National Honey Month!!

IMG_6710.JPGIt is our FAVORITE month of the year at The Honey Cottage; SEPTEMBER!!! That means it is….National Honey Month!  We LOVE having an entire month dedicated to bees and honey. Follow us on; facebook, twitter, LinkedIn for fun facts and neat pictures!! HAPPY SEPTEMBER!

1- Beeswax can get a frosty white appearance on it when it sits for a while. This is called bloom; it comes off easy by lightly wiping it off with a cloth.

2- Did you know that if you are baking with honey that you can lower the oven temperature to prevent burning of baked goods? About 25 degrees F seems to be best, but sometimes the recipe needs to be played with in order to get it just right!

3- Did you know there are bees that are called dwarf bees? They are about a quarter of an inch in size!

4- Drone bees and queen bees do not make beeswax; it is instead made solely by the worker bees. They have wax glands on their abdomen that discharges the wax. The drone bees have no wax glands, but the worker bees have four pairs!

5- A butterfly and a bee have something really cool in common!! Their mouth is called a proboscis; this is how they both suck up nectar!

6- Creamed and whipped honey means the same thing. It is whipped with whips to give it a smooth, creamy, spreadable texture.

7- The beeswax that the bees secrete is actually white! It is changed to yellow by the pollen that is brought into the hive!!

8- Honey dew honey is not from the melon!!! It is the only honey that is not made from a nectar source! Honey dew honey is from aphids; they eat the sap off of trees and leave a secretion behind. The secretion is then picked up by the bees and made into honey. How cool is that?

9- Want all the honey off of the measuring spoons and cups? Try warming up the measuring spoon so it goes right into the recipe! Or lightly grease them so that the honey comes right out of the cup!

Feel free to share with friends and family. The more everyone knows the better care we can take care of these amazing ladies.

From our hive to yours,

Queen Bee

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Buzzing by with Crystal’s Miss Bee-Haven Updates

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We have incredible news; one of our hives survived the winter!!! We were so excited to see bees buzzing around when we took off the protection we had around the hive during the winter. Talk about a happy surprise. Crystal’s miss bee haven is slowly taking off; we have about a quarter acre filled with flowers this year. As we are finding out, sometimes things take smaller steps to be successful. With the help of the flowers we have been able to actually get a small amount of honey from our hive this year. We are always hoping for more, but a good bee keeper knows that smaller amounts are better than no honey at all. Plus, we are of the belief that the more honey we leave behind for winter, the better off our bees are. We would rather find something else to eat then make our bees suffer by feeding them in the spring.

Earlier this month I was interviewed by the incredible Chef Stevie, of A Fresh Take!! She is a Registered Nutritionist, Healthy Chef, and Holistic Health Coach. She is all about healthy cooking, as well as education. On her show we talked about the bees, bee products, and what can be done with honey. As I tell everyone; I am still learning about bees and love sharing what I am learning with everyone. My favorite part was how to cook with honey and my favorite honey recipes! Here is the podcast: http://www.chefstevie.com/podcast.html. Just click on the link and then scroll down to The Buzz about Honey.

We are also very happy to say that we got a new extractor to get honey out of the frames!! This is very exciting for us because it gives us practice extracting honey and it now takes less time! We are hopeful that we will be able to get honey next year for The Honey Cottage. We are very pleased to say that it works well and has given us the opportunity to extract honey from the frames without destroying the beeswax completely. This saves our bees energy and helps them to put away honey faster instead of having to make more beeswax! We are hoping that the color changes here within the next couple of weeks so that we can show the differences between honey harvested at the beginning of summer and later in the summer.

We are in the process of revamping our website; to make it easier for customers to navigate! There have been a lot of struggles with it, so please bee patient as we repair our hive. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn to get the best updates and information as to what is happening in our hive. Lots of surprises are still on the way!!!

Here are a couple of bee-autiful pictures of the honey we have so far!!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

Not just a Beekeeper

The last several years have taught us a very big lesson… A Beekeeper is not just a Beekeeper.  To some it may seem like a beekeeper just takes honey puts it into a bottle and that is it.

This is not true, most, beekeepers study, apprentice with another beekeeper or go to school, and work hard to keep their bees happy. Beekeeping is full time work! Beekeepers spend a lot of time educating themselves so they have the latest information.  They also spend a lot of time with the bees making sure they stay healthy and are well maintained from any harm.

Beekeepers are:

Consumers themselves- We are the ultimate consumers of what comes from our hives!!  This is why so much time and care goes into the bee hive. The better the bees are taken care of the better honey will be produced and the better life a bee will have.

Educators- We pride ourselves, like other beekeepers, to be able to answer questions that customers have. We want customers to ask questions because we believe better decisions are made when all information is given.

Activists- Bees are important to our eco system, as well as, our food supply! We want and need them to survive. So we are constantly sharing the importance of saving the bees and how important it is to not use pesticides. We also talk about plants that are bee friendly and other ways to help the bees survive and come back.

Some beekeepers are family oriented! We personally believe what goes into our mouth also goes into our children’s mouth. So we are extra vigilant on what we feed our bees and how we care for them. We believe that how our honey turns out is a direct reflection of how we take care of our bees. We want our children to learn the many different ways to take care of bees, nature, and ultimately themselves.

For us beekeeping is a way of life and a way to keep in touch with nature.

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee11116408_829030313841101_2393526374321456919_o

National Honey Month!!!

September is National Honey Month!  At The Honey Cottage everything starts with the bees and our goal to educate our customers.  So here are some super cool facts about bees that we wanted to share!

1- Did you know that bees have 5 eyes?  Three of them are in the front and two of them are on either side of their head!!

2- Beeswax cells start out as a circle, but the heat of the hive turns them into hexagonal shapes.

