Sacred Honey Bee Evening video clip, CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO VIEW

Sacred Honey Bee Evening video clip, CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO VIEW
Click on this photo for a video of "Evening in Honor of the Sacred Honey Bee". Photo by Daniel Bahmani

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ancient Greek Grave Hides Golden Bee Goddess pendant

Published September 28, 2010

ATHENS, Greece – Greek archaeologists have found an ancient skeleton covered with gold foil in a grave on the island of Crete, officials said Tuesday.

Excavator Nicholas Stampolidis said his team discovered more than 3,000 pieces of gold foil in the 7th-century B.C. twin grave near the ancient town of Eleutherna.

Cemeteries there have produced a wealth of outstanding artifacts in recent years.

The tiny gold ornaments, from 1 to 4 centimeters (0.4 to 1.5 inches) long, had been sewn onto a lavish robe or shroud that initially wrapped the body of a woman and has almost completely rotted away but for a few off-white threads.

"The whole length of the (grave) was covered with small pieces of gold foil -- square, circular and lozenge-shaped," Stampolidis told The Associated Press. "We were literally digging up gold interspersed with earth, not earth with some gold in it."

The woman, who presumably had a high social or religious status, was buried with a second skeleton in a large jar sealed with a stone slab weighing more than half a ton. It was hidden behind a false wall, to confuse grave robbers.

Experts are trying to determine the other skeleton's sex.

The grave also contained a copper bowl; pottery; perfume bottles imported from Egypt or Syria and Palestine; hundreds of amber, rock crystal and faience beads; as well as a gold pendant in the form of a bee goddess that probably was part of a rock crystal and gold necklace.

"If you look at it one way up, it's shaped like a lily," said Stampolidis, a professor of archaeology at the University of Crete who has worked at Eleutherna for the 25 years. "Turned upside down, you see a female figure holding her breasts, whose lower body is shaped as a bee with wings. The workmanship is exquisite."

The ruins of Eleutherna stand on the northern foothills of Mount Ida -- the mythical birthplace of Zeus, chief of the ancient Greek gods. Past excavations have discovered a citadel, homes and an important cemetery with lavish female burials.

The town flourished from the 9th century B.C. -- the dark ages of Greek archaeology that followed the fall of Crete's great Minoan palatial culture -- and endured until the Middle Ages.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bees Change Their Internal Clocks

Honey bees removed from their usual roles in the hive quickly and drastically changed their biological rhythms, according to a study in the Sept. 15 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The changes were evident in both the bees' behavior and in their internal clocks. These findings indicate that social environment has a significant effect on the physiology and behavior of animals. In people, disturbances to the biological clock are known to cause problems for shift workers and new parents and for contributing to mood disorders.

Circadian rhythm, the body's "internal clock," regulates daily functions. A few "clock genes" control many actions, including the time of sleeping, eating and drinking, temperature regulation, and hormone fluctuations. However, exactly how that clock is affected by — and affects — social interactions with other animals is unknown.

Senior author Guy Bloch, PhD, and his colleagues from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, chose to study bees in part because of their complex social environment. One role in bee society is the "nurse": bees that are busy at all times caring for larvae. This continuous activity is different from other bees and animals, whose levels rise and fall throughout the day.

Bloch and his team thought that changing the nurse bees' social environment might alter their activity levels, so they separated them from their larvae. The researchers found that the bees' cellular rhythms and behavior completely changed, matching a more typical circadian cycle.

"Our findings show that circadian rhythms of honey bees are altered by signals from the brood that are transferred by close or direct contact," Bloch said. "This flexibility in the bees' clock is striking, given that humans and most other animals studied cannot sustain long periods of around-the-clock activity without deterioration in performance and an increase in disease."

The results suggest that the bees' internal clocks were shaped by certain social cues. Jürgen Tautz, PhD, of the Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg in Germany, an expert in honey bee biology who was unaffiliated with the study, said it is a wonderful example of the tightly regulated interactions between genes and behavior in a bee colony. "The presence or absence of larvae switched the genes 'on' or 'off,' which guaranteed the adaptive behavior of the bees," Tautz said.

Because bees and mammals' circadian clocks are similarly organized, the question is whether the clocks of other animals also strongly depend on their social environments. The next step is to find just how social exchanges influence gene expressions. Further research into this question may have implications for individuals who suffer from disturbances in their behavioral, sleeping, and waking cycles. Research into how these rhythms may be altered and even stabilized might identify new treatment options.

