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!)