we all use a vast variety of materials to create our work, it will be lots of fun to see what all of us come up with! If possible, it would be great to donate the proceeds from these new bees to a bee research charity as well.

Tentative date as of now to show and share your finished project: On or before August 31.

BEE sure to post the pictures of your bee on our Ning site!
(If you're not a member yet, please join! If you didn't get an invitation, I just need your email address. Convo it to samanthasartstudio on Etsy.)

We will also create a post in the Etsy forums and post links to our bees in our shops, too, as a way of promoting our team and all of our stores.

Happy Crafting!
Worker bees away!! Bzzzzzzzzzz...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beekeeping and Green Roofs in Chicago

This may just qualify as shameless promotion of both my city and our Co-op but I wanted to share a video on rooftop gardens that TF1 (French Television) broadcast last evening. You get a birds eye view of the rooftop garden on Chicago's City Hall and the beehives maintained by Chicago Honey Co-op head beekeeper Michael Thompson. He has been keeping bees since he was 12 years old living in Kansas. The bees atop City Hall here do exceptionally well and receive no chemical or antibiotic treatments. Chicago also has a rooftop garden on the Cultural Center here, also with healthy beehives.
Two other Chicago rooftop gardens are also featured.
Here is the link,,3921922,00-toits-verts-chicago-.html

Sent samples to the sampler :)

First of all... if you haven't already responded to this thread, please do so!
And THANKS to those of you who already have!!

It would be so wonderful if we got
everyone in here to introduce themselves and we could see all your FABULOUS shops!

Okay, back to the bloggin'...
I sent some samples to the sampler! Craftin Outlaws have an upcoming craft show and are giving away some goodie bags. I sent some 3.5" x 5" notecards (had a bunch of spare envelopes in the appropriate size just sitting here) and with each card, I included a little card with info on the honeybee helpers and my shop.

On the cards I also included the etsy search for BEETEAM, our team tag. I hope that those of you who are using it will get some sales! (Or even just views would be nice) :)

Eh, sorry for the lack of artistic photography/background. It's my summertime-and-super-easy-to-clean vinyl table cloth... But I love it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Let's get things buzzing!

How about everyone stop by and say Hello in the *NEW* "End Of July Buzz" forum thread?

The more we post and bump our thread, the more we promote our team and all of our shops!
I'd love to get everyone "introduced" (so to speak), since we all have BEES in common. So join in the chat and let us know a little about you, your shop, when and why you became fond of bees, etc.
It's tough for us, I know, since we're a global team and not just local.
But if we all start posting and letting each other know where we're from, maybe we'll find out that some of us are neighbors! That would be a great way to coordinate some CCD awareness events.

Has anyone used the Chat feature in Etsy? Do you find it to be useful? If so, perhaps we should try and set up a chat!

Lastly, let's try and see how many treasuries we can put together for our team! It's so exciting to put one together!

Use this Etsy feature to make a "sketch" of how you want your Treasury to look!

You can do anything you want! Your favorite items from team members, or you can pick a color theme with team members' things and fill a treasury with blue, or bee colors yellow and black... You can do an eco-friendly theme... You could feature just bee items from team members' stores, or feature items that specifically donate to bee projects or charities. Use your imagination :)

I've already put together 3 Treasuries- I know they can be elusive, but if you are like me and tend to visit Etsy a few times a day at different times, you'll get one too! (It seems to be easier on weekends.)
For more information on Treasuries and all of the mysteries revealed, read these!

Thanks for everything everyone is doing- I see lots of you using the team tag ("beeteam")!
Yay for bees!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bee Team treasury with an Eco-Friendly theme!

I tried to pick the most eco-friendly things from team members that I could find.

Treasury expires on Wednesday... Check it out! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

UPDATE: Samples for the Sampler

Looks like "Craftin' Outlaws" are looking for some samples to include in some goodie bags for their craft fair on August 16. Deadline to submit the samples is August 4th. The maximum amount of samples you can submit would be 100, but you can submit less if you like. They're looking for small items such as mini-soaps, pendants, keychains, magnets, a hair accessory, etc. Something that people can use and not *just* fliers, business cards, etc.

I was thinking if some of us from the Honeybee Helpers wanted to send in some samples, we could print out the BeePromo2.pdf (from the google group) and send that with our samples. That way, both your store and the bees might get a boost!

UPDATE: She responded to an email that I sent, inquiring about a minimum amount of donation items and said there is no minimum. So, if you want to do 5, 10, or 100, that's up to you :)
She also said a Honeybee Helpers paper team promo would be fine, too!

If any of you have some ideas of things you'd like to send in, add a comment here or post them on the chat thread on etsy! Maybe we can all send in a few small things.

Monday, July 7, 2008

What a great film!! And a great organization.

Got 9 minutes?

Then watch this fascinating film, "Every Third Bite".
(Winner of the Good Food Award!)

Thanks to our Etsy Honeybee Helpers Team member One Honey (Chicago Honey Co-op) for bringing this great film to my attention!