This 'Bee Suit' Suits Him Fine; Norman Gary Billed as 'Human Bee Hive' Sept. 14, 2010

DAVIS--When honey bee expert Norman Gary “suits up,” don’t expect a standard-issued bee suit.

It’s not an “ordinary” bee suit. And what he does is not “ordinary.”

Norman Gary, a retired University of California, Davis entomology professor, wears his bees—thousands of them.

And that suits him just fine. To him, bees are not only a science (study of apiculture), but an adventure.

Gary, 76, who retired in 1994 from UC Davis after a 32-year academic career, will appear Thursday, Sept. 16 on a History Channel show wearing 75,000 bees. The show, part of Stan Lee’s “Super Humans,” is scheduled to be broadcast at 10 p.m., Pacific Time (Channel 64 for local Comcast viewers).

Host-presenter Daniel Browning Smith has billed him as “the human bee hive” and will explore bee behavior and the science behind the bees.

A crew from England filmed Gary in mid-May at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, at Rick Schubert’s Bee Happy Apiaries in Vacaville-Winters and then in a UC Davis open field where the 75,000 bees clustered his entire body.

“That’s about 20 pounds, depending upon how much honey or sugar syrup they have consumed,” Gary said. “A hungry bee weighs approximately 90 mg and within a minute of active ingestion she can increase her weight to 150 mgs!”

Norman Gary knows bees. And he knows their behavior.

As a beekeeper, he’s kept bees for 62 years and as a researcher, he’s studied them for more than three decades. He’s published more 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and four book chapters.

But he is also a bee wrangler. He trains bees to perform action scenes in movies, television shows and commercials. His credits over the last 35 years include 18 films, including “Fried Green Tomatoes”; more than 70 television shows, including the Johnny Carson and Jay Leno shows; six commercials, and hundreds of live Thriller Bee Shows in the Western states.

Gary estimates he has performed the bee cluster stunt at least 500 times over the past 35 years. He remembers 54 performances at the California State Fair alone.

The History Channel episode may be his last professionally staged bee-cluster stunt, he said. However, he will continue to serve as a bee consultant to video producers and has just written a beginning beekeeping book, “The Honey Bee Hobbyist,” to be published in early December by Bow Tie Press.

“Bees are trainable, if you ask them to perform behaviors that are in their natural behavioral repertoire,” Gary said.

For the shoot, Gary borrowed New World Carniolan bees from Schubert, whose bee stock originated with bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey of the Laidlaw facility. “Bees are not inclined to sting if they are well fed—happy and content—and are ‘under the influence’ of powerful synthetic queen bee odors—pheromones—which tend to pacify them,” Gary said.

Bees are attracted to pheromones and cluster on drops of pheromones he places on himself. While at UC Davis, he formulated a pheromone solution that is very effective in controlling bee behavior.

“Bees wrangled by this procedure have no inclination to sting,” he said. “Stinging behavior occurs naturally near the hive in defense of the entire colony not for the individual bee, because it dies within hours after stinging. Using this approach I have has as many as a million bees clustered on six people simultaneously “

Gary once trained bees to fly into his mouth to collect food from a small sponge saturated with his patented artificial nectar. He holds the Guinness World record (109 bees inside his closed mouth for 10 seconds) for the stunt.

“Most people fear bees,” Gary acknowledged. “They think bees ‘want’ to sting them. Wrong! They sting only when the nest or colony is attacked or disturbed or when they are trapped in a physical situation where they are crushed.”

Sometimes, with the heavy weight of the bees on his body, he’ll receive one or two stings per cluster stunt. Sometimes none.

Gary, who began hobby beekeeping at age 15 in Florida, went on to earn a doctorate in apiculture at Cornell University in 1959. During his career, he has worn many hats, including hobby beekeeper, commercial beekeeper, deputy apiary inspector in New York, honey bee research scientist and entomology professor, adult beekeeping education teacher, and author.

Known internationally for his bee research, Gary was the first to document reproductive behavior of honey bees on film and the first to discover queen bee sex attractant pheromones. He invented a magnetic retrieval capture/recapture system for studying the foraging activities of bees, documenting the distribution and flight range in the field. His other studies revolved around honey bee pollination of agricultural crops, stinging and defensive behavior, and the effects of pesticides on foraging activities, among dozens of others.

