<![CDATA[Beeutiful Bees - Bee Blog, it\'s a beeuty!]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 05:27:26 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Summer 2016 New World Records]]>Wed, 21 Sep 2016 02:50:15 GMThttp://beeutifulbees.com/bee-blog-its-a-beeuty/summer-2016-new-world-recordsThis Summer comes to an end and Fall is just the next season and our bees are still working hard in a record setting year.  In the history of recorded weather, Summer 2016 now is the recorded hottest world wide.  According to the Associated Press International (API) "Savannah, Georgia, had a record 69 days in a row of 90 degrees (32.22 Celsius) or higher."  In world news, temperatures in Mitribah, Kuwait, and Basra, Iraq have now exceeded the previously declared hottest place on earth, Death Valley California. So, what has been declared by science for years has come to pass and "global warming" renamed "climate change" is now brewing more violent storms, more extreme temperatures and more polar ice cap ice turned to water raising sea levels world wide.  So, what does that mean for the bees and their keepers?

Scientist Dakin Henderson in Colorado recently released this video explaining what climate change may mean for the bees. Since Honeybees pollenate one third of the food man and animals eat world wide, the changes man is making to the environment will change the world more than just a bit.  Of course events like volcanoes release more carbons into the atmosphere in just a day than mankind releases in a year. But then man is breeding like mice or rabbits, doubling the world population four times since the birth of Christ. The next doubling is set for less than 20 years and estimated to take place 35 years from then. Of course nature has a way of balancing things in history and while the bubonic plague of the middle ages killed one in three, if the plight of the honeybee is extinction, the world's food supply will be cut by a third, starvation could be a real thing right here in the United States. 

Clearly it will not be the large apiaries that save the honeybee, but the diversification of their genetic lines by more backyard beekeepers coming into the game and keeping of bees everywhere.  From the roof tops in the city, to the 5000 square foot garden lots in estates everywhere.  Honeybees pollinate the flowers and the vegetables, the alfalfa eaten by cows and early Spring budding red maple trees. Yes, while there are other pollinators, the honeybee is the 'canary in the coal mine' that indicates to man the plight of all pollinators.

We are an industrial population dependent on a shrinking agrarian culture. Farm and ranch families now comprise less than two percent of the US population.  And now the food we eat as Americans is more processed, contains more non food additives, contains more chemicals than ever before.  We see an increase in malnutrition world wide while Americans on a whole are now most overweight and sick people in the world. In 1973 Harry Harrison released on the world a snapshot of the future in Soylent Green. While todays supermarket and fast-food is not yet 'people', it is not yet natural food product either.  Thinks about it, how much preservative, flavoring, color and stabilizer must be added to your diet before you become what you eat?  What is a 'healthy' percentage of additives?  Who is keeping track and who is telling the rest of us?

And what of the new illnesses being discovered every day? When Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease are proven not to be related to wheat, but to the Round-Up© sprayed on wheat and then bonded to the cells of the wheat to create early harvest times.  We see "Agent Orange" causes cancer in veterans who fought the war in Viet-Nam, how is it that herbicides used to 'kill' crops for early harvest are less harmful?  

We see the most common additive to American food to be Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) also allowed to be called "natural flavoring".  This mind altering drug tricks the brain into thinking something tastes really good, causing people to eat more, but it also is the leading cause of migraine headaches. More than 12 million Americans suffer migraine headaches every day.  It is the leading cause of lost work days. MSG is a man made chemically derived product from seaweed.

Diabetes plagues 10% of Americans. How is it that corn syrup sweetener is added to almost everything we drink from a can?  It is added to our bread and our beans and foods that don't even need sweetener.  Corn syrup does not even occur in nature, it is a man made chemically derived product of corn.  Why is is considered a natural sweetener over honey?  When cane sugar prices went up, we had to find a use for all the government subsidized corn being farmed and just 10% corn alcohol added to petrol was not enough to use all the corn. What better use than creating a sweetener that is the leading cause of diabetes in America?

You are what you eat and so are honeybees. We have produced Insect Resistant Genetically Modified Organisms (crops) that do not kill adult honeybees. Yet they take this pollen back to the hive and feed it to their larva. The poison weakens the bees and makes them less able to resist mites, hive beetles, wax moths and all the virus brought in by them. While Europe has banned neonicotinoids, Bayer Corporation is suing the EU to remove the ban. The EU has proven that neonicotinoids bond to the cells of the plants on which they are sprayed and are directly killing honeybees.  The American firm has bribed the American congress and government oversight into ignoring world research. While honeybee populations in the EU have begun to recover since the ban of neonicotinoids, the US populations continue to decrease by over a third annually. Americans support companies like Bayer and Monsanto by patronage of their goods. So, with no resistance from the public, they are free to prosper without concern for the honeybees, or mankind in the long run.

