Looking back at the past few years more often than not we are hearing ominous predictions about the future and what will happen if the bees disappear. The main source of the issue are of course humans, and the trash and pollution we are leaving behind us. Nevertheless, since the bees are Happy Honey’s hardest working employees we’ve decided to tell you something about them so you could know when and how to help them, when to leave them be(e) and how you can positively impact your surroundings. Most of the time, bees are harmless insects, but they are important for the ecosystem and should not be killed. They will never attack you unprovoked. Main food sources for them are nectar and pollen from the flowers. Bees live in colonies i.e. beehives. Recently we have seen a new trend on the rise- urban beehives, and we are proud to say Belgrade is one of the cities that has joined in on the trend.
Dark bees of Serbia
Their society, inside a beehive, has it’s own dynamic and despite people’s attempts to domesticate them, bees are still wild animals at heart. Since the Happy Honey is from Serbia, we would like to present our own indigenous species of bees – Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica Polmm). Carniolan honey bee was named after a city of Kranj, near Ljubljana, where this species was first described. It belongs to the group of dark bees with an elongated body covered with tinny, grey hairs. The most important virtues it has are calmness, longevity and the ability to survive winter without consuming too much food. Beekeepers appreciate those qualities and that’s the reason 98% of all bees in Serbia are Carniolan honey bees.
How can you make a difference?
Did you know that honey bees can travel up to 20km while searching for nectar? Due to their workaholic tendencies they can get a bit tired. So what can you do if you see a tired bee, unable to fly ? The solution is easy. Simply mix two tablespoons of sugar and add one tablespoon of water. Even if this seems like too much sugar, do not add any more water because bees are small and could drown in all that water. The mixture will serve as a little energy drink for the bee and it will soon fly away happily. Another great remedy for them is honey, obviously, but remember to only use raw honey , not the processed one since it contains a lot of sugar that’s not only bad for the bees, but for humans too. More on that you can read here .
One of the reasons we are loosing bees is monoculture- growing only one type of crops, and using pesticides. Wherever you live you can plant something that blooms. Bees are instinctively drawn to colorful flowers, plus your garden or terrace will only look better that way. You should pick flowers that bloom during different times of the year so you can host these happy workaholics all year round. We suggest lavender, thyme, cilantro, sage, buttercup, aster, sunflower, zinnia…
To summarize, don’t be afraid of the bees, because, they will never attack you first. You can irritate them if you wave your hands at them, wear too strong of a perfume and most important tip we have is not to touch the beehive. Let the professionals handle it. Sometimes, beehive can be mistaken for a wasp nest. Wasps are different to bees. They are more easily agitated and will chase you for much longer than bees , also they have the ability to sting multiple times. There are no fun times with wasps. You can look at bees as our friends in the nature that are little chubby and hairy, while wasps are more slender, waxier and more aggressive. Finally, one of the most important tips for preserving bees and local beekeepers is to choose the healthiest products from nature and always get natural, organic honey.
Until next time
Your Happy Honey Bee