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  (Miami, Florida)
A Honey of a Blog
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Super Duper Supers

After the holidays it gets a little nippy, even here in Miami, and the bees experience a bit of a work slowdown. But they've been busy, gearing up to get ready for Spring. We've put new Supers (wooden boxes) on top of the colonies, giving them plenty of room to build up honeycomb in anticipation of the Spring honeyflow. Also keeps them from getting crowded, so it's a method of swarm prevention as well. The mangos and the avocados are blossoming, so they've got some lovely flowers to play with. (Truth is, mango blossoms are not their favorite, but they'll pollinate them anyway....) Looking forward to the girls building up their population so that there will be plenty of field bees collecting nectar and pollen by March....

Citizens of the World, Helloooooo!

To: Citizens of the Planet


I am responsible for 30-40% of your food! 

I got along without you for 100,000,000 years.

And we got along GREAT when you first moved into the neighborhood 200,000 years ago. 

I help the flowers make love to each other and make more flowers and fruit. I kiss the trees and suck nectar and make honey -- and even when you take it -- [even to make money!] -- I don't complain.

I give you life, beauty, sweetness...

I've never asked anything of you but peace. 


I can't tell what season it is anymore. 

I can't find enough flowers. 

I can't find enough nectar.

I can't even find my way back home.

If you like FOOD, HONEY and LIFE -- you’ve GOTTA stand up for me, the HONEY BEE -- PLEASE!!! 

My honey is eternal, but at this rate creatures like you and I are not...

If you are a BEEKEEPER [or know any], and can tell the world how important we are, please join our SWARM and BUZZ this on! We have our good friend DRAGONFLY helping us out -- please reach out to her! >> dragonfly@revbilly.com <<

Remember... YOU can't make honey... or eat your money...


Hun E. Bee



State Law Helps Save Dwindling Honeybees

As many of you know, we've been in a state of flux for over a year, fighting Miami-Dade county and struggling to keep our beehives. Our county refused to acknowledge a 2012 Florida state law that gave beekeepers the right to keep hives on non-agricultural (residential) land. It's been a really long haul. Anyway, last week Miami-Dade withdrew their case after being interviewed by the Miami Herald about their stance on beekeeping and their position being in defiance of state law. I absolutely bee-lieve that their dropping legal proceedings was in order to avoid further negative publicity.

The funny thing is, this Miami Herald article was like the answer to a prayer. I had been gearing up, getting ready to write numerous press releases and sending them to news and media outlets in order to enlist media support for our issue. I had a whole strategy ready to roll out.

But out of the blue, the Miami Herald called us and was doing an in-depth look at the state of bees in the state of Florida. We were interviewed, photographed, the county backed down, and today, the article actually made the front page of the paper.

The online version can be found here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/09/15/4350437/florida-law-helps-fights-to-save.html#

Have a good read! I'm so grateful!!! 


Power to the People! Long Live the Queen!

Let's hear it for the power of the press! Last week I was interviewed by the Miami Herald regarding Miami-Dade County's continual unwillingness to accept a recently passed state law that allowed me to have 15 beehives on my acre of land. We've been trying hard for months and months, working diligently to help Miami's bureaucracy understand that they no longer have jurisdiction in this matter, and that I really was protected by law and allowed to keep my bees. The Herald also interviewed one of the County Attorneys, the one who was handling the case against me. The piece is scheduled to run this weekend, probably Sunday and also online. Meanwhile, yesterday I got a call from the County Attorneys office, all sweetness and light. They've decided that in fact the State of Florida law actually does have jurisdiction in this matter, superseding county law, and they are withdrawing their case against me. It was a warm and lovely conversation and neither of us mentioned the upcoming article. However, it is obvious that the upcoming piece in the press made the County realize that negative publicity would make them look bad so they decided to withdraw for damage control purposes. Woo Hoo! I am so happy! LONG LIVE THE QUEEN………..

Indigenous Yucatan Beekeepers Take on Monsanto and WIN!


Mexican beekeepers vs. Monsanto

by Pesticide Action Network

Mexican beekeepers fight Monsanto

Beekeepers and indigenous groups in the Mexican state of Yucatán recently won an important court decision against Monsanto. A district judge overturned Monsanto's permit for  commercial planting of RoundUp-ready soybeans in the state.

