NATIONAL HONEY MONTH 2019

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Do you know what September is?!?!

It’s our favorite month of year; NATIONAL HONEY MONTH!! We love bees, honey, and beekeeping and love that there is a whole month dedicated to it! What I love most is that I finally found the perfect job; most people say that after time they can’t stand where they work. Guess what? I don’t have that problem; we love talking about bees so much!! There are so many honey varieties and so many ways to use them!  I am so excited to share these fun facts this year and hope you enjoy anything new that you learn!

1- If you are thinking of planting raspberry and blackberry bushes bee aware that it will take time before you see fruit! They take a full year to establish before they will produce fruit the following year! Fruit honeys are the best and worth the wait!

2-Raw straight from the hive honey has oligosaccharides; this natural sugar serves as a prebiotic in the gut!

3-Medicinal uses of honey dates back thousands of years; from Sumerian art to Greek literature honey spans a multitude of times and cultures.

Early Sumerian art and Greek writing talk about using raw honey for medicinal use for 1,000’s of years! From open wounds to pain relief, honey has been used for everything!

4-Raw honey can bee used every day it is nature’s best sweetener and as always don’t over indulge!

5-Raw honey will not cause inflammation, like white sugar can, because raw honey is an anti-inflammatory!

6-True manuka honey is only produced in New Zealand and Australia; it contains a powerful chemical called methylglyoxal. This is what makes manuka honey so wonderful for wound healing! Please check out “The Honey Revolution” by Ron Fessenden for more details on manuka honey!

7-Children under 1 years of age should not have honey due to the fact their immune system is not fully matured. After 1 year of age they are ready to handle all of the nutrients that honey has to offer.

8-Raw honey contains 18 bioflavonoids; these are antioxidants that fight for your body and prevent damaging effects from free radicals!

9-Food for thought; Bees collect nectar from the bee-autiful flowers you see everyday and make honey. Honey is highly nutritional and our bodies are able to break down and use every molecule. White sugar is made from sugar cane or sugar beets and has to be processed and refined to where there is no nutritional value. Corn syrup and High fructose corn syrup are made from cornstarch which is also refined and processed and is foreign to the human body. This year we hope you make the switch to something that is better for your body and enjoy the nutritional benefits you receive.

Share with everyone you know and spread the word about how special bees are!! Help save the bees with us!!

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

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The Honey Cottage 2018

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At The Honey Cottage we wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a wonderful HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  This year has been so wonderful to see our customers and their families grow. It has been so neat to see kids grow and change, new relationships and marriages happen and new babies welcomed into 2018! We are so happy that we were able to get to be apart of your special moments this year. Thank you for your continued support of our little bee hive! WE LOVE YOU!!!!  We hope to have some really amazing new products and new things to share with you in 2019. Have a fun and safe New Year’s Eve!! Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year!

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

National Honey Month 2018

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There is nothing more amazing then learning something new every day. That is why we LOVE what we do at The Honey Cottage! Our customers learn something new about bees, or honey, or beekeeping every time they come in to see us. We find bees extremely fascinating and they teach us something every time we open up the hive. Every year to celebrate National Honey Month we get to talk even more about our favorite friends and what they make. So here are 9 facts about honey, bees, and beekeeping. Follow us on facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about The Honey Cottage everyday!

1- Most of our clothes come from the cotton plant. Without bees pollinating the cotton plant we would not have cotton honey or clothes.

2- There are plants that can be planted in drought stricken areas that would help give the bees forage. Lavender, thyme, and sage are a few that survive wonderfully without lots of moisture.

3- There are some plants that will not bloom in their first year of being planted. Strawberries and clover are two examples of plants that take a year to put down full roots.

4- Plants and trees need rest just like we do; that is why a cold dormant winter is very important for them. They need a full rest to produce good healthy blooms for bees.

5- The nectar that the flowers produce has the natural sugars that bees make into honey. There is no sugar added to the process; these are natural sugars usable by the human body and bees.

6- If you are handed a candy bar; will you get up to get to the kitchen for some chicken and broccoli? That is the same thinking for bees; if you give them sugar water they will not go out for flowers. Honey is loaded with vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and natural usable sugar. Why give bees something that has no nutritional value and weakens, just like humans, their immune system? Think about this; if you won’t eat it don’t give it to the bees.

7- Gardening takes time, energy, and effort. The rewards of seeing your flowers and plants bloom and make food is a big reward. Bees are needed for the flowers to bloom and make the fruits, vegetables, and herbs that we eat to sustain life.

8- Neonicotinoids sprayed on plants are known to attach to the bee paralyzing them and then attacks their central nervous system thus killing them. STOP USING PESTICIDES AND SAVE THE BEES!!

