Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘beekeeping’

Honey and Wisdom


“Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
honey from the comb is sweet to the taste.
Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul;
if you find it,
there is future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.”

Proverbs 24: 13-14

Storing Honey

That honey jar on the right with the bees and hearts was given to us 8 years ago for our 50th wedding anniversary from Bob’s beekeeper nephew and his wife. Bryan Beekman is a California beekeeper with about 10,000 beehives. His wife, Michelle, has the “Honey Hut” on their property in Clovis.

No, I have not kept that honey for 8 years!! (But, I could have if I wanted to… honey never spoils unless you add water to it! They found good, edible honey in King Tut’s tomb!)

A jar like that only last a few weeks in our house before it has to be refilled. We pour from it into the honey bear. It’s easier to pour out of the bear. I keep both of those containers in the cabinet to the right of the stove. A warm spot is best for storing honey. Never refrigerate it!! When the jar is empty, we refill it from a 5 gallon jug that we keep in the warm room downstairs.

Look carefully at the jar. The letters almost are all washed off. It used to say, “Happy 50th, Bob & Jan.” I need to take it back to Michelle to have it repainted one of these trip to California! But would that be like restoring an antique? Would it lose some of its value?

Honey as a Gift

Because Bob’s a retired beekeeper, folks often give us honey as a gift when they return from their travels. This jar was a gift from a friend in Maryland. Notice the label says, “100% Pure Raw Varietal Honey.” That’s important! You want to know from which flowers the bees gathered their nectar. Honey has flavors as distinct as wines or berries or the smell of various flowers. Pure orange honey has the taste of the smell of the orange blossoms. I love it!

Describing Honey Flavors

However, some honey label writers get carried away, just as some folks who describe the flavors of wine do on their labels. I don’t often taste the earth or the tobacco in a glass of wine. And I can’t taste “vanilla-marshmallowy goodness” in this Pacific Northwest honey. However, I believe them when they say it’s pure and raw.

Preserving Honey’s Attributes

Pure means it hasn’t been mixed with other stuff… and raw means it hasn’t been heated above a certain temperature. Heating honey too much (like boiling it on the stove or in the microwave) kills many, if not all, of its healthy qualities.

If you love honey as we do, remember to bee wise in the way you select and buy it, and remember to bee wise in the way you store and preserve it. And remember to use it as a substitute for sugar as often as you can. It’s better for you – and it takes less honey to taste the sweetness than sugar. Also, honey is the browning agent in waffles or bread.

And it’s all about wisdom.
Bee Wise.
Eat Honey!!

See ya later.

Bees, Trees, and Water


Bees, Trees and Water

bees trees water

Bees, Trees and Water
Without them we would all die
Preserve them with care

 

All God’s Creation

“Loving One Another” is not just about loving people; it is about loving and caring for all of God’s creation. The plants and animals, and all of nature cry for our attention.

How do you show your love for God’s creatures?

Gotta Love Those Beekeepers!

My husband, Bob, is a retired beekeeper. But, like I say about teachers, “Once a teacher, always a teacher,” well, that’s the case with beekeepers as well.

Beekeepers may sell their hives, trucks, and forklifts, and retire from the work, but the spirit of the hive stays with them forever! We moved from California to Montana and took no hives with us. But there are bee hobbyists right here in Ennis – and it didn’t take long for Bob to find them. He was drawn to them the way a bee is drawn to a nectar source!

animal bee bloom blooming

And, as you know, honeybees have been in the news a lot lately. Bees world-wide are in peril. It’s called CCD = Colony Collapse Disorder. Researchers are busy trying to figure out why whole colonies are dying and beekeepers are losing sometimes up to 1/3 of their hives.

Great Interest in Veteran Beekeepers’ Knowledge

The hobbyist beekeepers, many of whom are new to the scene, appreciate the expertise of veteran beekeepers. Bob was more than happy to lend a hand and get himself back into the groove that was a part of his childhood and a huge portion of his working life.

Jana Bounds, a reporter with the Lone Peak Lookout, was asked to do an article in a local magazine titled, “The Loop.” She contacted Bob and interviewed him. He took her to the site of a local hobbyist beekeeper and spent time describing the situation.

What’s the Problem?

In a nutshell, (or honeybee cell, as the case may be), the problem of disappearing bees is complex, multi-faceted, and not easily labeled. In her article, Jana Bounds quotes my husband, Bob Beekman, as well as Alex McMenamin, PhD student at Montana State University. Both agree, factors like inadequate nutrition, habitat loss, agrochemical exposure, and pathogens are cause for high bee losses.

But, the greatest threat is the Varroa mite. They suck the blood of the larva and spread disease among the bees in the hive. Scientists continue to research, looking for solutions.

bee-article.jpg

 

bob-johnw-beekeeping.jpg

Check out “The Loop” Summer edition, 2019, pages 36 to 39.
It is published by our local Madison County newspaper, The Madisonian.

What Can We Do?

Not many of us are retired beekeepers who can help with hands-on experience. But, we can read and learn, and do our part to help lend support to our beekeepers.

  • Buy local honey
  • Plant flowers and trees that provide good nectar and pollen sources
  • Bees need to be near a water source – keep water pure – don’t pollute
  • Teach children about the value of honeybees (one in every three bites of food we eat is directly or indirectly dependent on bees and their gift of pollination)
  • Avoid use of harmful pesticides
  • Support bee-friendly legislation and research

Beekeepers never die – they just lose their stingers!
Hah! 😉

This is Bob in his younger, beekeeper days:

resendizbob

Bee Well – Bee Happy – Bee Sweet – Eat Honey!!

pexels-photo-887349
See ya tomorrow

 

 

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