About Whale of a Time

Whale of a Time is riding the wave of change, promoting successful stewardship of our planet to create a peaceful, morally just, humane and sustainable culture, while ensuring survival of all species and their natural habitats. Whale of a Time organises creative and fun, inspiring and empowering events on environmental issues to encourage active participation living a sustainable lifestyle inspired by a positive attitude. We engage young and old from all walks of life through the Whale of a Time Community, the Whale of a Time Festival and the Whale of a Time Workshop. Our work has been recognised by many national and community and environmental awards schemes.

Whale of a Time Tweats

Friday, 2 April 2010

Honey Honey Honey ... my sweet honey is the sweetest thing in the world

Honey should be sold in the pharmacy! Honey is a medicinal food. Honey is not merely  sugar. This product of bee-life  contains fructose, glucose, maltose, raw sugar and oligosaccharides, water, nitrogen compounds including enzymes, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, natural acids, inhibins, hormones, aromatics.

It’s also a tonic, a true health promoter in it’s most natural state, it prevents illnesses, cleanses the blood, can be used against over acidification of the stomach, digestive problems, fight a cold, cure a cough, even for diabetes it is said to work favourable but it should only be taken moderate. 


It has healing properties and can be taken to improve general strength for fatigue and low energy, strengthening of resistance, strengthening of nervous system, strengthening of the heart muscle, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, improved circulation, improved digestion, detoxification of liver and kidneys and many more. Honey can also be applied externally for burns, abscesses, for healing skin infections, furuncle, on a bruise or haematoma.

Each honey has different healing properties depending on which flowers or trees have been visited. For example linden tree is calming and relaxing, effective for nervousness and insomnia. It’s good for illnesses with high temperature and it also increases the mental productivity.

Forest honey is made of honeydew and contains a high dose of minerals. The forest is the lung of our ecosystem that we live in and also forest honey is good for bronchitis and respiratory illnesses. Fruit blossom honey has a positive effect for allergic people, it strengthens and has a pain-relieving effect. 

Dandelion honey is mainly blood cleansing and is also used for liver, kidneys and bilious complaints. Rapeseed honey has a calming and relaxing effect. Acacia has a positive effect to heal coughs and colds and it’s blood cleansing. Sweet chestnut is blood cleansing, is a thromboses inhibitor and supports in case of exhaustion and lack of appetite.

We distinguish between two different types of honey: When bees collect honey from nectar of flowers and from honey from the forest produced by plant-sucking insects in form of honeydew. Flower honey usually contains more pollen and forest honey has a high level of minerals.

Sustainable bee-keeping saves our bees and our environment and must be based upon understanding and empathy for the bee as a primary concern of their usefulness in commerce.

Bees are important pollinators for our fruits and vegetables. They do this for all of nature. They increase crop yields while making honey. By buying organic honey you safeguard the continued existence of cultivated and wild plants. 

For 1 kg honey the bees make up to 150.000 flights, visit up to 20.000.000 flowers and travel up to 150.000 km.
The work of the honeybee is the work of bio-feedback which supports a multitude of life within our ecosystem.
Unfortunately the honeybee is in trouble because of pesticides and foreign parasites, and due to treating the bee as yet another ‘tamed’ creature working for our benefit, a view that is too limiting for the natural complexity of habitat. The honeybee as we know it is dying out in Europe, unless the bee-keeper takes care of her and helps her to survive.

One of the reasons for this bee-crisis is the Varroa mite. The parasite has been imported in the early 80s to Europe. Since ever then this mite has spread all over Europe and there is virtually no hive left untouched. Bee-keepers in Europe have to treat their bees so they don’t die from the infestation of this mite. 

Naturally bees will swarm and manage to survive for a few years but it’ll get them in the end and they also will die without help by the bee-keeper, as this is not a natural parasite and our European bees have not learned how to fight it. The Indian bee has evolved with the Varroa mite and learned to deal with this invader, but in Europe bees have very little chance of survival without bee-keepers. 

It is very important to care for the environment and support it through sustainable ways of farming and living in harmony with nature. We should support nature through sustainable organic bee-keeping. So really you can't go wrong with supporting bee-keeping and buying sustainably organic harvested honey. 

Bee-keeping is one of the most ancient ways of working with nature in harmony. Cave paintings depict the honey harvest some 15,000 years ago in the Cave of the Spider (Cueve de la Arana) situated on the river Cazunta in Valencia in Spain.

Organic bee-keepers have to work within strict controlled regulations that ensure that the bees and their honey are treated and harvested in it’s most natural ways. A good bee-keeper will work by observation of nature and adapt his practices to the most natural ways that bees live in nature ensuring health and long life for the bee hive.

Additionally I’d like to recommend that you  buy organic honey that comes from your local bee-keeper as much as possible. In doing so you’ll always ensure that your local wildlife, and those who make the effort to work naturally with wildlife have also got your support through the pollination. Think about this, and you’ll start to appreciate honey again in a much more natural heart-felt and meaningful way.

Don't take my word for it and ask the honeybees as they know best ... if you find a posting by a honeybee on the internet please add the reference and comment here.

