Saturday, June 1, 2013

Have you ever gotten stung once and had more bees suddenly show up and get stung more?  It's because of the 'alarm odor'.  The stingers have glands that activate chemicals when you get stung. 

The other ladies can sense this odor and will go into defense mode.  They may come near you and hover briefly or give you more stings as they think they are protecting their own.


Because the stinger has barbs, it will often stay in your skin as the bee pulls away.  As this happens, abdominal tissue stays attached to the stinger and will come out of the bee.  This is why honey bees die once they sting.

Sometimes the stinger will pull out as she trys to fly off.  If it stays in the skin and has the venom sack still attached, never try to pull it out.  By pulling it, it gets pinched between your fingers and will push more venom in you.  The best way to remove it is to push it out.  You can do this with your fingernail, a credit card or other small object.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Do you know . . . .

just how healthy honey is? It can be used on cuts, scratches and burns (do not use on open wounds). It takes the moisture out of everything and promotes faster healing, reduces scarring and reduces the chance of infection since it is sterile. For allergies, 2 teaspoons daily is recommended.

In addition to honey, a hive also produces pollen, beeswax, propolis, royal jelly, and bee venom. Pollen is the bee's protein source and cannot be made in a lab. It contains enzymes, vitamins, omega 3's, 22 amino acids, and is 35-40% protein. It is used as a dietary supplement to increase energy, aid in digestion, improve circulation, help allergies, and bolster the immune system.

Beeswax contains vitamin A and serotonin. It gives off positive ions when burning which is good for the air. Propolis contains antioxidants, antibiotics, antimicrobials, is antiviral and antifungal. It strengthens the immune system, heals burns, and helps skin disorders, fights colds and flues. Royal Jelly is produced in the heads of nurse bees for larval food. It contains B1, B2, B5, & B6. It reduces stress, increases resistance to disease, and combats aging and growth problems. It is used in cosmetics to improve skin. It also heals cuts, scrapes and burns. Bee Venom contains enzymes, proteins, and amino acids. It stimulates the release of cortisone, is hemorrhagic in action and applied directly or by intramuscular injection.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Three Honey Butters

Honey Almond Butter
1/2 cup honey
4oz (1/2 cup) almond paste
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

In a small bowl, blend honey and almond paste together with elecric
mixer.  Beat in butter until creamy. 

 Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Nutrition: Calories 178, Total Fat 10, Protein 2, Cholesterol 15, Carbs 23, Sodium 61, Dietary Fiber 2

Cremed Honey Butter
3/4 cup cremed honey, softened if necessary
3/4 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

Mix cremed honey and butter together.  Add cinnamon if desired.  Blend
thoroughly and keep refrigerated.
Serving Size 2 tablespoons, makes 12 servings

Honey Butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel

In a bowl, combing butter or margarine, honey and lemon peel.  Stir until well blended.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter Time

January is a good time to do some catching up.  Pull out those bee magazines you haven't finished reading or hit the internet and do some research.  Check your stored equipment for any that may need repairs.

Inspect all wooden equipment for rot.  Even with multiple coats of paint, years of exposure can lead to rotten wood which can create openings for tiny pests that can weaken a hive.  Check screened bottom boards for tears and patch any cuts or holes.

Old comb can be dark brown or black.  All of these should be replaced.  These frames have been used so many times over the years that they are not really in the best condition to be used anymore.  As eggs are layed and bees develop, tiny amounts of residue are left in the cells.  Over time, that residue builds up and reduces the amount of space in each cell.  Give those babies a healthy place to grow by replacing that old comb.

This link is about the necessary cleansing flights on a warm afternoon in a Maine December: A Warm Winter Afternoon  Flight


Friday, January 7, 2011

Wax Moths

If you've kept bees for a while, you may have experienced the unwelcome Wax Moth.  If you're a newbee, and haven't had them yet, that's a good thing but it's important to learn about them so if they move in, hopefully you can catch them early before they totally destroy your hive.

They often invade a weak hive and once they get a good foothold inside, it is often to late to save it.  They also target hives that are stressed or queenless.  Generally, a strong hive is the best defense against wax moths.

Their larvae burrows grooves into the wood and comb.  They spin webbing throughout the hive and leave waste everywhere.  Given enough time, they will totally decimate comb and foundation.

Wax moths do not like sunlight.  If we discover they have ruined a hive, we will leave the supers on their side in the sunshine for several days til the moths and larvae are gone.

There are different pests and diseases that can turn a hive into a nasty mess and wax moth destruction is easily identifiable.  If you've never seen it up close, study pictures of it so if you spot it in your hive, hopefully you can nip it in the bud before it gets out of control. 

If you do manage to rid a hive of the moths and larvae, you're next step needs to be figure out why that hive is weak or stressed and see if you can help it make a comeback.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year

At this time of year, there are no drones left in the hive.  They get kicked out as winter approaches, the ladies don't want to waste their precious honey stores on the boys.  However, worker brood may start to appear, spring isn't that far away and the guys will be needed again. 

The bees typically don't like to go outside on days with temperatures below 45 to 50 degrees.  They like to stay warm.  Right now, the girls are surrounding the queen in a ball-shaped cluster to keep her warm and maintain an overall temp of about 93 degrees.  The way they do this is by moving constantly from the center of the cluster to the outside and back again.  Their constant movement acts like a heater.

