Tuesday, June 12, 2012

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Whole Foods Pollinator Picnic

I took some time off from work last week to attend the annual BlogHer Food conference which happened to be in Seattle this year, only an hour drive for me.  I took half a day off on Thursday to attend a pre-conference "Pollinator Picnic", hosted by Whole Foods.

We learned about the importance of bees in our community and how the bee population has gone down over the years due to pesticides, mites and stress from being moved from one place to another.

Some interesting bee facts:
- Since 1974 we've lost half of our bee colonies
- 1 hive of bees can pollinate 3 million flowers a day
- It takes 3 hours for bees to resettle after being moved or handled
- Queen bee will lay 2000 eggs a day during the peak of the season
- Bees never sleep
- Each bee hive has 10-30k bees per acre
- 75% of our fruits and vegetables are pollinated by honey bees

We got to hear from some local companies like Seattle Bee Works who helps people get set up with hives in their own back yards, FinnRiver Cidery who rely on bees to pollinate their orchards, John Rogers from Organically Grown Company who uses bees to increase his blueberry production and Denise, The Local Forager who gets to visit with local farmers, ranchers and producers.  The Seattle rain paused just enough for Krista from Seattle Bee Works to take us on a little tour of the apiary at the Washington Park Arboretum where the picnic was held.

Finnriver Ciders Beek's Honey

Beekeeper Tools
Krista from Seattle Bee Works Bee Boots
Nicolesy Getting Close for the Shot
Bee Takeoff
Author: Paula Thomas

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