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September is National Honey Month

Posted about 17 days ago by April S

Posted in Arts, Crafts and Hobbies, Children and Parenting, Cooking, Garden and Home, eBooks and Audiobooks, Education, Nonfiction and Outdoors, Sports and Travel | Tagged with bee culture, beekeeping, bees, ecology, environmental conservation, gardening, honey, honeybee, insects, nature and plants

If you're like me, you know bees are important to our ecosystem, but you don't really know a lot about bees - generally speaking. So, let's learn more about bees together ...

5 Questions About Bees Answered

1. How many species of bees are there in the world?

Did you know that most of our ideas about bees are based on one species - the European honeybee? There are actually over 20,000 species of bees worldwide. 

To learn more:

Bee Information for Kids - Pest World for Kids

The Truth About Bees - BBC Earth

How to Identify Different Types of Bees - Mother Nature Network

Ohio Bee Identification Guide - Ohioline (Ohio State University Extension)

2. Do all bees sting?

No. Actually, some bees are not capable of stinging. Male bees cannot sting and while some females have stingers some of them are not able to sting either. And the bees that actually do sting - will only sting if they are provoked or feel threatened. If you've ever been stung, it most likely wasn't from a bee, but instead a wasp or yellow jacket. Typically, bees are not interested in people.

To learn more:

11 Things People Believe About Bees That Aren't True - Noble Research Institute

What’s the Difference Between a Bee and a Wasp? - Britannica

Yellow Jackets and Honeybees: What’s the Difference? - WTOP

3. Do all bees make honey?

No, only the honey bee makes honey. Honey bees are also super-important pollinators. They pollinate flowers, fruits and vegetables. Basically, they help other plants grow.

To learn more:

Fun Facts About Honey Bees - Countryside Network

10 Facts About Honey Bees - National Geographic Kids

4. How long have bees been around?

It seems that scientists are still trying to figure that out. However, according to a recent article by Scientific American, the first bees may have appeared more than 130 million years ago. And according to the Ontario Beekeepers' Association, honey was found in the tombs of Egypt. Very interesting indeed!

To learn more:

Neat Facts About Bees - Ontario Beekeepers' Assocation

The Beguiling History of Bees - Scientific American

5. Why are bees dying?

There are many factors, but the main culprits seem to be pesticides, parasites, loss of habitat, climate change and disease.

To learn more:

The Buzz About Colony Collapse Disorder - NRDC

Why Are Honeybees Dying Off? - Sierra

Learn More About Bees and Honey

Watch These Videos About Bees and Honey

Honey: How It's Made - Vitamin B

Marla Spivak: Why Bees are Disappearing - TED

Why Are The Bees Dying? - It's Okay to be Smart

Read More About Bees and Honey

Children's Books

Learn About the World of Bees

"Bees Matter" by Erika Wassall
Bees matter / by Erika Wassall ; content consultant David Inouye, professor emeritus, Department of Biology, University of Maryland

Learn why bee habitats are dwindling, populations are dropping and what we can do to help them bounce back.

"Honey Bees" by Jill Esbaum
Explore My World : Honey Bees by Jill Esbaum

Combines simple text and vibrant photography in a young science enthusiast's introduction to the bustling world of honeybees and the important role bees play in the world's delicate ecosystem.

"Bees" by Leo Statts
Bees by Leo Statts

Learn all about bees with this easy-to-read book full of vibrant, full-color photos captivate young readers and bring these fascinating animals to life.

Adult Books

Learn About the History of Bees

"A Short History of the Honeybee" by Edward Readicker-Henderson
A Short History of the Honeybee by Edward Readicker-Henderson

There are around 16,000 species of bee. Only seven of these are responsible for creating the world's sweetest treat - honey. Combining Ilona's gorgeous photography and E. Readicker-Henderson's engaging text, "A Short History of the Honey Bee" follows the journey from flower to hive to honey throughout history.

"Letters from the Hive : An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind" by Stephen Buchmann with Banning Repplier
Letters from the hive : an intimate history of bees, honey, and humankind / Stephen Buchmann with Banning Repplier

A glimpse inside the world of the honeybee records the traditional practices of beekeeping around the world, the contribution of bees to the pollination of plants, and the culinary and medicinal uses of honey.

"A Sting in the Tale : My Adventures with Bumblebees" by Dave Goulson
A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson

Tales of a child's fascination with nature are interspersed with the author's lifelong research into the habits, history, and importance of bumblebees.

Learn About Creating a Bee-Friendly Garden

"The Bee Friendly Garden : Easy Ways to Help the Bees and Make Your Garden Grow" by Doug Purdie
The Bee Friendly Garden : Easy Ways to Help the Bees and Make Your Garden Grow by Doug Purdie

A comprehensive guide to bee-friendly plants profiles varieties that promote bee health and pollination, sharing related advice on planting, natural pest control and how to make the most out of gardens of all sizes, from modest window boxes to wide flower beds.