They'll be eating a lot of honey stores now, if they are low, be sure help them out with a supplement of sugar water.  We only put this in when the the outside temperature is at least 50.  If you open the lid when it's too cold, it makes them have to work so much harder to get the hive temp back up and keep it up.

On the days they do leave the hive, they have to leave for cleansing flights.  If you have snow around your hives, be sure to keep the entrances clear for this and proper ventilation.


Saturday, December 25, 2010


Thanks to everyone who has visited our blog this year, we hope you have enjoyed it.  In January we will continue to share interesting and fun things with you about our favorite little friends.  Please continue to join us throughout the year for more info, recipes, pictures, links and what-nots.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Recipes!

Check our Recipe page for these two new yummy treats.

 Nut & Honey                      Holiday Honey
 Topping                                      Caramels        

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Gift Giving Ideas

 A Honey Gift Bag or Basket makes a great gift.  They are fun, practical and creative.  Personalizing them for your family and friends makes them a well remembered, healthy, heartfelt gift. 

You can make them any size with anything in them.  There are a variety of honey and bee related items to make it a bee themed gift.  Try honey soap, honey butter, honey sticks, dippers, honey candy, beeswax candles, different varieties of honey and a card with your favorite honey recipe.  Add an ornament or decoration for Christmas, add chocolate candy for valentines, a baby toy for a new mom, a book for a reader, bible verses for your Sunday school teacher.  Do you know a football fanatic, put honey, salsa and chips together,
the list is endless.

A favorite basket item of our customers is honey with pecans or walnuts.  If you can't find any for sell, just buy the nuts and make your own.  This is good to eat by itself and it's also a great icecream topping.

Beeswax candles are the purist burning of all candles so they are the best for the environment.  Most of the time they are sold as molded (shaped) candles, occasionally you can find them in jars.  Rolled beeswax candles are simply sheets of beeswax with a honeycomb imprint, rolled in different thicknesses and lengths.  These are used mainly for decoration as they burn much faster than a solid candle.

 Don't know what to use for a container?  Gift bags in organza drawstring bags are our best sellers, but you can really use anything.  The basket in the picture below is a simple market basket, lined with seasonal fabric.  Place a rubber band around the edge and tuck the fabric in.  One of my favorite containers to use is an open, small wooden box, antique or not.  Browse an antique store for a decorative glass bowl or a metal container, whatever suits to person receiving it.

More great reasons to give honey are that it is a natural moisturizer and an excellent throat soother.  You can also be sure that it won't be re-gifted.  Check out The National Honey Board for some wonderful honey recipes that you can make to include in your gift baskets or simply enjoy yourself.  They even have a whole section for honey recipes to use as gifts including Holiday Honey Caramels, Ginger-Infused Honey, Honey Turtle Sauce, Honey Spice Oatmeal Cookie Mix, Nut and Honey Topping and Whipped Honey Butter. 

Don't forget about the rest of the year.  A honey gift basket is also appropriate for a housewarming gift, graduations, birthdays, wedding gifts, anniversary, congratulations, get-well wishes and any other occasion you can think off.  They will be appreciated as a lovely, handcrafted gift.

Get National Honey Board - Gift Recipes here.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It is believed that consuming more antioxidant-rich foods may help protect against cellular damage and possibly prevent the development of chronic diseases. Reasearch indicates that honey includes numerous compounds with antioxidant potential. The amount and type of these antioxidant compounds depends largely upon the floral source (variety) of the honey. In general, darker honeys have been shown to be higher in antioxidant contents than lighter honeys. While the antioxidant conent of honey may not rival that of some of the more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables on a gram for gram basis, honey may nevertheless, provide an additional source of dietary antioxidants.

The expression "it's none of your beeswax," really means "it's none of your business." It is believed the origin stems from the time when only the wealthy could read and write. To secure written correspondence, the writer sealed the message with a dot of melted beeswax often with the family seal. Envelopes were not used at that time, so the wax seal kept letters private.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No Bake Honey Energy Bars

Tired of getting the store bought granola bars? Try these instead.

No Bake Honey Energy Bars

2/3 c honey
3/4 creamy or chunky peanut butter
4 c granola mix

In a 4-cup microwave safe container, microwave honey at HIGH (100%) for 2 to 3 minutes or until the honey boils. Stir in peanut butter, mix until thoroughly blended. Place granola in large bowl. Pour honey mixture over granola and combine thoroughly. Press firmly into 13x9x2 inch baking pan lined with wax paper. Let stand until firm. Cut into bars.

Makes 36 bars. Calories 87, carbs 14, fat 3.2, protein 2.2, sodium 48

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Natural Energy

It is no secret that athletes of all ages and abilities include honey in their training regimens.  Honey is commonly found on training tables "before the big game," made into energy drinks to drink durng exercise, or as an energy boost for athletes who have gone through the challenge of "making weight."

The benefits of carbohydrate (CHO) consumption prior to, during and following endurance exercise are well documented.  Research supports the benefit of CHO consumption prior to and during high intensity exercise of shorter durations also (examples: soccer, swimming and even resistance exercises).  Carbs eaten before and during exercise help maintain blood glucose levels and prevent premature fatigue (crashing).  After exercise, carbs are necessary to replenish muscle and liver glycogen and prepare the athlete for the next training bout.

Honey is a natural source of readily available carbohydrates providing 17 grams of carbs per tablespoon.  Honey's unique carbohydrate composition, approximately equal amounts of fructose and glucaose, may render it the perfect pre-exercise food.  Research suggests that honey is as effective as glucose for carb replacement during endurance exercise too.