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Herman Miller Honey

From Inhabitat, I learned that Herman Miller, the makers of those cool-ass chairs, also make honey. Well, I don’t think they secrete it and store it in wax themselves, but they have bees do the work for them. Apparently, they opened some ultra-eco factory, planted a bunch of flowers and gave some tours to the gaping masses, when a bunch of paper wasps (who we hate), showed up and started making trouble. After a quick consult with an environmental specialist, Herman Miller brought in 12 hives of bees and set them up around their factory. The flowers began blooming bum hard and the wasps found their food source stolen out from under them by the prodigous girls. As a side benefit, they end up harvesting something like 5,000 lbs of honey a year. And a bunch of cool-ass chairs.

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Orchids

Michelle and I visited San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park this past weekend. They have a beautiful orchid exhibit at the moment. I mention it here because there is apparently, a particular species, Oncidium, which “exploit the territorial nature of bees with flowers that look like the bee’s antagonists. When a breeze kicks up and the flower move, the bee attacks, butting the offending flower like a bull. With a forehead full of pollen, the bee flies off, only to get drawn into another floral battle.” That’s an Oncidium on the left there, plus a gratuitous display of non-bee antagonist impersonating orchids.

In other bee news, I took Suzi’s advice and combined the almost entirely defunct Hive 2 into Hive 1 a few weeks back. That meant I took the one remaining box of Hive 2 and put it on top of Hive 1, with just some newspaper separating them. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up doing any good, as there weren’t enough bees left in Hive 2 to even chew through the newspaper, so when I went in to Hive 1 this weekend to add Apistan, the newspaper was intact and there were just a few dead bees above it. Sigh.

Anyway, I took off the old Hive 2 box, wrapped it in plastic and stuck it in the garage for the winter. Unfortunately, based on the condition of the other boxes I had stored in there, that means I effectively painted “Rat Chow” on the side of the plastic, so we’ll see what condition it’s in come Spring.

Sadly, I still haven’t harvested the honey that I took off the hives a month or so ago. This is dangerous, as the comb could mold in the wet weather. Why would I do anything so obviously irresponsible. Come on, people, pay attention! I’m a bad beekeeper.

Sigh. Maybe I’ll skip with the hives and just plant some Oncidium in the garden.

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