When temperatures drop at night, beeswax based lotion stiks and lip balms are the magical remedy.
Bees and beeswax are the keys to everything important. Food, plants, flowers, honey. Without these essential farm workers and their special living quarters made out of wax and honey, we would have to pollenate ALL of the plants that require pollination by hand.
Imagine the world without onions or apples. Now imagine taking a tiny paint brush, carefully collecting pollen from one part of a plant and moving it to another part of the plant. There's a lot of botany you would need to learn for each plant, when to pollinate, how much pollen to move, and where to put it. Bees know all of this botany and willingly participate in farming to help us eat.
Pollinators include, but are not limited to: bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, etc.
The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee is officially on the endangered species list. The Rusty Patched live all over the US, but mostly in the NorthEast. It is imperative that we all learn how to live with our pesky stinging pollinator friends like wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and flies (yes flies are pollinators, ugh), and the pretty ones like butterflies, hummingbirds, bumble and honey bees. Without the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, there will be no apples, onions or alfalfa (cows eat alfalfa so this is connected to hamburgers and ice cream), just to name a few of the 70+ foods that they pollenate.
Every time my neighbors sprayed insecticide on a wasps nest a few years ago, my ground nesting bumbles started walking (a sign of trouble) and were dead within a few days. I smelled the insecticide as it was carried over to my property by a gentle summer breeze. I asked to see if I was correct. We have a 5 acre field of wild flowers and I love it when it hums with native bees buzzing around.
Bees are magical little mathematicians that live complex lives. They do all of the tedious work of pollinating our plants so we can eat. They give us this gift along with excess honey and wax, harvested by beekeepers. It has been reported that there are so few bees in China that people are now pollinating plants with paint brushes.
When you see a nest forming, it is possible to move them without harming them or yourself. It is a careful skill, that isn't difficult to learn. Bees are busy keeping themselves and their queens warm when temperatures fall below 50 degrees F. That is the perfect time to move a nest. Protective gear, such as gloves and netted hats, are helpful. You can always call a bee keeper for advice or ask them to do it.
Please Bee Aware of our little friends and stop using insecticide (brand names we all know or have heard of). Thank you
Endangered insects: The endangered species list changes, so this link takes you to the government website of current endangered species, including insects. The status of an endangered species changes depending on the success or failure of environmental changes.
Bees' knees are the little baskets where the collected pollen is stored while the female workers are still collecting or eating. The phrase "the bees knees" means an excellent choice. In my mind, it's the best place, the top of the heap, since pollen is the key to life as we know it.
Yes! The price of beeswax doubled in 2016; within a 6 month period. We were shocked. Bees are in trouble and their wax price has skyrocketed. If you shop around for high quality beeswax products, you will notice that today, our creams are still in the low end of pricing for high quality organic personal care. The bees' wellbeing depends on individual rejection of bee killing pesticides and herbicides, which will impact your food, household cleaning, and gardening supply choices.
Here is a list of minor things you can do to help the bees:
1. BUY organic food, always, if possible. It's a great way to give less money to toxic chemical producing and using businesses. Since bees are a causality of this, I hope no one in their right mind can call a pollinating bee a pest. They are doing the tiny delicate work required for us to have a food system.
BONUS: when you eat organic food, you are healthier, happier, and more productive.
2. PLANT wild flowers in your yard, and everywhere.
3. STOP using herbicides and START weeding your garden the old fashioned way. Use mulch, like wood chips, hay and leaves to keep unwanted plants out of your garden.
4. LOVE dandelions. These are not weeds, but just a common flower that blooms in the spring. Change how you look at them and appreciate the lovely burst of yellow.
BONUS: Chickens love dandelions. It's an excellent source of vitamins and minerals for them and you. I used to pick a dinner's worth every Spring for my father-in-law. He called them a Spring tonic. You can buy the Italian culinary variety in most grocery stores.
5. STOP using pesticides to chase away unwanted bugs. In the early spring, look around your house for yellow jackets that are building nests. These nests can be moved with other methods.
We have a wasp nest that rebuilds itself every Summer in one of our basement windows, on the outside of the screen. They had a good year and there were more than usual in this nest. At the end of their season right before they go into hibernation, in Fall, they go a little nuts. This year, some of them found themselves on the inside of the screen. I knew they would only be there for a few weeks, before they disappeared. I taped a small cardboard box over them inside, and made sure they could get back to the nest but couldn't fly into my house.
6. SPREAD the word.
Remember, my partners have wings. Make them your partners today.
We have a different bee keeper now. A young man who has been keeping bees since he was 11 years old, and now has a buzzing business making nucs for bee keepers. What's a nuc, you ask? It is a frame colony full of bees.
One thing that struck me the 1st time Clark paid his rent in honey, was he said the bees he had living on our land were the healthiest and produced the best honey, he has ever seen. We have an 5 acre field behind our house that we let go to wild flowers. In the Spring it's mostly clover. In Summer, it turns white when it's in full Queen Anne's Lace bloom. Then in August, the Goldenrod is a burst of yellow. Below is a photo of the honey Clark harvested from "our" bees. When he delivered it, it was still warm. This is magic food of the universe.
For more about Clark's bees, click the link.
Goldenrod makes a brilliant yellow dye that works beautifully with wool and silk. Queen Anne's Lace makes lovely silhouette prints with a purple dot in the center. Read more about soap in the yarn and dye studio, here.
Do you love the smooth feeling of lotion without all of the greasy mess? You have found your solution with a LiX Lotion Stik. Simply swipe in in the place you want it.
Roundup causes high levels of mortality following contact exposure in bumble bees | Bees exhibited 94% mortality with Roundup Ready‐To‐Use and 30% mortality with Roundup ProActive. Roundup products caused comprehensive matting of bee body hair, causing death by incapacitating the gas exchange system
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