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Buzz Thyme Gin and Tonic is a new twist on an old favorite. Honey and thyme sweeten the flavor while a secret ingredient adds a nice zip to this classic drink.
I’m not much of a drinker – certainly not a bar person. When my sister moved halfway across the world I didn’t have anyone to frantically call for drink suggestions on the rare occasion I found myself in such places. I stumbled on the Gin and Tonic and stuck with it.
You see, every bar and restaurant offers a Gin and Tonic. And if I ask for the house gin, I can pretend I know what I’m talking about. The only gin brand I can actually name is Seagrams, but I’ve been told that’s low quality so I don’t want to order it in public.
I buy it at home though. (Sometimes I think I have low standards.) The other perk of a Gin and Tonic is that you really only need gin…and tonic. Whoever named this drink was very creative. I’m far too frugal to buy more than one type of alcohol at a time. So, to keep things interesting, I’ve been playing around with flavored G&T’s.
I added a special ingredient that might be a bit unexpected. Have you ever heard of putting apple cider vinegar in your cocktails? It’s only a teaspoon. You can’t really taste the vinegar but it adds a nice little zing which complements the sweetness from the honey.
And speaking of honey, what do you call a bee that speaks too quietly? A mumble-bee!!!
Bees Are in Trouble
I spent a few months of graduate school studying bees. During that time, I attended a bee conference. One of the Ph.D. students gave a borderline pornographic presentation relating the strength of bees’ little swimmers to their wingspans. I think we all walked out slightly scandalized by the graphic pictures. We didn’t want to make eye contact with each other. It was all very awkward.
Grody topics aside, the conference aimed to share knowledge of bees and beekeeping. Did you know bees are in trouble? The bee population has seen a rapid decline since 2006. In addition to many other causes, increased pesticide use and land development have joined forces to endanger bees.
According to an article in National Geographic (you can read the full article here), pesticides reduce the male bees – drones – chances of reproduction. The drones’ sole purpose in life is to mate with the queen and then die. Pesticides are not only reducing the number of bees born every year but are also limiting the genetic pool, and thereby increasing the risk of genetic diseases. Just as different human races are more susceptible to various diseases, bees need genetic diversity to stay ahead of illnesses. Pesticides pose a serious threat to the future of bees.
And if that weren’t enough, we’re burning the candle on both ends, so to speak. On the one hand, we spray poison on their food. On the other, we’re developing the land and taking away the bee’s habitat. Bees flourish on pollen and nectar. Some bee species actually burrow into the ground or live in trees. Our cities are robbing these insects of their homes and food sources.
Why You Should Care
Why does it matter that bees are in danger? Should you even care? It’s one less insect to squish on your windshield. Did you know that bees, along with other pollinating insects, are responsible for approximately 30% of all food grown in the world? They help pollinate fruit trees, vegetables, and wild plants. Every year, roughly half of honey bees in the US are shipped to California to help pollinate the almond trees. They even pollinate cotton.
While I certainly don’t promote meat consumption, bees actually play an important role in raising livestock. They help to pollinate alfalfa, which is a common feed for cattle. If bees disappear, our food sources may not be far behind them.
What You Can Do
Have I convinced you to care about the bees yet? Here are a few things that you can do to help:
- Plant nectar and pollen-rich flowers
- Place bird houses and ladybug houses near plants instead of using insecticides.
- Provide houses for insects – Insect House
- Install a small water basin or bath for bees to drink (with rocks or a cork in it so they don’t drown) – Bee Bath
- Support local beekeepers by buying local honey
I know this article was a bit longer than my usual post, but I’m quite passionate about bees. One day, I’ll have a few hives of my own. I’ll drink Buzz Thyme Gin and Tonics and watch my little bees buzz around.
What’s a bee’s favorite flower? Bee-gonias!
Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I’ll stop now. Bee puns really sting.