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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.