Blütenland Bienenhöfe Organic Honeys – Germany
“I always remember Albert Einstein’s words: If all the bees in the world die, humans will also perish within 4 years! Bees not only shoulder the heavy responsibilities for the reproduction of plants in the world, but also contribute to mankind their precious treasures. How can we not treat them well?”
– Heike Appel, founder of Aifeng Cooperative
From fear to conservation of bees
Heike, who was born in Berlin, a big city in Germany, has been very interested in everything about nature since childhood, especially small animals and plants. After she grew up, she studied botany and organic planting courses in Witzenhausen.
But bees alone were the ones that Heike had always been most afraid of, because she had been stung by bees when she was a child! However, the appearance of friend who was a bee garden expert, and Heike’s more in-depth understanding of these insects changed Heike’s life and made her determined to engage bee conservation!
Bees: the Mysterious Creation of Nature
While exploring more deeply and understanding the lives of the bee colony at a close distance, Heike was thrilled by this other type of life in Nature:
* Bees have lived on the earth for 30 million years.
* Bees are the only insect that produces food for humans.
* On average, each bee can only brew about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
* There are about 20,000-60,000 bees and one queen bee in a swarm of bees.
* Worker bees are females, their life spans are only about 6 to 8 weeks, and they work very hard.
* The queen bee has a life span of about 5 – 6 years, and is the only bee that lays eggs. It lays up to 2500 eggs per day.
* Male bees are called drones. They don’t have to work and don’t have needles like worker bees. All they have to do is to mate with the queen bee.
* Each bee colony has a unique smell for internal identification.
* Worker bees will sting each other when they are violated, but in doing so they will lose their lives.
* Bees communicate with each other by dancing.
Heike realized that the honeys we could easily buy were brewed by bees with extreme hard work:
* For a bee to brew one kilogram of honey, it takes almost one million flowers to gather raw materials. If the distance between the garden where the bees collect nectar and the hive is an average of one and a half kilometers, then for a bee to collect one kilogram of nectar, it must fly 450,000 kilometers, which is almost equivalent to flying around the earth’s equator eleven times!
* Bees use their needle-like tongues (sippers) to suck out the nectar from the flowers, then store them in their stomachs and bring them back to the hive. When a bee stores the nectar in the stomach for half an hour, the nectar is mixed with the protein and biochemical enzymes in the bee’s body to convert the nectar into honey.
* The bees then store honey in the hexagonal honeycomb, and then repeat the process until the entire honeycomb is filled. In order to store them for a long time, bees flap their wings to evaporate the water in the honeys. After this dehydration, the nutritional structure of honey is improved and can be stored for a long time.
The road to cherish bees, I want to build!
Bees are highly organized little insects that carry out intricate co-operation to produce all kinds of bee products for humans. In all animal worlds, only bees are improving the environment and not preying on any other species. The more she knows about these amazing insects, the more Heike loved and respected them.
Since 1993, Heike joined Bioland, the most stringent organic certification organization in the world, to assist in the organic certification of bee gardens. She also called upon many bee lovers in Germany to unite bee colonies in different regions certified by Bioland organically. Under the Bioland certification standard, a bee cooperative must be formed near the bee colonies, resolutely collect and produce organic honeys without disturbing the natural ecology of the bee colony.