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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.

 

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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!

1413393049315

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

 

 

What I Want to Do When I Grow Up

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

gardening

gardening

What do I want to do when I grow up?

My answer always was

Grow flowers and herbs,

Make wreaths and such

But bees and chickens?

Not even a thought!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

 

For many, many,  years, as a second grade teacher, I did a get-to-know-you activity with my students during the first week of school.  We designed All About Me T-shirts (on paper), adding different pictures and details about ourselves, to share with other classmates.  One section was to draw a picture of what they wanted to do when they grew up.  I always did a shirt design, too, and the kids thought it was funny that I drew something for “what I want to do when I grow up”.  I explained to them, that mine referred to when I retired, and could choose what I wanted to do with that part of my life.  What did I draw?  – always something to represent herbs,  flowers, and wreaths.  I saw myself growing herbs and making dried arrangements and wreaths with my herbs and everlasting flowers – something I loved doing, but just never seemed to have time for while teaching.

chickweed to harvest

chickweed to harvest

So here I am, 2 years retired, and what do I find myself doing?  I’m out in the garden, planting and weeding and harvesting herbs and flowers!  But not for making wreaths and dried arrangements.  Instead, it’s for use use in our BEEpothecary products, to compliment the amazing bee propolis!  It hit me today, as I was out harvesting lemon balm, oregano,  calendula, comfrey, lovage, thyme, mint and yarrow,  that I AM doing pretty much what I said I wanted to do when I grew up!  Pretty cool!  Of course the beekeeping and making beehive products were not even a blip on the radar when I was teaching.  The beehive products and a business to boot, not even an idea in our minds when we first got bees!  We just wanted pollination for our gardens and some honey!  Little did we know that some reading and research would lead us in this direction.  Our BEEpothecary adventure is an exciting, unanticipated addition to this next phase of life.

I’ve used herbs myself medicinally, for years, when doctors couldn’t help me or traditional medicine didn’t work.  And I’ve grown herbs and flowers for decades, but never really did much with them, because I just didn’t have time.  The harvest usually came in late August, right when I was heading back to the grind of getting ready for a new school year.  This year, with a great

Starting our herb infused oils

Starting our herb infused oils

A big batch of lemon balm in olive oil

A big batch of lemon balm in olive oil

spring and summer of warmth and rain, I ‘ve been able to harvest my herbs once already,  and today – a beautiful 75 degrees – I was able to harvest them a second time.  And Laurie has quite a garden going, from which we will get even more herbs to use.   It’s a good thing, too, since our business has grown to the point that we are now making 5 gallon pickle buckets full of herb-infused oils!  We’re going to need a lot to get us through the winter months!  It gives me great satisfaction to be able to use these natural treasures to make useful skin care and health products that others can benefit from.  Making things from something you have helped grow with your own hands and sweat and toil, is quite satisfying.  And working with God’s bountiful and beautiful creations – the plants and the bees and the animals –  always leaves me awestruck.

Now tomorrow, the plan is to clean out the chicken coop, after practicing the deep bedding method all fall and winter and spring – which means nine

chickens?

chickens?

months of layers of straw, chicken poop, wood shavings and more chicken poop.  Now this task should be interestingly awful –  but awestruck, NO!  I will be donning my muck boots and gloves and probably a mask to do this!  But I guess it is the price to pay after benefiting from God’s little chickens and their yummy eggs for all these months.  I’ll let you know if I survive!

 

 

 

Jeremiah 29

10This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.

11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

 

Busy Bees, Busy Times and Good News for Busy People

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Bees and people buzzin’

Makin’ lots of new

Traveling, building gathering

And of course, tasting, too!

News of healing warms us.

Wounds, infections, and more stuff.

BEE treasures bless us!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

 

Our new bees are installed and thriving.  They have been busy this spring bringing in stores of nectar and pollen, building comb and making honey, all so their queen can lay eggs.  We will reap the benefits of their hard work by collecting pollen and honey from the hives in the very near future.   We have been busy as well, making our bee-treasure- laden products and visiting markets and festivals.  We can be found at Pearl Market, downtown, every Friday from 10:30-2:00, through June.  We recently traveled to Delaware, Ohio for their great Arts Festival, and will be teaching about Hive Treasures and selling our wares at the Ohio State Beekeepers Conference at Miami University this coming weekend.

Along the way, we have gotten some great positive feedback from customers who’ve had success with our bee-hive products.  We met a couple at the Delaware Arts Festival who bought Pet and Poultry Wound Salve to try on their young chicken pullets, who had been pecked badly by the flock.  Mehgan recently wrote to us to report their success.

