To some, the bee is a feared pest that evokes anxiety, when in actuality the honeybee is a divine and essential creature in our ecosystem and food chain. The honeybee is responsible for pollinating 1/3 of our food sources, and without them our environment would be drastically effected.
Moon Valley Organics is not only an organic farm and creator of organic body care products, we are also an apiary, (also known as a bee yard) where colonies are kept and cared for. We have bee hives throughout Whatcom County, as well as hives on the farm. We harvest raw honey and pollen from our bees, & beeswax is used in many of our products. Our founders, Kim & Aaron Otto, have a strong passion for beekeeping and have been practicing the important art for over 16 years.
Here are some incredible honeybee facts:
- In North America it is believed that 30%* of food for human consumption originates from plants pollinated by bees. An in the US alone insect pollinated crops were worth $20 billion at 2000 prices.
- It takes one colony of honeybees, around 30,000 bees, to pollinate just one acre of fruit trees
- In her entire life, a worker bee collects 1/10th of a teaspoon of honey
- When foraging, a bee will travel up to 3 miles from the hive in search of nutrition
- Honeybees fly the equivalent of more than twice around the world to gather a pound of honey
- Honey is the only insect-created food with medicinal, therapeutic, nutritional and cosmetic value and is the only insect produced food that is eaten by man
- The honey bee's wings stroke incredibly fast, about 200 beats per second, thus making their famous, distinctive buzz. A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour.
- The bee's brain is oval in shape and only about the size of a sesame seed, yet it has remarkable capacity to learn and remember things and is able to make complex calculations on distance travelled and foraging efficiency.
- The average life of a worker bee during the working season is only 6 weeks
August 16th is National Honey Bee Day and one of our founders, Kim Otto, will have a pop-up booth near our Pike Place Market shop with an observation hive, FREE samples of our farm fresh honeycomb and information to bring awareness to the honeybee and the various issues affecting their population. Some issues include Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and the use of pesticides on crops.
“In early 2007, abnormally high die-offs (30–70% of hives) of European honey bee colonies occurred in North America; such a decline seems unprecedented in recent history. This has been dubbed "colony collapse disorder" (CCD); it is unclear whether this is simply an accelerated phase of the general decline due to stochastically more adverse conditions in 2006, or a novel phenomenon. Research has so far failed to determine what causes it, but the weight of evidence is tentatively leaning towards CCD being a syndrome rather than a disease, as it seems to be caused by a combination of various contributing factors rather than a single pathogen or poison. However, in April of 2013, after a report was released by the European Food Safety Authority identifying the significant risks of the class of pesticides called neonictonoids, the European Union called for a two-year restriction on neonicotinoid pesticides.” -Wikipedia
We at Moon Valley are committed to doing our part in aiding the survival of colonies through beekeeping, education and not using pesticides. Below are links to more information so you can find out what you can do to help the exquisite honeybee once again become a thriving part of our environment.
National Honey Bee Day
Pesticide Action Network
Sum of Us