9- Bees will only cap honey when the water content has reached 15%-20%; each honey varies on amount.

Share with everyone you know and spread the word about how special bees are!! Help save the bees with us!!

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

Confessions of a Beekeeper…awareness

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Do you ever feel like you have to really get mad before people hear you?

At The Honey Cottage we experience things a little differently than normal beekeepers. We are able to talk with customers, educate the community and hear their questions, and are blessed to work with other beekeepers.

It has come to our attention that many HOA’s will not allow flowers to be planted in the front yards. This was a huge shock to us that there are rules against planting flowers. That there are rules against having dandelions grow in the front yard. Dandelions may bee just a “weed” too many people, but this “weed” is a food source for bees. It is also used in herbal medicines, used as tea, and used by many to make skin care products. We are hearing more and more people saying that they are not seeing bees in the yard, on flowers in the neighbor hoods, or even at the stores where there are flowers for sale.

Bee populations are stressed and honey production is down for more than one reason. Let me be clear to say bees are stressed because there are NOT ENOUGH FLOWERS in many areas and there are too many hives for urban bees to be successful. We are hearing from beekeepers how they have to feed their bees sugar water to keep them going. If there are no flowers the bees will NOT survive, our food supply will be gone, and we as humans will not survive. Can you live off of candy bars and sugar? As you know we CANNOT survive on sugar alone. We get NO nutritional value from sugar and neither do the bees. So why feed it to bees? Why make them suffer? When a beekeeper has to solely give sugar to their bees, instead of flowers, what do you think is in the honey you are eating? These are the questions we are now asking. IT IS TIME TO STAND UP FOR THE BEES AND GIVE THEM THE FOOD THEY NEED! You want better honey help the beekeepers by planting flowers. Don’t let our bees die out because people don’t think the dandelions are pretty.

We have started a campaign at The Honey Cottage; spend $20 in the store or on our website and you receive a free package of bee seeds. We are working hard to save the bees one flower at a time.

I AM THE BEE QUEEN, AND I SPEAK FOR THE BEES FOR THEY HAVE NO VOICE. SAVE THE BEES BY PLANTING FLOWERS. DON’T USE PESTICIDES. SPREAD THE WORD!

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

Crystal’s Miss Bee-Haven News

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Have you ever made a plan, laid it all out, did what needed to be done, and it still did not go right?

Sometimes you can do all the planning and things still don’t go as planned. That is what happened with us this year with Crystal’s Miss-bee-haven. We have had a rough start the past two years and were dedicated to making sure this year would be good; third time’s a charm right? Unfortunately, for our bees it was not; we had so much rain this past July our plants got watered out. We are happy that our hives in the south have made enough honey to winter over! It has been a very slow summer for them, but now we know to start planning now for spring. There is A LOT of housing developments going up in the south and NOT enough flowers to help bees survive. It is almost heartbreaking driving by and seeing more land being used for more houses.

Good news is our hives up north are doing very well and will have enough honey for winter and for us! We have been checking on them and have seen winter stores are going successfully!! We have taken some frames of honey and may get a couple more. At The Honey Cottage we highly bee-lieve in making sure the bees have enough honey for the winter to feed themselves and have a good start to the spring. We noticed that there are a LOT more flowers in this area and are hopeful for an even better year next year!!

The Honey Cottage wants to remind you; Nature has her own plan and one must bee ready for her changes. Saving the bees is important to us! We are here to help and we will be starting some classes on beekeeping. We need to get more people involved if the bees are going to have a good strong come back. We have found different beekeepers have had a better year than others and we want to cultivate that! Lastly, we are going to have bee seeds coming out of our ears next year and will also be pushing to make a class for this! Saving the bees means we need flowers; lots of them and everywhere. Until next time…

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

 

The Honey Cottage- Beekeeping Adventures May 2017

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Have you ever had an experience that was a little scary, exhilarating, and left you absolutely speechless?

At The Honey Cottage we are all about education; whether it is on honey or beekeeping we love talking about bees. On Monday we had a swarm call where the bees were living behind a wall with the goats. So Frank went and gathered up the bees and put them in a beehive away from the goats. With thousands of bees in one area it is sometimes hard to catch the queen bee. She is the most important to catch because she has the pheromones to tell the other bees to follow her. We weren’t sure if she was caught so we had to wait it out the last couple of days. Yesterday we got a phone call that there was a ball of bees were in the same location as Monday, which meant we had not caught the queen bee. We got lucky though; we had a second chance to get the queen! I absolutely LOVE bee-ing with the bees and capturing their life on camera. I am still learning a lot about the bees and how they work. I am a novice beekeeper at best. I broke two key rules that almost put me in harm’s way. Last year I did not were a bee suit due to pregnancy; so I focused all my attention on perfecting my photography skills. Now, I have been up close to the bees and the beehive without having problems. Yet, when you are moving the bees to a new location they are now in protection mode.

Rule number one you should allows where a bee suit on a swarm call. It is just for safety measures and protects you from the bee stings. Rule number two listen to the beekeeper, no matter if it means losing a good photographic moment. I broke both of these rules; we had my bee suit handmade and the hood is not connected to the suit yet and I got cocky and thought I was at a good enough distance to take shots. Frank had a box of bees that he was walking over to the hive and told me to get back. Now, you have to remember this was the second attempt to get the queen; so the bees were more agitated then on Monday. I thought I was far enough to where they would not be affected by my presence. NOPE! At least I remembered rules three and four; walk away when you get the warning signal and be calm no matter what. I have learned that when you are too close to a hive a guard bee will come and basically bump into you. This is a clear warning signal to walk away or you will be stung. If you are too close to the hive and get stung more bees will smell the pheromones and will follow suit to protect the hive. Once the bee did that I realized I really over stayed my welcome. This is where rule number four is so important; I started walking away and more bees were following me. Here is where my excitement and worry started to mix; I knew if I got stung by one it would cause the others to do the same. So I had to relax as much as I could and keep walking. The bees started walking on my face and my hands!! That is where the exhilaration came in because I always wondered what it felt like. It is really hard to stay focused on walking away when that happens. I did get far enough away to have them leave and I jumped back in the car after above five minutes. Sometimes bees will linger around, so jumping back in the car with them following was not an option. In short I learned several lessons and will start taking my own advice; LISTEN TO THE BEEKEEPER AND FOLLOW THE RULES!

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

 

HELP SAVE THE BEES!!

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At The Honey Cottage we are dedicated in educating and helping teach people about the importance of bees. Beekeeping should not be just about honey or money, but we are seeing a drastic increase in demand for raw honey. There are a lot of pressing issues that need to be looked at if we are going to save the bees. It takes EVERYONE. You don’t have to be a beekeeper to help either. We actually recommend against it; there is only so much forage per area. Too many beekeepers in one area is taxing on the ecosystem and is stressful for the native bees. Each hive needs approximately one and half acres of constantly blooming plants to be successful. There is a misconception that bees only need the flowers in spring and early summer. This is not true; bees need late summer plants and plants that bloom in fall to be successful during the winter. This is why we are making a BIG push for everyone to HELP beekeepers. PLANT more plants than ever and plant a variety of plants, don’t use pesticides, support your local beekeepers, support your local garden clubs and nursery’s, and set out water sources.

-The more plants we plant as a community means there are more food sources for bees and other pollinators. They also need a large variety of plants so that they have a varied diet and will be much healthier. Plus, flowers will bloom not just in the spring, but summer and fall! They need to eat all the time just like humans do! They need to be able to put enough honey away for the long winters.

– Please don’t use pesticides on the plants!!! Bees pollinate our flowers and our food. If the poison is on the plants it is also going to be in the plant and now will go you’re into your system. Bees also make honey from the nectar that is in the flower. If they are getting the poison in their diet, it is also going in YOUR system. Push for co-planting instead; like planting peppermint, this will deter bugs from eating the plants.

-If you have an interest in beekeeping; start by learning and supporting a local beekeeper and garden clubs. This will help them and you at the same time. Education’s the key; to be a good beekeeper you need to know the bees, the flowers, and the habit in your area.

– Store bought plants can have GMO pesticides and growth retardants on them when they arrive at the store. This is to keep the flowers looking nice by the time they make it to the store; however, the pesticides harm bees. Working with the local garden club can help the club and makes sure the plants are well taken care of and don’t have the pesticides on them. You also support the local economy by working with local beekeeper’s and garden clubs!

– Water sources are very important for bees! We recommend a water basin or bird bath with gravel or 1 inch river stones. The bees are terrible swimmers and the stones will give them plenty of places to land to take a drink of water.

From our hive to yours,

Queen Bee

 

 

Honey Bees in Spring!

We at The Honey Cottage are excited for spring. It’s coming; we have seen the signs and heard from our bee whisperer. The bees are in the peacock feed and enjoying the warmth after a cold winter. Just look at the photos and you will see.

First is what we call bottoms up!!

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This is the time to give the girls a nutrient boost, POLLEN, to make sure they have all the energy they need to start the spring ritual, no sugar for my girls, no man made super food either. We prefer nature made super goodness for our girls. (POLLEN AND HONEY)

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Of course the pollen needs to bee powered. We use a mortar and pestle and as you can see we get plenty of help!

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Back at the hive; it’s party time and the girls love their pollen. Yes, we also give them honey when needed…ONLY honey!

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These girls are from a hive that I saved from the eve of a home in the Springs last September and they are doing just fine and no sugar was used.

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Yes spring is coming, the bees are buzzing, the sun is shining, my girls are growing, and my wife is glowing. Here’s to a sweet year!!

From my hive to your hive,

The Beekeeper

 

New Bee-ginnings

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At The Honey Cottage we would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year’s Eve!!! We want to say thank you to everyone for your amazing support! We are working hard to bring more honey into the shop and more unique honey products. We hope to have some amazing surprises in 2017! To make 2017 even more successful; WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! PLEASE share us with everyone on social media; facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn. We want everyone to know that we are here!! We have been told we are the best kept secret in town and we need your help to spread the word that we are here buzzing around! We also need you to please share the things you do with honey or other beehive products on facebook/ twitter or send us e-mails and let us know it is okay to share it! We want to help other customers use honey, beeswax, and other bee hive products to their full potential. With your help we can make a better community of honey users! We are working hard to change the way people think about honey and beekeeping. It is important to us and the bees to really start making a change in how people think. The bees need your help and this year we all need to make a bigger impact on how the bees are taken care of! Mother Nature is giving us a big message and if we listen we can make a better change for the bees! HELP make 2017 a really great year for the bees!!!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

Taking care of our bees the organic way!

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Here at The Honey Cottage we have a strong opinion on beekeeping and sugar. I have angered some with my opinion and have been called a tree hugger. I am not a tree hugger, I am a bee hugger; my girls Lily Bee, Alice Bee, and the Queen Bee Crystal.

For me feeding sugar to bees is such a bad idea; I can’t find any reason for it. Some say feeding is necessary for the bees to survive winter! Only if you steal too much from the bees in summer or fall!

Some say you can increase brood production for the winter bees with special sugar to water mixes!
15 plus years ago I was doing as the others were doing and followed this; I don’t follow this anymore!

My distain for sugar in my hives comes from my lovely new wife‘s (Crystal) food allergies and for the nutritional value of honey. When she came into my life my views changed and I started learning the benefits of not using sugar. I started leaving my hives extra heavy for winter and saving comb for spring feeding, if needed, and for starter food for the swarms that come with spring. My hives became more active in spring and I bee-lieve much healthier.

I started beekeeping over 25 years ago because raw honey took all the allergy medication away from my son who was 5, improved his health, and relieved his need for his asthma rescue inhaler. My family was much healthier from eating honey and not sugar. I now see it must bee the same for the bees.

One thing that I have learned is there in no real nutritional value to sugar, I believe the over consumption of sugar has been a real detriment to the health of everyone! Us and yes the bees!

Some say sugar feeding is necessary for the health of the hive and winter survival; again only if too much honey is robbed from the bees by the beekeeper. When bees are thought of as a commodity and nothing more, the bees will die.
I know honey is the profit coveted by most beekeepers, and sugar is cheap, it is just the economics of it all. After all, science has the new protein patties (pollen substitute) and the new super charged sugar syrup for winter feeding, and health of the bees (just $19.95 get it now). Yet our bees die!

You have probably heard about the (NEW) thing called colony collapse disorder. Some do say this new C.C.D is the cause of all the problems with the bees and there is a need for science to step in.

Is this new? No, since the mid 1850’s about every 19 years there has been a C.C.D type loss of bees. This round is by far the worse. Yes the bees are dying. Yes their health is being compromised.
New poisons, viruses, climate change, mono crop farming, and so many other things are the talk of the industry concerning C.C.D., as should bee.  The bee’s diet should be included in the talks; a healthy bee is a strong bee and can overcome many things. Yet our bees die.

The bees have lived on this earth for several million years, now with the help of man our bees die.
Let’s stop the sugar madness, for the sake of the bees.
I don’t know about you, but I eat honey for the nutritional value…for my health and my family’s health.
This honey comes from the bees; a key part of the overall health of the food chain we all need.

I truly believe if we do not take care of the bee’s health they will die; I believe good health comes from their diet. The first step in saving the bees is through good nutrition for the bees. The only food that does not spoil and is, nutritionally speaking a super food, raw honey made by the bees.  Yet we feed them sugar, a man made sweetener with no nutritional value and we wonder why the bees DIE. If the bees die we die!

From our bee hive to yours,

The Beekeeper and his Queen Bee