Thursday, July 26, 2012

Downtown LA bees makin' sweet honey

During a coffee pit stop the other day, I spied this basket, filled with wax-sealed vials of golden honey.

These bees seriously have some view! Their hives sit atop a building in downtown LA, and are tended by Corey Brill and friends. Coffee Commissary in West Hollywood (801 N Fairfax Ave) is selling the honey to the public. I don't think you could get much more local than this.

For more info on the Old Bank District Bees, visit their facebook page, or watch the video to see the bees and their surrounds.

In light of recent news that the United States EPA has denied a petition to cease sales of clothianidin, a neonicotinoids class of pesticide that is suspected of being harmful to honeybees, now is as good a time as any to be reminded of the importance of bees to our agriculture industries. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has been widely reported amongst apiarists, and scientists are looking at all possible causes, chemical influence included. To begin to understand the potential stress that CCD has on our food sources, and on the chain of food supply, you could start by watching the documentary "Colony: The Endangered World of Bees" (2009). Equal parts informative and alarming, the documentary follows a group of beekeepers over 18 months as they struggle with the collapse of hives and the economy. 

It's no surprise that a growing number of "everyday" people are getting involved in trying to save bees and managing their own hives, as perhaps we are finally acknowledging how vital to our own survival these fellows are. And they work hard for us - did you know a single bee visits around 2 million flowers to produce 450g/1 pound of honey? Bless the bees!

This is an oldy I pulled from the archive (it's at least several years old) but I am still fond of this tattoo I did - a sacred beehive right on Sarah's sternum. Painful for her, but a cute bee tribute all the same. I do love those tattoos inspired by the nature around us.