Season’s Meadings! Ha!
Have you tried mead-nog yet? If not, it’s amazing. Orange Blossom mead with Organic Valley brand eggnog (I’m sure other eggnogs will work, but why not go for the most good-for-the-earth milk brand I know of - Organic Valley? In a world of “cowschwitz” like CAFOs - a handful of pragmatic idealists built a billion dollar co-operative selling organic milk. The average herd size is 72 cows. The farmers work together to market their milk at a price that works for their family owned, organic dairy operations. We are inspired by both their success and adherence to their values).
The MeadNog tastes like a citrusy, rich, holiday Orange Julius? It makes for quiet the holiday party addition.
The Bee Audacious Conference happened a few weeks ago.
The objective was to identify a way forward for the community of beekeepers in America in light of the pressure that the bees are facing. It was a fantastic event that used a collaborative dialogue process which covered a ton of material across a broad range of bee related issues in a very short amount of time.
Hundreds of experts on everything related to bees, from USDA honey bee researchers and foremost professors of apiculture (including the ever more famous Dr. Marla Spivak, whose work we support with a part of our 1% for the Planet donation of 1% of our gross sales revenue) to commercial beekeepers with 5000-20,000 hives, to Randy Oliver of scientificbeekeeping.com, to hobby beekeepers and conservationists, to two meaderies - us at Golden Coast Mead and Gordon Hull from Heidrun Meadery in Point Reyes Station - we all discussed how to help the bees. (We also poured our mead and it was a hit! All the beeple were delightfully surprised with how modern and refreshing and balanced our meads were. It was a pleasure to share them.)
There will be a lot of material published on the back end of the conference so stay tuned, but some of my gleanings included:
- Bees are an incredible entry point for people to care about the earth. The more that people learn about bees, the more they become interested in the bees and the earth, making them like bees even more. It’s a virtuous cycle that can help solve some of the problems posed by environmental deficit disorder.
- Stewardship is an incredible capacity of humanity - we have the ability to make the living systems we depend on more abundant and resilient through our wise efforts. When we do so we are rewarded with beauty and abundance.
- What if we started a co-op for American Beekeepers that was like Organic Valley mentioned above? Their purpose would be to market US Produced Organic Honey that was produced with the health of the honey bee front and center to business operations. They would ban together the beekeepers to sell their high quality, domestic honey at bulk prices that worked for the bees and beekeepers, overcoming the race to the bottom price dynamic that is a result of foreign honey of dubious quality inundating our market.
- What if there are two ways to keep bees - wild/feral hives without treatments, where nature is the agent of evolution, and domesticated hives with intensive, natural miticide management, where the beekeeper breeds their own queens and actively culls approximately 50% of their hives every year in order to select the most beneficial and healthy genetics? Beekeeper as agent of evolution. Randy Oliver is a great resource on these thoughts.
- There is some amazing Organic Honey being produced in North America (Texas, Hawaii and Chiapas Mexico). Stay tuned as we endeavor to bring you more of it.
Stay tuned for more insights in these next few weeks!
Golden Coast Mead Production Data by Golden Coast Mead, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License