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Let Us Tell You About Honey Bee Resources

As beekeepers and bee lovers, we love to share about the riches that come from bee hive resources.   As a business, BEEpothecary creates artisan batches of  health, skin and hair care products made with beehive resources – propolis, honey, pollen and beeswax. We have a particular passion for propolis and have pent several years pouring over scientific research on the use of propolis for health and illness. We have several presentations that we do for beekeeping conferences, honey festivals, individual beekeeper clubs and homesteading/natural living festivals.  We offer Power Point programs with demonstrations and sampling of various products and raw materials. We also buy raw propolis (and other hive resources) from other beekeepers by the pound and can provide instructions for how to clean it to prepare for sale.

Our presentations include:

  • The health benefits of hive resources;
  • How to collect clean and prepare hive products for use in value added products;
  • Different forms of hive products that can be marketed;
  • How to make many different products using bee resources;
  • The categorizing, production and labeling laws that must be followed to market value added hive products other than honey;
  • Honey Bees and Beekeeping, for non-beekeepers
  • Combinations of two or more of these topics in one presentation.

Our speaking charge is $100 for a 45 – 90 min presentation,  plus travel costs.  (We are willing to negotiate, in some cases, for smaller groups with a limited budget.)  We love sharing about the amazing health benefits of hive resources with others! If your club, conference or event is in need of a speaker on any of these topics, please contact us at beepothecary@gmail.com  or call 1-450-2339.

 

HEALTH ~ POWERED BY BEES!

Summer of Swarms

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Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

Bees get crowded in summer days

And send out foragers looking for ways

To direct the colony to a new home.

They load their bodies with pollen  and honey

Queen and half the bees make a run for the money

Swarming off into the sky.

 

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical

We’re not sure why the bees seem to be swarming more this summer, but it is really keeping us busy.  We get one to three calls a week from people who need help with a bee swarm in their

yard, or a sudden infestation of bees in some part of their house.  My husband Steve, and his side-kick, our son Nate, have become the BEEpothecary BEE Wranglers of Groveport and SE Columbus!

Steve

Nate

Why do they do it? Free bees!  When they go out to capture swarms or clear out bees from someone’s wall or garage or eaves, they bring back the bees and add them to a hive body in our bee apiary, and we have a new hive!  When a package of bees from the south costs $95, and a small starter nucleus hive costs $125, catching swarms is a great cost saving way to increase our hive numbers!  More bees means more honey, propolis, pollen and beeswax!

Steve getting behind a gutter to find the hive.

Swarm high up in our tree. We got this one!

Why do bee hives swarm?  It is a natural tendency of bee colonies. In a natural hive in a tree or log, the bee colony will swarm whenever it runs out of room.  This is the way bees increase their numbers and their colonies in nature.  The queen bee has been kept alive all winter by her worker females creating heat by shivering their bodies in a cluster around her.  In the spring when the weather warms up, the queen starts laying eggs again and the worker bees begin collecting pollen and nectar.  As the bee population in the hive increases, and more pollen and nectar are brought in, they start running out of room in the hive.  If a beekeeper isn’t inspecting their managed hives soon enough, and adding boxes with more space, the hive will do what it is ingrained to do – swarm.

Pheromones given off by the bees direct the colony to start making swarm cells for new queens. These chemical

This swarm flew right out of the nuc box and disappeared! Bummer!

signals cause the scout bees to go out to find a new home and the forager bees to load up their bodies with pollen and honey.  Then, one day the queen and half the bees, loaded down with food, leave the hive, create a big tornado like swirl of bees in the air, and eventually land in a tree or bush, usually fairly close at first.  They rest there, until the scout bees show them where to go next.  This is not good for the beekeeper because it means you have lost half the bees in that hive.  Fewer bees mean less honey, pollen and propolis!

If you’re lucky, you see the swarm resting on a tree or busy in your yard, and can go out and capture your own swarm and put them in a new hive set up. But often, they fly away and end up in someone else’s yard, tree or house!

Nate cutting a limb with a swarm

When Steve and Nate go out swarm catching this is how they do it.  If the swarm is in a tree or bush, it’s easy – as long as it is not too high up!  All they have to do is cut the limb and shake, or just bump the limb and shake it over a “nuc box”.  This is a small cardboard box that holds 5 frames of beeswax comb for a nucleus hiv

Sometimes, the queen somehow hangs onto the limb, while the other bees fall off and into the box.  When this happens, the bees in the box won’t stay.  They fly right back up to the queen on the  limb!  So sometimes the bumping of the limb as to be done a few times, or a bee brush used gently to try to get all  the bees and the queen off the limb and into the box.  Once they get the queen in the box, all the other bees will follow her in.  They look like a miniature army marching off to war, right into the box.

