Let the Honey-Making Begin! RHH Celebrates the Arrival of the Bees.

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Let the Honey-Making Begin! RHH Celebrates the Arrival of the Bees!

Let the Honey-Making Begin! RHH Celebrates the Arrival of the Bees!


#redhousehoney06 Yesterday RHH brought home 40,000 babies — worker bees that is, to begin our summer honey production. These busy girls got right to work the minute we let them out of their cardboard nuc boxes and put them in their cozy new Amish-(hand)made homes.
Opening the bees' front door

Opening the bees’ front door


Feasting on apple blossoms, dandelions, dogwood, tulips, and tree pollen, the girls got right down to work. The queen will start laying now, and brood will quickly build up to the point that honey can be made. By July, we hope to be rolling in honey
Springtime at Red House Honey: Raw will soon be ready!

Springtime at Red House Honey: Raw will soon be ready!


By August, RHH will have a wildflower honey harvest. Look for us at the Prescott Farmer’s Market, Halley’s in Iroquois, Burchell’s Home Hardware in Cardinal, French Cafe in Manotick, Jacobson’s and Westboro Pharmasave in Ottawa. We’ll also be at the Iroquois Bluegrass Festival at the Iroquois Canal June 13-15, and Harvest Days/Antique Wheels in Motion north of Domville on August 17. Or drop us a line.
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Old cork beehives reveal a glimpse into an ancient Portugese way of life

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#redhousehoney06

Ancient cork beehive, near Gois, Portugal

Ancient cork beehive, near Gois, Portugal

Ancient cork beehives like these can still be found in the remote mountains of Portugal, where many old customs, buildings and methods survive to this day. The Romans first began making beehives out of this light, versatile tree bark because of its lack of heat conductivity. Bees could stay cooler inside beehives made of cork than in ones made out of stone or other woods. And they still work!

Cork is a huge industry in Portugal, which does not harm the cork oaks which provide the harvest.

Cork beehive being restored, in the mountains near Gois, Portugal

Cork beehive being restored, in the mountains near Gois, Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red House Honey recently visited a restored farm deep in the mountains and found cork beehives in various states of repair. Such hives are rare now, but can still be seen in the remoter areas of the countryside.

Ruined cork beehive found in the mountains of Portugal

Ruined cork beehive found in the mountains of Portugal

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“There was lots of bee excitement in the air:” RHH Tasted at Friends of the Earth Canada’s Earth Day Event

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RHH Honey Tasted at Friends of the Earth Canada's Earth Day event

RHH Honey Tasted at Friends of the Earth Canada’s Earth Day event. Photo credit: Friends of the Earth Canada

#redhousehoney “There was lots of bee excitement in the air.” That’s what Ottawa Honey House owner Jeannine Cloutier had to say about Friends of the Earth Canada‘s Earth Day get-together on Apr. 22. Hosted at Atomic Rooster on Ottawa’s Bank St., the event attracted about 30 guests and featured lots of earth-friendly fun — including a sampling of several local honeys.

“The biggest goal,” said FoE Canada event organizer Micaela Buchnea-Chew, “– to raise awareness of the dangers of neonics– was accomplished.”

It was also the Ottawa launch of FoE’s Sign4Change campaign. Appropriately, Ottawa’s own Five Man Electrical Band has re-worked its seminal 1971 hit, Signs. The new version is called Signs4Change, and is part of FoE’s Bee Cause campaign which underscores the harmful effects of neonicotinoids on pollinators (such as honey bees, birds, butterflies and other types of bees and wasps) and pushes for a ban on the use of this pesticide.

Bee aficionado Cloutier was asked to organize a honey tasting by FoE Canada so she quickly scoured the countryside for honey–not an easy task when honey production ended six months ago!  Cloutier rose to the occasion though, and by all accounts put on a great display which attracted quite a buzz. Here’s her account of the evening:

“I set up a single box Langstroth hive (empty of course!) on a table and left it open with the lid next to it. I arranged the open honey jars in a semi-circle on the lid and placed a description label (beekeeper, company name, contact information, where geographically it originated, and predominant nectar source) in front of each jar. I then had a pint glass full of non-gluten linguine (rice pasta I think) and another glass for used ‘tasting sticks.'”
“People came through and talked about bees with me while they sampled the honey. One child in particular was full of questions and grilled me for a good 20 minutes on beekeeping as he was hoping to get some bees next year. Most people were surprised at the differences in flavours between the honey jars; for some it was their first time having anything but billy-bee honey.”
“One person commented that [Red House Honey] ‘tasted like a farmer’s field bathed in sunshine’ and many scribbled down [RHH’s] information.” Music for the evening was provided by David Taggart, lead singer of The Strain. “Once the music started,” said Cloutier, “there was less talking and more leaning in close and saying ‘WHAT?’ Thankfully I had a pint and sort’ve bobbed my head to the music while I smiled at people tasting honey in the deafening thrum of an electric guitar.”
Thanks to Jeannine and FoE! Sounds like it was a great night for a great cause: the earth! For more information on local honey, bees, and/or other earth-related topics, visit www.ottawahoneyhouse.com and www.facebook.com/foe.canada.

**FoE asks everyone to do four things:

  1. Take the pledge. Do what you can to save bees, birds and butterflies. Once you sign your pledge, you’ll be offered a mp3 download of Signs4Change by Five Man Electrical Band and guest artists.
  2. Create Your Bee Cause Space. Join in other simple steps like creating friendly Bee Cause spaces and ensuring your garden centre is on side with bee-safe plants.
  3. Sing along with Signs4Change. Gather your friends and community to sing along.  You can sing anywhere and everywhere – at your job, your school, in front of a politician’s office, at your place of worship, at your local shopping centre or park.
  4. Sign the Petition. To call on garden centres to take a stand and refuse to sell nursery bedding plants and vegetable plants containing neonicotinoids. (For more info see http://foecanada.org/en/sign4change/) **

**info excerpted from FoE page and used by permission.

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