Honey bees have seen some trouble in recent years. Here and there colonies will occasionally — and mysteriously — disappear and collapse.
This is bad news. Not only for the bees themselves, but for anyone that eats fruits, vegetables, and nuts (in other words, all of us). Honey bees pollinate the plants that produce almost a third of the food we eat. They’re incredibly essential to a thriving agricultural system.
Beekeepers worldwide have been aware of this issue since the late ’90s, but it’s only gotten worse over time. According to Greenpeace, we’ve lost 40% of the commercial honeybee population in the US since 2006. It’s not only bees: other pollinators are being affected too, like butterflies, wasps, and flies. If you want to dig a little deeper, check out the thorough report on honeybee health and CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) from the USDA.
It’s not all bleak, though. Luckily for the bees (and the rest of us!) there are people like Andrej Kurosz, of Sweet Things Wild Thyme. Andy loves bees, and he knows pretty much everything there is to know about them — which is why he’s committed himself to working to solve the problem in a sustainable and healthy way.
Andy is a beekeeper with a mission: supporting the local bee population, encouraging natural growth, and helping farmers. He takes a natural and low-impact approach to doing his part to fight the problem, by setting up his beehives in farms and backyards throughout upstate New York (including a couple on the land of another Farmigo favorite, Rogowski Farm!).
Not only does this provide a natural place for the bees to grow and thrive in safety, but it gives the farmers an ample and ready supply of pollinators, to help ensure that their crops thrive. The honey is just a delicious side effect; and because his bees feed on all of the different plants, flowers, and produce from the New York farms they’re on, it means he gets to bottle honeys in a whole range of flavors, like pumpkin and goldenrod.
Did you know?
- Any honey you buy is bound to come from honey bees…but bumblebees, stingless bees, and honey wasps make it too!
- Honey is actually regurgitated and evaporated nectar (gross/yum).
- To produce roughly 500g of honey, honey bees need to travel the equivalent of 3 times around the world!
- Honey (and some objects submersed in it) can last for centuries.
- Honey has been collected for thousands of years — a Mesolithic rock painting in Spain shows two honey-hunters going after wild nests 8,000 years ago.
Discover (and taste!) more at Farmigo.