|One of our little honeybees gathering pollen...|
Thursday, December 9, 2010
•Beekeepers and environmentalists called on EPA to remove a pesticide linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), citing a leaked EPA memo that discloses a critically flawed scientific support study.
•The Nov. 2 memo identifies a core study underpinning the registration of the insecticide clothianidin as unsound after EPA quietly re-evaluated the pesticide just as it was getting ready to allow a further expansion of its use.
•Clothianidin (product name "Poncho") has been widely used as a seed treatment on many of the country's major crops for eight growing seasons under a "conditional registration" granted while EPA waited for Bayer Crop Science, the pesticide's maker, to conduct a field study assessing the insecticide's threat to bee colony health.
.Beekeepers and environmentalists called on EPA to remove a pesticide linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), citing a leaked EPA memo that discloses a critically flawed scientific support study.
The Nov. 2 memo identifies a core study underpinning the registration of the insecticide clothianidin as unsound after EPA quietly re-evaluated the pesticide just as it was getting ready to allow a further expansion of its use.
Clothianidin (product name "Poncho") has been widely used as a seed treatment on many of the country's major crops for eight growing seasons under a "conditional registration" granted while EPA waited for Bayer Crop Science, the pesticide's maker, to conduct a field study assessing the insecticide's threat to bee colony health.
Bayer's field study was the contingency on which clothianidin's conditional registration was granted in 2003. The groups are calling for an immediate stop-use order on the pesticide while the science is redone in partnership with practicing beekeepers. They claim that the initial field study guidelines, which the Bayer study failed to satisfy, were insufficiently rigorous to test whether or not clothianidin contributes to CCD in a real-world scenario: the field test evaluated the wrong crop, over an insufficient time period and with inadequate controls.
According to James Frazier, Ph.D., professor of entomology at Penn State, "Among the neonicotinoids, clothianidin is among those most toxic for honey bees, and this combined with its systemic movement in plants has produced a troubling mix of scientific results pointing to its potential risk for honey bees through current agricultural practices.
"Our own research indicates that systemic pesticides occur in pollen and nectar in much greater quantities than has been previously thought, and that interactions among pesticides occurs often and should be of wide concern."
Dr. Frazier said that the most prudent course of action would be to take the pesticide off the market while the flawed study is being redone.
With a soil half-life of up to 19 years in heavy soils, and over a year in the lightest of soils, commercial beekeepers are concerned that even an immediate stop-use of clothianidin will not save their livelihoods or hives in time.
"We are losing more than a third of our colonies each winter, but beekeepers are a stubborn, industrious bunch. We split hives, rebound as much as we can each summer, and then just eat our losses. So even these big loss numbers understate the problem," says 50-year beekeeper, David Hackenberg. "What folks need to understand is that the beekeeping industry, which is responsible for a third of the food we eat, is at a critical threshold."
Note: Article Taken From The Western Farm Press. Dated: December 9, 2010
For background, beekeepers available for interviews and more, go to Beyond Pesticides' Pollinators and Pesticides page: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/pollinators
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
|Our daughter, Tiffany, uncapping the honeycomb cells with a hot knife.|
HONEY COLOR AND FLAVOR—IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHERE THE BEES BUZZ
The color and flavor of honeys differ depending on the nectar source (the blossoms) visited by the honey bees. In fact, there are more than 300 unique types of honey available in the United States, each originating from a different floral source. Honey color ranges from nearly colorless to dark brown, and its flavor varies from delectably mild to distinctively bold, depending on where the honey bees buzzed. As a general rule, light-colored honey is milder in taste and dark-colored honey is stronger.
Honey is produced in every state, but depending on floral source location, certain types of honey are produced only in a few regions. Honey is also produced in most countries of the world.
Following is a look at some of the most common U.S. honey floral varieties. To learn more about available types of honey in your area, contact a local beekeeper, beekeeping association or honey packer. For help finding a honey packer or a specific floral source, visit the Honey Locator.
Alfalfa honey, produced extensively throughout Canada and the United States from the purple blossoms, is light in color with a pleasingly mild flavor and aroma.
Avocado honey is gathered from California avocado blossoms. Avocado honey is dark in color, with a rich, buttery taste.
Taken from the tiny white flowers of the blueberry bush, the nectar makes a honey which is typically light amber in color and with a full, well-rounded flavor. Blueberry honey is produced in New England and in Michigan.
Buckwheat honey is dark and full-bodied. It is produced in Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as in eastern Canada. Buckwheat honey has been found to contain more antioxidant compounds than some lighter honeys.
Clover honey has a pleasing, mild taste. Clovers contribute more to honey production in the United States than any other group of plants. Red clover, Alsike clover and the white and yellow sweet clovers are most important for honey production. Depending on the location and type of source clover, clover honey varies in color from water white to light amber to amber.
Eucalyptus honey comes from one of the larger plant genera, containing over 500 distinct species and many hybrids. As may be expected with a diverse group of plants, eucalyptus honey varies greatly in color and flavor but tends to be a stronger flavored honey with a slight medicinal scent. It is produced in California.
Fireweed honey is light in color and comes from a perennial herb that creates wonderful bee pasture in the Northern and Pacific states and Canada. Fireweed grows in the open woods, reaching a height of three to five feet and spikes attractive pinkish flowers.
Orange blossom honey, often a combination of citrus sources, is usually light in color and mild in flavor with a fresh scent and light citrus taste. Orange blossom honey is produced in Florida, Southern California and parts of Texas.
Sage honey, primarily produced in California, is light in color, heavy bodied and has a mild but delightful flavor. It is extremely slow to granulate, making it a favorite among honey packers for blending with other honeys to slow down granulation.
Tupelo honey is a premium honey produced in northwest Florida. It is heavy bodied and is usually light golden amber with a greenish cast and has a mild, distinctive taste. Because of the high fructose content in Tupelo honey, it granulates very slowly.
Wildflower honey is often used to describe honey from miscellaneous and undefined flower sources.
While different types of honey are available, most honey, especially honey supplied in bulk, is blended to create a unique and consistent taste and color.
(Research taken from The National Honey Board at: Honey.com)
|Bee City |
deWayne and I love to travel to other places and try their honey. In the above picture we had stopped by a delightful little store off the beaten path to enjoy some wonderful honey.
Unfortunately, there are many businesses who are marketing a honey not so wonderful. A product that appears to be honey, yet in reality it's far from it!
So, the National Honey Board has launched SavetheHoneyBear.com to save 100% pure honey, threatened by honey-flavored syrups.
Everyone knows what’s in the honey bear bottle—or so we thought. One of America’s most timeless kitchen staples, honey, is fading from the marketplace, and an entire industry is in danger.
Honey-flavored syrups are moving onto grocery shelves and consumers may not be able to distinguish between 100% pure honey and similarly-packaged honey-syrup blends.
“Many people don’t realize honey is just one simple ingredient: honey,” said Bruce Wolk of the National Honey Board. “Consumers need to be aware they may not be giving something 100% pure to their family if they don’t take a moment to double-check the label. Many of the honey-syrup blends are packaged very similarly to pure honey.”
Consumers can get involved by checking the label to make sure the only ingredient listed is honey. They can also better their chances by buying local honey from a respected beekeeper.
This is where "The Vintage Bee" should come to mind! deWayne and I are eager to aid you in your dietary needs, as well as educate you about the Lost Art Of Beekeeping.
Feel free to contact us:
deWayne & Faith Jaudon