Posts Tagged ‘health’

Frosty windows

Thank goodness! While we have yet to measure between two and six inches of rain forecasted, we are still very happy to finally get a downpour today at the house as well as in the surrounding area. If we can get a bit more rain here and there, then the bees will be in good shape for honey production in a couple of months. Already! It seems like it was really just last month that we were trying to figure out how to extract all the honey. Time sure does fly by sometimes, doesn’t it. The picture above is my car yesterday morning when I left for work. Lot of moisture in the air lately, which is a nice change from the dryness.

As I type (sipping yummy coffee and looking at the Christmas lights we still have up b/c life is too short not to enjoy Christmas lights for as long as we want), Mark is out in the candle shop still, getting some more pine cones out of the molds. If you follow us on Facebook, the other night I posted a picture of three candles we are trying things on – different wicks, different pouring technique, etc. We’ll let you know how things progress. I don’t have much to report at the moment besides the fact that Mark just brought in more to test so yay for me! It rocks to have your very own candle maker. I personally think the candles are fine but he has very high standards so if he sees just one thing he doesn’t like about it, back into the pot it goes. Or to me if I see it in time. Here’s one of my favorite melting candle patterns. I love the pit that is being created. I also love the smell of the wax. I’ve decided the hollowed out pines make a nice little container so I’m saving them once they burn down to about an inch. Fun, pretty, functional. Good stuff.

Candle pit

In other news, during dinner conversation tonight, Mark casually told me that today Apivar was approved for Texas and that he’s really excited because it looks like it has proven to be very effective for mite treatment overseas, where they’ve been using it for a few years now. I thought this was great news so I wanted to share that with y’all. When we get some in and use it, we’ll be sure to post about it. This product is less messy than Hopguard and is a slow-release so it will hopefully kill the mites more effectively than Hopguard and Apiguard, both of which killed mites that are there already but not mites that come after application. So be on the lookout, fellow beekeepers! If you have mites (and you’re bound to), then you want to stay on top of this product development.

Weather alert: It’s raining hard again and I hear thunder. NICE! Oh, now coming down very hard. Exciting. This is going to be great for the bees! We just looked at the rain gauge again and now it measures about 2 inches. Radar is showing quite a lot of storm movement so hopefully we’ll get more rain overnight.

And in Honey House building news: It’s a long, trying, challenging process that we are sure will be great in the end but for now, please say a prayer for us and all the people we are relying upon to do what they are suppose to do without running us in circles. Seriously. I’d appreciate it. 🙂

And finally, with so much flu and other illnesses floating around out there, I thought I’d share some honey related information. Thanks to my sister-in-law Renee for suggesting this inclusion. 🙂

For allergies (like I’ve been having lately since I’ve been enjoying too much non-Guadalupe Wildflower), do a daily teaspoon of whatever’s local for you. You can do it straight or in your tea, coffee, oatmeal, other cooking.

For sore throats, I mainly do a cup of hot tea with honey and 1/2 a lime or lemon in there. There are tons of variations so you can alter as you wish. This one was always great when Mom made it for us. 🙂 You can also try honey and cinnamon which is a popular combination. Some people take it in tea while others take it in milk. Typically it’s one teaspoon of honey and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. I’ve also read a recipe that adds ginger to that so I’m going to try that soon as I like ginger for settling my stomach when it’s out of sorts.

Hope you are all well and whether you are or you aren’t, you should probably still have some local honey daily as it is just an overall great food for overall great health. Sleep well and have a great day tomorrow!


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powdered hive

The varroa mites can really build up in our hives this time of year and if we’re not careful hives will be lost. I have started weekly dustings of the hives with powdered sugar. This loosens the mites that are attached to the adult bees and they fall through the hives’ screened bottom boards and onto the ground, where, hopefully, the fire ants will eat them. I’ve tried different chemicals and medications to kill the mites, but as you might guess, that which kills the mites also kills the bees. Not good. Powdered sugar dusting isn’t the most efficient way to kill mites, but it’s the only way I’ve found so far that doesn’t kill my bees.

ghost bee on frame

It’s easy to spot the white powdered bees, especially when they fly into the wrong hive. When you have some bees covered with powdered sugar it makes them easy to track, and it’s interesting to see just how frequently bees will fly in and out of hives that are not their own. “Robber” bees will usually be attacked and driven out when they enter their neighbor’s hive, but bees covered with powdered sugar seem welcome wherever they go.

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