Author: Melanie Kirby

Bees: Messengers of Love- Taos news article 6/8/2017

http://taosnews.com/stories/bees-messengers-of-love,40980? Here is an article that was recently published about Mel…it mentions the glorious oregano and upcoming From Bloom to Boom Field Day! By Cindy BrownFor The Taos News “For bees, the flower is the fountain of life; For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.” – Kahlil Gibran, poet The relationship that bees have with flowers is very much like the relationship between Zia Queenbees Farm of Truchas and Red Willow Farm, which is located at Taos Pueblo. Collaboration between the two is bringing forward a blossoming that represents new approaches, as well as a return to traditional sustainable practices. Melanie Kirby of Zia Queenbees Farm and Field Institute has 150 hives in and around Taos. Two hives are located at Red Willow Farm. Kirby says that this partnership is an example of pollination and cross-pollination, as the queen bees she brought from her Truchas hives to Red Willow have mated with the drones (male bees) from the wild and managed hives at Taos Pueblo. The bees thrive on the wild bergamot and other plants that grow high up on Taos...

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Creating Queen Bees for research

This past April and May, I made the journey to the western coastal mountains in northern California to collaborate with a couple of beekeeping families to select and rear the queens we would need for this oregano project.  Normally, I produce all my stock in state…but being that the bloom of monarda occurs prior to when I have my first batches of NM bees and queens ready, I decided to collaborate with some quality beekeepers that I’ve been working with for 5 years. On April 4, 2017- I flew into San Francisco and got a rental car to drive up to the Santa Cruz mountains on the south Bay. I arrived at my Wingsofnaturebees.com home farm in Los Altos Hills, CA  in pretty bad shape as I had just contracted the flu…or something very near it. Proprietor Aiden Wing and his family were quite good nurses and despite the inclement weather,  Aiden and I were able to get a few grafts in off of select breeders which had originated in New Mexico. We grafted virgin queens from mother breeder survivor queens that I had sent him in previous years. We conducted the grafts in his partner Audra’s super cool yurt on a drizzly day. While most beekeeping occurs during good weather, doing a graft, making splits, stocking mating nuclei and moving bees actually works well in inclement weather- to...

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Seed Broadcast: Bees As Seeds: How Winged Midwives Need Saving, Too-

 You can read about the Herbs4Bees first project: From Bloom to Boom in an article published in the Spring 2017 edition of the Seed Broadcast (www.seedbroadcast.org).         Article link http://www.seedbroadcast.org/SeedBroadcast/SeedBroadcast_agriCulture_Journal_files/SeedBroadcast%202017%20%238%20WEB%202_1.pdf Excerpt: “Many a moon ago, our ancestors discovered the joys of growing food and medicine through observation. They learned from Mother Nature’s symbiotic relationships with landscapes through Father Time to nurture cultures and traditions steeped in a mosaic tapestry of sights, sounds, perfumes and flavors. Many of these intrinsic sensations are connected to food through the act of foraging, growing, and harvesting wild and cultivated nutrients for mind, body and spirit. It is through and with food that we find our individual persons nourished and our social ani mal genes are encouraged to feast with each other. We discover which foods we like; to the extent that over time, we begin to share these foods and their ingredients with other families and communities. We begin to source these foods; and in so doing, begin saving seeds, cultivars and cuttings to exchange. These seeds hold many a story that has been passed down from one generation to the next- season after season. Sculpted by the raging winds, the torrential downpours, the driest of droughts and the almighty Zia sun- radiating down to caress the growth of Mother Earth’s dynamic manifestations. And it is with Mother Earth’s midwives, that these seeds...

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