Happy Spring! While the bees are out and about collecting pollen and nectar, I have also been busy going to all sorts of interesting events! Before summer vacation came into full swing, I was able to give school presentations all over Minnesota and North Dakota. Did you know that North Dakota produces the most honey in the United States? Minnesota is the 5th highest honey
You can see the tiny sheets of wax on this bee's abdomen
producer! There are over 300 different types of honey produced in the United States. Each one comes from a different type of flower. Right now, the bees are collecting pollen and nectar from many dandelions and fruit trees, like apple trees. This is also the time of year when bees need to start producing lots of wax. Honeybees produce wax by eating as much honey as they can and then hanging in long strands called festoons. After 24 hours, they start to make little tiny sheets of wax that come off of glands on their abdomen. Then the honeybees take each sheet of wax and chew it in their mouth until they have enough to start shaping it into their honeycomb! It will take about 400,000 of those little sheets to make one pound of wax! That’s a lot of work!
These are the Commissioners from Aitkin, MN!
During my time in Minnesota, I have been doing a lot of work with local government. I was able to speak at the Aitkin City Council Meeting and the Aitkin County Board Meeting. It is important to tell local government about how important honeybees are because they can do a lot of things to help honeybees. Did you know there are lots of things you can do to help the honeybees as well? A fun and easy thing to do is to plant a garden! Not only will the honeybees have things to eat, but you will have pretty flowers and fresh vegetables to eat! You can also buy local honey. There are LOTS of wonderful recipes on our recipe page that you can make with your family and friends. Lastly, you could become a beekeeper! There are many beekeeping clubs and organizations that love to help new beekeepers get started. Look for a local beekeeping club in your area and attend a meeting to see if beekeeping is right for your family!
At the Minnesota FFA Convention there were over
1,000 students in attendance!
In Washington they have tulip festivals. Bees pollinate
most kinds of flowers. What's your favorite flower?
What a winter up here in Northern Minnesota! Thankfully, spring has finally arrived, and the bees are finding lots of pollen and nectar! Did you know that when a bee is collecting pollen, they will only collect it from one type of flower at a time? So if they start collecting pollen from a dandelion, they will only collect from dandelions until they go back to the hive and drop off their pollen. This month I got to experience spring early when I took a trip to Washington state to teach about bees at the Puyallup Spring Fair! There were lots of people and many of them had questions about bees. Did you know that all the boy bees in the hive are called drone bees? Drone bees don’t have a stinger, so all their sisters have to protect them. While I was in Washington, I was on the radio to talk about how important bees are to flowers. Did you know it takes a worker bee about 2 million trips to flowers to produce 1 pound of honey? No wonder we have the phrase “busy as a bee”! After I got back from Washington, I gave four school presentations to local area schools in Minnesota. Many of the kids I talked to came from farming families and knew bees are very important! There are over 100 food crops pollinated by honeybees! Last weekend, I traveled to Minneapolis, MN to present at the Minnesota State FFA convention. It was the perfect place to teach about bees, and I even met a few members that were already beekeepers. Some of them were even urban beekeepers. That means they keep bees inside the city! Did you know they even keep bees on top of buildings in New York City? It is becoming very popular in many states! Hopefully this April snow brings some more May flowers for the bees! March Madness: Bee Style!
Did you know that worker bees are covered with tiny
hairs? Those hairs help the bees collect pollen!
Although it has been a rather cold spring, March was still a very busy month for me! I was able to go to go to three different states. First, I flew to Kentucky, where I spent a week promoting at schools and businesses. Did you know that some people in Kentucky feed their racehorses pollen? Pollen is high in protein, which is very good for muscles and makes the horses stronger and faster. Bees also eat the pollen to stay strong and healthy. And she needs it! A worker bee can flap her wings 11,000 times per second.
This month, I also went to Minneapolis, MN with Queen Caroline to learn about beekeeping in cold weather. We attended a class at the University of Minnesota taught by Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter. I learned so many interesting things! Did you know that in the wintertime, bees form a ball around the queen, shiver and eat honey. Because the bees are moving all the time, they produce a lot of heat. Even in the middle of winter when it can be below zero outside, bees keep the hive at 92 degrees Fahrenheit!
This is Ron Fruit from WRCO Radio. Speaking of fruit
did you know that all fruits require bee pollination?