Make a Difference - Culture Change needs persuasive art, not propaganda

by Jay Griffiths 

16th March, 2010 

What is art's role in raising awareness of climate change? In this extract from her passionate, poetic essay 'The Far-seers of Art', Jay Griffiths explains why culture without nature is as good as worthless

Art's job is not propaganda. Propaganda aims for the cliché and, in attempting to speak to everyone, speaks in fact to no one. 
Art takes an idiosyncratic line; the more surely envoiced the artist becomes, the stronger the response to their work. 
You can see agit-prop coming a mile away, barging along the street towards you, giving you time to turn the other way or shake it warmly by the hand. Art can steal up more quietly, coming alongside, maybe with a scent of jasmine or rum, speaking intrigue. 
The issue of climate change needs persuasion rather than propaganda and art understands the psychology of persuasion. It is hard to allow oneself to be drawn by overt dogma, which is delivered in the daylight areas of the mind. 
Art works in the shuttered twilights where darkness bestows a tenderness and protection, a secret place where the psyche feels safe enough to alter. It is always easier to change one's mind in the dark. 

The Edge vs the Limit 

Artists know their place is the edge, fertile, enigmatic, tricksterish. And the edge is not the same as a limit. A limit is the place of absolute finiteness or of wise cessation; the limits of natural law or, in terms of climate change, the necessary and just limiting of emissions. An edge, by contrast, is a place of maximum tension, a place of paradox, creative by its own geometry; a place of apparent contradictions which art explores and transcends. 
The distinction between the Edge and the Limit can be related to the distinction between Freedom and Licence. Claiming they are acting in the name of 'freedom', modern states, allowing uncurbed carbon emissions, actually promote licence, the licence for individuals to use more than their carbon quota, the licence of industries to provoke climate change, the licence of wealthy nations to take more than their fair share, the licence of corporations to bully governments and lie to the media.

More licence is not needed. But more freedom is. The freedom which art knows, the freedom which results in a transcendence of vision and a change of heart. 

Artistic disobedience 

It is, of course, notoriously hard to tell artists what to do. I know, as a writer, the fiendishly disobedient streak which my art demands: I can't even tell myself what to do. For artists with a sense of responsibility, a sense of politics, it can be very hard to demand of themselves that they create a work 'about' an 'issue'. While the political part of oneself is outlining the imperative, the creative aspect of oneself is untameable, off the leash, gainsaying. 
Yet work on climate change is perhaps produced so readily because we, as human beings, are coming to dwell with the knowledge of it, coming to know it in our bones. 
Compared to any other issue, climate change has a seismic and ineluctable enormity, and we inhabit this knowledge because we must. One thing it will cause is a change of climate within. 
This isn't a verbal sleight of hand, it isn't a gently punning metaphor, it is a description written right at the edge of the future fact. We need a change in the climate of art. The situation which we face as humans demands to be matched at every level; philosophical, political, pragmatic and personal. 

A culture of nature? 

The role of art institutions is now truly cultural; to create the culture which nurtures nature, not only human nature but all forms of nature. This is neither a hobby nor a luxury. It is not a Status-Impact Event. It is an exigency which affects everything, from the blunt demand for emissions-reductions within institutions to the tenor of our language and the cast of our thought. 
But there is a narrow strand of aesthetics which suggests that art should not stoop to this actual world of nature and environmental event, as if leaning towards this earthy world would undermine art's tantalising artifice or soil the spangly 
This sour cast of thought suggests that art should be 'above' moral issues, as if art should never dirty itself with matter, as if the artist should stand at one remove, should never treat as equals the cabinet members of the Maldives in suits and oxygen tanks, six metres underwater, holding their cabinet meeting amongst the fish in the turquoise seas, to demonstrate their nation's vulnerability to climate change. 
According to that way of thinking, 'culture' is the opposite of 'nature', the rise of artifice has firmly defeated the pastoral, and art is in a position of enmity towards the real, natural world. But for most of human history, culture has been rooted in nature, as language tells. In its classical sense, culture was effectively the honouring of the cultivation of nature, from 'cultus' meaning cultivation, tending, care and respectful treatment. 

Primal truth 

We humans are part of nature. We are animal before we are human and our embodiment in the world is our primal truth. The sour strand in aesthetics dislikes this fact and hides it, making it a great Unsaid in the halls of art, insisting instead on art's superiority to nature, scorning the ineluctability of climate change by the self-deceit of exclusivity. 
Humanity deserves better. Climate change demands more, requires looking beyond the narrow confines of space and time. 
The culture of high culture has to shift, has to stoop to the floodwater and dare to touch the earth itself. The unexamined prejudice against nature within aesthetics will come to seem as vacuous and cruel as racism or sexism for, despite the pretence that culture is antagonistic to nature, it never really has been. If you watch carefully, you'll catch them glancing at each other, a look of shy recognition of a relationship never truly sundered. 
Take the Forest of Arden out of Shakespeare, shake the linnet from the leaf, snatch the moon from Neruda, silence the Rite of Spring, take, in other words, all nature out of culture, and what do you have left? A few shoddy catalogues and a tax return. 

Earthy roots 

So, yes, we need a change in this kind of climate, which involves culture going not 'back' to its roots but 'down' to its roots, profound in the deep earth, in the root of the word cultus: nurturing care and respect, and offering truths to humanity. 
In its evidence and reliable data, science offers its truths, but from art we need truths of a different order: Protean, yes, unpredictable, yes, disobedient, yes, but truths nonetheless; metaphoric, spiral truths, because we are not wholly rational 
creatures. It is not knowledge that we lack but parables to embody it and ethics to sustain the implementation of that knowledge. 
It is through stooping that art conquers, Lear on the heath, finding his common humanity on the common ground. This is the profound task of art, to find seeds of transcendence deep in the dark and minding earth. 

This extract is taken from Long Horizons, a report commissioned by the British Council from Julie's Bicycle. For more details please go to: www.britishcouncil.org/climatechange