Last week I wrote about my distress at finding Hive #3 without a queen. This week, I was glad to find out that Hive #3 has a queen and is doing fine! She was newly introduced last week and we just missed her in our examination of the hive. It sounds like things are going to be looking up for the bees in that colony.
One of my favorite things about the learning process is when new information fits like a puzzle piece into the “Big Picture”. The bees are an indicator species of what is going on in our mutual environment. Over the past two years I have been studying natural farming methods, beneficial insects and invasive species (both plant and insect). The introduction of invasive species has reduced the honeybee’s numbers by half. What can we learn from that catastrophe?
I agree with my fellow students that importing 90% of our food into Hawaii is a bad idea. The bees, for example, gather everything they need within 2-3 miles radius of their hive. What would it look like if we too a hint from the bees? Buying and/or growing local food, reducing our dependence on imports and fossil fuels?
This class on honeybees is turning out to be a teaching on emotional life lessons. I am inspired by Jenny and Richard’s commitment to live and work in the “right” way. It is such a pleasure to be learning from them, my fellow students, and most of all the honeybees. I can’t wait for next week!
Posted by Christine Young
This project was funded by a grant from the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.