Remember killer bees?
Of course you do. They’re killer, and apart from black widows, insomniac rattlesnakes, stray mountain lions, sunburns, the Proctor Valley monster, earthquakes, the occasional lost rain cloud, and, yes, keeler bees, there aren’t a whole lot of natural distractions from the 75 and sunny in January San Diego awesome all the time thing.
Killer bees began their Californian reign of terror in October, 1994 and within a year, more than 8,000 square miles of Imperial, Riverside, and northeastern San Diego counties were declared officially colonized by Africanized Bees.
But karma is a harsh mistress and nectar is a heady wine, and for the past several years, bees have been dropping like, uh, flies in what was dubbed "colony collapse disorder" after a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006.
Incidentally, a recent study by San Francisco State researchers found that a parasitic fly may be to blame for the widespread die offs.
Stuffed with fly eggs like a prize holiday turducken, a bee will abandon the hive and wander around in circles “something like a zombie” (ahem, "zombee") before larva explode from the undead insect's tripartite body and flit away into to the night, beginning the Great Cycle anew.
Next week, the inaugural Honeyfest San Diego celebrates the majestic drama of the honey bee and the crucial role that bees play in sustainable food systems with three days of buzz about beekeeping, honey & herbs cough syrup, natural lip balm and salve-making, and highlights including:
Vegetarian fare with spongy injera bread and traditional tej honey wine from the country responsible for the production of nearly a quarter of Africa's honey.
Vanishing of the Bees shows at 7 p.m. and explores the implications of honey bee die offs related to colony collapse disorder, genetically modified crops, and "terminator seeds."
Dinner is $10 a plate, 30% of which benefits San Diego/Kenya beekeepers Grow Strong.
Friday, January 13 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Red Sea
Grow Strong beekeepers in San Diego.
UNBEElievable Hive Anniversary and Fundraising Party
"The Hive is a Green Dance Studio & Community Center offering downtown San Diego a daily diet comprised of locally-grown and organic," writes the Prosperity Hive's queen bee Cara Cadwallader.
Jam out to live latin, bluegrass, and Afro-beat bands while eating a local, honey-themed meal of:
-Free Range Honey Braised Chicken
-Stewed red beans with almonds and honey
-Roasted pumpkin mash with cilantro
-Balsamic-honey glazed roasted root vegetables
-Sauteed seasonal greens with smoked paprika and bee pollen
-Curried rice and lentils with a touch of honey
Also, local craft beer, honey mead, honey ginger ale, and, yep, a honey-tasting.
The party will be a farewell to Grow Strong founders Amy Lint & Malaki Obado, who are moving back to Kenya the following week.
6-7 Acoustic Ambiance with Ricardo
7:15-8 Bluegrass Git-Down w/ Mike Pope & the Big Decisions
8:30-9:15 SDMA's World Album of the Year Award Winners Todo Mundo
9:30-10:15 Soul Ablaze with spoken word by Gina Tang
10:30 Community Jam ("All are welcome. Bring your voice, your instruments, your love & your dance!?)
Saturday, January 14 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at Prosperity Hive
Suggested donation $15
What's Beeyond Panel Discussion.
“Why are bees dying off and what can we do about it locally? The panel will cover why Colony Collapse Disorder is occurring and how the U.S. government has responded (or failed to respond). Then we will discuss local beekeeping in San Diego and how you can get involved. We will also get an update on the changes in San Diego's laws, expected to pass this month, that will allow backyard beekeeping on a small scale. Last, we will hear about the role of beekeeping in traditional societies, and how Grow Strong is working to support that.”
Sunday, January 15 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Casa del Prado, Balboa Park
FRIDAY JANUARY 13
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Ethiopian Dinner and a Movie with Honey Wine
SATURDAY JANUARY 14
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Workshop #1 Introduction to Beekeeping Workshop RSVP
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lunch - Tasty Bites sambusas and tamales made locally, available for purchase at the Peace Resource Center of San Diego
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Workshop #2 Honey & Herbs Cough Syrup Workshop RSVP
6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. UNBEElievable Hive Anniversary and Fundraising Party - Music, Drinks, Sweet Plates, Honey Tasting
SUNDAY JANUARY 15
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. BEE in the Know Festival and Vendors Bazaar - Games, Kids Activities, Bee Education Table at Casa del Prado, Balboa Park
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Natural Lip Balm and Salve-Making Workshop at Casa del Prado, Balboa Park
Join us in this FREE hands-on workshop, making truly natural lip balm and hand salve using local beeswax, honey and organic oils and herbs. Making your own lip and skin balms and salves will save you lots of money and requires almost no specialized equipment. It's easier than cooking dinner! Make your own tailored fragrances and bring out your creative style. Certain common herbs will be featured for those wishing to make healing, antiseptic, pest-repelling or calming varieties as well. Make them for yourself or as gifts for family and friends.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. What's BEEyond Panel Discussion at Casa del Prado, Balboa Park
"Why are bees dying off and what can we do about it locally? The panel will cover why Colony Collapse Disorder is occurring and how the U.S. government has responded (or failed to respond). Then we will discuss local beekeeping in San Diego and how you can get involved. We will also get an update on the changes in San Diego's laws, expected to pass this month, that will allow backyard beekeeping on a small scale. Last, we will hear about the role of beekeeping in traditional societies, and how Grow Strong is working to support that."