Bee Natural and Waterkeepers

Honeypot 'Floatoshoot'

Pictures of Bee Natural luminaries on the bank of the Oconee River

From the beginning, Bee Natural employees have held environmental responsibility and stewardship paramount. Before founding Bee Natural in 1993, Creighton was fortunate enough to live on Cumberland Island, a bridge-less National Seashore off the beautiful Golden Isles coast of Georgia. His work there has included everything from pigmy sperm whale to bobcat research.

For years Bee Natural’s profits have supported not only Creighton’s environmental work but others’ work  as well.

Recently Bee Natural decided to heighten its commitment to one of those organizations, the Waterkeeper Alliance.  Most Georgia Riverkeepers are already on board with our campaign: Anyone ordering Honeypots online at www.beenatural.com can enter the name of their Waterkeeper of choice into the comments section of our online order form and Bee Natural will donate at least 25% of their order total (sometimes we have ‘random river days’ and the donation increases to 50% at those times).

Azalea Honeypot in the fading light of dusk on a hot summer day in Athens, Georgia

Find us on Facebook and track our progress as we go river to river for unique Honeypot floatoshoots! And remember, if you need a gift order a Honeypot and give a gift to your Riverkeeper too!

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More about why we do what we do at Bee Natural

"medium sized one, actually"

North Atlantic Blue Whale skull! (South Pacific ones are about 20% larger!)

Bee Natural is located in Athens, Georgia. Our artists create beautiful, natural, beeswax luminaries by hand.

Known as Honeypots, these luminaries are simply the most beautiful way to disperse candle-light ever invented. Incorporating pressed dried botanicals (and some with carved stylized designs such as dragonflies) the glow from the candle seated within illuminates the amber beeswax shell and back-lights the flowers and leaves embedded within in a spectacular yet mesmerizing manner.

Creighton Cutts, the founder of Bee Natural and inventor of the patented Honeypot and it’s unique production technique is an avid environmentalist.

He believes that if humans can act in a way that best sustains and protects maximum natural biodiversity we will help to insure the best possible future for ourselves and generations to come for all life with which we engage.

Creighton has been a beekeeper since he was eleven years old. His early environmental work included feral hog population control on the ‘newly minted’ National Seashore, Cumberland Island, in 1979. He studied general biology at the University of Georgia where he helped found, organize and implement The Dolphin Project (TDP) in 1988, after a mysterious die-off of an estimated 50% of the inshore population of bottlenose dolphins prompted scientists to seek massive amounts of base-line data rapidly to determine if the population was collapsing or recovering and why. Fortunately, for now the dolphins seem to be recovering.

When “Africanized Bees” (or killer bees as the media loves to call them) were all the scare, Creighton found gainful employment in the UGA entomology department working with bees to differentiate the aggressive strains of bees from the more docile ‘Italian’ or ‘European’ cousins. Taking tedious measurements of nine different wing parameters, Creighton (and the entomology experts like Dr Deitz who trained him) was able to determine with 99% accuracy, which bees were ‘killer’ and which were ‘not’. He was also pleased that never did ANY of the bees he was delicately measuring sting him. (they were all previously frozen so that they would stay still for the millimeter stick)

Creighton returned to Cumberland Island in 1990 as the lead technician for the bobcat reintroduction project. It was during this period of time that Creighton became friends with long-time Cumberland Island Naturalist Carol Ruckdeschel, and has been associate curator of the Cumberland Island Museum (CIM), which she founded in 1985, for 20 years. A lot of the work with CIM is necropsying DOB (that’s dead on beach) marine mammals and reptiles and surprises of all kinds. As Creighton’s stepson would say: “STIIIINKY”

Through his work with TDP and the CIM, Creighton got to know Charles Potter, Marine Mammals Collection Manager, and later, James Mead, Marine Mammals Curator at the Smithsonian Institution. Sporadically since 1990, Creighton has worked with the Smithsonian Institution assisting in retrieving stranded marine mammal specimens for the collection and assisting in resolving logistics issues in securing and processing outside collections into the permanent collection in Washington, D.C. While he was working there a while back, Dr. Mead actually discovered a new species of whale off the coast of Peru! (see http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=437)

Bee Natural has supported Creighton’s work over the years along with a variety of environmental organizations – and a spellign (sic) bee or two as well!
The Satilla Riverkeeper gets a big batch of Honeypots each year for the Annual Spring Gala silent auction fundraiser. Recently we initiated “Phase 1″ of a plan that directs financial support to various Riverkeepers in the Waterkeeper Alliance (currently including the Flint Riverkeeper, the Altamaha and the Satilla). When an order is placed on our retail site, www.beenatural.com, and the customer indicates that they want to support a specific Riverkeeper in the comments section, Bee Natural donates 25% to that Riverkeeper. (Phase 2 will get ALL the US Waterkeepers on-board, but only after Bee Natural gets our stuff together and upgrades the website so we do not sit here all day calculating 25% of orders for donations by hand!) Stay tuned!

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Flowers are not all we hunt!

Spring, yes! Good stuff like Dogwoods, azaleas and pansies for the picking! While foraging for florals in the South, sometimes we get lucky and come across yumminess!

Morel season in the South

You don't want to hit the deer around here!

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Athens Nightlife with R.E.M.

New "Collapse Into Now" Album by R.E.M.

REM Special Honeypot "Mine Smell Like Honey"

Sometimes it is just plain fun to live in Athens, Georgia.

Last week Bee Natural had the fun job of putting together a couple of Honeypots to help commemorate the release of R.E.M.’s newest album

“Collapse Into Now”!

One of the singles is titled “Mine Smell Like Honey” so it was a natural for Bee Natural!

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Springing for flowers!

While waiting to abscond with the first azaleas to bloom this season, I suppose I ran out of excuses not to begin blogging.

The bees are still mostly cobbled up in their hives but definitely getting cabin fever, or, brood chamber fever, to be a bit more precise.  We will begin flower collecting (and pressing) in earnest as soon as my wife heads off for a couple of days to hang out with my mom and I can pillage her pansies and pilfer her periwinkles.  The next round of floral acquisition will involve diverting dogwoods and daisies.  Then we’ll heist the hydrangeas cop a few cosmoses. Queen Anne’s lace acquisition in the heat of the summer is ongoing along with swiping selaginella. When fall drops in then we’ll get ginkgo leaves and make of with maples, too!

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