The judge found that "co-existence between honey production and GMO soybeans is not possible," given European restrictions on imports of honey contaminated with GMO pollen. The court also took regulators to task for ignoring the constitutional requirement to consult with indigenous groups on decisions affecting their territory.

According to an in-depth article in The Guardian, Mexico is the world’s sixth biggest producer and third largest exporter of honey, with more than $54 million (U.S. dollars) worth of product exported to the EU in 2011. The Yucatán region produces an estimated 40% of the country’s honey, almost all of which is exported to the EU.

The overturned permit had authorized Monsanto to plant RoundUp-ready soybeans in seven states, on more than 625,000 acres of land. Mayan farmers and beekeepers challenged the 2012 decision in court, with support from a number of groups including the National Institute of Ecology, the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity and Greenpeace.

The recent ruling follows on a similar decision by the district court in the state of Campeche in March 2014, which also reprimanded agriculture officials for bypassing consultation with indigenous groups required under the Mexican constitution. A similar case is pending in the state of Chiapas.

While Monsanto will undoubtedly appeal the decision, for now beekeepers and indigenous groups in Mexico are celebrating the moratorium on GE soybeans in Yucatán as a hard-fought, significant victory.

is dedicated to advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide. Follow@pesticideaction 


Bee Venom Blocks Growth and Spread of Cancer Cells!

(shared from www.dadant.com) http://www.dadant.com/news/venom-gets-good-buzz-as-potential-cancer-fighter

Venom Gets Good Buzz as Potential Cancer-fighter

Posted On: August 12, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug.11, 2014 — Bee, snake or scorpion venom could form the basis of a new generation of cancer-fighting drugs, scientists will report here today. They have devised a method for targeting venom proteins specifically to malignant cells while sparing healthy ones, which reduces or eliminates side effects that the toxins would otherwise cause.

The report was part of the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. The meeting, attended by thousands of scientists, features nearly 12,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics. It is being held here through Thursday. A brand-new video on the research is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRsUi5UrH7k&feature=youtu.be.

“We have safely used venom toxins in tiny nanometer-sized particles to treat breast cancer and melanoma cells in the laboratory,” says Dipanjan Pan, Ph.D., who led the study. “These particles, which are camouflaged from the immune system, take the toxin directly to the cancer cells, sparing normal tissue.”

Venom from snakes, bees and scorpions contains proteins and peptides which, when separated from the other components and tested individually, can attach to cancer cell membranes. That activity could potentially block the growth and spread of the disease, other researchers have reported. Pan and his team say that some of substances found in any of these venoms could be effective anti-tumor agents. But just injecting venoms into a patient would have side effects. Among these could be damage to heart muscle or nerve cells, unwanted clotting or, alternately, bleeding under the skin. So Pan and his team at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign set out to solve this problem.

He says that in the honeybee study, his team identified a substance in the venom called melittin that keeps the cancer cells from multiplying. Bees make so little venom that it’s not feasible to extract it and separate out the substance time after time for lab testing or for later clinical use. That’s why they synthesized melittin in the lab.

To figure out how melittin would work inside a nanoparticle, they conducted computational studies. Next, they did the test and injected their synthetic toxin into nanoparticles. “The peptide toxins we made are so tightly packed within the nanoparticle that they don’t leach out when exposed to the bloodstream and cause side effects,” he explains.

What they do is go directly to the tumor, where they bind to cancer stem cells, blocking their growth and spread. He says that synthetic peptides mimicking components from other venoms, such as those from snakes or scorpions, also work well in the nanoparticles as a possible cancer therapy.

Pan says the next step is to examine the new treatment approach in rats and pigs. Eventually, they hope to begin a study involving patients. He estimates that this should be in the next three to five years.


Eugene, Oregon First City to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

Leave it to Eugene to be the first!!! An alternative, progressive city, they just became the first in the country to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, one of the types linked to declining honey bee populations.

