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Research on Propolis Lip Balm

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A human research study was done in October of 2017 to test 0.5% Propolis in Lip Balm versus Aciclovir Cream 5% for patients with Herpes sores – fever blisters and cold sores.  189 patients used Propolis Cream and 190 patients were treated with Aciclovir Cream.  Application was made five times a day.

 

Image result for generic lip balm

Propolis  extract lip balm 0.5% was found superior in the treatment of episodes of Herpes labialis over Aciclovir Cream 5% in patients.  Encrustation or epithelization of the sores (crusting over, closing up, forming a scab) occurred a day sooner (4 days) with the Propolis Lip Balm.  In addition, there were significant faster improvements of the pain, burning, itching, tension and swelling with the propolis lip balm versus the Aciclovir Cream.

 

The research was published at ScienceDirect.com and is linked here:   Current Therapeutic Research

 

Once again, BEE Powered ingredients show superior results than the use of pharmaceuticals!

Health ~ Powered by BEES

 

Psalm 71:23

My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered.

Speakers Available!

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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!

Propolis for Alzheimer’s Disease

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Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

Food and water, drugs and air

Can add to our demise.

Natural things from nature and bees

Might be a blessing in disguise.

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

One of the characteristics of propolis is its ability to act as an antioxidant in the body.  This means it has the ability to removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism. Oxidative stress occurs when an oxygen molecule splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons, which are called free radicals.  This causes damage to cells, proteins and DNA. Free radicals are associated with human disease, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and many others. Substances that generate free radicals can be found in the food we eat, the medicines we take, the air we breathe and the water we drink. and include things like fried foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, pesticides and air pollutants. Scientist are doing research to find out if propolis can be an effective treatment for stopping or slowing down the damage caused by the process of oxidative stress.

One study called, “Effect of propolis flavonoids on Alzheimer disease mice induced by D-galactose,”from 2010,was done in China at Harbin Medical University.  The objective of this study was to research the effects of propolis flavonoids on three antioxidant enzymes in cells , two that protect against oxidative  damage in the brain and one that increases oxidative damage and plays a role in Alzheimer’s  and Parkinson’s Disease.

Sixty mice with Alzheimer’s Disease were divided into six groups.  Three experimental groups were administrated high,middle and low dosages of propolis flavonoids(300,150,75 mg/kg) ORALLY. After 50 days,the mice were killed and brains were examined.  The levels of the two beneficial antioxidants were significantly higher in the experimental groups, while the levels of the destructive  enzyme was significantly lower than that of model group. The conclusion drawn from this research is that propolis flavonoids could increase the brain index, promote the body’s antioxidant activity, enhance the clearance of metabolic waste, and inhibit the activity of the destructive enzyme. Therefore propolis flavonoids could protect cells, delay senility and improve Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms.

Another study, “Bioactive Metabolites from Propolis Inhibit Superoxide Anion Radical, Acetylcholinesterase and Phosphodiesterase (PDE4),” from 2013,  tested the propolis flavonoids’ free radical scavenging activity.  Substances that have this action are considered targets for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and Chronic Obstructive pulmonary disease- COPD. Results of this research showed that propolis could moderately inhibit the destructive free radicals tested  and could contribute to further research on alternative drugs for the treatment of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as asthma and COPD.
A study done in early 2017, “The Neuroprotective Effects of Brazilian Green Propolis on Neurodegenerative Damage in Human Neuronal SH-SY5Y Cells” investigated the effects of propolis on oxidative stress in the brain. Oxidative stress and synapse dysfunction are the major neurodegenerative damage correlated to cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We have found that Brazilian green propolis (propolis) improves the cognitive functions of mild cognitive impairment patients living at high altitude; however, mechanism underlying the effects of propolis is unknown. The results of the study strongly suggest that propolis protects from the neurodegenerative damage in neurons through the properties of various antioxidants. The present study provides a potential molecular mechanism of Brazilian green propolis in prevention of cognitive impairment in AD as well as aging.
These studies seem to indicate that propolis could be an effective part of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.  We have to hope that our FDA will someday embrace natural and alternative medicine as successful treatments for disease.

Psalm 103

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Research on BEE Products for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’sDisease

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Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

Can nature be the answer,Human Brain Icon Png image #2541

When human-made is not?

What benefits await us

From bee hives’ abundance?

 

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

Parkinson’s disease  is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people. A person’s brain slowly stops producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. With less and less dopamine, a person has less and less ability to regulate their movements, body and emotions.  Symptoms take years to develop, and people can live for years with the disease.

In Alzheimer’s disease, a process of degeneration still not fully understood, disrupts the communication network in the brain.  In the brain, neurons connect and communicate at synapses, where tiny bursts of chemicals called neurotransmitters carry information from one cell to another. Alzheimer’s disrupts this process, and eventually destroys synapses and kills neurons.

