Bee Poster Available From The Digital Museum Of Natural History

Bee Poster for sale

This 24″ by 36″ bee poster will be available for mailing starting on November 25th. It will cost $20 plus $5 shipping worldwide. You may start placing your orders here, https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=C39UTE5VL3U82.

Beautiful Beekeeping – Carving Bee Pumpkins!

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I love Halloween, especially the pumpkin carving. Last year I carved the bee pumpkins above!

It’s easy and fun!  All you have to do is find a template you like and print it out.  Below are some suggestions.  As you can see, your design can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. You can also design your own!

Remove the seeds, pulp and flesh of your pumpkin. Tape the template to the pumpkin and poke holes along the outlines. Make the holes close together so you can see the design clearly when you remove the template.

Then, carefully using a sharp knife, cut out your design. Add a light and enjoy your Bee-utiful Pumpkin!

575 Napoleonic Bee

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Beautiful Beekeeping – Permaculture Playing Cards

Permaculture Bees

Good advice!  And this is just one card out of a deck of Permaculture Playing Cards.

How do you tell people what permaculture is? If you give them a book, they might look at a few pictures.  If you send them a link to something they tend to save it for later.  The idea of the deck of cards is that they might browse it like a book – but this is all pictures and just a few words.  Much easier to browse.  And hopefully convey a bigger picture in a smaller package.

playing cards

If you want to explore this subject further and/or purchase a deck of Permaculture Playing Cards, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/permaculture-playing-cards

Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be In North Carolina In July!

On July 11-13 I had the great pleasure of attending the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association’s Summer Meeting in Pinehurst, NC!

North Carolina

Pinehurst is absolutely beautiful! Gracious Southern hospitality at its best…

Pinehurst-NC-Resort

I conducted two honey cooking workshops/cooking demonstrations in the Demo Kitchen of the Sandhills Community College. I felt like a food network star!  So much fun!!

Sandhills Community College

Sandhills Community College

Culinary Arts Department

Culinary Arts Department

I made one of my favorites, Honey Tiramisu!

Honey Tiramisu

I made enough for all of the 150 attendees to have a serving. I can now make Tiramisu in my sleep!

The NCSBA is one of the largest and most active beekeeping associations in the US.  It’s also one of the most hospitable!

I picked up lots of helpful information about beekeeping and enjoyed the company of other enthusiastic beekeepers.  I’ll definitely be a return visitor!!

Health Benefits Of Honey!

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One of the many great things about Farmers’ Markets is that you can find unprocessed honey, also known as raw honey, for sale. Most of the honey sold in grocery stores has been pasteurized and sometimes even blended with cane sugar or corn syrup. However, raw honey is naturally antiseptic and does not need pasteurization.

People have been using raw honey for its health benefits for millennia. Raw honey contains pollen, enzymes, antioxidants and many other beneficial compounds that researchers are just beginning to discover. These compounds largely disappear during processing. The general rule is the darker the raw honey, the more nutritious it is.

Allergy Relief

Recent research supports the theory that local honey– obtained as close as possible to where you live–may help build an immunity to seasonal allergies. Honey made by bees in the vicinity of an allergenic plant will contain tiny amounts of pollen from that plant. This honey will act as a sort of vaccine if taken in small amounts–a few teaspoons per day–for several months, and can provide relief from seasonal pollen-related allergies.

Antioxidants

Raw honey contains powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, while pasteurized honey does not.

Digestive Aid

Raw honey contains many enzymes that can help some people digest food more easily so it may also help treat ulcers and diarrhea.

Vitamins and Minerals

The nutrient content of raw honey varies (darker honey is more nutritious), but a 1-ounce serving contains very small amounts of folate as well as vitamins B2, C, B6, B5 and B3. Minerals including calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc are also found in raw honey.

Wound and Skin Care

Honey has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. It is used by the medical profession to treat wounds, burns, and various other skin conditions including acne.