According to Beyond Pesticides, “several bee-kill incidents occurred in Oregon last summer, including one that killed more than 50,000 bumblebees after a licensed pesticide applicator sprayed blooming linden trees, a violation of the pesticide label. After a preliminary investigation, the Oregon Department of Agriculture confirmed that the massive bee die-off was caused by the use of the neonicotinoid insecticide, dinotefuran.”

Eugene is just one of many communities looking to prevent incidents like this. In Calif., N.Y., and N.J. similar language is being drafted for proposal that would limit pesticides, particularly the neonicotinoid type.

In addition to the new restrictions on these pesticides, Eugene will also expand its current pesticide-free parks program, and, according to Beyond Pesticides, “now requires all departments to adopt integrated pest management (IPM) standards.”

Pesticides are, in general, harmful to honey bees…as well as humans, pets, the environment…and the list goes on. Cheers to Eugene for realizing this and making some progress in the elimination of these harmful chemicals! We can’t wait to see other states following this precedent soon.

-shared from One Green Planet 


Super Duper Supers!

Our ten hives are growing up! Literally! They began not long ago as "nucs"…new hives, just one box high. A few weeks later, our new queens had raised enough baby brood to necessitate the addition of a second box ("super") above……and THIS week, we added a third Super to our colonies….. The bees are not crazy about the monsoons of our sub-tropical summer, but they're thriving nevertheless….. They're working like crazy…..AND we have a new harvest of Tropical Wildflower……Can't get enough!!!! I nibble on it all day long….

Honey or a Honey-Sugar Blend? FDA's New Rules Will Help You Know!

This content is made possible by the generous sponsorship support of UCare.

Pure honey or a sugar-blend? FDA's new rules will help answer that question

Pure honey or a sugar-blend?
On Tuesday, the FDA issued new draft guidelines that would require food companies to use the word “blend” on product labels when honey is mixed with sugar, corn syrup or other type of sweetener.


That inexpensive brand of honey you’ve been purchasing for years at your local grocery store may not be pure honey after all. More than likely, it’s a blend of honey and sugar or honey and corn syrup.

The same may be true for the “honey” in the honey-flavored bread or cereal or other processed foods you and your family eat.

That may soon change, however. On Tuesday, the FDA issued
 new draft guidelines that would require food companies to use the word “blend” on product labels when honey is mixed with sugar, corn syrup or other type of sweetener.That’s because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been very lenient with food manufacturers when it comes to honey-related labeling.

“That’s excellent news,” said Dan Whitney, a honey producer in Ottertail, Minn., and president of the nonprofit Minnesota Honey Producers Association, in a phone interview with MinnPost.

Much of the “honey” consumed in the United States is actually an imported syrup that contains some honey, but also other sweeteners, he said.

“The main culprit is China,” he added. “They will cut their honey with rice syrup or tapioca syrup.”

If they cut the honey with enough syrup, Whitney explained, the importing companies can avoid import duties. This enables U.S. food manufacturers to purchase the product at very low prices, which they then sell directly to consumers as “honey” or use in their processed “honey-flavored” foods.

“A lot of it probably winds up as bakery-grade or industrial-grade honey,” said Whitney.

But each year, Americans consume more than 400 million pounds of honey. So most of the honey making its way into our grocery stores is imported.

And much of that honey, if not most, is blended with another sweetener.

“If you do a little searching and look up ‘honey production’ from Thailand or Vietnam you find that all of a sudden they have thousands of metric tons to ship to us,” says Whitney. “Where is it coming from? I think they’re opening up the syrup tap.”

Bees have been dying and disappearing around the world, he points out. So, for a country to suddenly start producing huge amounts of honey from natural sources (bees) is unlikely.

Needed: a standard definition

The national American Honey Producers Association, along with the American Beekeeping Federation and several consumer groups, has long requested that the FDA issue a standard definition of honey. The government agency has declined to do that, but if these new guidelines are finalized — and companies abide by them — consumers will be better able to use labels to determine if they are buying pure honey or not.

In the meantime, Whitney recommends that consumers purchase locally harvested honey.

“The only way to really know that you’re getting 100 percent U.S. honey is to buy honey that is bottled by a local beekeeper,” he says.


Pathogens, Parasites & Pesticides put Honeybees in Peril. Free Lecture!

