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

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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

1-2-3’s to Save the Bees!!!

Did you know that there is a way for everyone to take part and help save the bees? It may not seem like a big difference this year, but it will definitely help get a good start for next year. Here are the top 5 things you can do to help bees: don’t pick the flowers, don’t buy corporate plants buy from your local garden clubs, plant a variety of plants; especially bee friendly ones, do co-planting instead of using pesticides, and spread the word!!!

Did you know that bees eat all season and that they need all flowers that bloom? Dandelions, peach blossoms and lilacs are some of the first flowers that start to bloom in spring. The bees need this first forage after their long winter in the hive. 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 kill 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.

Variety is the spice of life, so plant wildflowers. Just like humans bees need to have a variety of food in their diet to stay healthy. A wildflower mix of seeds can do that. They will bloom all season until fall, which is what bees also need to stay healthy and make bee-licious honey! The changing bee-auty will keep the neighbors and the bees buzzing about your garden. The greater the variety the greater the health!

Please don’t use pesticides on the plants!!! Bees pollinate all of our food; if it has nectar then it needs to be pollinated.  By killing our bees we are losing our food source to keep us alive and moving around. Do some co-planting instead; like planting peppermint, this will deter bugs from eating the plants. So it is time to share and get the word out to save our precious pollinators!!! Please plant, share and get out there to help protect our bees!

From our hive to yours,

Queen Bee