“I met you (along with my husband) last weekend at Delaware. We purchased some propolis and wound salve for our chickens. We’ve been using it on two of our pullets that were picked on. One had a dime sized wound and the other had a 1″ cut in her neck, both to the bone. We have been using the wound salve daily and the pullet with the dime size wound has completely healed after 6 days. The wound was deep enough that you could see her skull and at this point she just needs her feathers to grow back! The other pullet’s skin has fused and all signs of necrosis and infection are gone. The wound was very bad but is healing faster than we had hoped!  Just wanted to share the positive news!”

They took before and after pictures of one of their birds.

"before " picture of wound

“before ” picture of wound

"after" Propolis treatment

“after” Propolis treatment

 

Mehgan reports,

“The “before” picture was taken 3 days after she was attacked.  The wound was completely through the skin and to her muscle.  She was given the wound salve for 1 week and the after picture is 2 days after we stopped putting the salve on. ”

  • A family our daughter was working with had success in healing up a dinner-plate-sized bedsore on their son’s back with wound salve.
  •   A friend of ours called to thank us for the great wound salve, that gave her relief from an itchy rash on her legs that were keeping her from sleeping.  She got instant relief when she remembered to use the wound salve!
  • A couple who bought propolis oil at the Pearl Alley Market, to treat their little dog’s ear infection came by the next week, to tell us it had worked.
  • Another lady tried our propolis oil sample on a wound when we were at Pearl Alley market 2 weeks ago.  She came back to buy some this past Friday, due to the improvement of her wound!

People are finding out, what we already know – PROPOLIS IS AMAZING!

 Psalm 18

30 As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless;he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.

 

BEE-Power – Propolis for Chickens and Other Feathered Friends

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Grown Up Girl

Propolis for feathered friends?

Absolutely!  It’s amazing!

Use it on their little legs

Or down their beaks

For soothing!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

If you don’t yet know what propolis is, from visiting our blog – here’s the short, sweet version.  Propolis is a  sticky  substance made by the honeybees from tree resin they collect from buds and bark.  They use it to sterilize their hive by coating all surfaces with it.  Over 50 years of research has shown that it has amazing healing effects – it is antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant.   It is used all over the world for its medicinal and healing properties.

Our website is dedicated to bringing you valid information about this amazing natural substance and citing research to back it up.  Recently, we had a question about using propolis for our pets and farm animals.  So, here is our first installment on propolis for animals – a   (rather dry) compilation of research on propolis’ use to treat birds – our feathered pets and poultry.  If you don’t need all the (paraphrased) medical jargon and cited research, just skip to the last two paragraphs for the down and dirty!

ParakeetPropolis is a safe anti-viral and anti-bacterial treatment that can be used with avians.  Its beneficial and safe action on the immune system make it useful as a  prophylactic  treatment, as well.   Propolis contains amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and can be a  valuable food supplement.
The Department of Biochemistry at Oxford University and School of Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton did studies on the use of propolis to treat avian  infections  caused by three types of bacteria – gram-positive Bacillus subtillis, gram negative E-coli and Rhodobacter sphaeroides.  Propolis was shown to be effective against these bacteria.

Herpes simplex type-1 (HSV-1) or a mutant strain, is thought to be  responsible for many herpes-type symptoms in animals and birds.   Scientific tests showed that propolis was three percent more effective against HSV-1 than “synthetic” drug treatment, without the harmful side effect!  The Oxford University report concluded that propolis may  have an important anti-inflammatory effect and that the substance  can strongly effect a positive immune and inflammatory response.

One hundred and six strains of S. aureus were tested with propolis  and all of them were susceptible to 0.5-1.0 mg propolis/ml.  Strains resistant antibiotics were also successfully treated with propolis (Shub, et al, 1981).  Propolis was shown to be effective against S. epidermidis  in a study by Glinnik and Gapanovich, 1981.CAM00001

The antiviral activity of propolis was shown as effective against some avian viruses  –  infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), reovirus (RV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), larngotracheitis virus (LTV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV). This study was carried out and reported by A. G. Hegazi1, F. K. Abd El Hady and A.A. Faraghli, Departments of Zoonotic Diseases and Chemistry of Natural Products, National Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt and the Animal Health Research Institute, Dokki, Giza, Egypt, 2008.

