To celebrate the launch of Shop Shoresh, we are starting a new series of profiles: Hive Heroes!
Hive Heroes are the awesome folks in our community who educate, inspire, and empower us to be Shomrei Adamah, Protectors of the Earth, and Shomrei Devorim, Protectors of the Bees.
Of course, we have to start this off with the incredible Sabrina Malach. Sabrina is Shoresh’s original resident bee keeper, who first shared her radical vision of Bela’s Bees Raw Honey and made it become a reality for Shoresh. Now, you can enjoy the delicious result of our commitment to protecting the bees by purchasing our honey at shop.shoresh.ca!
1. What first made you feel inspired to start taking care of honey bees and harvesting honey?
It was in the fall of 2005 when I was participating in the Adamah Fellowship. 12 20-somethings were living in Jewish community and farming and learning. There were honey bees on the farm and one day the beekeeper was teaching us about the social dynamics of the hive. She asked us to act out how the queen, worker bees and drones interact and casted me as queen. It was besheret, and ever since then I have been in love with all things bees. In fact, my love ran so deep that I focused on pollinators for my Masters in Environment Studies. As I learned more about the plight of pollinators, I committed my work and life to protecting them.
2. What do you think is a super cool fact about honey bees that most people may not know?
One of my favourites (there are so many) is that a worker bee will make about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her short life.
Another is that beeswax is magical! Did you know that young worker wax-making bees have special glands on their abdomens to make wax?!? They consume nectar and then transform it into wax and excrete it in flakes from their abdomens. Other bees come along and chew the soft wax and ultimately mould it into hexagonal cells to store honey and brood.
3. Why are bees so important? Why do we need to care for them?
Bees are the best pollinators around! Through their essential ecosystem services, they ensure the reproduction of flowering plants, which are critical to life as we know it. The 20,000 species of bees in the world are the unseen workers that keep ecosystems functioning.
We need to care for them because they matter. A lot. And because they care for us through their actions. We have a moral obligation to protect bees for their own sake, for the sake of future generations and for the sake of life continuing.
4. What’s your favourite way to enjoy Bela’s Bees Raw Honey?
Right from the hive, of course! There is nothing as divine or delicious as tasting a sun-kissed warm dollop of honey oozing our of honeycomb while working in the apiary. It can be difficult to get the honey in my mouth with a veil on, but it’s so worth it!
I also love it on toast with almond butter.