Archive for the ‘medical’ Category

Hot tea with Honey Citrus Syrup

So a few weeks ago, after the mad rush of holiday activities, I finally came down with something. It didn’t feel like a flu but it didn’t feel like just allergies. I guess it could have been a combination of really bad allergies and a really bad cold. I was out of it, sleepy all the time, no energy, congested, coughing and freezing all the time (which is really unheard of for me and that’s how Mark knows I must really be ill). My sore throat could only be soothed with hot beverages and the lemon honey tea is always nice for that. I think all the talking during Pearl market really was what pushed me over the sick edge. The soar throat was just killing me from talking for about four hours and inhaling all that cold air and whatever was flying around that day. Anyway, I did have some nice down time and fortunately it happened when things were slow at my other job as well, with so many coworkers on vacation or out ill.

Hot tea with lemon and honey

At market, we often exchange ideas with friends and customers about uses for our products and other vendors’ products. And so I had a chance to talk again about using our honey in a cough syrup and decided I should really do it. So I combed through many blogs and recipe sites to see what was out there for natural honey recipes for coughs. I really liked the sounds of one in particular and I used it as a base model for some syrup to help my and Tang’s coughs. It’s essentially this: fill a jar (any size but I used a pint jar) 3/4 of the way up with lime slices and about 2 teaspoons worth fresh ginger (I just sliced up what looked like the equivalent of that and then added more slices for good measure since ginger is so good for the digestive system anyway). Then I went to work layering things into the jar.

Ingredients for a Honey Lime Syrup

For an extra boost of local allergy relief, I used the wildflower comb honey I had left from Guadalupe County. I liked the bits of wax that came along for the ride. Couldn’t hurt.

Adding raw honey to the syrup concoction

I mashed things up and then poured more honey in so that it was near the top of the jar. Then it went in the fridge over night and the next night we each had a cup of hot tea with one teaspoon of the syrup. Even though Mark doesn’t typically like citrus flavors in this hot tea, he did like this formula and the three of us give this syrup three thumbs up for sure. I am excited to next try a rosemary-lime-honey syrup since we have a potted rosemary by the back door and I love rosemary! You can also try oranges with cloves and honey but I haven’t done that one yet.

Lime Ginger Honey Syrup in the fridge

I sent some of my pictures and information out to family and friends and my brother Tuan sent me his picture of his own version. I like learning from others and in his version, he used five very juicy limes and upped the amount of ginger (as in he used “a ton” of fresh ginger they had in the freezer, he said). He did the 3/4 lime-ginger and 1/4 honey combination and stirred it all up, adjusting sweetness and sourness to his liking. Then he popped it into the refrigerator for a few hours and then proceeded to down five tablespoons straight up. He cracked me up! It does taste very good and I can see myself doing the same if I would allow it, which I won’t. haha Anyway, thank you brother dear for sharing your concoction and picture with us and for letting me use it here. I love how you committed immediately with the quart size jar! By the way, I am so happy to see you guys are burning the candles! We will send more.

Another version of the Honey Lime Syrup


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Sugar water, pollen supplement & mite treatment

No, I’m not talking about Chinese food – bees don’t do Chinese. 🙂 But they do like pollen and nectar but since there’s not much of either around, we have to feed them what we got. So, I like this first shot because it captures the triple delight that the bees are getting served right now, as we endure the hottest weather of the year so far. There’s sugar water going in the internal feeder, pollen patty (soy-based pollen substitute + sugar water) and powdered sugar. They eat and drink all of it and we’ve been able to help them survive this brutal summer.

When I snapped the shot below, it was because I liked the way the Mesquite pods contrasted against their dark surroundings. I also liked the reflective surface of the water because it sharply contrasted all the other matte surfaces – powered sugar, wood, bee box. But when I loaded the pictures into Flickr, the picture made me think about all the recent folks who have contacted us for some advice on helping the bees by giving them a place to come for water. I tell them what Mark taught me – always give the bees a place on which to light so they may drink without drowning. I NEVER thought about that before I met my beekeeper but it makes sense so now we put little sticks or these pods in the feeders. People seem to appreciate us sharing that with them because it never occurred to them either. Always nice to share information with folks.

In-hive water for bees

And here’s a bonus for you. I wasn’t planning on using this last shot but when I think bees and water, I always enjoy looking at a certain series of shots I snapped a couple of years ago in our backyard when we had a few hives back there. This is a galvanized pan that we had put under the water spigot to capture dripping water during lawn watering. Worked out well for the bees and I enjoyed watching them. They take the water back to the hives and use it somehow for cooling though I don’t exactly how they use it.

