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The Origin of the Honey Bee: Part Three, Humans and Bees

According to the Theory of Evolution, human beings, Homo sapiens that is, evolved roughly two and a half million years ago. It is thought that our human lineage diverged from some primate ancestor around this time. Although this makes sense chronologically, no fossil evidence has been discovered directly connecting the primate species of this time…

Origin of the Honey Bee: Evolution Part Two, Plant – Pollinator Co-evolution

Evolution is defined most basically as “change over time.” There are many, many factors that may drive or influence the process of biological evolution. One of the most important factors dictating this change over time is the home environment of the species in question. Take for example mammals living in the arctic or tundra regions….

Honey Bees, Beetles and an Observation Hive

The observation Hive at our Wilmington Island location is a special treat for almost everyone that comes to our store. The indoor hive is a nine honeycomb frame, glass encased box that is hung on an inside wall of the Savannah Bee Showroom. The bees are able to come in and out via a small…

Mead Series, Introduction to Mead, Mead Styles Part Three

The divine beverage of fermented honey, or mead, has a long and fascinating history. I have laid out the detailed history in my first two posts. Today I will explore the results of this varied cultivation of honey and microbiota that gives us the diverse group of meads we have today. They range from sweet…

Origin of the Honey Bee: Evolution Part One

As a young student I remember being completely fascinated with the concepts of biological evolution. The idea of catching a glimpse, although often incomplete, of an ancient time was very exciting to me. The “fossil record” is probably one of our most important tools in terms of imagining the plant and animal species that pre-date human…

Mead Series, Introduction to Mead, History Part Two

The history of mead is quite long. Seeing as how it’s origins are some twenty to forty thousand years ago I just skimmed the surface in my first post. Mead making was popular amongst the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and many European peoples so there is much to tell. As I described in my earlier post…

Mead Series: Introduction to Mead, Part One: History

This is the first in a series of posts on mead. The first discussion of mead will answer basic questions – what is mead? Where did it come from? In future posts I will go into the different styles, traditions, and present day interpretations. First, what is mead exactly? According to one viewpoint it is…

The Honey Bee Is The Glue That Holds It All Together

Working with honey bees gives you the unique opportunity to look inside a complex system of interactions. Some scientists classify a colony of social insects as a “superorganism.” This is because the members of the colony act with singular purpose. All of the activities of the individual are executed for the benefit of the colony….

Honey – A Delicate Crop That Begins with Nectar

I love to go to the farmers’ market. I really like the idea of buying my favorite fruits and veggies directly from the farmers. It is so much fun making tomato pie and feasting on strawberries, blackberries, and watermelon during summer months. I enjoy making stews using winter squash and root vegetables as we move…

Why Do Honey Bees Sting!

Did you know that approximately 1 in 3 people are afraid of stinging insects? These people become very anxious when in the vicinity of wasps, bees or any other stinging critters. Interestingly only about 2% of humans have life-threatening symptoms or reactions to stings. It is important to note that the venom that accompanies a…

How Do Honey Bees Communicate?

Honey bees belong to the scientific classification order hymenoptera. Maybe you remember a guy from your middle school science class named Carolus Linnaeus? Linnaeus was a botanist who lived during the 1700’s. He is credited with the development of the modern system of species classification lovingly referred to as binomial nomenclature. Now binomial nomenclature sounds…

Monofloral vs. Polyfloral Honey Varieties

Although there are many varieties, categories, and sub-categories of honey, all honey types can be divided into 2 general groups – polyfloral honeys and monofloral honeys. Polyfloral honey types are produced by honey bees using nectar from many different flower sources. Alternatively, honey bees produce monofloral honey types from the nectar of one flower species….

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