- Health & Nutrition
Big-Brained’ Bumblebees Access Tools!
Bumblebees may have small brains, but there’s significantly more happening beneath those exoskeletons than previously thought. Over the last decade bumblebees have proven themselves to be quite remarkable little beings with complex navigational and communication skills, emotions, and even facial recognition.
Now a study at Queen Mary University of London has successfully challenged the long held notion that only ‘large-brained’ beings can maneuver with tools. Cognitive scientist Lars Chittka and his team found that bumblebees could solve tasks and use tools to gain access to nectar. But better yet, they’ve shown bumblebees can learn this task from other bees and hive mates, without ever experiencing these tasks in nature.Read More →
I Absolutely Love This Quote!
‘Unique among all creatures, only the honeybee improves the environment and preys not on any other species…’
– Royden Brown
Ten Fun Facts About Honeybees!
Honeybees, scientifically known as Apis mellifera (meaning honey-carrying bee), have been buzzing around on earth for over 30-millions of years. Humans and honeybees have had a long and loyal relationship for thousands of years. Honeybees are the only insect that create/produce food we eat. ?Read More →
Most flowering plants have their pollen readily available for any and all pollinators to gather. But some plants are a bit more selective, even somewhat stubborn about whom they will share their nutritious golden treasure.
I just learned about a pollinating technique called ‘Buzz-Pollination from a video series produced by PBS called ‘Deep Look’. Chances are good that you have personally benefited from buzz-pollination’ through enjoying tomatoes, blue berries, cranberries, peppers, eggplant and even potatoes.Read More →
San Francisco Botanical Garden ‘Flower Piano’
The San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park is in full bloom this summer with pollinators going wild! Look at this fabulous honeybee gathering pollen from a huge Matillija Poppy. Her little pollen purses are just teaming with food for her hive-mates.
We attended the annual ‘Flower Piano’ event this month. During our visit, strolling through this 55-acre San Francisco gem in Golden Gate Park, we saw over 5 different species of hummingbirds, fury bumble bees, honeybees, wild bees, along with numerous species of butterflies, not to mention a huge variety of botanical wonders from all over the world.Read More →
This month the lavender, verbena, and bottle brush are sustaining our resident flutter-bye populations. Just last weekend the Rhododendrons began to bloom, which attracted an incredible, visually dynamic, early morning brunch-fest. I just smiled as I observed their pleasant hum from my big, old, teak garden chair, sipped my first hot cup-oh-joe…
What a treat…! ???Read More →
We visited the Gallery of California Natural Sciences in Oakland to see the Honeybee exhibit and learned about the 1,600 species of bees that live in California. Bees help produce our food and keep our ecosystem buzzing. There are many things we can all do to better support our local pollinators. It begins with creating a healthy and reliable food source for them, free of dangerous pesticides. Many people are unaware of the devastating effects systemic fertilizers, RoundUp, and neonicotinoids have on our wonderful pollinator communities. These chemicals contaminate the pollen and nectar bees feed upon, which in turn wipes out entire colonies.Read More →
Rainy Day Bees!
Northern California has been a very wet, soggy place this winter. However, we are loving all the rain since our region has been in a severe drought for the last 5-years. ☔️
The winter months pose a tough time for honeybees due to the impact of cold & rain on foraging and the availability of pollen. During a break from a recent rainy deluge, I came across this busy bee gathering pollen for her hive mates. Working with great vigilance, she moved from flower to flower on our Camellia bush. If you look closely, you can see the rain drops on the top of the petals… ?Read More →
? Winter Bee Food ?
Yesterday after the rain stopped, I ventured through the garden to document the blooming plants producing food for our local & migratory pollinators. I photo document this seasonal bloom-cycle twice a month throughout the year to make sure our little nectar-loving friends are always ensured a veritable smorgasbord in our garden.Read More →
The Little Bee That Saved Christmas ?