 

 

If the bees have found a little tiny hole to go through to get into the eaves or the wall of someones house, it becomes a more difficult job and usually there is a charge involved for doing the

Loose bricks in historic home – an invitation for bees to build a nest!

extraction.  This usually requires a ladder, tools and the removal of part of the house – fascia board,

Bee hive in the wall behind the bricks.

gutter, soffit or sometimes even cutting out wallboard inside the house.  And if the bees are inside the house, they have already started building beeswax comb and bringing in pollen and nectar. The queen is already laying eggs. So all this must be cut out.  A lot of work, but good for us, because Steve and Nate bring home not just the queen and the bees, but also the new comb and larvae already laid.  This goes into a new hive set up in our apiary.  We rubber band the  oddly shaped beeswax comb into the wooden frames in the hive box.

Most exterminators these days don’t want to mess with extracting bees.  First of all, they know the bees are important and need to be saved, not exterminated.  But secondly, killing the bees is only part of the job.  If you don’t remove the wax comb full of nectar and pollen and larvae, it will decay, and smell and eventually

Bee hive behind fascia board and gutter.

seep through the wall board into the house!  Exterminators don’t want to

Nate getting a bee hive way up high behind gutter.

deal with that!

So, if you see a swarm, or you end up with an infestation in your home, don’t hesitate to call the BEEpothecary BEE Wranglers! 614-450-2339.

 

 

 

 

 

Steve digging out another fascia board infestation.

Getting the bees in the nuc box.

Making sure he’s got them all.

 

 

Psalm 104:

27 All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are terrified;
when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit, they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—

32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

Fall in the BEE Yard

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Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

 

Cooler nights and shorter days, 

Bring out jeans and sweaters

And change our ways.

The honey bees,

Make changes too.

Bringing in nectar,

Making lots of goo!

 

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

Fall is officially here and the nights are getting cooler but the daytime temperatures are unpredictable! The temperature can range from high 80’s to somewhere in the 50’s. We never know what to expect! But the bees’ activities this time of year, are always the same. It is time for them to get ready for the coming winter. In the fall, the bees work hard to get a last load of flower nectar into their hive, to make their honey-food for winter. The nectar comes mainly from goldenrod and asters this time of year, giving the fall honey a darker color and bolder taste, For some of us, it is the favorite of all!

20150531_144157If there is an abundance of nectar flowing and not too much rain, the bees will be able to fill up lots of frames of nectar, which they will fan with their tiny wings, to evaporate it down to sweet, dark, flavorful honey. And if they make more than what they need for winter (typically about 100 pounds), they we get to pull some honey frames off for us!! We can’t wait! The bees also collect lots of resin from the trees and use it to make extra propolis in the fall. They will use this sticky goo to seal the hive for winter, filling all the cracks and crevices with globs of propolis and covering all the surfaces with a thin layer. Propolis also kills bacteria, viruses and molds that might be present in the hive, keeping it sanitary and healthy as they hsteve-at-toyead into winter.

We made a trip out to our bee yards this week, to check on our bees and see if there was any fall honey for us.  We found some hives thriving and some sort of struggling along.  We took notes and made plans to check again in a few weeks whenjeannie-scraping the goldenrod and aster nectar flow is over.  Then, we might need to feed some of the smaller hives, to help them build up their stores for winter.  We noted some smaller hives  that may have difficulty making it through the winter.  We are thinking about trying the 2 queen method where you  place a weaker hive atop a stronger hive with 2 queen excluders and a box of honey between them.  Combining them this way allows the worker bees  from both hives to pass through the excluders to get around both hives to move take care of larvae, move honey stores around and help take care of both queens.  We will get out into our apiaries at the beginning of November to decide this, and to prepare our hives for winter.

We also found about 5 boxes of honey we can pull in a few weeks, once it is capped. We are excited about having sweet dark fall honey!   The boxes we pull off are in addition to the honey we will leave for the bees. They will need between 80 and 100 pound to eat during th
e winter so they have energy to shiver their flight muscles, generating heat to keep the queen at 93 degrees all winter!