Georgia Naturally Grown. How does a beekeeper in Georgia guarantee that his honeybee have not harvested any pollen or nectar from a GMO?  They cannot. A honeybee flies over two miles from the hive every day and there is no place in Georgia where GMO crops, GMO residential flowers, or GMO modified trees exist. Wildflower honey is simply nectar from anything that blooms. The honeybee will continue to decline, mankind will continue to increase and nature will lash out in anger like it did in the middle ages.  Think about it. They killed the predators of rats increasing the host for fleas that carried the plague.  In current day time circa 1960-1970 we sprayed DDT to kill the bugs on our crops. The runoff from our fields contained DDT residue that bonded to the fat cells in fish that eagles ate. The chemical weakened the shells of eggs laid by the eagles and the eagles crushed the eggs in the nest.  Sudden decline of eagles and sudden banning of DDT almost too late to save the bird. There are more people now, meaning more bureaucracy, more bribes, less timely action. Sudden decline in honeybees promoted by "more research, less action." 

So, while the 'preppers' are concerned about the end of the world, perhaps the rest of us can take some notes on how to prepare for the survival of our own lives? After WWII the English had a garden at every house to supplement their diets.  During the great depression every rural American family knew what was edible in the roadside ditches, in the woods and in the fields. Gardening wasn't a hobby, it was a means of putting a meal on the table every day.  Electricity was not available everywhere, especially if you could not pay the bill.  So beeswax candles lit the dark nights, manure methane lit the stoves that heated a meal.  Water was pumped by hand from shallow wells and boiled to make it suitable for drinking.  Consider this, the price of bottled water is higher than a gallon of petroleum to run your car. Think about it; at $1 for a 10 oz. bottle of tap water charcoal filtered into a marketable clear plastic petroleum made bottle that will be discarded after your drink from it one time, a gallon of water in this fashion is twice the price of a gallon of petroleum and creates a larger waste stream. 

So, what prompted this beekeeper to blog this charismatic view of the world?  A look at his beehives and the depreciation of assets (hives) on paper after the Summer of 2016. Fewer bees, more cost and effort to keep the remaining. Those 'Red Kill' fields of cotton, corn, and soybeans and my declining health as I age. What hope is there for tomorrow?  Well honestly, "I know who holds my future. I know He declared that man would live by the sweat of his brow." Maybe that honeybee is just after a drink of the sweat on my brow?  She is working harder than most people I know.  My every need is met and as an American I am rich compared to the lives of 90% of the rest of the world. My job then is to share what I know to be true and help others. We are here to help you keep bees!]]>
<![CDATA[Tears, Good Memories, Goodbyes]]>Sun, 17 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMThttp://beeutifulbees.com/bee-blog-its-a-beeuty/tears-good-memories-goodbyes   As we gathered with beekeepers from three different areas Saturday evening July 9th with the Dublin Bee Friends for a cookout at the Otts, we received a phone call from England telling us Ruth's mum, Mrs. Elizabeth Newton of 84 years, had passed.  Betty or mum had visited us here at Beefield three times in the past couple years, and each of those visits was filled with cherished activities like the first time in attendance at Young Harris University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute in the north Georgia Mountains and the painting of the Beefield store door, gathering honey from the hives at Beefield, presenting 'beekeeping in agriculture' to the Rotary Club at Little Ocmulgee State Park,  participating in Madison Mettler's Eagle Scout Project at the Effingham Animal Shelter in Springfield, watching the turpentine simmer and eating a blooming Vidalia Onion at the annual Catface Turpentine Festival in Portal, and then to see Madison's Eagle Scout ceremony.  The memories are many, as are the smiles. Having mum here made home more home.

  Ruth had given one of our farmhouse rooms the title "mums room" as our visits with her gave us the warmth and comfort of permanence.  Just a few weeks prior to this sad call, Betty had suffered a disabling stroke that bought anxiety here at Beefield, so far away.  To God we are thankful, that family was with her when the stroke happened and immediate care was rushed to her side. Having myself experienced disabling hospitalization, my sympathy and understanding of her discomfort at the inability to speak and do things for herself.  There is a great deal for us to be joyous about; her suffering was not prolonged, her medical care was expedient and well done, when the emergency of the stroke passed the first choice in nursing care was available, her family was nearby and SKYPE® made the distance so much closer with live video and voice.
  