"Pollinator Friendly Gardening : Gardening for Bees, Butterflies, and Other Pollinators" by Rhonda Fleming Hayes
Pollinator Friendly Gardening : Gardening for Bees, Butterflies, and Other Pollinators by Rhonda Fleming Hayes

Want to do your part in helping your local pollinators flourish? Pollinator Friendly Gardening makes it easy. Are you interested in growing a naturally healthy garden? How about making sure your local environment helps bees, butterflies, and birds survive and thrive? If you are a beekeeper, are you looking for the ideal plants to keep your colony happy? Pollinators such as monarch butterflies and bees are under threat, and more and more gardeners want to do all they can to create a hospitable space for them. That's where Pollinator Friendly Gardening comes in. It identifies the most visible and beloved pollinators: bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, as well as some more unlikely candidates such as ants, wasps, and beetles. It then explains the intriguing synergy between plants and pollinators. This vital information makes it a unique sourcebook to share the ways that anyone can make a yard a more friendly place for pollinators. Plant selection, hardscape choices, habitat building (both natural and manmade), and growing practices that give pollinators their best chance in the garden are all covered in detail. Plant lists organized by category, helpful tips, and expert spotlights make it a fun and easy book to read too.

"The Bee-Friendly Garden" by Kate Frey and Gretchen LeBuhn
The Bee-Friendly Garden : Design an Abundant, Flower-Filled Yard That Nurtures Bees and Supports Biodiversity by Kate Frey and Gretchen LeBuhn

Beautifully illustrated, a guide written by an award-winning garden designer and a bee expert shows readers how to create an organic, pesticide-free and ecologically sustainable bee garden that can provide an impressive increase in yields and better-tasting produce.

Learn About Beekeeping

"Save the Bees with Natural Backyard Hives : The Easy and Treatment-Free Way to Attract and Keep Healthy Bees" by Rob and Chelsea McFarland
Save the Bees with Natural Backyard Hives : The Easy and Treatment-Free Way to Attract and Keep Healthy Bees by Rob and Chelsea McFarland

The husband-and-wife team behind the nonprofit HoneyLove make the case that beekeeping ought to be treated as more than a hobby or money-making enterprise. It is an entrance into a complex and sometimes fierce world that must be engaged and understood on its own terms.

"Homegrown Honey Bees : An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Beekeeping Your First Year, from Hiving to Honey Harvest" by Alethea Morrison
Homegrown Honey Bees : An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Beekeeping Your First Year, from Hiving to Honey Harvest by Alethea Morrison
Discover the joys of harvesting honey from your own backyard. This introduction to beekeeping covers everything from acquiring your first bees to sampling delicious honey. With in-depth discussions of allergies, colony hierarchy, bee behavior, and more, this approachably informative guide bursts with enthusiastic encouragement. Keep your own bees, and enjoy the sweet buzz.
"Storey's Guide To Keeping Honey Bees" by Malcolm T. Sanford, Richard E. Bonney
Storey's Guide To Keeping Honey Bees by Malcolm T. Sanford, Richard E. Bonney
This trusted handbook is a must-have for novice and seasoned beekeepers alike. It also presents comprehensive yet accessible information on everything from planning hives and installing a colony to preventing disease and managing productive hives that will bear bountiful honey harvests year after year.
"First Lessons In Beekeeping" by Camille Pierre Dadant
First Lessons In Beekeeping by Camille Pierre Dadant

In light of the dwindling honey bee population, this century-old guide is more relevant than ever. Written by the scion of a celebrated family of beekeepers that continues to operate today, the richly illustrated volume is the perfect companion for beginning beekeepers as well as those with a casual interest in bees. Reader-friendly information ranges from background on bee anatomy and the social structure of bee communities to different types of hives and how they function, honey production, wintertime beekeeping, and other practical matters. Author Camille Pierre Dadant was the son of Charles Dadant, one of the fathers of modern beekeeping techniques, inventor of the Dadant beehive, and founder of one of the first beekeeping equipment manufacturers. The business is still extant and run by the family, as is their publication, American Bee Journal. The old-fashioned charm of Dadant's narrative rests upon a solid foundation of timeless scientific knowledge, complemented by many informative drawings and photographs.

"Beginning Beekeeping : Everything You Need to Make Your Hive Thrive" by Tanya Phillips
Beginning Beekeeping : everything you need to make your hive thrive / Tanya Phillips

A practical guide provides the basics for getting started with beekeeping, teaching readers how to foster and maintain healthy, vibrant hive colonies, as well as how to incorporate the various techniques and practices for keeping bees using conventional, as well as more natural, practices.

