After such an amazing meeting two weeks ago, we thought that there was no way we could top it. In fact, some of us even said that it might have been the best meeting ever.
We. Were. Wrong.
Beth Conrey came out in full force tonight with amazing stories about her time as a beekeeper, insights into how she makes her award-winning honey, information about how her bees are faring in what’s been a brutal environment for insects, and hope for a brighter future. There was also a surprise visit by Jason Fortune of Culinary Caveman (back and better than ever) and a whole bunch of happy, excited, inspiring Bee Club members in attendance.
So, read all about it! There’s no doubt that it’s a million times more exciting than what you were assigned for class!
The Bee Club Agenda
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
5PM- in HUM 135
How is everyone doing? We all doing good!
Honey Project Updates
Kate made amazing posters for the Bee Club, advertising local honey in coffee shops on campus
We already got PeKoe and the Museum, we are making good progress
All stations in the C4C will have pollinator friendly meals
Travis will send out a menu that the C4C will be serving: honey glazed salmon, honey olive oil cakes, etc. All super delicious!
We will be tabling 5-7 in the C4C during the Pollinator Night giving out honey samples. People can also draw their own bees and write their own messages!
Please stop by! The food sounds so yummy!
Movie Night Updates
The Bee Movie will be showing at 6 to 8! The Bee Movie is only an hour and a half and one minute to be exact. There will be pizza, veggies, and fruit! Super healthy! (Pizza is healthy right?)
It’s super casual and fun!
Travis is speaking for Christina
We will be tabling in the UMC on February 22 from 11-1:30pm. We will be giving out free food provided by Jason from Culinary Caveman! We are getting the word out about bees and why we need to save them! Please sign up to volunteer!
We will be making a trifold at Norlin Library on February 23 from 12-3pm. If you are interested, please leave your email and sign up!
6:08PM- Beth Conrey’s Presentation
You get prizes if you ask questions while Beth is talking! If you ask questions, you will be entered into a raffle for some wonderful prizes, including local honey comb! Yum yum!
Jason walks in and brings delicious honey snacks
Beth begins her talk!
Since a young age, she loved bugs! Growing up, she got a college degree, but it is very hard to get hired with this type of degree. So, she got a job in the food industry. Once she had kids, she started staying home and became a beekeeper! It all comes full circle!
She has 65 hives in the wintertime. She only wants to get to 200 hives. Then she formed Bee Squared as the brand label for her honey. She has an amazing graphics label that features a bee without a stinger because a majority of bees don’t have a stingers! Bees are very friendly.
Let’s talk about Slow food!
Slow food is the opposite of fast food. High quality people doing great things with food! (Jason says, “Good vibes!”) Slow food national movement is all about making great food with great people. They have scholarships available if you want to attend the Slow Food Convention. The Good Food Award goes to someone who cares about how they take care of their bees as well as how good the product is at the end.
How many employees do you have?
1 and a half? Or three fourths? Anyone who works for Beth gets to do whatever they want as long as they do the job and she’ll pay you for it! Everyone determines their own hours!
Brittney is her beekeeper that she recently hired.
The other farm that you work with, are they the people who packed your honey? What is your relationship?
Community supported agriculture is a CSA. All businesses at the farmers market is also a CSA. The way a CSA works is you give them money,and they will give you produce for the entire season. One of her customers Bailey made something with the honey that she purchased, and she wanted to enter it into a contest because it was just that good. They entered the rose honey into the Good Food Award, and they won!
Bailey provides all the roses. Beth provides all the honey, label, sell, and do everything else. They make delicious rose honey! Bailey gets 50% of the proceeds made from the rose honey. The leftover honey covered rose petals get bought by another company and they use it to make a valentines chocolate bar.
How do you raise the bees? Where are their hives?
Bees need food. They travel far and wide to find food. It takes a lot to support a hive. You just chuck some hives out there, and see how they do. She used to just put hives in people’s yards. This didn’t work because it wasn’t very efficient.
