“Is the honey organic?” is a question that is often asked.
Nope. Let me tell you why.
Honeybees can travel up to 5 miles to gather their pollen and nectar. Right now, the girls are all about the Dandelions. Are the Dandelions in your yard certified organic? Is the soil organic? Maybe your yard is organic, but is your neighbors’?
I have no idea where they came from to get their bright yellowish Dandelion pollen.
So, why do some honey businesses call themselves organic? Well, if their hives are placed in the center of an at least 5 mile radius certified organic farm, then they can label their honey organic.
We live in the city in Rochester, NY. We cannot prove that everyone’s yard is free from chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, etc. Harvesting organic honey would be completely impossible here.
Interesting fact: If you buy raw, local honey that also claims to be organic, the business is either lying or ill-informed.
Part of the whole “Save the Bees” thing is making sure they have food and water. But it’s nature! They can feed themselves, right? Wrong. At least not all the time. If it’s a particularly nice day- temperature is above 50, there’s a calmness in the air, and no signs of an upcoming storm; then the bees are ready to work. They will fly out in search of pollen and nectar, and bring it back to feed the brood. Unfortunately, there is less pollen in early spring, and there isn’t enough food to go around for all of the ladies. This is where bee food comes in. At this time of year, we feed the bees sugar syrup- 1 part sugar, 1 part water. They can suck up a gallon of this stuff in a little over a week.
I don’t expect other people to be ready with sugar water for your local bees, but having accessible fresh water is a great thing. Bees become easily dehydrated and may seek out water in less than pleasant places- like your pool, if you have one.
Bird baths are great for both birds and the bees. Put a couple rocks in there for them to land on and watch them drink. Then, pat yourself on the back for helping save the bees.
The weather is beautiful, and I had all intentions of doing a spring inspection of our sole surviving hive today, but I pushed it off until it was too late in the day. They are still flying in and out and gathering pollen at 6:30pm, but it is best not to disturb them after 5. This is advice I was given through books, various speakers, and tested with my own stubborn experience. They just want to be left alone after a hard day’s work.
Aren’t they cute?