Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bee Log 51; November 24, 2010

Review of the movie Colony

My husband and I saw the movie Colony at the tiny Northwest Film Forum on Madison and 12th on Capitol hill in Seattle. The theater we were in seated about 49 people in old style movie seats. The ambiance was old fashioned cute. Also attending the screening was a host of two of our bee hives. That was a pleasant surprise. They came with friends as did we so there was some lively bee talk among the 8 of us before the movie started.

Colony has three different themes. One was the disappearance of many hives of honey bees just before the California almond pollination in 2009 due to colony collapse disorder. Another was the disappearance of many bee keepers from the business of bee keeping. And the third was a documentary style focus on the Seppi family with two young bee keeper brothers in their early twentys. The Seppi brothers had a contract with a local almond grower to provide bee hives for $170 each. The price had dropped that almond growers were offering beekeepers and the almond grower was wanting to renegotiate his contract. The Seppi brothers' mother (queen bee of a large family) was pushing the young men to hold the farmer to his contract.

The cause of colony collapse had not come close to being solved as of the making of Colony. The cause of family collapse is all to obvious in the film. The Seppi brothers are delightful but have not moved away from the family nest or do they have plans to. Marriage is mentioned by their mother in sentences that usually started with "You will never..." and ending in some economic reality of the beginning bee keeper.

The Irish Film Board had something to do with the making of the movie but I am not sophisticated enough to know just what. The whole of the movie was about U.S.A beekeepers and mostly concerned the California almond pollination. The Irish music by the Clogs was enjoyable.

If you are an experienced beekeeper, you might enjoy the plight of the hive-bound Seppi brothers. If you aren't a beekeeper, you will learn of a situation that could affect your food prices and supply in the near future if there are not enough bees or more importantly beekeepers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bee Log 50: November 20, 2010

This broccoli did not get harvested before going to flower. The bees are all over it on a nice day in late October.

This is one type of bee feeder that we are using. It holds a gallon of syrup and sits on top of the inner cover. An empty box surrounds the feeder with the telescoping outer cover on top of that.

The weather has turned very cold. Freezing temperatures and even snow are in the forecast for Seattle. We don't see the bees very much these days. If the temperature is above 52 degrees F. they come out to forage. There are flowers, nectar and pollen all year long in Seattle if the weather is nice enough for the bees to fly. Right now, I have noticed heather and rosemary blooming. There are also the fall blooming camellias.

On December 1, a film about the current disappearance of honey bees will be shown at Kane Hall on the UW campus at 7:15. Come early for a tasting of local honey including Seattle Urban Honey. The title of the film is "Vanishing of the Bees". The cost is $15 at the door or $10 advance purchase. The organization putting this on is Essential Arts, Creative work for the common good.