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…
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!
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.
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.
Honey has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which is why honey never goes bad.
Honey bees are the only insects that produce food for human consumption.
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.
Bees dance to communicate!! They can also use their pheromones to communicate too!
Bees can visit anywhere from 50-100 different types of flowers when they are collecting nectar.
Beeswax can be used for candles, or to harden soaps and lip balms, or for simply waxing shoes, needles, or stuck zippers.
Honey and bee pollen cannot be duplicated by man.
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.