.
Studies on  Liver Protective in Chicken by  Giurgea et al. in 1981, 1982, 1984   and Giurgea et al ., 1982 reported that daily administration of a .02% propolis extract to chickens for 15 days increased plasma total protein and gamma -globulin content,  changed the blood concentration of cholesterol, transaminase (ALT & AST), amino acids, reduced  the glycogen level, and  increased  the myofibril, protein fraction and muscle total protein   They suggested  that propolis had an anabolic effect, which means the process of metabolism in which simple building blocks of energy are synthesized into the complex tissues of organisms. So in other words, propolis has a positive effect on the metabolism, helping to use energy to make new tissue.  Propolis also stimulates the body’s immune response.

In a study done by Teterev, in 1998, propolis was shown to protect against paratyphoid fever of ducks by feeding with a 50 % propolis water extract.  This study also showed wound healing with a 5% solution of propolis in oil.  In a study by Krell in 1996, propollis was shown effective in weight gain programs for  egg-laying hens.  Sforcin’s study in 2007 showed that propolis can stimulate higher antibody production, when used along with vaccines.

Fresh from the hen house!

Fresh from the hen house!

A study by Duran Ozkok, Kaan M. Iscan and Sibel Silici, 2013. Effects of Dietary Propolis Supplementation on Performance and Egg Quality in Laying Hens. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 2013 showed that treating chickens with propolis did not cause any negative effect on performance, egg quality or survival rate. 

The Down and Dirty Summary

Propolis is being used by veterinarians and owners to treat pet birds and poultry  for infection, viruses, inflammation, gastrointestinal upset, lung conditions, skin conditions, wounds, and burns.  It is also being used as a health supplement, to increase immunity and as a preventative.  Propolis is a botanically-based, natural substance that is safe to use without the harmful side effects of artificially made medicines.  It does not affect the healthy organisms and tissue in the body while working against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and inflammation.

BEEpothecary Propolis Tincture

Hive and Honey BEEpothecary Propolis Tincture

Propolis tincture and infused oil (which can be found through “Our Products” page can be given to your feathered friends orally to treat internal ailments like gastrointestinal problems (vomiting, diarrhea), lung problems (coughing, wheezing) colds, and viruses or for preventative supplement. Our propolis tincture and oil is a 10% solution.  Since birds are considerably smaller,  1-4% solutions are what has been used in research cited.  Our recommendation is to dilute each dose with water – 1 part propolis tincture or oil to between 2.5 and  10 parts water.

                                     

                 example:  2 drops of propolis tincture and 5 drops of water = a 4% solution; 

                                   2 drops of propolis tincture and 20 drops of water = 1%

We are considering making  an animal strength propolis in the future, but for now, you’ll have to dilute our human strength propolis oil and tincture!   Propolis wound salve can be used on your birds externally for cuts, wounds, rashes and burns. It doesn’t matter if the origin is bacterial, viral or fungal – propolis will take care of it all!Propolis & Herb Wound salve

So, the next time your pet bird or poultry is sick – try propolis!

HEALTH – POWERED BY BEES – for our feathered friends, too!

Psalm 8

Lord, our Lord,   how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants  you have established a stronghold against your enemies,  to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,  the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,  human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels  and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,

the birds in the sky,  and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,  how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Winter Chores on Our Mini Farm

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Though retired, we’re still havin’ trouble

Keeping up with the chores, We’ll have to redouble

Our efforts to keep chickens fed and watered,

Egg gathered, washed and put in cartons.

Then there’s the bees, about all we can do

Is pray them through until next spring!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

Rain Barrel wrapped in insulation and plastic

Rain Barrel wrapped in insulation and plastic

The worst of winter hit Ohio early this year with three weeks of snow and some bitter cold nights in early December.  We outfitted our chicken coop with a heat lamp and thermostat, a rain barrel watering system wrapped with heat tape and run through the wall with a washing machine hose to an automatic pet watering dish with float.  This sits on

auto-pet watering bowl fed by heat tape wrapped washing machine hose, sitting on metal oil pan with light bulb under it

auto-pet watering bowl fed by heat tape wrapped washing machine hose, sitting on metal oil pan with light bulb under it

an upside down metal oil pan fitted with an incandescent light bulb to keep the water unfrozen when it gets really cold.