  To the Newton family there in England, Bill, Liz, and Gill: We lift a glass of wine to celebrate her and wonderful full life; the many joys, the loving wife, the caring mother, the swift tennis doubles player, the calm listener, the faithful widow, the dedicated volunteer, the book club reader, the gardener, the traveler, and the friend.  Each of you has memories of your own that will bring a smile to your face. Below we share some of the smiles on mum's face while she was here 'across the pond'. (Click on the first and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll and read the descriptions.)
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<![CDATA[Making Space Accessible]]>Tue, 05 Jul 2016 20:33:13 GMThttp://beeutifulbees.com/bee-blog-its-a-beeuty/making-space-accessible
 For our friends at Benton Metal Depot in Statesboro who have worked with us for a year now in getting Beefield in good repair for the next 40 years.  This project on the house might be considered minor, but sprawling project scope leaves the pocketbook and the time log filled with notes.

 The house was built for the Clifton's of masonry in 1950. When we say built of masonry, this is not the current day standard of hollow block or the brick veneer facia over plywood. This means a concrete foundation for walls was poured and solid bricks were coursed upwards and outwards to make six inch thick walls. The roofing timbers sit right atop the brick walls.  There is none of this cored building brick or veneer brick, but large solid clay brick.  

 The wrap around front porch and the back porch were raised to height on clay and solid concrete floors poured 5 inches thick.  Sometime in the 1970's the back porch was closed in. No insulation was put into the framed walls, no insulation was put atop the tongue and grove pine flooring that was used to enclose and make the ceiling. So, when they placed the central heat and air unit into the house many years later the back porch was not included in the climate control plan. On a hot July day temperature on the enclosed back porch reaches about 10℉ hotter than the outside. Not the economic smart place for the freezer.

 Last August Fraser Roofing began replacement of the shingle roof with a metal roof of the color we selected based on SRI (Solar Reflective Index) and life warranty. In our case we chose copper which had a higher SRI than silver and looked more esthetically pleasing than Arctic white or silver as well. We noticed the roof does indeed reflect a higher degree of heat than the asphalt tan shingles previously displayed on our home.  But, the problem of the back porch was not solved in the least and there were other issues like no electricity on the outer wall for outdoor lighting and security cameras and no way to access the attic space above the porch. 

 We chose to cover the asbestos shingle siding with a high quality vinyl shake. As inspection of the wall revealed that near the top, the attic vent had been improperly done and there was no less than four bales of pine straw in the attic.  There must have been pine trees on the east side of the house before 1970 when they put in the in ground pool. We cut out the rotting wood vent and Ruth crawled into the space to remove the debris, confirming there was no insulation.  So after evaluating of the space and finding it suitable for storage of such things as holiday decorations and boxes, a hole was cut into the upper wall to allow access and R-19 insulation was installed in the 2x6 spaces before plywood was laid down to allow access.

 While in Portal last year evaluating a bee removal, we stopped at a thrift store and came across on old aluminum awning about 30" wide. I purchased it. This to complement the awning we removed from the old door. After spray painting it 'hammered copper' it allows a close match to the roofing materials so it will blend nicely with the roof.  Below in the photos is the custom metal piece made by Benton to fill the gap between the awning upper edge and the wall as the awning was made to fit window trim and the construction of the new access entrance did not use lumber with the kiln dried and planed dimensions. Back in the day, a 2"x4" was really 2" by 4" when kiln dried.  Now lumber mills cheat, calling a 1.5" by 3.5" a 2x4.  Beware when working on old homes, custom mill work is required for almost everything.
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 Navigation of the photos is simple. Click on the first photo and then use the right and left arrow keys of your keyboard to scroll, or you can chose to click on the arrow in the photo using your mouse.  Read the caption of the photo for a description in the white space below the picture as you view it.
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<![CDATA[Behind the Woodshed]]>Thu, 30 Jun 2016 16:11:14 GMThttp://beeutifulbees.com/bee-blog-its-a-beeuty/behind-the-woodshed"Back in the Day" when there was trouble in the family a familiar location for resolution was behind the woodshed where a switch was kept for special occasions in corporal punishment. In the current day, "Behind the Woodshed" usually brings a smile from older folks as the memory of a stinging rebuke to correct a attitude or behavior. Not so many of us can remember those occasions any longer as wood is not used to heat our homes and in this case, the extraction was really behind a very big wood shed operation for Howard Lumber of Statesboro.  Because access was difficult, the chance of a stinging rebuke from a honeybee was limited to those who had no business behind the woodshed.