My last trip in March was to Richland Center, WI where I spoke to a gardening group about how important bees are to their gardens. Bees pollinate more than 100 different foods that we eat. Without bees, there would even be a shortage of milk and ice cream! Bees pollinate the foods cows eat. If they didn’t have those foods, the cows couldn’t produce enough milk for us to use. While I was in Wisconsin, I also had an interview on the radio where I talked about how vital bees are to everyone. Consider the clothes you're wearing. Bees pollinate cotton plants, and if we didn’t have cotton, we wouldn’t have a lot of the clothes we wear. School shopping would be pretty boring without honeybees! I have many more trips coming up so stay tuned for more updates.
Holy smokers! February has already flown by! I have been flying around to a few different promotions over the last few weeks. School has been keeping me very busy, but I had the wonderful opportunity to do four days of promotions in the Fords, New Jersey area. My week started out by going on honey deliveries to grocery stores with one of New Jersey’s largest commercial beekeepers. It was very interesting to see all the behind the scenes work that goes into putting honey on grocery store shelves.
The next day, I visited Woodbridge High School to present to their cooking and science classes. I made the honey apple sauce recipe that can be found in our 2013 recipe brochure. It was a big hit! Apples are a very important crop that honeybees pollinate in New Jersey. As honey bees gather pollen and nectar, they pollinate crops such as apples, cranberries, melons, blueberries, cherries and almonds. Did you know that one-third of all crops in our country need honeybee pollination?
This was my booth at the Wegman's Grocery Store. We were located right by the floral section. Bees pollinate all sorts of flowers! Do you have a favorite type of flower?
Beeswax candles are great because they have a high melting temperature so they burn for a long time. They also burn "clean" so they dont put any bad things in the air! Plus they smell great!
My January Travels My January Travels
Practicing school presentations. In part of our school we talk about the jobs beekeepers perform.
In this classroom we discussed the importance of Pollination. Did you know bee pollination contributes to almost 1/3 of our food supply!
My name is Emily Campbell. As the 2013 American Honey Princess from Minnesota, I travel all across the country to teach students, 4-H groups, and many other groups about the importance of honeybees and pollination in our everyday lives. I also attend many different events such as fairs, festivals, and farmers markets, and have interviews with tv, radio, and newspapers. To find out if the American Honey Queen or Princess can visit your school or community, please visit the American Beekeeping Federation website. On this page, I'll post about my travels as I "buzz across america!"
I was able to talk to people about the importance of pollination and hand out sample of locally produced honey at a Wegman’s Grocery store in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Along with liquid honey, customers were able to try creamed honey. To make creamed honey, beekeepers whip their honey into fine crystals to get it smooth and creamy. Creamed honey is great on toast because it doesn’t run off!
The next day, I presented on the importance of the American Honey Queen program at the New Jersey Beekeepers Winter meeting. All the beekeepers I met were extremely nice, and I felt so welcomed at their meeting. One of the things I learned about was the many uses of beeswax. Did you know beeswax is a humectant? This means that it holds in moisture, so beeswax is often put in lotions, lip balms, and soap to make your skin nice and soft. I have several trips coming up, so please check back to learn more about Queen Caroline’s and my travels.
My first promotion as the 2013 American Honey Princess was to Wisconsin for training on how to be a great spokesperson for beekeepers across the country. Throughout the week, Queen Caroline and I practiced just about everything! We started the week rehearsing our school presentations, and we spent one entire day training for radio and television interviews. In the evenings, we prepared each one of the recipes in our cooking brochure. I must say each one of them was very delicious!There are over 300 varieties of honey nationwide that can be used in a variety of recipes. For some great recipes for cooking with honey, make sure to check out our recipe tabor head to honey.com!
The final two days of our trip, we had the opportunity to speak to students at three local schools. Our audiences were great and had wonderful questions.I've been keeping bees for 2years, and I think it's so rewarding to teach young people about honeybees, beekeeping and the importance of pollination. Each bee in the hive (the queen, worker, and drone), has a special job. The queen lays the eggs, the drone mates with the queen, and the workers do all the other tasks that need to be done in and out of the hive.But the most important job of the honeybee is pollination. Did you know that one-third of our diet is dependent on insect pollination, including honeybees? The direct value of honeybee pollination annually to U.S. agriculture is $14.6 billion! Wow!