Another program that you may choose to experience here at our camp is “Honey Bees”. If you choose this program indicate this and if staff are available we will be in touch to see if a suitable time can be worked out.
Here at Camp Attawandaron we are “Friends of the Earth” and it is only fitting that we should strive toward making our members of scouting, guiding and all campers aware of one of the most concerning issues of our time. And so it is with this in mind that we include in our program here at the camp “Honey Bees”, to make us knowledgeable about them and preserving our beautiful planet earth and mankind.
The “Friends of the Earth” foundation in their concern for bees has promoted a “Bee Cause” program and we quote,
“The Bee Cause calls for a ban on bee harmful pesticides and practices while proposing and delivering practical ways to help bees and wild pollinators.
Bees are very important in Canada with estimates of $1.7 billion value for their pollination services and $146 million of honey produced annually.”
Having outlined the importance for this program here at the camp, now let us begin.
Apiary, is the name given to the location where the “bee keeper” or “apiarist” keeps his or her hives. They are kept in boxes which make up the hives. The following diagram describes the hive and it’s parts in our apiary here at the camp.
By the end of June there should be more than 80,000 bees in the hive. The bees in the hive are the queen (1) which is female, the workers (thousands) which are females and drones ( usually 200-400 and none over the winter) which are males.
The Queen is the largest bee in the hive and is a little less than 2 ½ centimetres (7/8 inch) long and takes 16 days from egg to adult. The workers are the smallest bee in the hive and are a little over 1 centimetre (3/8 to 5/8 inch) long and take 21 days from egg to adult. The drones are 1 ½ centimetres (5/8 inch) long, fatter and take 24 days from egg to adult.
Queen with workers attending her (feeding, cleaning, directing her)
If the hive is healthy and strong it can produce 80-100 pounds of honey in a season. The jar of honey you have received from us was produced by our bees.
A word about our honey…….
This honey is not filtered or pasteurized. It is straight from the hive, “natural honey”. As a result you may find bits of wax/pollen ( pollen can be orange, black, purple etc.) etc. and may crystallize faster as a result. The bees sometimes get into nectar that crystallizes even faster. This does not affect the quality and all honeys will eventually solidify. It can be eaten in its crystallized form (Most people like it just as well) or scoop ( ice cream scoop works well) out smaller amounts and heat it ( no more than you would in making candy so it doesn’t caramelize) and it will become a liquid again. This can be done in a hot water bath, micro waved or heated carefully on the stove.