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Bees are marvelous creatures,they have an organized community, pollenate our fruits, nuts, and fibers, then supply us with honey which has antibiotic properties and bees wax. They connect the universe, are fundamental to the earth. Without them we would not have flowers, crops, they take care of the world.

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I became interested in bees from our friend Jim in Vinalhaven, Maine. He has a few hives, and because the island in Maine is free of pesticides and near organic farms, his honey is marvelous. This summer he located some hives on a large estate to support the owner who wanted her apple orchard have a better harvest. He is a biologist, educator, and has grown to like and respect the functioning community of bees. Every summer for some reason when the queen is not happy, they swarm.  Jim in known to climb  trees trying to get the swarm. Not sure how he does this, but his wife is quite concerned. He bottled his 84 pounds of honey, designed a label, and selling it in The Paper Store in Vinalhaven. Visitors can leave with a token of this beautiful island. How do you start a hive? Order a queen and 3# of bees from The Bee Company.

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Every time we go to NYC we visit the Union Square Farmers Market. It was here I discovered Tremblay Apiaries from the Finger Lakes. People were lined up with large jugs filling it with honey. This is where I discovered pollen, nature’s perfect food. It has vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids. It increases energy, boosts immune system, and fights the effects of aging. I am chugging it!
I wanted to find the beekeepers in NYC ,did not, but their stories are fascinating. Graves, The Bee Man has thousands of bees in 7 hives in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and NYC pollinating roof top gardens and parks. Each hive produces 50# of honey and he sells NYC Rooftop Beelicious Honey in city markets. Chase Emmons has Brooklyn Grange Roof Top Farm and his story is great impressive, educating students for rooftop farming. And then there is Andrew Cote who heads Bees Without Borders, providing education around the world recently in Kenya. My friend Eric trained a team to shoot video for a 7 hours series of beekeeping in SE Africa capturing every step of the hive, harvesting and selling. African bees are different than American bees, aggressive and have to fight for the food. They fly in straight lines, so filming them the camera folks had to zig zag through the forests and run for their lives to get to their vehicles. It was intense.

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Follow the Honey is a store on Mass Ave in Harvard Square and has all things bees. Mary, the owner is passionate about bees, has products and honey from around the world and a honey tasting bar. She discovered bees on her ‘eatpraylove travels’ and feels bees get people talking, and in the world ,there is a community of people connected by bees and that is powerful. While I was there a 12 yr  girl came in her mother to sell the products she just made. I tasted honey from Mexico with its complex flowers, from Deerfield, Ma from a raspberry field, from Ghana with its strong mineral flavors, and Tasmania with the different tastes of Australia. Her staff was knowledgable and very creative.

The aha moment: I have a new knowledge and respect for bees and the passionate environmentalists. Next I have to explore bees in California, hives on flatbeds going from acre to acre as a business. Might have to ponder getting a hive next spring.
Speaking of insects: Happy Halloween (from the pop up Halloween Express stores)