“Honey bee research is paramount since they pollinate approximately $10 billion worth of crops each year in the United States alone and they are facing extinction worldwide. - Mary Ross, Mohawk Valley Trading Company
Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) June 06, 2013
Green Sanctuary Community Apiary at Awbury Arboretum’s resident Beekeeper, Anaiis Salles, has been awarded a $15,000 NE Sustainable Agriculture Research Education Farmer Grant from the University of Vermont.
Funding will be administered through Green Sanctuary Earth Institute of Pennsylvania with Salles acting as Project Manager for implementation of a research project based on her design of a hybrid top bar hive. In addition to being an urban beekeeper, Salles is an urban grower of chemical-free produce.
“We would like to congratulate Anaiis Salles on securing this funding and we hope the project goal is successful,” said Mary Ross of the Mohawk Valley Trading Company where they specialize in raw varietal honey. Varietal honey is made primarily from the nectar of a particular type of blossom or flower. To capture the unique character and flavor of the blossom or flower, beekeepers must study botanical bloom and flowering patterns when planning hive placement.
“Honey bee research is paramount since they pollinate approximately $10 billion worth of crops each year in the United States alone and they are facing extinction worldwide. Without them the world’s food supply would be dramatically reduced.”
Salles’ experimental hybrid top bar hives will be hosted on selected urban farm sites in and around Philadelphia. The project goal is to assess if the hybrid top bar hive design supports greater likelihood of successfully overwintered bee colonies, enhanced pollination service for small scale urban farm or community garden settings, and increased honey harvests for top bar hive beekeepers.
Salles became a beekeeper in 2011. In 2012, Salles joined several community partners in Awbury Arboretum’s Agricultural Village portfolio of organizations focused on the environment, urban organic farming, and food education. Salles teaches beginner’s beekeeping classes at Awbury Arboretum, along with a week-long summer Bee Camp the apiary offers a hive stewardship program for those interested in keeping bees and gaining experience as volunteers. Salles has also created an educational board game, ‘Visualize World Bees.’ The game’s curriculum received a thumbs-up from the Philadelphia School Reform Commission and it is suitable for elementary students. Salles is available for presentations on beginning beekeeping. She is co-host for The Green Hour, a WURD 900 AM radio program dedicated to support of healthy, clean, sustainable lifestyles.
Green Sanctuary Earth Institute of Pennsylvania (parent organization of Green Sanctuary Community Apiary) is actively recruiting board members, volunteers, hive stewards, and participation of Boy Scout & Girl Scout troops for outreach and educational opportunities to further recognition of the importance of honey bees to our global food system.
For more information, contact:
Beekeeper & Executive Director
Green Sanctuary Earth Institute of Pennsylvania
261 W. Walnut Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19144
About Honey Bees
Bees are insects that are related to wasps and ants and there are approximately 20,000 known species of bees found on every continent except Antarctica. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are not native to the United States as they were introduced by Europeans to produce honey and beeswax. Honeybees are responsible for pollinating 80% of flowering crops, and without them the world’s food supply would be dramatically reduced.
As people become more conscious of the important role that honeybees play in their daily lives, beekeeping is becoming more mainstream and is now allowed in many urban and suburban municipalities. Since 2006, beekeepers in the North America and Europe have noticed a mystifying occurrence called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear, leaving the queen and insect larvae behind, unable to fend for themselves. While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, the term colony collapse disorder was first applied to a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006.
In 2013, a formal review by the European Food Safety Authority stated that recent studies show that neonicotinoid pesticides, some of the most widely used pesticides in the world, pose an unacceptably high risk to bees, and that the industry-sponsored science upon which regulatory agencies' claims of safety have relied is flawed and possibly deliberately deceptive.
Honey has been used by humans since ancient times for its health benefits and as a sweetener and flavoring for many foods and beverages, with tea being the most popular. Next to maple syrup, it is the most commonly used natural sweetener in North America.
Honey bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers and regurgitating it into beeswax honeycombs inside their hive. Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the hive of honey bees of the genus Apis and its most popular uses are beeswax candles and as an ingredient in natural skin care products.
The flavor and color of honey is determined by the type of flower the bees gather the nectar from; therefore, when cooking or baking with honey it is a good idea to taste the honey before using it in a recipe. For example: a dark honey like tulip poplar-black locust honey will result in a strong, heavy, pungent flavor, whereas orange blossom honey will result in a delicate orange flavor. Dark-colored honey is considered to be higher in minerals and antioxidants than light-colored honey, and one of the most well-known dark-colored honeys is buckwheat honey. Raw buckwheat honey contains a higher amount of minerals and an antioxidant called polyphenol, which gives it its dark color. The health benefits of buckwheat honey are many and well known.
The rawest honey available is comb honey which is made of sections of the hexagonal-shaped beeswax cells of the honeycomb that contain raw honey that have been cut from the wooden frames of a beehive.
Using raw honey is a long-term investment strategy for optimal health and personal care; the dividends are overall mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Like a blue chip stock, raw honey should be included in any health-conscious consumer’s immune system boosting portfolio and the return on investment of substituting honey for refined sugar in the human diet is incalculable.
Another product made by honey bees and used by humans is bee propolis; a resinous substance that honey bees collect from tree buds and bark or other botanical sources and mix with beeswax, nectar and pollen. This mixture is used by bees to seal gaps in the hive and by humans for its health benefits and as a traditional, natural or homeopathic medicine.