Posts tagged bees

Mason Bee Work-shop – January 14th 2012

Mason Bee Work-shop

January 14th ~ 10am-12:30pm
Buemann House, Terra Nova Rural Park, Richmond

Learn how to have happy healthy mason bees in your garden with Brian Campbell. In this introduction to the native Blue Orchard Mason Bee you will learn about their life cycle and how to attract (and keep) them in your garden. These gentle, shy, yet important native pollinators of spring flowering plants and fruit trees are easy to manage and maintain while providing hours of fascination and fun for all ages.There will be a hands-on opportunity to wash cocoons and identify some common diseases and pests of these gentle beneficial insects.  Mason Bees and other supplies will be available for purchase at the workshop.

go to for more information and to sign up.


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Knowing where your honey comes from!

By Jeff Lee-

I saw a label in a beekeeping catalogue from Mann Lake recently that I think says so much about the importance of honey. We take for granted where our food comes from.Mann Lake honey label
But this label, which I will now stick to my jars, says so much in so few words. “How do you know its pure honey if you don’t know your beekeeper?”
Wow. What many people do not realize is that commercial honey can be blended from many sources. Some producers will mix it with other ingredients and you wouldn’t know the difference.
The other night Jeff and I watched a documentary called “Vanishing of the Bees”, which looked at the recent mass disappearances of bees in the United States. One of the commercial beekeepers who knew of a yard where honey was being adulterated was being interviewed. He asked to have the cameras turned off before showing pictures he’d taken of the undisclosed yard.Vanishing of the bees
Fade to black and the movie returns with the cameras panning a commercial honey yard and we see barrels stamped imported from China. The honey is diluted with high fructose corn syrup or milk products, and yet is not disclosed to the public.
Our beekeeping friend Bill Parchomchuk once told us how difficult it is for B.C. honey producers to compete with the large imports coming from China, where it’s difficult to know where the honey was produced or if it was exposed to pesticides.
So for us, telling our friends and family they can trust our honey is really important.
Since we started Honey Bee Zen, I’ve been asked a number of times what’s the difference between pasteurized and unpasteurized honey. Most beekeepers don’t pasteurize.
Pasteurized honey is honey with no real nutritional benefit. It has been heated up and all the nutrients and enzymes are cooked away. It is also clear.
Unpasteurized or raw honey comes right from the hive. It is extracted from the comb and at some farmers markets you can buy it still with the comb. It has been screened to get out the bits of floating stuff (and bee’s knees, literally!)  Raw honey is cloudy and on the label it will indicate raw or unpasteurized. There’s a helpful page at that covers the issue of unpasteurized vs. pasteurized quite well.
I am going to be writing blogs on the medicinal use of honey as well as some of my favourite recipes. If you have a favourite use or recipe for honey, send me an email and I’ll make a note of it. Email me at amanda (at) honeybeezen (dot) com.

More good bee stuff here!

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Vanishing of the Bees- Movie- Local screening Aug 9th & 11 2011

Sponsored by Sustainable SFU, along with our partners, the Pacific
Institute for Climate Solutions, SFU Sustainability and SFU Vancouver

Location: SFU Harbour Centre – Labatt Threate (HC 1700)
When: Doors open at 6:30pm, film starts at 7:00pm (90 minute or 53 minute film ), Q&A to follow.
Cost: Free!

Sponsored by Village Vancouver, VV Beekeeping Network and Eternal Abundance

Location: Eternal Abundance Organic Grocery Store and Cafe, 1025 Commercial Drive
When: 8-10 p.m. Q&A to follow screening
Cost: $8 includes small organic snack

Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives!

Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples,
broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.

Vanishing of the Bees follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees.

Watch the film and hear from one of the film directors, Maryam Henein.

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Green/Roof Fringe Fest Sept 2010

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