Just wanted you to know that on WEDNESDAY, MAY 7th, 2014, there's a FREE LECTURE entitled Pathogens, Parasites & Pesticides put Honeybees in Peril. 

Lecture is hosted by the University of Miami, Main Campus. It's in Room 166, Cox Science Center.

Lecture begins at 7:00 PM, and is open to the public. 


Honey for Spring Holidays!

I love Spring! The bees are buzzing, pollinating all of the fruits I love best, and it's also smack in the middle of one of the most bountiful honeyflows of the year. Right now we have a new medium amber Tropical Wildflower, and we just got our first harvest of Orange Blossom! We wait all year for that. So we're bottling like crazy. if you need some honey for Easter or Passover, we've got raw honey all ready for you. I like the Wildflower for baking, and sneaking into sauces like barbecue sauce or just about any sauce, frankly. And the Orange Blossom is a bit thicker. I put it over my yogurt, in delicately flavored herb teas, and in my salad dressings. I'll drizzle it over just about anything, quite frankly….

Oh, and when I make ham for Easter, I'll do the whole clove studded thing, and often mix honey, orange juice and mustard to rub over the whole ham. Makes a yummy glaze. (Can hardly wait!) 


Trained Bees Detect Cancer!


Do You Hear What I Hear?

Well, we're gearing up for our beekeeping battle with Miami-Dade County. We have a hearing next week. Why? Because Dade County says that we can only have 5 beehives on our property, but the State of Florida says we can have 15. A new State law was passed in July, 2012 which supersedes local county/municipal laws. The attorneys for the State of Florida have told the attorneys for our county over and over again that they have no jurisdiction in this matter. No authority whatsoever in the placement of beehives. The bees are battling for their lives at the moment and the world watches and hopes they will prevail and preserve our food supply, which is so honeybee dependent. The government recognizes that beekeeping is essential to keep our crops pollinated and keep us all fed….and have enacted laws to protect them.

But……the county being, well, the county……they just don't seem ready to acknowledge that laws passed by the Governor are somehow meant to be heeded.

And so, on January 29th, we will stand before them, to either be granted the state given right to have 15 hives, or to pay a $500 fine for having done so.

Will keep you posted! Meanwhile, I'm bottling Tropical Wildflower honey like crazy…. 


Recipe for RAW Yummy Honey Peanut Butter Energy Balls

According to a Harris Interactive poll, 40 percent of us will resolve to change our lives in some way in the new year. Unsurprisingly, the most popular resolutions are to lose weight, eat more nutritiously, exercise more or a combination of the three.  
This year, the National Honey Board wants to help and we have put together some recipes that will hopefully support you with your goals.

Best wishes for a happy, fit holiday season! Here’s hoping that 2014 will be a joyful one and a year where all of us get one step closer to the people that we want to become.
Honey-Peanut Butter Protein Energy Balls
(makes 2 dozen)  
  • 1¼ cup - old fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons - shredded coconut
  • ½ cup - sliced almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon - hemp seeds, shelled (optional)
  • 1 scoop - whey protein powder
  • ½ cup - honey
  • ½ cup - dried apricots, chopped
  • ½ cup - peanut butter

In a medium bowl add the oats, coconut, almonds, hemp seeds and protein powder. Stir until well distributed. Add the honey, apricots and peanut butter and stir well. Put mixing bowl into the refrigerator for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then roll into rounded balls. When chilled, they can last about 5 days. 
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Baking? Sweeten Up Your Holidays with Tropical Wildflower Honey...

I'm so looking forward to my annual holiday baking this coming week. And yes, I'll be using plenty of honey. Right now we've got a fresh batch of Tropical Wildflower, which is going to find its way into lots of our goodies.

So if YOU are about to embark on your holiday baking, feel free to stop by and pick up some honey. Of course, you have to call first so we can arrange a pickup time. But we'll be busy in the kitchen, and around a lot of the time.

Remember, if you bake with honey, you want to lower the temperature of your oven by 25 degrees, because baked goods made with honey brown faster than those made with sugar. They also stay moist longer. 

Honey is about 25% sweeter than sugar, due to its fructose content. So if you are replacing sugar in a recipe with honey, use a little bit less honey than the amount of sugar specified.

Have fun, and happy baking…. 

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