Today his life centers around music and bees. He has played music professionally for more than 50 years and for nine years has led a Dixieland band, appropriately known as the Beez Kneez Jazz Band, recording two CDs. He has performed more than 30 years in the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, the world’s largest jazz festival.

His instruments include the “B-flat clarinet,” which he plays when he’s covered with bees.

“I’m still very active in bees and music,” Gary said. “It’s a good life.”

(Editor’s Note: Access his website and the History Channel.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Honey Trail

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Honey Trail
Friday, September 10, 2010

WNYC audio player code:

Stream m3u

Grace Pundyk discusses the ways honey and bees are being affected by globalization, terrorism, deforestation, the global food trade, and climate change. The Honey Trail: In Pursuit of Liquid Gold and Vanishing Bees looks at the state of our environment and the impact it is having on bees and honey. The novel takes us to the Yemeni deserts and Borneo jungles, through the Mississippi Delta and Tasmania’s rainforests, over frozen Siberia, and through ancient Turkish villages in search of honey.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First World Conference in Organic Beekeeping Kicks off in Bulgaria Environment | August 27, 2010, Friday

The world's first ever conference in organic apiculture kicks off in Bulgarian Black Sea resort Sunny Beach Friday.

The event, set to last August 27-29, is organized by the Bulgarian Organic Apiculture Union together with the Nessebar municipality, and with the support of the International Federation of Beekeepers' Association – Apimondia.

The field of organic beekeeping has started out only in the last few decades and is gaining momentum and recognition worldwide.

Expected participants are around 150-200 and include not only bee-farmers and researchers from across the world.

They are going to hold sessions devoted to topics such as sustainable beekeeping, technology of organic beekeeping, health and environmental advantages of organic beekeeping, and regulatory context.

The Bulgarian Organic Apiculture Union also holds adjunct events – a seminar on Organic Beekeeping for Bulgarian participants and public, as well as the 9th International Honey Festival to be held August 28 – September 5 in the old town of famous Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Nessebar.

it's all related! increased pesticide use will contribute to the death of bees: watch this video clip of the film: Unnatural Selection

Thursday, September 2, 2010

bee shop in Oakland

just found out about this bee/honey shop in Oakland!

Bee Healthy Honey Shop is a family owned business which started over two generations ago. We have over 100 years of experience in learning all there is to know about bees and natural honey preparation process. We take personal care and pride in preparing natural pure quality honey. We strive to find new ways of preparing honey that are conducive to the natural environment. We also have over 15 years of beekeeping experience with pure local raw honey and we are committed to preserve bees, so that they provide their natural gift.

Meet our beekeeper Khaled Almghafi. He has been tending bees since he was 5 years old. His father was a beekeeper. So is his younger brother in Yemen. Bees are in his blood. He is the second-oldest of 10 children. He came to the US with a friend in 1986, and moved straight to California because everyone in Yemen knows that California is good for agriculture and bees. He had hopes of attending UC Davis to study bees but could not afford it. Instead, he ended up at a gas station as a clerk. He hated it. Every day rude customers would sting his pride. And with a wife and two small children, he was not earning enough, money to make a living. One day in 1992 he opened up the Yellow Pages and looked under the heading Bee Removal. He found a beekeeper near his home in Oakland who let me join him on his jobs. When the beekeeper died a few years ago, he inherited his business and his wooden vacuum box. Billions of bees later, he still finds them fascinating. Khaled says "We learn a lot from bees. We learn how to be social. We learn how to give, not only take. They give us honey. They pollinate and give us fruit and vegetables. They give us medicine. And they don’t ask for any thing in return."

Be Healthy Honey Shop Orange Blossom Honey is produced in California's Orange Belt. With the snow-capped mountains of King and Sequoia Canyons in the background, these fragrant groves extend to Fresno. Each spring for more than 60 years, the Be Healthy Honey Shop family has placed their colonies here to harvest nectar which carries the aromatic flavor of the blossom. Star Thistle, California Valley and Florida Tupelo round out the selection, meeting the flavor needs of the most discriminating honey lover.

The subtleties of unblended, pure floral source honey is truly incomparable to any other honey. When sampled, estate bottled Be Healthy Honey Shop Honey exemplifies quality in its discrete but extraordinary color, aroma and flavor.