Chicago Honey Co-Op provides job opportunities for those who are under-employed and is owned by its members. They also have chemical free beehives and make all natural honey! An association who helps out people and bees.... does it get any better than that?

Visit their very informative website and learn more about the great things they do: .

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Where The Bees Are...

On my July 4 holiday, I got to spend a lot of time outside in my gardens, observing the many bumble bees (there are SO many here) and other insects. I was lucky enough to be outside while a single honeybee was visiting a few flowers! (I've only seen them a couple other times this year.) Unfortunately, my camera had run out of batteries and they were in the process of charging- so while I don't have photographic evidence of the honeybee itself, I did get some pictures later of a couple types of flowers that she was visiting while I followed her around for a bit.

I'm in Maryland- zone 7- and if these plants bloom in your zone, maybe they'll bring some honeybees into your garden as well.

White balloon flower

Bee Balm (two bumble bees on this one)

I took a walk later in the day and observed a honeybee visiting a Magnolia tree down the street.
Also in years past, I've seen honeybees all over the black-and-blue Salvia in the garden, but yesterday's honeybee wasn't into that particular plant.

If it wasn't raining today, I'd go outside and try to get pictures of honeybees- Hopefully later this summer I'll be able to share some :)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Team Chat threat on Etsy forums....

Since it can be difficult to check lots of different things- like Etsy, the Google Group, any other sites you guys are on, I thought I'd make a post on the Etsy forums where we can chat a little and check out each others' stores and things.

So if you like, make a post in the thread, and make your store and honeybee helpers team status known :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

News of the Bee

Riverton,NJ has been seeing a lot of swarms lately, a seemingly increase in the bee population, one such population has taken to a local church, filling its walls with honey. See the video here.

Weston, WI About 15,000 bees descended upon this town, blocking entrances to local businesses. FOrtunately the exterminator they called was wise enough to call a beekeeper.

New Zealand, Agcarm has sent out 10,000 brochures to help explain to farmers and growers the importance to the honey bee in crop pollination, in hopes that farmers will think about their use of pesticides including what type, how much, and when to preserve the work and life of the bees.

Concord, NC a 100 year old home was found to have about 60,000 honeybees living in the walls, Honey was starting to seep through the walls as well. Some walls had to be torn down to safely remove the bees.

Hollidaysburg, Pa, a boys bees are causing quite a buzz, neighbors have complained. Officials have asked the hive be moved to a more rural area, the owner is ready to take it to court.

There is also an excellent commentary on possible causes of CCD, that can be found here:

Tibetan Prayer Flag

Combine your artistic and spiritual talents to make a prayer flag for the honey bees. While watching a program about quilting, there was a segment on a quilter who kept her sister-in-law company through out her lengthy struggle against cancer. To comfort both of them she began a prayer flag with quotations, and prayers for healing.

More about prayer flags can be found at . Last spring, I made a prayer flag for honey bees and the conquest of CCD. It is a long rectangle of muslin, which is basically white (air). To that rectangle I added strips I'd torn from fabrics with floral or bee designs, and other strips with quotations about bees. Here is one to get you started... “What is not good for the swarm is not good for the bee.” Marcus Aurelius.

I used small safety pins to attach the strips to the muslin background. It hangs outside in our yard, and releases prayers to the universe. It is also a nice reminder to me, to say a prayer when it catches my eye, that the causes of CCD will be discovered, and that if they can be found conquered. When I first heard about CCD there was some belief that cell phones might be causing the demise of bees. I didn't think the bees had much hope if human "beeings" had to abandon cell phones. Thankfully, it now seems more likely that there are viral causes for CCD, although our actions as humans no doubt weaken the environment for feral bees and other animals as well. Cotton Eyed Jo

Monday, June 16, 2008

Will Donate 50% Proceeds from Art

After watching the program on the vanishing bees on Nature last night, I've updated the Last HoneyBee listing on my Etsy shop. This artwork was created to help bring awareness to the honeybee problem. The vanishing honeybee epidemic is a serious matter we all need to be concerned about. I will officially donate 50% of the proceeds from the sale of this artwork - Last Honeybee. You can purchase this high quality print directly from either my Etsy or my website Off The Cuff Art.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Charming Bee Story

OneHoney here,

Since I have news feeds through our Chicago Honey Co-op google and Pageflakes pages, I came across this story from the NPR show, "Living On Earth"

Not all the news about honey bees is bad right now. I want to let everyone know that there are beekeeping operations that are specializing in breeding queens and providing new bee colonies to beekeepers. We get our bees from a producer in Texas who has worked very hard over the last 6 years to select queen bees that show resistance to 2 of the most troublesome bee parasites, varroa and tracheal mites. It will be operations like this one ( BeeWeaver ), that enable beekeepers to overcome the various parasites and diseases that affect honeybees. Without chemicals and antbiotics that the beekeeping "Industry" is so reliant on.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Finally! A Team Treasury:

It expires on June 12, so look fast!

And if you're an Etsy member, please leave us a comment!

Thanks for looking!!

