Every summer, our long-time friend and local beekeeper Toni Burnham comes out to share with our Growing Food...Growing Together families and our Seed to Supper youth. A self-proclaimed "bee-vangelist", Toni travels around the DC area with her bees so as to increase people's understanding and appreciation of bees (while also decreasing their fear!).
Toni has hives all over the city, but for us she brings out an observation hive. In this clear glass hive, we can see about 1/10 of the bees who make up a normal-sized hive. This observation hive allows us to see the worker bees making honey, the queen laying eggs (at least 1,000 a day!), and the drones doing, well, nothing.
Toni also brings us a cadre of bee-made goodies like beeswax, soap, candles, and propolis (resin that bees produce to fill up holes in their hives, has lots of good uses for human health too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propolis).
Everyone loves being able to try on Toni's beekeeper protective clothing, give the bee smoker (tool used by beekeepers before handling a hive) a few sprays, and of course taste the best honey in the Washington DC area! One of my favorite quotes of Toni that she says as the children are tasting the honey produced by her bees is "this is what DC tastes like!"
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