Now they put all the hives in one place in a remote location. The issue with this though that bears try to get in and eat the honey. The hives are surrounded by electric fences in order to protect the bees.
She runs a 7 mile circuit from her house. They have a bunch of bees in her yard.
How do you acquire more bee hives?
Bees are designed to reproduce in the spring. If bees survive the winter, they will jet out of the hive in the spring. They divide the bees in half or thirds so they don’t leave and find another home.
Last year, instead of having 85% hives alive, they were 85% of hives dead. When hives die, you have to buy bees
What is a biodynamic farm?
They don’t use any chemicals. They have total soil health. No fertilizer, pesticides, etc.
How do you buy bees?
You can get them shipped in the mail, but the bees really don’t like it. USPS delivers bees still! Not UPS though.
Do you participate in the almond migration?
Almonds are the largest pollination event in the world. Without almonds, no bees! They require two bee hives per acre of almonds planted. Almonds trees are beautiful, looks just like snow
How many bees are in a hive?
40 or thousands. A package is normally a thousand, it is just a start.
When I start my garden, what do I need to know?
I have these flyers that explain all of that! Travis has them if you are interested.
What is going on with Colony Collapse Disorder?
There are three major drivers for CCD
There is not enough food in the agricultural landscape. There is not enough plants that are good for pollinators. Grass does not help pollinators. Don’t put in a lawn! Plant flowers instead. Grass is awful for the environment.
Treated seeds/ Pesticides/ Herbicides
Seeds that have been coated in a insecticide/herbicide in order to protect the plants, but it hurts bees. It hurts what insects need to survive. The insect biomass has declined tremendously in the past 30 years. We have made a mess of our bugs.
It is a mite with razor jaws that is eating bee fat. It is destroying bee’s exoskeletons.
Climate change also plays a role
When you had a huge drop in bee population in your hives, do you know what happened?
There is a hideous pesticide that is a documented human health hazard. The EPA recently lifted the ban on this pesticide called Chlorpyrifos. They started using it near her farm. It is awful. That’s why you should buy organic! They especially effect strawberries, so make sure you buy organic strawberries! Keep pesticides and herbicides out of your body.
Where can we get your products?
They are in the Celestial Seasonings cafe! The east end Cured sells her honey.
Have you tried infusing your honey with other flower petals?
No more flower petal honey, but….. we are going to try CBD honey!!!! We are going to try to infuse CBD into honey. It would be called, “Honey, I’m sick” and “Honey, I’m sore.” They have a new saying called, “We are exponentially better!” Cause they are called Bee Squared.
Is there extra paperwork for CBD Honey?
The other woman she is working with has all the paperwork for CBD and she is figuring it out.
Why CBD? Not THC?
CBD is allowed to cross state lines!
What is the most difficult part about beekeeping?
The hardest part is losing bees especially for reasons that you cannot control. It is so depressing to pick up dead bee hives.
What is the most rewarding part?
Bees are super cool and interesting. She has never tired of bees. She could go out, look at bees everyday and ask, “What the hell are you doing in there?”
The reward has nothing to do with money, am I right?
We have been very financially successful, and we make it a point to donate a large portion of the profits to pollinator groups.
Jason- My only point is that money doesn’t matter, when you love what you do.
She does agree that it is a definite plus.
Do you have a favorite bee fact?
It takes 2 million bees to make 1 pound of honey.
When did you get your first hive ever?
When she took her first class from Boulder Beekeeper Association in Denver. She would tell her husband that she wanted some bees, and this is where she is now. She is now a master beekeeper.
You cannot halfass your way through bees. You are either all in or all out. She is all in.
6:55PM- Round of Applause for Beth!
Thank you cards for Beth and Jason!
If you are interested in hives, we can definitely arrange field trips to our hives.
We want to adopt hives with Beth so we can have our own wholesale honey.
Winner of the prize- Rose Hanson! She got some rose honey and honeycomb!