Here's a picture of one version of the treasury.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

"The Busy, Busy Bees" painting...

"The Busy, Busy Bees"
12" x 9" Acrylic

I have this as an 8"x10" print on Etsy and as with all of my 8"x10" prints, $10 from the sale of it will go to, part of the CoEvolution Institute, toward bee research.

I created it for the May Plant Parade Challenge on WetCanvas. The challenge was to create a piece using both cherries and cherry blossoms. I did a lot of thinking about what I wanted to create, and since a concern of mine has been honeybees, I worked that into the concept as it seemed so obvious. Show the flowers, show the delicious product that we get from them- thanks to honeybees. Obviously you'd never actually see flowers and cherries on a branch like this at the same time, but showing it this way seemed to be the best way I could illustrate pollination.

The painting is 12" x 9" acrylic. I think I'll get a white linen liner with a white frame to finish it!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Last Honey Bee Art Card...

I'm interested in donating the proceeds from my limited edition Last Honey Bee art card to a non profit actively researching the growing honeybee problem. I emailed the regarding my contribution but haven't heard back from them. I'm not sure if they received my email and/or took my offer seriously.

My card is for sale on Etsy for $8.00. That's a $200.00 donation if all 25 cards sell. Anyway, it's a contribution I'm willing and able to make. Each card will have a certificate of authencity on the back which is dated, numbered and signed by me and the name of the non-profit originization. My only request is that my name as the artist of this artwork is indicated on the website of the non-profit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wow! Lots of articles on Honeybees.

Today I visited and found a wealth of information recently added to the news section.
Some magazines have recently featured articles on bees and other pollinators:

Martha Stewart Living, Homestead Magazine, and Country Living Magazines all featured articles on bees and you can find the pdf's via the link above. The National Wildlife Federation published an article on butterflies' decline as well, which can also be found on's news page link above.

Are there any events for Pollinator Week this year (June 22-28, 2008) scheduled in your area?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What some of our team members are doing to help the bees!

OSSMedicineJewelry is making a documentary film on the vanishing of the bees.

She uses her creativity to help raise funds for creating her film!

She honors all creatures and makes jewelry out of bones, horns, fossils and stones.
All of her sales go toward the making of her film about the vanishing honeybees.


WeirdBugLady has created these BEEutiful bee pins!

25% of sales of these pins will be donated to the making of the documentary Vanishing of the Bees. Check out the website here:
Make a fashion statement and help save the honey bees!

Also if you're going to be in the Ballston Lake, NY area on May 17/18, be sure to check out her display at the
Lakeside Farms Arts & Crafts Fair!


lepetitmonstre has created this Queen Bee print of an original Le Petit Monstre collage.

All proceeds from this print will go to help fund the documentary,
The Vanishing of the Bees.
And if you love Queen Bee but the colors are not quite right, you can request any background color! How cool is that!?


BaRbaRaGIOrDaNoArt has created this art piece in response to CCD and help to bring about awareness.

This is a limited edition of only 25 prints. Each print has a certificate of authencity, signed, numbered and dated. The orignal work was created using professional colored pencils and acid free inks and markers.


OneHoney is part of is an urban beekeeping cooperative in Chicago with 100 hives (chemical free!!) and 37 members. Their work is supported entirely through sales of their products. They provide job training opportunities for hard to employ people in Chicago and sell their honey and products at Farmers Markets here. Visit their shop for some great beeswax and honey products!


Check out BrooklynBee's blog for some Bee related themes and news: !


samanthasartstudio's shop is donating $10 from each 8x10 print (and a few others) she sells to and the North American Pollinator Partnership Campaign.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Far Out! Our team is under way.

Welcome the blog of Etsy's team: Etsy Honeybee Helpers. Our group of crafters and artists joined together as a bee-loving team with multiple goals in mind:
  • Bring awareness to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and the importance of honey bees
  • Raise money for honey bee research charities and CCD awareness campaigns
  • Educate others who want to help honey bees
Our team may launch a Team Store... but in the mean time, some of our members are already donating proceeds from some of their hand crafted items to honey bee research.

Things you can do to help the bees:
  1. Support your local bee keepers! Click HERE to find local honey near you. And if, for some reason, eating heaps of it with a spoon isn't what you had in mind, THIS is a good place to find some recipes!
  2. If you have a yard, plant lots of flowers and try to keep an area of native flowers growing, too. Also, don't use pesticides and chemicals on your yard. If you must, try to wait until the evening around dusk- when the bees have gone to bed. If you don't have a yard, maybe it's time to try some guerilla gardening!
  3. Speaking of pesticides and chemicals, try to buy organic when you can. The less pesticides being thrown around, the better the air is for the bees.
  4. Tell your friends and family (or the guy next to you on the bus, or the person behind you at the grocery store, or anyone who's willing to listen?) about CCD and how important it is to help the bees- share these tips :)

If you wish to BEEcome a member of this team, you must be an Etsy member since this is an Etsy team. Convo samanthasartstudio on Etsy.