Sunday, September 27, 2009

Capitol Bees


Bee hives in the White House kitchen garden. Photo: White House

WASHINGTON (DP) The bee hives in the famed White House kitchen garden received international attention this week at the G20 Pittsburgh Summit.

White House beekeeper collecting honey. Photo: White House

White House beekeeper Charlie Brandts has collected honey from the hives and saved it for special occasions.

The First Lady's gift. Photo: White House

While world leaders gathered for economic discussions at the G20 Pittsburgh Summit, First Lady Michelle Obama acted as hostess to their wives. Her official gift to each wife was a tea set featuring White House honey.

The White House found itself in a sticky situation when the Internet began to buzz with criticism of the gifts. Advocates for bees maintained that the bees had been robbed of their honey.

Photo: Infrogmation

During the G20 Summit meeting insect-rights protesters swarmed the streets of downtown Pittsburgh singing, "All we are saying is give bees a chance", and breaking the windows of florist's shops. Special security units clad in white mesh hoods and white coveralls advanced on them, throwing smoke bombs. The protesters formed one large group and disappeared down a side street.

They were later found milling around in the lobby of the Colony Hotel and were arrested for failing to disperse. Further trouble ensued at the City Jail when the protesters insisted on occupying one holding cell with their female leader.



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28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unbeelieveable!! What a precarious, impractical tower of trouble! I suggest getting the Ambassador from Iran out there and tipping the whole thing over.

Daffodil Planter said...

Anon, Great pun!

tina said...

Oh geez, what will it be next they protest?

Daffodil Planter said...

Tina, The protester part of the story is a spoof--those Bee People in the last photo are really from a Mardi Gras parade. It's getting harder to do satire in this wacky world!

Janet said...

I love the gift set from the First Lady. Nothing better than fresh local honey.

Daffodil Planter said...

Janet, I agree, the homemade honey is a sweet (!) touch. I'm not wild about the china pattern. It was made by Pickard China of Illinois and the White House says it is meant to be an homage to the purple china pattern chosen by Mary Todd Lincoln (also of Illinois).

Sarah from Toronto Gardens said...

Funny, you! Is there anything cuter than a person in a big fat bee costume???

Daffodil Planter said...

Sarah, No, nothing cuter! I think those of a certain age are programmed to like them, from watching the Killer Bees on Saturday Night Live.

Grace Peterson said...

"The bees had been robbed of their honey." What the F....? Haven't bee keepers been "robbing" bees for centuries? It's my understanding that the bees aren't harmed and anyway why would a bee keeper want to harm his bread and butter? [Keeping with the theme.]

The bees had been robbed of their honey. Could this be allegorical? Rife with speculation. Hmm...what were they REALLY protesting. :]

The last paragraph sounds exactly like bee behavior. Perhaps a mental health evaluation should be considered.

Daffodil Planter said...

Grace, Well, we'd have to be evaluating the mental health of the person who invented those protesters (moi). Fantasy in blogland!

Theresa Loe/GardenFreshLiving said...

SOOOOO funny! By the time I got to the part about staying in the same cell with their female leader, I was laughing out loud. This would have been a great April Fools post!

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Theresa! Hey, every day is April Fool's Day here, at least with the news stories. All of them start out with facts and end up as spoofs. Glad it gave you a real laugh! I've added your beautiful blog, Garden Fresh Living, to my Southern California blogroll. Thanks for stopping by.

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

The bee protesters part of your post was a spoof, but there are vegans who think that eating honey is cruel, and my first reaction to reading about the "protest" (before realizing that it was a joke) wasn't really surprise. It was more like, "good grief, I'm not even an Obama supporter and I thought the tea set was a classy gift!"

:-)

Daffodil Planter said...

Fern, And I thought robbing the bees was just a joke! Thanks for the info. We all have to draw the line somewhere. I've heard there are people who will not pick fruit but only eat what has fallen from the trees.

susan morrison said...

As a lifelong supporter of bees, I call on my fellow Americans to protest the protesters. Their misrepresentation of the bee community is frankly shocking.

1. The protesters are carrying what appears to be long narrow guns, implying bees are dangerous and prone to stinging. This perpetuates a false "lifestyle" stereotype that should be put to rest. Bees are very gentle.

2. The abdomen to shoulder ratio of their costumes is laughably out of proportion. Bees are not fat, as depicted in your photo - they are pleasingly plump.

If you share my outrage, please join our campaign by visiting: www.GiveBeesAChance.com

Red Studio said...

Such a funny post! Love the glass honey container. Hand made by the White House glass blower? I am fascinated by the White House beekeeper. What other quirky job titles are hanging around the White House?

Daffodil Planter said...

Susan, Power to the Beeple! Buzzing over to your website--

Red Studio, The White House press release is not linkable, but it does wax (!) eloquent about the lead-free crystal honey vase, made with U.S. minerals, and blown in California, Yeah for the Golden State.

The beekeeper is actually a White House carpenter and hobbyist beekeeper who first suggested hives for the White House garden. Sadly, he does not have one of those arcane job titles done so well by the British: Her Majesty's Swan Upper, or Page of the Presence, or Knight of the Garter.

Pomona Belvedere said...

I am disappointed that we don't have a Federal Beekeeper; I'm sure it would be much more useful to our wellbeeing than a number of federal jobs.

Daffodil Planter said...

Pomona, You may bee the most insightful of all the commenters.

flowergardengirl said...

That flower arrangement is a beautiful blend. Like the rose with the hydrangea. I think it's unfortunate that the bees were only represented by black and yellow varieties. What's up with that.

Pomona had a great line.

I heard you had a certain conversation with Susan ;)

Daffodil Planter said...

FlowerGardenGirl, Thanks for beeting a path to the blog today!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hmm, that woman in the bee-suit looks vaguely familiar...I think she came to my door looking for candy last Halloween;-)

Daffodil Planter said...

Jan, Ha! Were you handing out Bit-O-Honey?

James Missier said...

Hi, just drop by to visiting your lovely blog & post.

Surprised to note that much havoc is created for robbing bees their honey - then realise that its a fantasyland story (nice)

Leann Barron said...

what a fantastic post! absolutely great stuff....

VW said...

I just read an article by Michael Pollen about the slow food movement, and how it preserves rare foods by making them more well known and more often eaten. We preserve the things we value, and we value good food (and honey). The bees at the white house wouldn't exist if someone didn't create a home and plant food for them. Huh, and here I thought slow food was just the next trendy way for rich people to be snobby about food ;-) Actually, I'd better tone that remark down. I think slow food is great, though it is a luxury to be so picky about your food, one that most of the world doesn't enjoy.
Ummm . . . so your post was about bees and honey - sorry to get so off track!

GartenGrl at Cool Garden Things said...

I think people should be happy to see that the white house bee hives get publicity. They should praise her...the bees are endangered right now and anything to promote sympathy and understanding for the plight of bees is a good thing...
GartenGrl

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome James! Glad you were entertained, and I added your beautiful blog to my International blog roll.

Leann, Hey, thanks!

VW, Yes, a good beekeeper nurtures the hive and knows when he can share in the honey.

GartenGrl, Urban bee hivess (in DC and other cities) are making an impact!