Sweet buzz coming to Truckee’s Cedar House
October 5, 2011
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Did you know the scout honeybee does a pollen dance?
and#8220;He comes back to the hive, flaps his wings and does a little dance to give directions to the best pollen areas,and#8221; said Nicole Cheslock, a petite woman whose dark brown eyes shine with delight when she speaks about bees. Delight and concern. Honeybees, who pollinate roughly 80 percent of our food crops, including apples, almonds, blueberries, broccoli, chocolate, coffee, peaches, potatoes, pumpkins and yes, tequila, are suffering from colony collapse disorder.
Cheslock got interested in honeybees from her parents, who keep bees at their Connecticut home. and#8220;Shhhhhhh,and#8221; her father said on a walk. and#8220;Can you hear that in the bushes? It’s one of my bees.and#8221;
and#8220;My guess is beekeepers are characters,and#8221; Cheslock said. and#8220;One beekeeper rubs them with his mustache, the bees like it. Some don’t even eat honey, they talk to a more science background.and#8221; Cheslock is a longtime honey aficionado, sweetening her daily tea with the better portion of a tablespoon since age 18, and pampering herself with a natural facial of oatmeal, honey and warm water.
Dozens of inquisitive minds including foodies and backyard beekeepers will fill Cedar House Sport Hotel’s event center for a special event honoring honeybees on Oct. 27, an event Cheslock organized.
and#8220;I couldn’t have found a better sponsor than the Cedar House,and#8221; said Cheslock. and#8220;They’re excited. If you look at their business philosophy, they understand the connection between the environment and our ecosystems.and#8221;
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The program includes words by the charismatic fourth generation commercial beekeeper John Miller, a showing of and#8220;Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us?and#8221; and a one-of-a-kind honey tasting, to include samples from local honey collectors, such as Shaw Family Farms.
and#8220;Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us?and#8221; is a multi award-winning film that balances the intricate wonders of the beehive and the good humor of devoted beekeepers with a dark reality. It is not a dire predictor of gloom but rather an investigation of the causes behind colony collapse disorder through the eyes of biodynamic beekeepers, scientists and philosophers. The film features interviews with Gunther Hauk, Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva and a compelling cast of characters. Together they take viewers on a journey through beehives and beekeeping that weaves the and#8216;beauty with the beast’: landscapes and beescapes contrast with global industrial agriculture.
Christine Champ of Film.com commented, and#8220;Queen of the Sun is stunning and#8230; as soulful as it is scientific, as uplifting as it is alarming. [Director Taggart] Siegel sets himself and his film apart with exquisite cinematography and awe-inducing visual artistry.and#8221;
In 1923, Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner predicted honeybees would collapse in 80 to 100 years. In 2006 beekeepers around the U.S. began reporting incredible losses evidenced by bees disappearing from their hives in mass numbers. Often the queen and honey were left, but the bees were gone. Challenges also include the devastating impact of mites and harmful pesticides, government manipulation and finding willing workers. Due to population growth in Northern California it’s increasingly difficult to keep bees in the region. Here in the Sierra Nevada, snow, cold temperatures, long winters, bears and lack of bee-friendly vegetation also present challenges.
and#8220;I expect people to learn something new, see something new, and have time to talk to neighbors about beekeeping, what flowers to plant, things you can do to help the bees,and#8221; said Cheslock, who plans to plant flowers for the bees.
The evening will include guest speaker John Miller who owns and manages Miller’s Honey Farms, a company rooted in the work of John’s great grandfather, N.E. Miller. Today, harvesting more than a million pounds of high quality honey annually, it’s one of the largest beekeeping outfits in North Dakota. and#8220;Most of what the beekeeping industry needs to know to survive and thrive over the next five years will come from outside the industry. Beekeepers must develop new methods,and#8221; explains Miller. He will speak about the introduction of honeybees to the U.S. and management issues over the centuries.
Miller Honey Farms opened a branch in Newcastle, Calif. during the 1970s as almond growing blossomed. Today almonds are California’s largest crop export. Luckily, Miller’s bees winter in Newcastle and Miller is available to speak Oct. 27. He’ll share his love of honeybees and industry insights.
and#8220;This is such a treat for the community, and I want to recognize Cedar House Sport Hotel, Slow Food Lake Tahoe, Moonshine Ink and The Weekly for supporting this event,and#8221; shared Cheslock.
Discover more about honeybees and enjoy a variety of honey Oct. 27.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The event begins at 6 p.m. There will be a cash bar. For more information and tickets, $10 in advance and $15 day of, visit the honeybee tab at http://www.nicolecheslock.com (only 50 tickets are available for the event).
Nicole Cheslock, event organizer, offers outreach, writing and media relations with her business, NC Communications. She may be contacted at 530-548-5010, http://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolecheslock