Our Top 5: Bee-Saving, Inspirational Videos

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"Save the bees, save the planet!"

A phrase we have all probably heard once or twice.

But hearing these once in a while doesn't always spark inspiration to help. Especially when we aren't even fully aware of the problem.

Why do we need to save the bees?

How will it really help our planet? A call to action needs inspiration. Something to spark our interest, hit us right in the feels and make us genuinely care.

During my early stages of bee research this was a big question that came up: WHY?

In order to be truly dedicated, I needed to have a solid why-factor. Coming across these videos has helped educate me on why bees are so important. It also has solidified my desire to help and move forward to do better for ourselves, our community and our environment.

This first video was the first TED Talk I had ever watched.

I thought for some reason they were only really useful for college students and only had boring topics. I am not in school, so I didn't think I needed to bother checking them out. Even while researching, I was skeptical and kept mostly to YouTube for the first week. Watching Marla, however, changed my mind completely. This video is very informative and gives us great insight into the issues all bees are facing and how it is directly related to humans.

My next inspirational video also happens to be a TED Talk (I am addicted to them now).

The speakers name is Noah and he has an amazing dream of having hives in urban cities. Whether they are in parks or on rooftops, he shows that it is very doable and essential for our future.

The next video helps try to explain the issues surrounding colony collapse disorder. 

A recent phenomenon causing bee colonies all over the world to turn into ghost towns.

It includes many reasons all contributing to a perfect storm of issues harming and hindering our bees.

What would happen without our bees?

Do you like dairy, coffee or jeans? This next video shows just what life would be like without our precious pollinators.

This last video on the list is all about the symbiotic relationship between bees and flowers.

Without flowers, we wouldn't have bees - and vice versa.

This video has me motivated to plant all the flowers I can around both my parents home and my own. I hope after you watch it, you will want to go plant some in your backyard as well.

All these videos have got me itchin' to start helping the bees and get our hive started. There are so many inspirational videos out there to watch and these are just a few we liked. If anyone has a video that inspired them, please comment the link below! The more the merrier to get us all in the mood to help save our bees and spread the word.

I also wanted to leave you with this bonus video which is not very informational or totally accturate but it is hilarous and gets stuck in your head!

Now go out there and save some bees!

Honeybee or Honey Bee?

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Tomato - Tomato? Potato - Potato? Isn't it all in the same?

That's what I thought when it came to the word honeybee/honey bee.

In my research, I came across both terms and figured it was the writer's preference. Either way, it didn't distract me from my studying though it did leave me curious.

Which one is right? Is there one that is truly right? Is it maybe something that differs from culture? Like colour or color? I set out to find the truth and settle it once for all.

After a bit of digging, it turns out there is a term that is more "pollen-itically" correct.

Drum roll, please... "Honey Bee"!

The dyad takes the cake. And the reason why is actually quite interesting. As I searched for my answer a few articles quoted a book by Robert E. Snodgrass called Anatomy of the Honey Bee written way back in 1956!

The preface to the book is quoted here:

"First, it must be explained why the name of the bee appears in the title as two words, though "honeybee" is the customary form in the literature of apiculture. Regardless of dictionaries, we have in entomology a rule for insect common names that can be followed.

It says: If the insect is what its name implies, write the two words separately; otherwise run them together. Thus we have such names as house fly, blow fly and robber fly contrasted with dragonfly, caddicefly and butterfly, because the latter are not flies, just as an aphislion is not a lion and a silverfish is not a fish. The honey bee is an insect and is pre-eminently a bee; "honeybee" is equivalent to "Johnsmith"."  -Ananatomy of the Honey Bee by Robert E. Snodgrass (1956)

Now though that may be a bit hard to understand. My gathering from it is: if the second word is what it actually is, they go separately. Like his examples of house fly versus butterfly. A house fly is, in fact, a fly, where a butterfly is not. Makes sense when you think about all the examples.

Although Miriam-Webster's Dictionary states "honeybee" as the spelling with "honey bee" as a variant, I still think the science trumps everything.

Therefore, I am going to stick with Robert on this one and keep things scientific.

From now on (and I am going back to edit and make sure I am consistent) I will keep to the phrase "honey bee".

Now I am not saying anyone using the compound word as a whole is wrong. To each their own of course. I have just decided to make an educated choice considering I am starting out my journey in the beekeeping world, and want to be as informed as possible.

And so continues the journey to enlighten myself and others on the path to a better world for our honey bees.

Researching: Where to Begin?

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Okay, so we have established some sort of an interest in bees.. but now what?

Going in blind did not seem to be a wise idea, especially when it involved invading the homes of stinging insects.

As I set out to research I honestly thought it was going to be a breeze. Few articles here, a youtube video there and presto: Bee Expert.

How hard could it be to become a beekeeper, especially as a hobby?

But as much information as I found it all seemed scattered. Helpful tips and hints and how to do certain things but no straightforward "How to Keep Bees as a Hobby". It started to feel like I had my work cut out for me. The more I looked into beekeeping the more intricate it started to feel.

What am I getting myself into?

I decided to take a step back. Instead of delving in and losing myself to the depth of bee knowledge, I opted to get a lot more comfortable with the basics. A steady grip on starting out would make it a lot easier to get my head around the complex stuff. Time to hit the books. 

I started with web articles, YouTube videos and TED Talks. These broadened my horizons and made me understand how big the worldwide beekeeping community is. A lot of videos, however, were very specific.

I had to really search to find broad beginners-type information.

I eventually found the most helpful sites and videos and started off on my research journey. Videos have been my favourite tool thus far in getting a really good visual idea of things. Photos help as well but the videos really bring it to life. I am still researching and watching new videos to gain all the basic knowledge I can. 

The next type of researching I went for was books. Debating between buying books on Amazon or saving the cost and hitting the library, I opted for the latter and ran down to the local library. Surprisingly, I did not find many books on beekeeping. I actually went to two branches with not much luck on variety.

I did, however, stumble upon a few books that have been goldmines of information.

My absolute favourite being "Homegrown Honey Bees" by Alethea Morrison There was loads of information and very well taken pictures. My favourite part was that it was an up to date book (published in 2013) so it had a modern flair the older books lacked.

Though the older books did not disappoint. They provided tried and true methods in detail and helped me really get an idea of the background of beekeeping. Each word I read from every book reinforced my desire to learn more. I got my journal out and took tons of notes on useful information we could use to start up our hobby.

The last and most helpful means of research I used was to contact a local beekeeper.

I found my contact, Mark, through his local beehive making business and originally went in to check out his products and hopefully pick his brain. What I left with was a ton of basic bee knowledge and possibly a new bee friend.

The most important tip, something I hadn't even thought of yet, was the importance of our climate. Being a wet and mild area, he gave specific insight into how to cope with things that may arise. He sent me off with his card if I had any more questions and a bee calendar made by our local bee association with so many tips and tricks for our local climate and seasons. He seemed to be our secret weapon of knowledge and I hope when the time comes he could help us get started.

Through all these tools I could sense my bee research going from absolute beginner to somewhat novice - at least in the knowledge department. My exploration continued to trigger my interest.

The excitement of learning new things and the anticipation of putting them to practice; itching to get these bees up and running!