And our best discovery working in our bee yards was finding several hives that are making tons of propolis. On one hive it was dripping down the sides!   7-oz-propolis-one-hiveWe got 7 ounces  – mostly from one hive – that was in our way and had to be removed.  Most beekeepers would be cursing it and tossing
it over their shoulder into the grass after scraping it off.  But we celebrate because we know how precious it is as a natural health substance.  It’s like gold, to us.  Our gift from the bees.  We have read propolis-isnlidscores and scores of research on propolis and know it has shown to be antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant.  We will use our propolis to make dietary supplements, skin care, shaving products, soaps, and lip balms, all fortified with propolis, because we want everyone to know about propolis and be able to have access to it.

Powered by BEES!

 

TO ALL BEEKEEPERS:

What are you doing with your propolis?  Don’t throw it away!  

Since you have to clean your hives anyway, why not make some money doing it!

We buy propolis by the pound. Save it in baggies as you clean up your equipment.  

Store it in the freezer and call us when you have a pound or more.

We will email you the instructions on how to clean it and give you a price.

We also buy: Beeswax, Honey and Pollen!

Email us:BEEpothecary@gmail.com

1 Peter 1:6-8

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

Ricotta, Honeycomb and Hazelnut with Rhubarb Compote

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BEEpothecary Logo headliner
The Land of Milk and Honey

Cooking with Honey by Laurie Dotson

My Garden is coming along. I still have a lot to do yet, but a friend reminded me that summer hasn’t even started yet! so I do still have a season still ahead.

We have been very busy with our BEES.  Our Spring honey is in!  We have pulled half of the honey from the hives and will pull more in a couple of weeks when the rest is fulling capped.

Jeannie, Me, Pete and Steve inspection one of our hives

Jeannie, Laurie, Pete and Steve inspection one of our hives

 

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Our 7 frame Flow Hive. This is our first season with this new hive and so far we are loving it! It took us 30 minute to extract 35 pounds of honey. No disrupting the hive at all.

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This is a very active hive! Extracting honey !

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Raw Delicious Spring Honey

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Steve and Pete working the Flow Hive! June 2016

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Yummy BEEpothecary Local honey order online: https://squareup.com/market/beepothecary

 
Don’t for get to Check out our Marketplace:  mkt.com/beepothecary
 
 

What to make with our new honey???  Make a something for Father’s Day

Ricotta, honeycomb and hazelnut with rhubarb compote

Honey with the comb is honey pretty much as the bees intended. The idea is to eat the whole thing, comb and all. The comb has a chewy, waxy texture and is perfectly edible, but you can discreetly discard it once you’ve sucked all the honey from it, if you prefer.

Serves 4

1 1/4 cups skin-on hazelnuts
1 1/2 ricotta
1 cup honeycomb

For the compote
5 cups rhubarb, cut into 1 in. pieces
1/4 cup white sugar

1 Preheat the oven to 335. While it’s still a little wet from being washed, add the rhubarb to an ovenproof dish and toss with the sugar. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, until tender. Leave to cool completely.

2 Turn the oven up to 350.  Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for around 5 minutes, until they are lightly golden and the skins are starting to split.

3 Tip the nuts on to a clean tea towel. Fold the towel over them and rub vigorously. This will remove most of the skins, but don’t worry if a few stubborn bits remain.

4 Divide the ricotta between shallow serving bowls. Add a spoonful of rhubarb compote to each. Break or cut your honeycomb into 4 roughly equal pieces and place on the ricotta and rhubarb, trickling over any honey that has escaped. Scatter over the hazelnuts and serve.

• Recipe supplied by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

 

Honey For Healing Newsletter

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BEE Newsletter July15BEE Newsletter July15

Verse of the Day – Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” — Isaiah 6:8

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…Church worship on Sunday is not the goal of our life here on earth. As important as church worship and personal praise are, they are only part of our goal. We are here to glorify God with both our lips and our lives, with our hearts and our hands.

Our Hives are Hoppin’!

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Psalms from the HiveIMG_5023

by Jeannie Saum

How many hives can the  honey bees make

If the bees make it through the winter?

Five hives?   Ten hives?  Fifteen? Twenty?

We’re up to twenty-one!

Swarms caught, splits made, nuc boxes full

And five boxes of honey to pull!

 

Clover, Bee, and Revery

It’s been IMG_3311quite a spring with our bees, and we feel like we are finally  getting the hang of things after 5 years of beginning beekeeping and many conferences and beekeeper meetings  where we get tons of helpful information.

 

~  ~  ~  ~

 

 

 

At the Dotson Apiary, they had four  hives make it through the winter an20150522_104446d these were thriving and multiplying in early spring.  In the Saum Apiary, we had three make it, but they started the spring out kind of small and weak.  We were happy with the survival rate, compared to last year.

