Last week, HARC team members gathered to harvest honey from the two hives located on HARC’s campus. Over 30,000 honeybees produced over 30 jars of honey from two sections of comb.
Since 2021, HARC has maintained two honeybee hives on its campus. We work with an urban beekeeping company, Alveole. Their program also provides support needed to maintain the hives and assigns each client a beekeeper. HARC’s beekeeper, Sierra Littlejohn, helps to support the health of our honeybees and produces reports throughout the seasons.
A recent study by the United Nations (UN) states that over one third of the world’s food supply depends on bees. Bees are pollinators, a vital part of the biodiversity that all humans depend upon. HARC includes the honeybees on our campus to help surrounding environs foster plant growth which in turn, provides habitat for local fauna as well. We also get to harvest and share the honey with our supporters, which is just sweet.
Have you ever wondered why some honey is darker than others and two jars of honey can taste very different from each other?
Well, it has to do with the flowers! Just like flowers all smell very different from each other, their nectar is different as well! The flavor of the honey is determined entirely by the nectar in the flowers that are blooming at the time, so even in the same hive you can have a rainbow of colors and flavors in the honey.
Have your ever wondered how bees keep cool in the summer?
Well, just like we pump the AC to cool our homes off in the Texas heat, the bees are doing the same!
Typically, once summer hits, bees don’t have a lot of reason to go out of the hive, as most of the spring blooms have died off and the nectar just isn’t as abundant. But you can probably imagine it would still get pretty hot sitting in a house with 50,000 of your siblings! During the hotter months, you can find a group of bees sitting at the entrance of the hives beating their wings so hard that it actually sends cool air up and into the hive!
How cool is that?? Bees never cease to amaze with their self-sufficiency.
What happens during the winter?
During the winter the bees will definitely be slowing down outside the hive, but inside there will be plenty of activity. Like most of us, they’ll be bundling up together to keep warm, using their bodies to generate heat through vibration. The whole hive will cluster together and generate enough heat to keep everyone warm. The same muscles they use to fly will keep them nice and toasty all winter long.
To keep up with the amazing work of our honeybees, please visit https://myhive.alveole.buzz/harc-houston.