This story has three parts. Read Part 1 here. Read Part 2 here.
For an hour or so, that’s how it went: on one side of the roof, I smoked the bees and removed capped frames, volunteers ran the capped frames over to the extractor on the other side of the roof, and the extractor team spun the honey out of the trays with the hand-cranked extractor. The centrifuged honey slid down the sides of the extractor into a sweet puddle at the bottom of the metal barrel. Everyone had a turn spinning the extractor (and maybe sneaking a taste of the fresh honey; but I can’t say for sure—I was on the other side of the roof).
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This story has three parts. Read Part 1 here. Stay tuned for Part 3 later.
The hive is basically a stack of wooden boxes. Within each box a series of frames rest vertically. Each frame is about an inch thick and has built-in cells. The cells are where the bees place the nectar they’ve taken from flowers while foraging. As the water evaporates from the nectar, it becomes thicker, turning into honey. When the bees cap the full cells with wax, the frames are ready for us to harvest. (The bees flying in and out of the rooftop hive use an entrance in the side of the bottom-most box, so we’re able to remove frames from the top without stopping the work of the hive.)
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This story has three parts. Please look for the next two parts over the next two days.
July 15 was one of the most exciting days I’ve experienced in my short time as co-beekeeper for the USDA People’s Garden. It was hot, humid, and hazy that morning, when I—together with seven partners and volunteers—went up to the roof of the USDA headquarters building, just off the National Mall, to harvest the first batch of honey ever produced by the USDA People’s Garden beehive. Read more »
The native violet, Viola adunca, which the NRCS Corvallis Plant Materials Center is growing for silverspot butterfly habitat.
The silverspot butterfly (Speyeria zerene hippolyta) is one of two native Oregon butterfly species listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Once found in coastal headlands from northern California to southern Washington, it has disappeared from all but a handful of grassland sites along the Oregon coast. Read more »
By Dave White, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service
I just spoke to a great group of folks celebrating Earth Day here at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It was a pleasure having a chat with so many people, including Congressional Representatives, who are excited about conserving and protecting our country’s natural resources.
At USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service we’ve been helping people become good stewards of soil, water, air, and wildlife habitat for 75 years, and never any time in our history have we seen so many people stepping up and making a commitment to conservation.
We do most of our work with folks in agriculture, but even if you’re not a farmer or a rancher we’ve got you covered. If you have a backyard or just a couple of flower pots in your kitchen window, we can help turn you into a conservationist. Our Backyard Conservation Web page is absolutely alive with great information that I know you’ll enjoy.
Come on down and visit us on the Mall (we’re at the end closest to the Washington Monument), and check out our special demonstrations on soils.
Make Earth Day every day!
NRCS Chief Dave speaks at Earth Day, National Mall, Washington, DC.
Stormy, cold, unpleasant weather did not hinder more than 125 people from attending the Job and Economic Growth Forum in Montgomery, Alabama last month hosted by USDA Rural Development and the USDA Farm Service Agency, as a follow-up to the Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth that President Obama hosted at the White House on in December of last year. Read more »