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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!

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Customer Successes Using BEE Rescue

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Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

How can people not believe

That God did not create these little bees

Who create perfect hexagonal beeswax cells

And make treasures in the hive that can treat people’s ills?

 

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

 

We’ve been sharing some customer stories and pictures for several years at fairs and festivals, telling about their successes using propolis on wounds.  Though the pictures can be found on our Facebook page, it recently occurred to me that we have never shared them on this blog, where you can see the pictures AND read the story.  So, today, I am going to do this and here is a warning:

 IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH ABOUT WOUND PICTURES, THEN SKIP THIS BLOG ENTRY. DO NOT SCROLL DOWN ANY FURTHER!

Now that you have been forewarned, if you want to see and hear about some amazing success stories about the Power of Propolis, keep reading.

Customer Story #1

Laurie heard on FaceBook about an old high school friend who had undergone elbow surgery and was having difficulty getting the little 2″ wound to heal.  It had been 2 months since the surgery, the doctors had tried all kinds of treatments, yet the wound was still gaping open and weeping.  This fellow, a law enforcement officer, was using up all his sick leave. Laurie sent him a tube of our BEE Rescue to try. He took pictures for us to document what happened.

2 month old elbow surgical wound

 

This is what his wound looked like after 2 months of treatment by his doctors, trying to get this to close up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wound had closed up after five days of using BEE Rescue Cream.

 

 

He got the BEE Rescue and started using it, applying three times a day. He was able to go back to work at this point.

 

 

 

 

 

Wound after one moth of treatment with BEE Rescue

 

 

He continued using the BEE Rescue Cream and took this picture after one month.  He said he continued to use the BEE Rescue Cream after this and said it  diminished the scar into a almost indiscernible line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer Story #2

Larry, a 60 something diabetic was working on his running lawnmower one day a few summers ago, when he fell over it.  he gashed his calf open and had to be rushed to the ER.  He received 20+ stitches.  Three weeks later, he called and asked for BEE Rescue.  At this point, his wound was black, oozing infection and gangrenous. It was strongly recommended that he go to the hospital, but he refused.  He stated he was going to use the propolis cream.  He also volunteered to have his wife take a picture each week to document his progress.

Larry’s leg wound 3 weeks after falling over a running lawnmower

 

 

 

This is what his wound looked like before he started using BEE Rescue Cream.

 

 

Larry’s wound after one week of twice a day BEE Rescue Cream dressing.

 

 

 

Larry had his wife put BEE Rescue Cream on his wound twice a day an re-bandage it.  This is the result, after one week!  All the gangrenous tissue is gone.
The infection is gone and a soft scab is starting to form. AMAZING! And look at the skin around the wound.  It looks better, too.

 

 

Larry’s leg after 4 weeks with BEE Rescue put on 2 times a day.

 

 

They continued to put BEE Rescue Cream on the wound twice a day.

 

 

 

 

Pretty amazing transformation using BEE Rescue Cream for 10 weeks.

 

 

And here it is after 10 weeks, with twice a day Bee Rescue Cream treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer #3

A young couple bought BEE Rescue from us at a festival a few years ago.  They used it on their chickens, on pecking wounds.  Here are the before and after pictures, 5 days apart.

Chicken with pecking wound on head

 

Chicken head wound after 5 days of BEE Rescue Cream treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to read more about propolis for treating hard to heal wounds go to this research study: Propolis for Poor and Chronic Non-Healing Wounds.

Psalm 147

Praise the Lord.How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.

 

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 SRIRACHA ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

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The Land of Milk and Honey

Cooking with Honey

by Laurie Dotson 
roasted Brussel sprouts
 
Fall days are wonderful, here in our household.  We are very laid back. Enjoying the changing of the seasons. Tho’ this fall has been pretty darn mild. I’m not complaining at all. The bees are still coming and going and chickens don’t have to have a heat lamp or a ice melter in the coop.  Dogs are running around the property as if they were puppies. Gosh, It makes you say Thank you God and fire up the grill! With the cooler nights and the fall produce at every farmstand calling my name. I decided to grill a couple of steaks along with Roasted brussel sprouts with honey and sriracha. 
It’s that perfectly, delicious dish that fits into my diet. Calorie counting…I have 10 pounds to go. I love food so what goes in my mouth must be worth the count!  This meal counts…when we go out to a restaurant, everyone shares off of each other’s plates. How else will you get to try so many different kinds of dishes.Right!?  We found this dish at a local restaurant in town and this is my take  or make on the recipe. So tonight we are Grilling Steaks and ROASTing BRUSSELS SPROUTS w/ HONEY & SRIRACHA. 
…By the time the sprouts were roasted, mixed and served, my sweet husband was only able to fork 3 brussels sprouts before the dish was gone.  I could not stop the the humming , yumming and inhaling that took place. I saw nothing but the sprouts and they saw nothing but my mouth.  Poor Poor Husband…I gave him the other half my steak, which I was to full to eat… he graciously ate the steak. Here is my version of this fabulous dish!  Try it and enjoy! 