Medications called Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are  used in the treatment of neurodegenerative illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.  MAOIs are also used for  depressive disorders. MAOI medications elevate the levels of norepinephrine,



 by inhibiting an enzyme called monoamine oxidase (MAO). Monoamine oxidase breaks down norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. When monoamine oxidase is inhibited, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine are not broken down, increasing the concentration of all three neurotransmitters in the brain. This can improve symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

In 2013, scientists at Karadeniz Technical University, in Turkey conducted a study of honey bee products – honey, pollen and propolis – to see if they had any capacity to inhibit MAO.  They treated MAO extracted from rat tissue. The three bee products exhibited substantial inhibition of MAO, propolis having the highest effect. Inhibition was related to samples’ phenolic content and antioxidant capacities.

The study suggests that the inhibition of MAO activity may lessen the process of aging.  This study suggests that these apitherapeutic products may also have a role in the treatment of depressive disorders and some neurodegenerative illnesses. In the light of this study, more extensive and detailed studies on specific MAO-A and MAO-B inhibition activity are now needed.

How does this study translate into future treatments for Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases? No one knows…

But it is exciting that  natural bee products are being researched for all kinds of health  issues.

To read the study go to: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/14756366.2013.843171

Isaiah 58:9-11

 If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.

Propolis for Crohn’s Disease and Colitis

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Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

Ailments of the body

At times, too much to bear

Can bee treasures give relief

And help with repair?

 

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

We often get asked at show and festivals, if propolis can help with a particular ailment.  Sometimes, we know, but often we have to do some research by checking out the National Institutes of Health website – nih.gov, to see what studies have been done.  Such was the case a few months ago, when we were asked at WinterFair, if propolis could help with Crohn’s Disease.

We knew that the flavonoids in propolis are antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, inside and out, so we set about looking for research.  While there are no recent studies with people, we did find some promising animal studies regarding propolis treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are chronic idiopathic inflammatory disorders that represent the two major types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These diseases affect the gastrointestinal tract, and their course is characterized by alternating periods of remission and flare-up.

A study was done in 2013 on rats with induced Crohn’s Disease. Two groups were treated  – one with a propolis water / alcohol extract enema and the other with mesalazine enemas.  Twelve days after the propolis administration, inflammation was reduced in 80% of the animals, 60% had moderate infiltrates and 20% had mild infiltrates. At this time, 60% of the animals treated with mesalazine still had dense infiltrates, 20% had mild infiltrates, and 20% no longer exhibited inflammation.

These results suggest that the therapeutic effect of the propolis treatment was slower, but its scope was wider because it encompassed a higher number of animals than did the mesalazine treatment. The anti-inflammatory effect of mesalazine was more rapid and more pronounced only in the animals that responded well to it (less than half of the treated population).  The inflammation persisted after 12 days of treatment with both drugs.

Rats with induced colitis were also treated with propolis and mesalazine, separately and together.   The scientists  concluded that both treatments are effective alone or in combination.  The anti-inflammatory effect of propolis was shown by the decreased intensity of the inflammation and reduction in number of cysts and abscesses.   They also found that these colitis treatments are more effective when used preventively, before the colitis flares up.

Use of Propolis Hydroalcoholic Extract to Treat Colitis Experimentally Induced in Rats by 2,4,6-Trinitrobenzenesulfonic Acid  can be found at this site: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3786476/

When pharmaceuticals fail to help or have risky side effects, propolis may be worth a try!

HEALTH –  POWERED BY BEES

Jeremiah 17

1Lord, you are the hope of Israel;  all who forsake you will be put to shame. 

Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust  because they have forsaken the Lord the spring of living water.

14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. 

 

Propolis for Prevention

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Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

Chill in the air

Trees and birds prepare

For winter’s freeze.

Germs abound, 

Inside and out.

Wise ones use

An ounce of prevention!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

Fall is upon us with its cool, crisp and refreshing weather, beautiful changing leaves, and many chance for outdoor fun.  But it also means colder air, dampness, and shutting ourselves indoors at times, with dry, heated and stale air.  It’s a time when germs and viruses seem to populate and insert themselves into our previously healthy bodies.  Kids get exposed to all kinds of germs at school.  We bring home germs from work. No matter what precautions we take, inevitably, someone in the family gets sick.  And once one person is sick, it seems to make its rounds to everyone!  What’s a parent to do?