In the queendom of beedom, there is known to be a small bee from the genus Hylaeus sp. that has been credited with saving Christmas by researchers in New Zealand. This sweet little bee formed a much needed, yet mysterious symbiotic relationship with a very rare form of mistletoe (Peraxilla tetrapetala).
Now this is not your average, run-of-the-mill mistletoe. Rather, a single Peraxilla plant can live for more than a century, producing a cluster of spectacular crimson buds each year around the time of the Winter Solstice. ?Read More →
Nectar Sweet Victory Against Monsanto!Read More →
A district judge in the state of Yucatán, Mexico has overturned a permit that would have allowed Monsanto to commercially plant hundreds of thousands of hectares of soybeans genetically modified to resist the company’s infamous pesticide Roundup. The new ruling stated that introducing GM crops to the region would most certainly threaten the established and highly lucrative honey production.
We are blessed to have not one, but two Meyer lemon trees in our yard. As the days grow shorter in late autumn, the yellow orbs begin to deepen in color and look like bright seasonal ornaments stealthfully hiding among the deep green foliage. With the passing of each winter day, the lemons grow sweeter, and knowing this makes me feel warm right down to my toes.Read More →
My Grandmother was always in the kitchen cooking up something wonderful. As I recall, even the couch in her house smelled like a perfectly pleasant blend of fresh-baked cookies and thick-cut bacon. (I know that sounds weird, but it was absolutely the bees-knees as a kid!)Read More →
Several decades ago I began exploring the art of infusing various fruit and herbal mixtures with spirits. It started innocently enough with a simple curiosity to find a way to blend the medicinal anti-inflammatory qualities of the ginger root with the anti-oxidants in wild berries. Wah-lah, the Raspberry Ginger Snap was born!Read More →
Meyer Lemon Picatta is exquisitely divine and easy to prepare. The light, rich sweetness of the lemon sauce in juxtaposition to the salty capers and deep tones of white sage, make this a Splendiferous ‘comfort meal’ to be shared with friends and family. Serve it with fresh pasta, herb-roasted potatoes or lemon-rice pilaf, accompanied by steamed asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts or try our Rainbow Carrots, Haricot Verts & Caramelized Shallots.Read More →
This brunch is our daughter’s very favorite lazy-weekend breakfast. We buy fresh bagels the afternoon prior so we can wake up in the morning ready for a truly pleasurable, relaxed meal. I usually get the variety bagels that have a bit of everything on top, rather than a specific topping like plain or sesame seed. It’s important to locate a good source for Wild-Caught Smoked Salmon (NOT Farmed Salmon) to ensure high quality lox, without the unnatural addition of toxins, anti-biotics, dyes, or growth hormones present. I usually add fresh chopped dill, a bit of cracked black pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice to the top of the lox for an extra bit of flavor. The bagels are accompanied by a platter of freshly sliced organic English cucumber, ripe avocado, thinly sliced red onions, lemons, and cilantro with a small bowl of capers.Read More →
One of my very favorite morning meals is the Nut-Butter Berry Banana Smoothie. (Oh behave yourselves naughty monkeys…!) I refer to this smoothie as ‘B3Z’ (pronounced bee-3-zeeeeh!) since this name includes the word ‘Bee’, and I just love, love, love bees!!! So, I prefer to call it B3Z!Read More →
For those of you unfamiliar with the fabulously juicy, seedless Cara Cara navel orange, it is the physical embodiment of Le Voov!. Both it’s deep-reddish-pink flesh and the sweet, succulent citrus flavor will make you a believer in heavenly delights. Containing only half the acidity of a traditional navel orange, Cara Cara’s are the perfect cocktail mixer. As one sips the juice of this deep-hued citrus, subtle hints of cherry and blackberry tones can be noted lingering on the back of the palate. The dynamic, complex flavor makes this fruit a perfectly adventurous choice for dipping in chocolate fondue! (We’ll talk about that later….)Read More →