All posts filed under: Bees & Honey

Bees and Carmel Lavender are inseparable. Learn how we have created symbiotic relationships with each other, and how our co-existence enhances our products.

Bee Crazy – Join the Adventure @ Carmel Lavender

Have you ever wanted to be part of something completely different? On April 12, 2015 Carmel Lavender will be introducing over 50,000 new honeybees to Carmel Valley. Imagine being there as thousands of bees are released and take to the air, and their new homes. It’s a rare opportunity few get. It will be an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Join us!

Mid-December Honeybee Report

There is a lot of concern for honeybees, and I have promised many of you to keep you informed as to the bees progress through the year. Here is a brief status on this mid-December day. A fter a a week of heavy rain, today offered a short reprieve. While there were some clouds, we saw the sun many times today with a high of 65 degrees here at Carmel Lavender. Many people ask me what the bees do when it rains. Well, they stay home and keep warm and dry. Just like we would do, if we could get away with it! But when the sun comes out, it’s back to work again. The bees and I used this break to get some work done outside. While in the garden, I took this photo to the right with my phone. You can see the bees were very busy today doing all that shopping they didn’t get done while it was raining. Hmmm, I thought, I really should be doing MY shopping right now! This flower …

The History of Honey Gift Traditions

Honey has been a traditional gift for many occasions. But where did we get this custom to give honey on special occasions? The practice seems to be as old as man. Bees and honey have been known to mankind for as long as we find records. One of the oldest, a painting in spider cave, near Valencia, Spain is dated between 6,000 and 8,000 years old. What they were doing with this precious treasure, and what they thought about it has disappeared with them. But records have been left since that provide clues to the use of honey as a gift tradition. Ancient Tribute In ancient Egypt, at least as far back as 30 b.c., honey was used in households as a sweetening agent. It was highly valued, and therefore often used as a tribute or as payment. By the 7th century b.c., the Greeks gifted honey to the gods and to departed spirits as sacrificial offering. This value seems time honored. We can fast forward to the 11th century a.d. and find German peasants …

Gazing at Infinity

Watching the honeybee is like experiencing firsthand infinity. For no sooner than we have come to understand some marvelous aspect of her, than we discover more questions and answers. The oldest known depiction of humans and bees interacting date back to cave paintings discovered in Spider Cave near Valencia, Spain. Here is a painting of what appears to be a completely unprotected person, reaching into a hive in a tree, foraging honey. She holds a vessel, or perhaps a smoker. Around her the bees fly in the air. Eight thousand years ago people knew bees and created art to record their experience. Cultivation may have started around four thousand years ago in Persia. The Greeks were cultivating bees during the time of Aristotle almost twenty four hundred years ago. He refers to bees as one of the agricultural activities at the time. Aristotle seemed to know bees well. in The Politic, he use their social behaviour as evidence to his argument that social structure is a natural phenomenon. This has profound philosophical and practical implications. If there …

The Color of Honey

There are many different kinds of honey. And they are all very distinctly different. Next time you are at the farmers’ market or the supermarket, look at the honeys carried in the honey section. Commonly you will find clover, orange blossom, wildflower, sage, pearl, manuka, buckwheat, and many many more. There are too many to list. Sometimes these differences result from the bees foraging in different crops. Other times, nature plays a more direct hand. Honey quality comes as much from the plants as it does from the bees. These vials of honey in the photo above, for instance, came from the same bees in the same location. So why do they look so different? Well, they not only look different, but they taste very different. This comes from the time of year, the season, in which the honey was made. As the seasons change, so do the flowers. Bees must constantly search for those flowers still producing treasured pollen and nectar. The season is an important factor. This of course make sense if you …

Hidden Work in Honey

    Apiculture cannot just be a business. It is much more than that. I suppose that is true whenever you deal with living creatures. There are many things that must be done to support and care for those that provide for us. One of the things we try to do in our spare time is conservancy. For many years I would chase swarms around as the calls came in. This is not very efficient. So I started to search for a smarter way to do this. A couple of years ago, I began using swarm lures. These can be hung in problematic locations, where wild swarms congregate each year and create a nuisance. This is one such lure that I paid a visit in October.       This particular swarm moved in sometime in July. Here in the lure box they lived quite nicely until I had need for them. That time came. One hive lost their queen. It actually was a very strong hive. Lots of bees. But the queen disappeared. And …