We’ve also added a timer and light to come on from 4 am to 8 am to supplement their light on short winter days.  This helps them keep laying at full capacity, so  we still get 18-20 eggs a day from our 20 red hens.

heat lamp connected to thermostat, light connected to timer

heat lamp connected to thermostat, light connected to timer

I also decided, a few weeks ago, to block off the bottom row of nest boxes that were on the floor level.  We had

Bottom next boxes blocked off, now laying in second row up

Bottom next boxes blocked off, now laying in second row up

re-purposed a shelving unit into 15 nest boxes, but the 20 chickens only use two or three to lay all their eggs – and it’s always the bottom ones.  That means we have to bend way down to collect eggs out of the lowest boxes.  I decided I’m too old for that!  So I screwed some thin plywood boards over the bottom nests so they can’t use them.  Problem solved!  Now they are using the next row up!  As I’ve said before, we are lazy farmers and have tried to set things up so some chores don’t have to be done every day!

Today, since we had a bit of a heat-wave, we went out to quickly finish some of the fall chores we missed, and tweak a few problem areas.   Our chicken watering system had leaked a little and made some of the straw wet, so we headed out to the coup with some wrenches and feed.  The girls are always excited to see us and expect a treat.  They squawk loudly and chase us around, pecking at our shoes.  We hauled out wet hay, tightened the leaky connection, refilled their food and re- duct taped the black plastic covering our insulated rain barrel, since the wind had blown it off.

They always expect a treat and love popcorn!

They always expect a treat and love popcorn!

Next, we headed out to our apiary of 4 hives.  One thing we didn’t get done in late fall was removing the hive top feeders from our beehives before the winter snow hit. We loosened the top and box feeder on the top of each hive, quickly took them off and sneaked a quick peek before putting the inner cover and lid back on.  We were excited to find live bee clusters in all 4 hives!  They’ve made it so far!  We left 2 boxes of honey on each hive to feed them over the winter.  The bees cluster together and vibrate  their wings to create enough heat to keep the queen in the middle warm at 85 – 90 degrees!  They work hard doing this all winter, moving in and out in the cluster to get warm and need lots of honey for energy.  I learned something new at a fall beekeepers’ meeting – that the bees don’t heat the inside of the hive.  They only heat the cluster.  For this reason, many beekeepers suggest not insulating the hive.  Insulation can create air flow problems that causes moisture to collect and drip on the bees, and they’ll die.  The bees can take the cold, but not being wet.

cluster of bees under the inner cover

cluster of bees under the inner cover

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Another thing I learned recently was, that when it snows we must make sure the lower entrance does not get clogged with snow and ice.  This can happen even if the snow isn’t that deep and create airflow and moisture problems.  So I’ve been stopping at the hives on my trips down the driveway, when we’ve had a snow, to clear off the entrance ledges.  So far, so good.

~  ~  ~  ~

Bees carry out the dead to the entrance ledge.

Bees carry out the dead to the entrance ledge.

Psalm 65

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,  God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,
who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength,
who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain,  for so you have ordained it.
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.

Peeling Fresh Eggs – It CAN be Done!

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Eggs, eggs and more eggs!

Laying here and there.

For sale sign went up today

And a potful boiling on the stove.

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

 

Fresh from the hen house!

Fresh from the hen house!

I am here to testify, that my Hive and Honey partner, Laurie Dotson, has discovered a successful way to prepare and peel fresh hard boiled eggs!  All over the Internet, there are suggestions for how to do.  But all the responses say, “Unsuccessful!”  “Can’t be done!”

Well, I can’t take credit for this method, but I will verify that it really works!  Did it yesterday with a dozen fresh eggs right out of our backyard coop!  Got all the shells off and the eggs left in one piece – pretty enough to make deviled eggs out of, though that was not my intent.  Just wanted some yummy egg salad for a sandwich for lunch!

Here’s Laurie’s fool-proof method of preparing fresh hard boiled eggs so they will peel.

  1. Double boiler to steam eggs

    Double boiler to steam eggs

    Put a half pot of hot water on the stove to boil.

  2. Put your eggs in a steaming basket or add-on double boiler, ABOVE the water.
  3. Bring water to boil, and STEAM the eggs for 20 minutes.
  4. Take eggs off the stove, pour out boiling water and run pan under cold water to cool off.
  5. Fill cooled pot about 1/4 full of water, add lots of ice, and put the eggs in the ICE WATER to cool.
  6. When cool, crack the eggs, and start peeling, being sure to get under the membrane as you peel.  The shells should come right off, leaving the whites in one piece!
Ice bath to cool

Ice bath to cool

Try it for yourself and see.  I’m a believer!  And it’s a good thing it works, because with 21 chickens, we have more eggs than we know what to do with!  Quiche two nights ago, egg salad yesterday, and I sense some deviled eggs coming on tonight!

John 3

12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.

14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up

15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

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