Bee Electricity, Part Two

A while back I posted an article about bees sensing the electrical fields of flower petals. Now something even more interesting has come to light:

Bees Buzz Each Other, but Not the Way You Think

Beyond the mechanism of electrical fields affecting honeybee antennae, the article suggests that electrical fields may be the solution to the longstanding mystery regarding the way honeybees sense each other’s waggle dances in a dark, crowded hive. I can’t help trying to imagine what this sense must “feel” like for the bees. Is it a kind of sight?

Pesticides and Bee Die-Offs

This article explains the bee die-off situation better than most:

Without honeybees, we may cease to be

It’s sad and maddening that the EPA is doing so little to remedy a problem that threatens our very food supply just to begin with.

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Honey Tasting: Honey Hole honey from Seattle

Recently I wrote about a honey collected in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle, Audrey’s Honey, and last year I tasted Arboretum Wildflower Honey. Well here is another Seattle honey, from the Ballard area, collected by beekeeper Brad Hole. I got this sample when Brad was good enough to come to my honey tasting party in December. Of sixty-nine honeys from around the world, his honey turned out to be one of the favorites, especially among the people who went for the lighter-flavored honeys.

Honey Hole honey from Seattle

Brad Hole does beekeeping as a hobby, but does sell his honey in a few Seattle stores. It’s even made into hot toddies at a Seattle bar. Brad has his own Honey Hole Facebook page where you can follow his exploits and find out where to get his honey.

Tasting

Sample of Honey Hole honey. This honey comes on bright, citrusy and gently floral, with a distinct green melon background, almost like cantaloupe. It reminds me of the aforementioned Audrey’s Honey, except the green melon is much clearer here. Altogether it’s like summer in your mouth. It’s light-colored with lots of pollen grains visible, and its texture is runny (it hasn’t come close to crystallizing after months in my cupboard). Too bad I only have this tiny sample; I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the 2013 crop. Since this is a cottage operation, I’m sure each crop will be different. But what’s interesting is that the three Seattle honeys I’ve tried (all collected in 2012) have so much in common.

Where To Buy

If I hear of any more places that carry Brad’s honey I’ll update this post.

Caffeinated Nectar

Recently I posted an article about bees detecting electrical charges on flower petals. Here is something else that goes on:

Plants Use Caffeine to Lure Bees, Again and Again, Scientists Find

Honey Tasting: Audrey’s Honey from Seattle

This is a special honey in a number of ways. It’s made by a 16 year-old girl named Audrey, her bees do their work right in the middle of Seattle (in the Capitol Hill neighborhood), and all the proceeds go to Pollinator Pathway, an organization that creates green areas in Seattle. Best of all, this honey tastes really good.

Audrey's Honey, Seattle

I hope to someday interview Audrey for an apiary profile here. You can follow Audrey’s honey activities on her blog:

Audrey’s Buzz’n Honeybees

Tasting

Audrey's Honey up closeThis honey is distinctly lemony (I thought of lemon pie) and gently floral, with some green melon in the background. I also think of green grass but I’m not sure why. Overall it’s refreshing and long in the mouth. It’s texture is a bit lumpy, as though it is very slowly crystallizing into a smooth paste, which makes it fun on the tongue. Of all the honeys I have, this one reminds me most of Arboretum Wildflower Honey, which isn’t surprising since the Arboretum isn’t far from Seattle’s Capitol Hill area.

Where To Buy

Audrey only sells her honey through the Volunteer Park Cafe, which is in a residential neighborhood between Volunteer Park and Interlaken Park.