3- Bees go through four stages; egg-> larva -> pupa -> adult

SUPER COOL FACT: Bees can molt in the larva stage!!!

4- Bees can live up to 40 days, drones can live up to 90 days, and Queens can live up to 4 years!!

5- Did you know that the queen bee can lay over 2,000 eggs a day?

6- Bees collect nectar and pollen; from the nectar bees are able to make honey and beeswax

7- Depending on what the bees eat will determine the different flavors in honey comb

8- Bees do two types of capping in the hive; when the bee is in the pupa stage and when the honey is at the correct water level

9- Did you know that the comb in a hive is more sterile than an operating room?

Feel free to share with friends and family. The more everyone knows the better care we can take care of these amazing ladies.

From our hive to yours,

Queen Bee

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The Honey Cottage – Beekeeping Adventures continued

Welcome back to The Honey Cottage!

This month was super exciting; we got some amazing pictures of the hive, and our bee suits are almost complete. Lily has been bugging us for weeks asking where her bee suit is and when will she be able to look in the hive.

I used to be afraid that something would happen with my little one if she got near the hive. However, the more education and experience I get with the bees makes me realize how safe she really is. So my gold nugget that I would like to share is; when we give ourselves and children more knowledge, the less fear there will be. Knowledge = power.

As you can see from the picture Lily only has a hood on and is looking into the hive. She was not afraid of the bees at all and I relaxed a lot! I just remembered to keep talking to her and that kept us both calm.

One of the best ways to save our bees is to stop fearing them. They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Bees are looking for food and have no intention on attacking unless they feel threatened. It has been an pleasure learning about these ladies and how they work. So proud of Lily for wanting to be the next generation of beekeepers. Stay tuned and learn what we are up to!

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The Honey Cottage Beekeeping Adventures

This month has been super special for me; I put on the bee suit for the first time and was able to look in the hive. It was a neat opportunity to see what the bees do in the hive. Normally, I would get really excited and bounce off the walls. However, I have had to train myself not to be overly excited. One of the most important things that I have learned about being a beekeeper is that bees can sense fear, excitement and when someone is nervous. So putting on the bee suit was the best way to put everything I learned into practice; especially learning how to stay calm.

It was so incredible to be able to put into practice all that I have learned. To be able to be open up the hive by myself (with Frank’s direction of course) and look into the hive was beyond words. To see the frames of honey and brood was very educational because it increased my thirst for knowledge. Seeing pictures has been very helpful for me, but being able to actually have the hands-on experience was even better.

My head keeps saying I want to get closer without the suit; I want to take chances, and see what it is like having bees all around me. Thankfully, I have a fantastic teacher like Frank who finally sat me down and explained why it is so important not to take chances. I am excitable person and if I got stung I would not stay calm, this in turn would cause the other bees to attack because they now would feel threatened.

So I am very happy to say that I am thrilled to be a beekeeper. I always thought that it was too much and that I would not ever be able to be up close to the hive. I can’t believe that I ever feared bees. This in turn tells me what we need to do with our little one. I don’t want her to fear bees and want her to learn how important bees are for our future. Needless to say, beekeeping is so cool and I am so excited to be able to share my experiences as a new beekeeper.

I am very happy to say that we have been getting some great pictures of the bees and flowers that are bee friendly. A lot of our flowers are blooming!!! We have also been getting some AMAZING pictures of the inside of the bee hive as well as the outside. Stay up with us to see what we are doing here at The Honey Cottage!!!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

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The Honey Cottage updates

We have big news!  Crystal’s Miss Bee Haven has broken ground, we officially have the land ready for plants!!  Our plants are pre-planted in smaller containers.  Our new hives are going and the ladies are hard at work!!  We have seeds ready at The Honey Cottage for you to help us to SAVE THE BEES with us!!  A bee suit is in Crystal’s and Lily’s future, so stay tuned to all the new and exciting things we are doing at The Honey Cottage and at Crystal’s Miss Bee Haven to help the bee population.  Please remember: plant wild flowers, don’t use pesticides, and INFORM OTHERS HOW THEY CAN HELP SAVE THE BEES!!!  We need everyone to help save our beeautiful pollinators!!!

Crystal’s Miss Bee Haven- the beeginnings!

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From our bee hive to yours,

Frank

Fun Facts about Bees and the Hive

Education about bees, the bee hive, honey, and bee hive products are so important to us here at The Honey Cottage. So in honor of National Honey Month we thought we would share some fun facts about the bees and the hive.

  1. There are three types of bees: the queen bee, the worker bee, and the drone bee. The queen’s only job is to produce babies and is the only one that eats royal jelly. The worker bees are all female, and the drone bees are all male. Worker bees do everything from taking care of gathering nectar to guarding the hive. The drones are only there to mate with the queen and then die once mating has taken place. Whatever drones are left are kicked out of the hive once winter hits.
  2. Honey has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which is why honey never goes bad.
  3. Honey bees are the only insects that produce food for human consumption.
  4. Like humans, bees need to have a diverse diet of pollen and nectar to be healthy. Trees, flowers, shrubs, fruits, herbs, and vegetables (like squash blossoms) are all important for bees. This is why planting is so important not only to humans, but bees too.
  5. Bees dance to communicate!! They can also use their pheromones to communicate too!
  6. Bees can visit anywhere from 50-100 different types of flowers when they are collecting nectar.
  7. Beeswax can be used for candles, or to harden soaps and lip balms, or for simply waxing shoes, needles, or stuck zippers.
  8. Honey and bee pollen cannot be duplicated by man.
  9. Bees can sense fear, so do the best that can be done and stay calm when a bee is around. They only sting when they feel threatened.

Feel free to share with friends and family. The more everyone knows the better care we can take care of these amazing ladies.

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee