Confessions of a Beekeeper…awareness

Blog C (2).jpg

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

Advertisements

Confessions of a Beekeeper

blog

Have you ever been affected by someone else’s mistake? Have you ever made a mistake that affected others?

Let’s be real here for a minute…we are ALL human! Things happen. Mistakes happen. Life happens. In December I was in a car accident; another person hit me. It was in that moment where I realized I could not fix someone else’s mistakes. I have done my best to fix my own and work on not making mistakes, but I could not fix what someone else had done. Now this could have been much worse, but I have been working through a concussion and whip lash. This has limited me on what I can do and how long I can do it for. This is where I finally realized that there are many parts of my day that relate to what the bees do.

At The Honey Cottage we strive to help our customers, community, and others around us understand bees. What we do affects them every day. Mistakes that we have made, in the past and are continuing to make, affect them every day. People want more houses; so we build them. People want stores closer to them; so we build them. People want more things to do; so we build movie theaters, batting cages, and other forms of entertainment. There are less people demanding to see flower gardens. There are less people asking for pesticides not to be used. There are less people taking a stand for the bees. Without the bees our food supplies suffer. Without bees flowers are no longer pollinated. Without bees you no longer have straight from the hive honey, propolis, beeswax, or royal jelly. MAN CANNOT DUPLICATE WHAT WE GET FROM BEES!!! Bees are unique to their field. No bees. No flowers. No honey.

Here is what I have learned from the accident; I cannot fix everything and I cannot do everything alone. I have learned that I need help. I have learned that bees cannot talk for themselves and say okay this is what we need. We may not be able to fix the past, but WE have to take the stand for them for the future. WE have to speak for them and bee their voices. WE have to bee the change in order to save them. THEY NEED FLOWER NECTAR TO STAY HEALTHY AND ALIVE!!!

PLEASE HELP BEE THEIR VOICE; plant flowers and ask neighbors to plant flowers. STOP the use of pesticides that kill the bees! Use other methods of taking care of bees; co-planting and adding lots of lady bugs!

In support of the bees we have bee attracting flower seeds available at The Honey Cottage! Here is a link as to what is in the packet: https://thehoneycottage.com/p/bee-seeds

From our hive to yours,

Bee Queen

HELP SAVE THE BEES!!

IMG_9765

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!!

#1.jpg

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)

2

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

#3.jpg

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

4

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.

#5.jpg

6

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

 

Lessons from the Queen Bee!

IMG_2447 (2).JPG

Holy Cow! It is another year and time seems to bee flying by faster and quicker! Do you believe in New Year’s Resolutions or just day by day goals? As Queen Bee I am learning that sometimes it is hard to keep a New Year’s Resolution because for me it was always unmanageable. Do you experience the same problem? How do you handle it? I am learning to set goals instead because things change and situations crop up. This makes me feel much more accomplished because I can set different size goals and manage the time limit better. I often find myself thinking about how a true queen bee must feel; she has an entire hive that she has to take care of and is responsible for how it runs. The queen bee is able to delegate job duties and does not think about outside influences. I finally started taking the example of the queen bee and applied it to my life. Instead of trying to do a million things because I felt like I had to be super woman; I sit down and set goals and do not let other things influence my goals. What I have also been learning, over time, is that some things can wait until the next day; so I have learned to prioritize what is absolute for the day. Like the queen bee I am learning to focus on my hive.

We have been finding at The Honey Cottage that goal setting also works much better. Mother Nature does not work on our time table or the exact way we want her to. The weather, bees, and flowers have to all work together to produce an amazing honey. No flowers. No Honey. No rain. No honey. It is all interrelated and we have to work with what we are blessed with year to year. So we have learned that one of our best goals to set is to educate our customers on as much as we can about bees, flowers, and educating others. We love Facebook, BUT it is not as educational as it should be. We have been finding that the information that is passed around is all about getting attention and not based on facts. We believe at The Honey Cottage that working with beekeepers is the best way to get good honey as well as knowing that the bees are well taken care of properly. So another goal for us means that beekeepers have the same goals we have; saving the bees and taking proper care of them. Lastly, it is important that we all work together because taking care of them is a community effort. This is why one of our big goals is to bring in things that help the community help the bees. We are working on bringing in bee friendly seeds and doing more education on staying away from pesticides. Stay up with us and find out what we are doing.

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

 

New Bee-ginnings

img_7788

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