HONEY SRIRACHA ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

40 mins  Serves: 4 servings

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 1½ pounds Brussels sproutsBrussel sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika powder
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • dash of lime pepper
  • 1 tablespoon srirachasriracha
  • 3 tablespoons beepothecary honey
  • 1 lime, juiced

INSTRUCTIONS : Preheat oven to 400°F.IMG_4478

Cut off the stem end of the sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Cut large sprouts in half.

In a small bowl mix together kosher, salt, onion powder, paprika, garlic, and lime pepper. Place sprouts in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season generously with Kosher salt mixture. Toss to coat. Place in a single layer on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes, shaking the pan a few times throughout the cooking process, until crisp and golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside.

Meanwhile;  combine sriracha, honey, and lime in a small bowl. Season with Kosher salt.

Remove sprouts from oven, transfer to large bowl, and drizzle with honey sriracha sauce. Toss lightly to coat and serve immediately.

Now that dinner is served. You can get online and finish your christmas shopping.
Go to BEEpothecary website and find the perfect gifts for that special someone. Check out our gift sets and Don’t forget to use the discount code 10NL15 to get %10 your entire order.

BEEpothecary Logo BEE 2X2

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 9.31.01 PMIMG_5515

Christmas BEE w antler

Happy Holidays, Happy hanukkah and Merry Christmas to you and yours!  From Steve, Jeannie, Pete and Laurie

 

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.

 

~  ~  ~  ~

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucking in our Bees for Winter

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Should we or should we notmuskoka trip day3 374

Insulate the hive and top?

Feed them syrup?

Block the wind?

What’s the best way 

For us to tend?

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

Last year ago in the fall, we argued back and forth about what to do to our bees to prepare for winter.  Just as every beekeeper you talk to has different ideas about how to prepare hives for winter, so, too, Steve and I had differing opinions.  We had lost 2 out of 4 the previous winter, and I thought we should do something proactive to the hives.  Steve, on the other hand, felt that if bees can survive in nature, in a tree, through the winter, that the less done to them the better.  Round and round we went over this.  Our county bee inspector came in the fall, and he felt the hives looked good, and that even the small hive might make it, since they would need less honey stores.  He made a few recommendations about how many boxes to reduce down to and how many frames of honey they would need.  In the end, Steve’s way won out.  We did nothing except leave honey in the hives and feed them some sugar syrup in the fall.

Winter came with a vengeance last winter, as you all may remember.  We had long periods of time with temperatures well below freezing, many days of below zero weather, lots of wind and snow.  Then suddenly, for a day or two, it would warm up to the 50’s and then – Wham! – back to below zero.  This weather played havoc on trees, shrubs, perennials and the bees.  

Bees stay warm in the winter by forming a tightly packed cluster around the queen.  By quivering their flight muscles to generate heat, they keep their cluster and the queen in the middle at close to a toasty 90º!  The bees in the outer layer stay between 48º to 57º.  The bees on the outer layer eat honey from the frames for energy, then move toward the center to get warmer, while the bees in the core move toward the outside to get honey.  But if the body temperature grows colder than 48º, they can’t move their flight muscles, and fall off the cluster and die.

Last winter, with the wildly fluctuating temperatures and the periods of bitter cold, our bees did not fair well.  When the weather warms up to 50º, the bees break cluster and go out for a cleansing flight (they do not defecate in the hive).  Then when the temperature drops rapidly to below freezing, as it did last winter, the bees often can not get the cluster formed and warmed quickly enough.  We lost all but one hive at both the Saum’s  and the Dotson’s apiaries.  We were bummed!  At $95 for a package of bees, beekeeping is an expensive endeavor, especially when they die every winter.

So, this year, Jeannie will get her way.  Doing nothing last winter resulted in a 92% loss, so th20140615_135218is year, we’re doing it my way!!  I wanted to try several things we have heard about at beekeeping conference we’ve been to this past year.  Steve and I made hive blankets on day on my lovely dining room table!  These are shallow boxes with a screen bottom and filled with wood chips.  They go on the top of the hive to catch condensation dripping from the lid.  This condensation  forms in the winter when the heated air from the cluster rises and hits the cold lid of the hive.  If this moisture drips on the bees, they die.  So we are hoping this blanket of wood chips will absorb the moisture and keep the bees dry.

One day in early November, Laurie and I went out and wrapped hives in black roofing tar paper, while Steve cooked more  sugar syrup for the bees.  The black paper helps the hive stay warm through solar gain from the sun on the black paper.  We had intended to staple the tar paper on with our pneumatic stapler, but found it went right through the paper.  So we ended up tying it on with string around the hive.   We added buckets of more syrup to feed until the temperature dropped below freezing, and then moved on to Laurie and Pete’s apiary to do the same.

A few weeks later, we added Styrofoam sheets inside the lids, to further insulate, and drilled a top entrance hole in each hive to help with ventilation – to further control the moisture.  Steve and I also added a T-post and tarp wind break about 3 feet behind the hives, on the west side.

I’ve heard a beekeeper say that the bees are dying  a “death by a thousand cuts” – meaning that there are so many factors that hurt the bees from pollution to pesticides to weather, to lack of forage to viruses and mites, ,.   Hopefully, we have reduced the “cuts” a bit by preparing our hives with these winterizing tactics and are giving our bees a little better chance.

And now we wait…

 

 Deuteronomy 30

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.

16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them,

18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

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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