Bees drinking water

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Doctoring with Bees

Bees for a customer

Not too long ago, we had a lady contact us and she needed some bees. About ten of them. Ten. I thought that was so intriguing when Mark first told me about. I just couldn’t fathom why only ten. He explained that she needed the bees so that she could treat herself for pain she experiences in her legs. The use of honey bee products, including honey, pollen, and VENOM! Yes. It’s true. I had only heard a bit about that before but never knew anyone who uses the stinging bees’ venom medically. Sometimes just the thought of getting stung again makes me worry but I’m happy that some people find the stinging beneficial. It’s just amazing what the bees can do for us. Anyway, the first time Mark collected some bees for our customer it was fall I think. I remember cool weather. Poor bees didn’t survive long in the jar for some reason and we called the customer with the bad news. This second batch was collected around May 11 and I like how Mark included some comb for them. It was really neat to see that jar o’ bee – they were moving around frantically. Not sure why, but it was so neat! The movements inside the jar intrigued me but in all honesty, so much of what the bees do intrigues me. This batch made it to our customer in San Antonio and she seems pleased with them. Her friend wrote us recently to let us know that the bees are doing the job just fine but the customer actually had a difficult time getting the bees to sting her! Seems our bees were TOO gentle. LOL, that really made our day to get that email and to know we helped someone. If you’d like to read more about apitherapy, be sure to visit the American Apitherapy Society.

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Shooting more honey shots

One of my favorite things to do is take pictures. I don’t know if it’s because I’m Asian or what, but I’ve always enjoyed photography and so did my dad and my brother. As a matter of fact, my brother is my hero and from a young age, I tried to be just like him. I remember he and my dad always had a camera on hand. When we left Vietnam, we brought only what fit in a little tote bag per person and a few of the things my mom packed, besides a few outfits, included family pictures and a camera. And rice. Because she didn’t know if there was rice where we’d end up and she had a lot of mouths to feed. What does all of this have to do with GBR and beekeeping? Hmmm…well, it’s a part of me and now I keep bees with Mark. 🙂 And it’s late and I’m not sleepy so you get to read what’s on my mind.

This evening I spent some time with the lightbox since we need some shots of two of our specialty honeys – Blueberry and Orange Blossom. Both have been generating quite a bit of interest and the sales for both were pretty good this past weekend at Trade Days. Very nice for us. Back to photography and why I do this. 1) I like it a lot. 2) I’m allergic to bee stings so I’m limited in bee yard activity as well as extraction activities (since bees sometimes tag along into the honey house). So because of these two things and my love of taking pictures, I document a lot of our activities and I love it! I can get lost in photography – you just get so focused on things the bees are doing, you simply don’t notice heat, time or bees getting annoyed because you are squatting right in their path. This is partly how I discovered I was allergic to stings – the first three stings I got were each because I was stubborn and pushed my luck. I would take pictures out in the bee yards and I’d enjoy it so much and I’d want just ONE more shot…never mind a few bees have bumped into me. That was a trip to ER the first two times (only b/c I only get to go out with Mark on weekends, when I’m not at my full time job) since the doctor’s office wasn’t open. Doctor’s office was open the third time. Oh yes, and I didn’t like suiting up so…my fault. Stings 4-6 happened all at the same time and along the left side of my face. You know when people tell you not to panic in this or that situation? And it all sounds reasonable and you think, “Yes, I got that. I can do that.” Well, when stings 4-6 happened, I heard all of that in Mark’s wonderfully calm voice as I panicked and freaked out trying to get away from the bees tangled in my hair. Hehe…yes, that really freaked me out and my face was POOFY, which is an understatement. I should have taken a picture. I can’t remember why I didn’t. Maybe because I was miserable. 🙂 I love all our adventures and after things settle down, we can always find things to laugh about. If I hadn’t gotten stung, I’d never have gone to ER and then I’d have never seen this enormous and fascinating lamp…

I so don't "got safety"

By the way, allergic reaction for me means extreme swelling and intense burning in the areas stung. And that means a shot and steroids. And a week of misery. Just so you know, I suit up properly when necessary now. Even when it’s hot, which kills me since I am not crazy about heat. Yes, I know I live in Texas and that I’ve had 15 years to adjust and I have but I still wish for 60 degrees and low humidity EVERYDAY! Check out these awesome gloves Mark found for me in Kerrville when we went to a conference there last year. Allows for GREAT gripping of the digital camera. The drawback is major – non-breatheable nylon. Man, that stuff is like a sauna.

Love my new gloves!

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