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Posts tagged ‘beekeeping’

Embrace Flexibility


Being flexible:
A sign of a healthy soul!
It’s well with my soul.

Rigidity means
There’s inflexibility…
Like old, wrinkled skin.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Rigidity lacks
The ability to spring –
Spring up and bounce back.

Flexibility
Is living life on the edge –
Edge of Adventure!

When Bob & I were much younger, we were living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was happy in my teaching job, but Bob was restless. He had been coaching wrestling and teaching drivers’ education for about nine years. He’d had the “Seven Year Itch” for a couple years… looking for a way to feel compensated for the tons of extra hours he put in as a coach. But, coaches don’t get paid more than a measly $500 stipend for the gajillion extra hours. They watch the guy who comes and goes with the bells. In at 8: am and out at 3:00 pm. It was discouraging after a while. Love his students as he did, it was not “well with his soul.” He wanted the freedom to be compensated fairly for his efforts. So, he left teaching and returned to the family farm. Farming allowed him the flexibility he was craving.

He went back to the family farm … almonds, walnuts, and mainly – beekeeping. Producing honey, selling his bees’ product, scheduling his own time… Ah yes, the flexibility was good for his soul. He thrived!

Flexibility
Is important for your soul.
Keeps your life limber.

Retirement brings flexibility

The freedom to fish
Or go four-wheeling with friends:
Retirement JOY!

Are you flexible?
Can you readjust your life
When it feels too stiff?

Do you feel you’re trapped
In a spot not fulfilling?
Make your soul feel well.

Listen to your heart.
Life’s too short to be rutted –
Stuck and unhappy!

Just dig yourself out.
Uncover many options –
Start digging today!

There’s a world waiting
For the flexible and strong
To step out in faith.

Know you are not stuck
In an unfulfilling place.
Exercise options!

Do some exploring.
Embrace flexibility.
You have just one life.

Look for your purpose
Find it in your prayer-filled time
Embrace Flexibility.

You were born to start
The work set out just for you.
God bless you today!

Just live your own dream –
Not the dream of someone else.
Step out in faith now!

Photo by Josu00e9 Luis Photographer on Pexels.com

Yup, that’s right –
Flexibility means JOY –
Jump into it NOW!

We’re living in joy!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Can You Bee an Artist?


Can you bee an artist?
Maybe you already are!
How about beeing a bee artist?

We may not all be endowed with the skill to play the piano like this, or … (hang in there and keep listening)… another guy plays the Flight of the BumbleBee on several different sized trombones. It just gets more and more unbelievable. WOW!!! It’ll leave you smiling. How does he do that?

Maybe your artistic talent doesn’t lean toward music, but you’re good at painting and drawing. You can bee a bee artist like Luisa Fernanda Otero Prada. Isn’t this colorful art enchanting?

Here is another bee by artist Luisa Fernanda Otero Prada

Sometimes it’s not music or painting or drawing that makes us artists, but the ability to write – to put words together creatively for entertainment or education, inspiration or just to vent. I recently found a new blogger named Amy who wrote about bees on her post:

The secret of natural honey and good health

I wrote her and told her she was “spot on” about the health benefits of honey, but honey doesn’t make good candles! They’re ineffective and sticky and they don’t burn. Nope! It’s the bees wax, not the honey. She was kind and wrote back to say she believed me :o)

I have written on the subject of bees many times, too, because (as many of you know), my husband Bob is a retired beekeeper. With a name like Beekman (Bee-keeper-man), how could he bee otherwise?

Bob grew up on a “Honey Farm” and learned the relationship between natural honey and good health at a very young age. “Bee”ing a good beekeeper is an art of its own!!

I found some pictures from the family farm on this search: https://www.yelp.com/biz/beekman-and-beekman-hughson But discovered that internet site name is “unclaimed.” Hmmm… I know they have a website that has been claimed. I’ll have to keep looking.

This is definitely the honey that was produced by the bees of Bob & his brother, Bruce, (and now his nephew, Matt) and it is bottled and sold at the ranch in Hughson, California in their tasting room. Bruce’s wife, Ann, is the brains and creativity behind the Tasting Room/Honey House and the Beekman&Beekman label.

Matt’s wife, Sarah, is actively involved with him as a beekeeper. She raises queens (that’s a topic for a future blog) and she travels with him to North Dakota where Matt & Sarah take some of their bees for the summer. She’s a wonderful example of a mom who cooks with honey!

It’s an art to create an attractive label and an inviting “Honey House” and it is an art to be a good salesperson! It’s an art to take beautiful photos of people, products and places.

California sage – by Beekman and Beekman

Bee Honey Wise

I kept searching and I did find the actual Beekman family website at http://www.beekmanandbeekman.com … It’s been 15 years since Bob retired as a partner in this bee business, but honey runs through our veins after a lifetime with bees and beekeeping!

On the Beekman website I found a link to another way to Bee an Artist… Culinary Arts! There is a link to “Cooking with Honey” that gives you tips on how to do so successfully.

Go to the website and learn more!

Bob reminded me that Bruce & Matt are not the only Beekman beekeepers and that I should not forget to mention his nephew, Bryan, who is one of California’s largest beekeepers. He has over 10,000 hives that he places all over California’s central valley, mid-coast, and southern CA. Bryan and his wife, Michele, also have a honey sales room. In the area outside Fresno, CA, the Honey Hut is a unique place in Sanger, CA. You should consider visiting it if you are ever in that area. You can learn more about Bryan at http://www.fcfb.org/About-Us/BoardMembers/Beekman.php

Bryan and his cousin, Matt, are members of co-op, Sioux Bee Honey.

You can Bee an Artist in so many ways – with:

  1. Music
  2. Visual Arts
  3. The Written Word
  4. Culinary Arts
  5. Photography
  6. What can you add?
Bee Clever!!!

Have a BEEutiful Sunday.
Go to church and worship God!
Thank Him for all the artists who enhance our lives!

See ya later.
Love, JanBEEkman

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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