Learn How to Use Honey in Cooking and Other Creative Projects

"Honey : From Flower to Table" by Stephanie Rosenbaum
Honey : From Flower to Table by Stephanie Rosenbaum

"Honey: From Flower to Table" dips into the myth, magic, science, and literature behind this sacred and sensuous food. Author Stephanie Rosenbaum traces the amazing process that turns flower nectar into honey, and takes the reader on a fascinating tour of the history and symbolism of honey. Cooking and crafting chapters include recipes for mouthwatering honey delicacies and step-by-step instructions for simple crafts like honeycomb candles and lip balms. A sumptuous feast for the senses, Honey perfect for honey lovers or anyone who fills life with sweet inspiration.

"The Fresh Honey Cookbook : 84 Recipes from a Beekeeper's Kitchen" by Laurey Masterton
The Fresh Honey Cookbook - 84 Recipes from a Beekeeper's Kitchen by Laurey Masterton

Indulge your sweet tooth all year long with honey's many seasonal flavors. With 84 recipes that highlight a different honey varietal for each month of the year, author Laurey Masterson showcases the versatility of this incomparable natural sweetener. Use avocado honey to add depth to April's baby carrots; spice up your July peaches with sourwood honey; and add some cranberry honey to November's Thanksgiving spread. This delightful book is filled with bits of honey lore and beekeeping history to sweeten your exploration of the varied and delicious ways you can use honey every day.

"Beehive Alchemy : Projects And Recipes Using Honey, Beeswax, Propolis, And Pollen To Make Your Own Soap, Candles, Crea" by Petra Ahnert
Beehive Alchemy : Projects And Recipes Using Honey, Beeswax, Propolis, And Pollen To Make Your Own Soap, Candles, Crea by Petra Ahnert

From crayons to cough drops, cookies to candles, "Beehive Alchemy" offers a comprehensive introduction to incorporating the miracle of bees into everyday life. "Beehive Alchemy" is a continuation of Petra Ahnert's best-selling "Beeswax Alchemy." With this new book, beekeepers (and bee lovers) will learn about the benefits and attributes of beeswax, honey, propolis, and more alongside a full range of projects and techniques to process and harness the amazing gifts of bees.

"The Beekeeper's Lab : 52 Family-Friendly Activities And Experiments Exploring The Life Of The Hive" by Kim Lehman
Beekeeper's Lab : 52 Family-Friendly Activities And Experiments Exploring The Life Of The Hive by Kim Lehman

Fill the year ahead with weekly activities from around and about the hive, including art projects, recipes, experiments, garden activities, and more! If you keep bees or are interested in keeping bees, "Beekeeper's Lab" is the book for you. Filled with 52 beekeeping and hive-inspired projects to keep you involved with your bees and hive all year long. The tutorials are brief, accomplishable, and rewarding. Try a new technique each week with how-tos and sidebars with tips that are perfect for including the whole family. Two decades! Beekeeping a fun and educational for the whole family to enjoy and is a highly impressive skill to possess!

"The Benevolent Bee : Capture the Bounty of the Hive through Science, History, Home Remedies and Craft" by by Stephanie Bruneau
The Benevolent Bee Capture the Bounty of the Hive through Science, History, Home Remedies and Craft by Stephanie Bruneau

Get the buzz on bees, honey, hive behavior, and all the things you can make with bee products in The Benevolent Bee. A honeybee hive produces much more than honey; it also produces pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, and bee venom. And humans have found uses for all these products. The Benevolent Bee will describe how and why the bees make these products, how they've been used by humans throughout the ages, and how beekeepers harvest the products. It will also present simple do-it yourself recipes for using the products in health and wellness, body care, nutrition, and craft. Beekeeper, herbalist, and artist Stephanie Bruneau explores six amazing products of the honeybee hive--honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, and bee venom. Learn how to make a salve for burns and a cough syrup from raw honey; how to make a tincture, an infused oil, and a mouthwash from propolis, the anti-bacterial "bee glue" that lines the inside of the hive; and much more.

Online Resources

Information on Bees

Bee Information for Kids - Pest World

10 Facts About Honey Bees - National Geographic Kids

National Honey Month - Bee Culture

September is National Honey Month! - American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

Our Ancient Ancestors Probably Loved Honey Too - Smithsonian

Why Are Honeybees Dying Off? - Sierra

Colony Collapse Disorder - EPA

Ten Years After the Crisis, What is Happening to the World’s Bees? - The Conversation

Conservation Work for Honeybees - USDA / NRCS

Honey and Ways to Use It

10 Surprising Benefits of Honey - Healthline

The Proven Health Benefits of Honey - CNN

Honey Recipes - BBC Food

7 Honey Recipes for National Honey Week - Veggie Magazine

15 Heavenly Honey Desserts - Woman's Day

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Disclaimer: The information and/or resources presented in this blog post are provided for educational purposes only. Always consult a health or medical professional before changing your diet.

Note: According to the Mayo Clinic, parents and/or caregivers should avoid giving infants honey until after 12 months due to the risk of infant botulism.

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