 

~  ~  ~  ~

1413393049315

At the Saum Apiary, we had  a small disaster in the last snow and wind storm in February.  Our tarp wind break broke loose at one end and whipped around in the wind, knocking off the covers of three hives.  We didn’t find this out for several hours, so those bees probably succumbed to the cold and lack of protection.

 

~  ~  ~  ~

swarm

 

We’ve been out in our hives every two weeks, installed four new nuc (5 frame starter hives from an experienced beekeeper with overwintered bees and queens), caught a swarm from one of our hives, captured a swarm after a call from a neighbor, and made five hive splits from the Dotson’s booming hives and started 3 nucs with queen cells we found.

 

~  ~  ~  ~

beeframes DR

 

beeframesbuilding

We’ve also been building massive amounts of  extra equipment – boxes and frames – so we have extra boxes to put on our hives as they grow and make honey during the summer and fall.  Our daughter said our dining room looks like a bee supply company threw up in it!

 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

 

And next week, we will have five boxes of spring honey to harvest!  We’ll keep you posted as to when that is ready!

 

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And remember, BEEpothecary is back open for business, with a 15% off coupon code  reopen15.  Get to our online market with the tab at the top of the page “Our Products”

Jeremiah 31

10“Hear the word of the Lord, you nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’
11 For the Lord will deliver Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.
12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord
the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.
13 Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
14 I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty,” declares the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer of Swarms, Sales, Sweat, Snares, and Bee Wrangling

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Active heathy, hive box

Active heathy, hive box

Bees swarm

When we fail to brave the heat

To check on them

Chickens swoon to thieving raccoons

when doors don’t close in the dark

Cook and sell, travel and prosthelytize

Snare those bees, raccoons and possums

Wrangle some bees in the trees

All too soon, summer’s over.

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

 

BEEpothecary kept us so busy all spring and summer, that I haven’t written about our ventures and adventures in months.  It was a juggling act to keep up with the growing business and still take care of our bees and chickens!  With BEEpothecary, we did festivals and conferences in Delaware, Gahanna,  Oxford, Delaware Arts Festival Lithopolis, and Findlay, Ohio, and East Lansing and Frankenmuth, Michigan.  We spent a whirlwind three days in the Bee Pavilion at the Ohio State Fair and participated in Gay Street’s Moonlig20140905_113157ht Market several times. We also added products to three new stores and have had a wonderful increase  in online sales.  It is exciting and gratifying when people write or come back to see us and say, “Your products do exactly what you said they would do!” More important to us than anything else is that people can benefit from the amazing things made by bees, and that these products might help someone when nothing else has worked.

 

~   ~   ~   ~   ~

 

Since we lost allIMG_1450 our hives but one, between our two apiaries,  we needed to replace and rebuild this past spring.  Keeping the bees is integral to our business and mission.  We got 2 nucs in early spring for each family, that were bursting at the seams.  We had to take a last trip outIMG_1448 to Kansas right at this time, for the final clean out of my mom’s home, so Laurie and Pete had to install our nucs into full-sized hives, as well as their own.  Everything went fine until the last hive install at our house.  This nuc was full to the brim and hot!  Laurie got chased down the driveway, ripping her hat, veil and clothes off!  She ended up with several stings!

IMG_1448

~   ~   ~   ~   ~   2014phone 540

We also ordered two bee packages and Ohio queens for both families.  Pete and Laurie got some Russian bees to try another strain.  When we picked them up, we found that the Ohio queens had not been available.  Disappointing.

Pete and Laurie installed some of their bees in two top bar hives that took off well.  Pete had built them with viewing windows and it was neat to watch the bees  build and develop the hives.  But  in less than one  week after putting in our package bees, one of the Dotson’s hives just absconded!  They actually were outside and saw it happen.  Then didn’t swarm, they just flew into the air, swirled around for a bit and then took off into the beyond.  They were so disappointed.  It’s hard to see over $100 in bees fly off into Neverland!

~ ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

The rest of our hives grew quickly, though, and we had a great spring and early summer.  And then the swarming started, en masse!  I think we had about 3 swarms a week for about 3 weeks in a row, between the Saums, Dotsons and our friends down the street.  Fortunately, the swarms landed nearby – mostly in our little trees out front, or in our son’s yard, next door to some beekeeping friends!

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Steve and I were able to capture most of our swarms, since they landed in our little fruit trees.  Pete and Laurie had a few swarms, too, so we’d trade the swarms we caught and put them into hive boxes in the other apiary.  And for the swarms of our friends, that ended up in son, Nate’s, tall tree, so we had to call on him several times, to climb a ladder and capture a swarm!  Young adult sons are very handy.  We are so glad we let him live past 12 years old!!