The good news is, the honeybees make something wonderful that can be used as a preventative dietary supplement to keep your family healthy!  Propolis is a sticky substance the bees make from tree resin.  In the trees, this resin keeps the bud from getting viruses,

propolis on top of frames

propolis on top of frames

fungus, and bacteria.  Once mixed in the bees’ bodies and used to coat every surface inside the hive, bee propolis keeps bacteria, viruses and fungus molds and yeasts from growing in and infecting the hive.  In the fall, the bees continue to add layers of propolis to keep the hive germ-free, seal cracks and insulate for winter.  An experiment done by researchers at The University of Minnesota found that bees housed in a nest box coated with propolis had lower bacterial loads in their body and also ‘quieter’ immune systems compared to the colonies with no propolis coating. Seventy years of research on bee propolis indicates that this substance can also do the same for us!  Propolis can boost our immune system and overall wellness, as well as kill many bacteria and viruses.

Propolis provides general immune system support.   Propolis actually stimulates the immune system and raises the body’s natural resistance. Its antimicrobial properties suppress harmful bacteria and infections.  This powerhouse substance contains 500 times more bioflavonoids than is found in oranges. Flavonoids have strong antioxidant properties and help to protect cells from free radicals and cell mutations.  Propolis contains all the known vitamins, except vitamin K.   Propolis contains 13 of the 14 minerals our bodies reauire, with the exception of sulfur.  You don’t have to swallow a whole handful of vitamins and minerals.  Instead, you can use about 10 drops( about a half-dropperful) of 10% propolis oil or tincture, daily,  to strengthen your immune system and supply your body with ample antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  And kill those nasty germs before they get established in your body!

 

 Our four  generations of family members and close friends (ages 5-84)  have diligently taken daily propolis during the cold months,  for over four years now.  We can honestly tell you that there have been only 2 visits to the doctor, in these four years, for common ailments among over twenty friends and family.  We triple our dose to three times a day, if we feel like an illness is coming on, and typically symptoms are gone in 1-2 days.  We have staved off upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, migranes, ear infections, colds, cough, and sore throats.
But don’t just take our word for it.  There is much research about propolis as an immune system booster and on its effectiveness against staff, strep, rhinovirus (common cold), upper respiratory infections, chronic ear infections, and many other illnesses.
Here are some links to this research.  To get the general gyst of the articles, read the abstract at the beginning and the summary at the end!

Psalm 132

13 For the Lord has chosen Zion;  he has desired it for his dwelling place:
14 “This is my resting place forever;  here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15 I will abundantly bless her provisions;  I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16 Her priests I will clothe with salvation,  and her saints will shout for joy.
17 There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
18 His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine.”

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!

 

IMG_3905

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faithfulness – a Blessing to BEEpothecary

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Faithfulness, a quality sought

In  family, customers, friends.

They stick around during the hard times

Encouragement, they send.Delawaremay14

They keep us going

When we want to give up

Standing by, holding us up.

 

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Faithful Customers, family and friends , you kept us going!  All during the few months we have received DAILY calls from you, our faithful customers, believers in all things BEE!  While we hated telling you that we did not have products for you at that time, we have to tell you that it is your phone calls that have kept us encouraged and pursuing getting up and running quickly!

Your calls and stories of health successes with bee propolis, continued to remind us of why we were doing this.  More than creating a small business that might provide us with a little extra income for retirement, our number-one desire is to passionately promote these incredible bee resources to help others discover and experience the many health benefits from hive products.

It is so exciting to hear your stories and build relationships with you all.  We thank you for support and encouragement over the last

Jeannie and Steve Saum, Peter and Laurie Dotson

Jeannie and Steve Saum, Peter and Laurie Dotson

few months!  We look forward to serving you with these incredible products, getting to know you better, and hearing your stories of

success – keep them coming!

Bless you,

Jeannie, Steve, Laurie, and Peter

 

P. S. My daughter turned me on to this suggestion that is going around on Facebook.  If you want to know what a true and faithful friend is, try putting a friend’s name in this verse, in the place of the word LOVE and its pronouns.  See if it rings true for that person in your life.

 When we consider you all, it does!

1 Corinthians 13

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

Grand Re-Opening – BEEpothecary is Back!

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ANNOUNCING THE GRAND RE-OPENING OF

BEEpothecarybeepothecary products

Health, Skin and HairCare Products

with the amazing BEE PROPOLIS

and other hive resources, are available at

     www.mkt.com/beepothecary – online – mail order

or at BEEppothecary’s home office

 3320 Toy Road, Groveport, Ohio

call ahead for appointment – 1-614-450-2339


Coming Soon!

BEEpothecary will be available at our partner Store Fronts within the next few weeks! Stay tuned for the announcement!

 

State and Third Boutiques – Shoppes at Capitol Square

Urban Emporium – Main St.,  Bexley

Simply Vague – Polaris & Tuttle Malls

River’s Edge Cutlery – Hilliard

Garden Herb Shop – Canal Winchester

Blystone Farm Market – Oregon Rd., Canal Winchester

The Well, Lancaster

Joshua 6

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.

March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.

Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.

When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout;then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.

16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!

17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted[a] to the Lord.

20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to 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!

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!

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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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