My school visit to a bee farm

I know some vegans eat honey but I just don’t. I just would rather eat sweet, sticky syrup.

I felt uncertain about going to a bee farm. At first I thought I wouldn’t go. Then I though why not, I could find out a bit about how they treat the bees and share it with you guys on my blog.

bees

Through my Mom’s vegan friends we found 10 questions that would help me get an idea of what’s going on at a bee farm. Here are the questions and answers.

  1. Me: When do you harvest the honey? Her: When the bees have enough and the hive is overflowing, during summer, spring and autumn.
  2. Me: What replacement food do the bees get over harvesting times? Her: Fynbos.
  3. Me: Do your bees get moved to fields for pollination? Her: No! We would never do that it makes them very sick.
  4. Me: How do you protect and care for your bees?  Her: We rescue them from domestic homes and other places they could threaten people and put them into a safer environment. 
  5. Me: How many bees do you lose each season? Her: They all die each season.
  6. Me: Why do they die? Her: They work until their wings can’t work anymore and they are so tired and worn out.
  7. Me: What is the bees lifespan? Her: In summer they live up to 28 days and in winter they live up to as long as 3 months.
  8. Me: What happens to the queen bees? Her: They leave the hive once she has had a lot of babies.
  9. Me: Why did you become a bee keeper? Her: We had hives near our vegetable patch to pollinate the plants and then we fell in love with their personalities and wanted to help them. (I don’t get how keeping them helps them)
  10. Me: How will this bee farm help to look after the local bee pollution? Her: Schools coming here to learn how important they (bees) are brings awareness to their importance.

I’m glad I went because I learnt a lot and got a feel for what happens on this small-scale bee farm. I still feel assured that I will not eat honey and will stick with the sweet, sticky syrup. This type of bee keeping farm would perhaps suit vegans who still choose to eat honey.

Thanks to Victoria Moran for suggesting these two movies, which I plan to watch Queen of the Sun and Disappearance of the Bees

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16 thoughts on “My school visit to a bee farm

  1. WOW fabulous..you are a super tween! Thanks for the information..who knew? Keep up the “whispering” Your voice is coming out loud and clear! – Suzanne Lyons in Boston, MA

  2. Congratulations on your new Blog. I think you did a wonderful job with your questions and also helped many of us learn about bees and beekeepers. Keep on writing!

  3. I wonder how long the bees would live if we weren’t exhausting them for their sweet stuff. Keep up that critical thinking—I wish I’d had such beautiful clarity and sense of purpose when I was your age!

  4. Thanks for writing this! Bees and honey are a confusing issue for many vegans. They are not “just bugs”. They are vital to our ecosystem and exploiting them is causing a lot of problems for our planet. I tend to agree with your skepticism. I can’t imagine they need to be “rescued” from their natural environment. Looking forward to more great information and thoughts from you!

  5. This is an awesome post on such an important topic! Thank you for sharing your perspective – as a vegan tween, you have such a unique voice. Keep on using it!

  6. I’m a vegan bee guardian and I very much enjoyed your post. As a veganic bee guardian, my answers are different: (1-2) when the hive is honey bound, I either save their combs to give back to them in winter or I harvest their honey, also to give back to them in winter as a tea with chamomile, lavender, organic cane sugar, and nutritional supplements. (3) I don’t move bees because it disorients them, and they would have to be moved beyond their 10 mile radius, or they recognize landmarks and go back to their former hive and die. (4) I protect them by making sure their hive-body is protected from predator animals like raccoons, skunks, and bears. (5) The queen bees usually live for two to five years, and stay with one hive for two or three; the little worker laddies live for 4-9 months during the winter season and about 6 weeks during the summer, and most of them leave when the queen does: this is how a bee colonies reproduce; the drones are all kicked out by the workers in the fall. (9) I heard they could boost the productivity of a vegetable garden by 30%, and later realized how amazing they are, and I feel in love. I do not “keep” them as an owner; I’m a “guardian”, helping them survive: honeybees, even my Russian ones, would not survive in Vermont’s winters without human partnership. (10) Great question. Farmers should avoid neonicatanoids, and use organic practices, and advocate for bee-friendly practices; and encourage others to be bee guardians… I’m one of the only veganic bee gaurdians that I know of – we need more!; I’m one of the only bee “keepers” that doesn’t eat honey; but I do eat some of their extra pollen and propolis, but I save at least 80% of their products to give back to them. I don’t use smoke (it’s a carcinogen and usually unnecessary). Bees, even at small farms, usually don’t produce excess honey, especially in colder states. What’s taken from them must be substituted with something inferior, a major contributor of their sicknesses. Their honey is invaluable, one of the rare non-vegan products that is extraordinarily healthy and healing, and so I gift it to those in need, and with the greatest respect… Vegan love. … BTW, Vegan Whisperer, the art of bee whispering, to ask for their gifts and trust, is the true vegan way: check out the great book, The Shamanic Way of the Bee: Ancient Wisdom and Healing Practices of the Bee Masters. 🙂

    • hi Vegan Bee Guardian! I am SO glad we have met though my blog! thanks for all your great answers, I can see you are passionate about what you do too. with results like that I am going to ask mom to plant more bee-friendly plants in our vegetable patch!

  7. Hi Issy, you’re uncle Mike is so proud of you for starting your blog and for the two posts you’ve created so far. So well written, and I just love the way you respond positively to everyone who comments. Keep up the great work, and I hope that your blog brings you in line with your love for writing and expressing yourself.

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