Taking care of bees a hot sweaty job in the summer!  We aren’t brave enough to handle the bees without our gear on.  The extra layer – jacket, pants, helmet veil and gloves – makes quite a sweat box!  You can’t wipe your brow, your glasses slip down your nose, and you can’t take a drink of water without taking off your hat and veil!  We found we could only work on two or three hives at a time, and then take a break.  I don’t know how these beekeepers with 200+ hive, do it!

~   ~   ~   ~1414247547910   ~

Steve and Nate were even called upon twice, to come “wrangle” some bees in cut down trees.  They brought home two big logs full of bees, by screwing boards over each end to cover up the holes, loading them into the truck with a farmer’s front loader, or by brute strength, and bringing them home.  The ne20141015_131628xt step was to suck them out with a modified shop vac – a baffle to cut down on the suction so the bees didn’t end up – SPLAT! – on the inside of the shop vac.  But then an experienced beekeeper suggested just putting a hive box with a few honey frames in it on top of each log.  This would entice the bees and the queen to move up into the box and start laying there.  Much easier!  So that’s what we did.  We’re overwintering them this way!

Half way through the summer, one of the Dotson’s top bar colony’s just disappeared and shortly afterward, the other one was overcome by hive moths.  This was a disappointing loss to an interesting project.   It seems like we had swarms of swarms as the summer progressed!  When people asked us how many hives we had, we couldn’t remember, the number had changed so many times!  We got to  harvest honey mid summer and then again in early fall.  All in all, I think we ended up with over 400 pounds of honey!

And then there were the chicken adventures.  Laurie wanted more chickens and got pullets to raise in a box in the garage, 2 different times, two different ages. .  But once they got full-grown every time she tried to put the new ones in the coop with the old ones, all hell broke loose!  They pecked one poor little 2014phone 632hen to death, and Laurie called the combining effort quits.  This meant, she had to make a second coop for the younger birds, quick, since they had outgrown the box in the garage!  She made a stationary one out of pallets, that was really quite nice, but lacked a door.  In order to get eggs, or add water, she had to climb in and out of it each day!  Eventually she decided to get rid of the older birds to a good home and put the younger ones in the movable coop!

We, on the other hand, had a different kind of problem – predators.  Since we had 25 birds, we really didn’t notice for a few weeks that our flock was shrinking.  We saw no evidence of critters at first.  But then, one day, we found a

They always expect a treat and love popcorn!

They always expect a treat and love popcorn!

half-eaten chicken, in the coop, and realized that the automatic door was not closing at night and a critter was getting in.  By the time we realized this, we had lost 8 birds!  And of course this happened at a time we were scrambling to prepare product and running to shows. So I fixed the auto closer, while Steve got the live trap  ready!  It took only one night to snare a big, fat, well-fed raccoon!  We  read in the paper that week, that it was the season for all the young adult critters to leave their parents and head out on their own.  Evidently raccoons and possums were becoming a problem in town, too.  Interestingly, we read that it was against the law to relocate the critters!  Guess you are not allowed to pass your problem on to someone else!!  So, Steve dispatched that nasty, chicken-eating raccoon!

Since Pete and Laurie have a dog, they don’t have to worry much about critters getting to their chickens.  Rowdy usually takes care of wild critters who wander into his territory, and often brings his snared prize to the back door steps as a gift!  One day, he laid a big possum on the back steps and then lay inside  at the door, in the cool air conditioning “guarding: his catch outside!  And just before “Daddy” Pete came home, he moved his prize possum into Pete’s parking space in the driveway!  A proud hunter!  Thought sometimes, not too smart.  More than once, Rowdy unwisely tangled with a skunk and had to have many tomato juice and peroxide baths for his error! Never did see a prized skunk body on the back steps at the Dotsons’!IMG_1875

Somehow, we made it through the summer of swarms, sales, sweat, snares, and bee wrangling – with 12 hives (I think),  23 chickens, a growing business and a dear friendship still intact! Praise God for his blessings and strength!

2 Samuel 22

31“As for God, his way is perfect:  the e Lord’s word is flawless;  he shields all who take refuge in him.

32 For who is God besides the Lord?    And who is the Rock except our God?

33 It is God who arms me with strength  and keeps my way secure.

34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;  he causes me to stand on the heights.

35 He trains my hands for battle;  my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

36 You make your saving help my shield;  your help has made[i] me great.

37 You provide a broad path for my feet,  so that my ankles do not give way

 

 

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