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

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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

Amazing News

Doesn’t it feel like yesterday was just the beginning of 2014? Time has flown by way to quickly, but we have some amazing news to share with you as the New Year comes! First, we will be doing two different blogs a month!! We have had lots of questions asked about specific honeys and what they are made from. So Frank will be doing Frank’s honey pick of the month. We are also getting lots of questions on how to use different products and honeys; so I will be doing a question of the month to help customers have a reference. Second, we want to hear your voice! We want to encourage more people to go to our contact page on the website and let us know your questions. This is our best way of answering any questions that you have. Third, since it is the beginning of the year, we would like to encourage change. We have many people who want to switch to honey instead of sugar, start the Hibernation diet, or want to have over all better health with honey. We will be talking more about how honey affects health in 2015. Lastly, we would like more facebook activity on how you use honey. We have many customers that want to know how other customers use a specific product or how others use honey. We want to share that with others, so please join us on facebook and tell us your thoughts! Thank you for joining us on our adventure in 2014, keep up with us in 2015!!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

Regulate Your Honey Consumption

At The Honey Cottage we have been working with a Doctor out of Castle Rock, Colorado. His name is Doctor Ron Fessenden and he wrote the book “The Honey Revolution”. This is an excerpt from his book based on the research he did. The regular honey consumption is with raw, unfiltered, straight from the hive honey.

Did you know that regular honey consumption (up to 3 Tablespoons per day) will:

* Lower blood sugar levels. (It is counter-intuitive but true. The sugars in honey actually work together, helping to remove glucose from the blood and store it in the liver as glycogen.)
* Regulate blood sugar from going too low. (Sugar stored in the liver is released on demand for use by other parts of the body when blood sugar levels are low.)
* Lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (Both short term studies in humans and longer studies in animals have shown this cholesterol lowering effect. Many folks who have started consuming honey regularly report that their cholesterol and triglycerides levels have dropped between 30 and 60 mg%.)
* Improve sleep, both quality and duration. (Within a few days, folks who begin consuming honey before bedtime will notice a marked change in sleep patterns. Dreams will become more frequent and sleep duration will increase.)
* Improve immune system function. (This is the primary reason why regular honey consumption reduces allergy symptoms.)

We will be sharing more knowledge as much as we can so stay up with us here and “like” us on facebook for more updates and bits of information.

From Our Hive to Yours,
Queen Bee