One of the most wonderful things about working with a diverse group of clients, is the opportunity to learn new things - to expand one's awareness, education and passion for the millions of unique facets this world and humanity has to offer. My clients have taught me about forest conservation in Alaska; about how to take charge of one's legal career; about the world of recycling jet engine alloys; about progressive health care; about business-focused event planning, and so much more. But most recently, I have learned about bees.
There is a lot of buzz about bees right now, pun intended. You can google "honey bees" and get a plethora of quality articles, op-eds, and agri-resources. Their health and well-being is directly related to ours. The majority of our food supply is supported through their pollination. Our own environmental allergies can become subdued simply by consuming local honey, which also has shown anti-bacterial first aid benefits, and miraculously, can still be edible hundreds of years after it is stored in a tomb with King Tut.
And yet, most of what we know (and teach young children) about bees revolves around whether or not we should know where the nearest Epi-Pen is located.
But, what I have learned over the past year, is how vastly advanced and complex bee colonies are. How susceptible to disease, cross-breeding and pesticides they can be. And how wonderfully social, beautiful, amazing, intelligent and collaborative they are. If we all lived as bees do, our world would be a better place. (With the exception of all of the female bees kicking out the male bees to die in the wintertime. Ouch.)
We have 25 active bee hives here at Rocky Creek Ranch. And another 75+ at a "sister farm" in Cherryville by the name of River Taw. In collaboration with long-time beekeeper Jimmy Brooks, we have been able to launch a Certified Naturally Grown, fully sustainable colony of honey-producing Russian bees. And through this process, I have had the unique opportunity to not only photograph the hives, but also design the product packaging for our first entry into the local honey market.
As Part One of two posts, this entry showcases some of my favorite images from being "inside the hive." I was surprised at how easy it was to put aside any fear of being stung, and to just *be* with the bees.
When you look closely, you realize just how beautiful they are, and your awareness for them in your own environment shifts. They are not to be feared, but rather nurtured. They are not be squashed, but rather enjoyed.
And through teaching children how to exist around bees, we can lower anxiety and raise awareness for these amazing little creatures that really are one of the most important contributors to our daily existence.
Tomorrow, Part Two - the final product design -- honey labels!