Monday, March 21, 2011

Strange and Unfortunate

An urban beekeeper has to contend with strange surroundings!

As in the NYTimes, by Susan Dominus,
......And then this. Her bees, the ones she had been raising in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and on Governors Island since May, started coming home to their hives looking suspicious. Of course, it was the foragers — the adventurers, the wild waggle dancers, the social networkers incessantly buzzing about their business — who were showing up with mysterious stripes of color. Where there should have been a touch of gentle amber showing through the membrane of their honey stomachs was instead a garish bright red. The honeycombs, too, were an alarming shade of Robitussin.

“I thought maybe it was coming from some kind of weird tree, maybe a sumac,” said Ms. Mayo, who tends seven hives for Added Value, an education nonprofit in Red Hook. “We were at a loss.”

An acquaintance, only joking, suggested the unthinkable: Maybe the bees were hitting the juice — maraschino cherry juice, that sweet, sticky stuff sloshing around vats at Dell’s Maraschino Cherries Company over on Dikeman Street in Red Hook.

Mr. Selig, who owns the restaurant chain Rice and raises the bees as a hobby, was disappointed that an entire season that should have been devoted to honey yielded instead a red concoction that tasted metallic and then overly sweet.

He and Ms. Mayo also fear that the bees’ feasting on the stuff could have unforeseeable health effects on the hives.

 

Bees need plants, we need to help ensure they do not become diabetic from our produced ¨foods¨.

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