Cough Suppressant

Honey is also useful in treating upper respiratory infections. Studies have shown that a small dose of raw honey was more effective than an over-the-counter cough treatment. Be sure not to give any honey, either raw or treated, to a child under the age of 12 months.

Blood sugar regulation:

Even though honey contains simple sugars, some researchers believe it does not affect the body in the same way as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Honey’s exact combination of fructose and glucose may actually help the body regulate blood sugar levels.

In addition to its health benefits, it is a scientific fact that cooking with honey makes food taste better. Honey contains gluconic acid, a completely safe and natural flavor enhancer. According to the National Honey Board, honey “balances and enhances the flavor profiles of other ingredients used in a recipe.”

A little honey makes everything better!

Happy Bees!

My two new hives of Buckfast bees had a rocky start.

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They hated the plastic foundation I was using and built comb almost everywhere else.  From the ceiling of the Hive cover mostly…

The bees are happy even if I'm not...

The bees are happy even if I’m not…

I replaced the plastic foundation with wax and they were a bit happier.  Not a pretty sight from the inside however.

Now Hive Number Two seems to have slipped a bit from its moorings. This will be fixed ASAP.

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The good news is that both hives are happy and healthy and prospering!  I couldn’t ask for anything more!!

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Smoke

Beehive Smoker

Beehive Smoker

I’ve never liked smoking my bees. Smoke calms them down all right, but they aren’t quite themselves for a day or two. I figured a few minutes of bee panic is better than several days of befuddlement.

I’ve never smoked when installing a new package of bees.  It hasn’t seemed necessary. They’ve been more than happy to get out of that dreadful packing box.

Likewise I haven’t smoked when I’ve opened the hive for only a few seconds to feed or stick in a frame or two.

Smoking a Hive

Smoking a Hive

Today I pushed the envelope. Big mistake!

I wanted to switch out frames in a new hive from one deep box to another. Not for a good reason, mind you, but because I liked the paint color of the second box better. It wasn’t going to take very long.

It turns out that from the bees’ perspective it isn’t so much how long the disruption is but how distressing. Moving a frame with the Queen on it is apparently very distressing!

My gentle hive stung me five times through my bee suit and then went after the landscapers working next door. Thank goodness the landscapers did not get stung!

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I quickly closed up the hive and ran inside, followed by a few angry girls. My dog, the Noble Bayard, ate them with gusto. All is quiet now.

I’m going back out shortly to finish the job. Needless to say, I’m going to smoke from now on. It’s better for all of us!!

Beautiful Beekeeping – I Was Framed!

My Buckfast bees refuse to build on easy-to-use, pre-assembled cheap plastic frames. I can’t say that I blame them.

So I spent the bulk of my weekend hand-crafting wooden frames with wired wax foundation. Thirty-eight of them!

Twenty-eight of the thirty-eight frames I built this weekend

Twenty-eight of the thirty-eight frames I built this weekend

When I bought my first hive almost a decade ago, I had the option of having it assembled or assembling it myself. The difference was $60.00. In an uncharacteristic fit of thriftiness, I chose self-assembly.

About $200 dollars worth of tools and countless woman-hours later, I had built my first bee hive, complete with frames!

I’m still proud of that accomplishment. I also learned a whole lot about the structure and function of every part of the hive.

Which is why I wasn’t daunted by the prospect of assembling thirty-eight frames from what looks like a bag of sticks and some sheets of wax.

Bag of sticks and sheets of wax...

Bag of sticks and sheets of wax…

Two of my three hives are now happy campers. The third hive is another story. They’ve rejected wax in favor of building their own digs.

Combs built from the hive cover

Combs built from the hive cover

The bees are happy even if I'm not...

The bees are happy even if I’m not…

I removed a frame from each hive box and placed comb between the spaces. I hope it works!!

In any event, I’m going to try going foundation-less in my next hive. The bees seem to really like building their own homestead.

I’m going to let my bees be bees!