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  • March 2011
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buzz buzz with Burgh Bees and other Bee resources

Bees get a bad rap. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that the “killer bees were migrating from Mexico” and that they’d reach us soon and KILL US, I’d probably have around 85 cents (which is about enough for a modest tip at the coffee shop). Unfortunately, I don’t know how to collect that money, so I’m writing this blog post instead.

Like I said, bees get a bad rap. It must be the stingers. Nobody really likes to be stung by a bee (and that’s understandable) but, let’s be real, if you were stung, you were probably asking for it. Bees only sting when threatened–they’d much rather get to work, collecting pollen, and farming that oh-so-good honey.

Honestly, we hurt bees far more frequently than they hurt us. According to Burgh Bees, “Bees have been struggling in recent years due to many unnatural stresses which include habitat disruption, monocultural and genetically engineered food provisions, and invasive pathogens and parasites.” (http://www.burghbees.com)

Luckily, here in Pittsburgh we’re experiencing an urban farming and beekeeping boom! A wonderful organization called Burgh Bees is here to teach us how to help the bees and in so doing, help ourselves. This is their Mission Statement:

“To educate beekeepers and promote beekeeping as a vital part of sustainable agriculture in Pittsburgh and its suburbs.”

You see, bees are pollinators and that’s good because we need plants for oxygen! (Flowers are just pretty, too.) So let’s help the bees by following Burgh Bees plan.

A Four Point Plan to Help Bees:

  1. Plant a pollinator garden. Check out the Penn State Pollinator Friendly Gardening for ideas here.
  2. Don’t use pesticides or insecticides! Bees are environmental mops and these chemicals compromise their health.
  3. Buy local honey to support local beekeeping.
  4. Become a beekeeper!

If you’re not quite ready for that step, why don’t you check out some of these bee resources?


Clan Apis by Jay Hosler, PH. D. – This graphic novel provides information about the life cycle and environment of honeybees through the story of Nyuki, from the hive called Clan Apis, as she matures from a larva into an adult bee and takes on more responsibilities within her community.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping by Dean Stiglitz – The title says it all, right? This book is a great primer, giving you the scoop on all aspects of beekeeping.

Beekeeping for Fun & Profit: everything you need to know explained simply by Cindy Belknap – Similar to the Idiot’s guide, but with lots of information on how to turn your hobby into $$$. A great new guide!

The Beesource
Burgh Bees
Brushy Mountain Bee Farm


2 Responses

  1. omg I am obsessed with bees! I read a great book last year called Sweetness & Light : the mysterious history of the honeybee by Hattie Ellis. Fascinating stuff. And good news for the bees: I saw flowers blooming outside the library today. Noms!

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