The bees in this case were a small colony that spawned Spring swarming due to a limited amount for space for comb.  Each and every cavity of a beehive has its own challenges and characteristics.  In the wild honeybees normally seek out a dry space of a gallon or more in size where they can regulate the temperature and stay dry.  In this case, a building more than 60 years old has seen some wear that resulted in the top plate lumber deteriorating from water damage.  The foundation of the wall has suffered some undermining caused by tree root growth at the corner of the building and brought minor cracking to the cinderblock corner as well allowing mortar to crack.  A honeybee only needs an opening of about 1/4 inch to find access.

The photos below give you an idea look at how to access bees in block without compromising structural integrity. Saw cuts were only made in mortar joints except where division of the block was required to maintain integrity to the support.  Read the photo descriptions.
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<![CDATA[Bees in the Boro - E.Main]]>Tue, 28 Jun 2016 15:43:26 GMThttp://beeutifulbees.com/bee-blog-its-a-beeuty/bees-in-the-boro-emainOn 15 June we were contacted by the City of Statesboro with a concern over honeybees that had taken up occupancy in the facade of an East Main Street address, in property leased by the city to Georgia Southern University College of Business "City Campus." The bees were causing GSU city campus visitors and others discomfort due to their proximity and heavy activity.  Generally honeybees fly at the elevation of the entrance to their beehive, in this case the entrance began at fifteen feet and extended higher. 

After determination was made by the city that due to sugar food sources nearby, the honeybees happened to also to fly in pedestrian spaces creating a undesirable situation for the immediate downtown businesses. The bees had colonized a beehive in the facade of the building because the mortar joint spaces were not caulk sealed.  We were asked to remove the honeybees. Removal was scheduled to begin on the morning of June 27. 

Up to 50% of the hive is food and water collection workforce (foragers) and those bees are not present in the hive during daylight hours. Foragers come and go with resources handing them off to younger hive worker bees who put the stores up in the honeycomb after collecting it from the foragers.

More than 50 % of the wax comb built by bees is used for the queen to lay her eggs for the next generation of bees. The queen can lay over 1000 eggs a day and knows the gender and role of every egg she lays.  This queen was very active and more than 65% of the comb was filled with new bee larvae being fed by the nurse bees who are difficult to safely vacuum while their heads are down in the cells feeding their new sisters. More than 90% or a hive is female worker bees. While there was some drone cell on the outer edges of the comb, it was evident that this hive was less than 60 days old and the queen activity was centered on producing workers to gather resources for winter now that Summer Solstice has passed.  Beehive do not allow any drones to be present during the winter and the queen stops production of drone in preparation for the winter shortly after Solstice.

The honeybee is the only known species of life that knows the gender and role of each of the eggs she lays. This is because the cell for sterile female workers, male drone bees and future queen bees must each be drawn to a different size an placed in a specific location in the wax comb. Because drones are larger and have a slightly longer gestation period and queens are even larger than drones the location of these cells and the size of these cells is different from the core nursery cells that are the same size as those used store store pollen and nectar (honey) and royal jelly for the queen for use by the bees during the winter months when no external sources of food are available.
 
Below are photos of the extraction evaluation and extraction process.  Further descriptions are available in the photos. 
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<![CDATA[Bees in the Capital]]>Mon, 13 Jun 2016 02:27:03 GMThttp://beeutifulbees.com/bee-blog-its-a-beeuty/bees-in-the-capitalA very busy year takes us to many places including the historic town a Swainsboro where restoration work is heavily underway on a grand nineteenth century Victorian home. The restoration crew must replace some of the architectural column materials because of the freezing rains and the scorching sun have caused the porous materials which were used to create the column capital - Kapital Basis vom Monumen Lysikrates zu Athens -  to begin to deteriorate. This created openings for honeybees to set up a hive. Once we were in the hive it was obvious to see that they had been there ten or more years. The colony had been quite successful from evidence of several queen cells from over the years as well as a well wrapped center support column in wax comb filling a cavity of about 10 gallons.  The pictures below show the progress.  We found that the capitals were constructed using hemp.  The masonry component materials to form the decorative was red brick dust. The layers of white paint over the many years sealed the materials, however the infrequency of painting with the mixture of oil base core layers and latex in later years created an unstable seal in the many areas where water was captured during weather events.  This water seeped into the materials saturating them to bring black mildew, incident of freeze damage, mold, and fungal growth. Additionally it was apparent from the inside of the capital that termites had consumed a great deal of the interior of the capital column. No damage was found in the column itself showing termites found the same opening bees did during flight.
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<![CDATA[Free Bees??]]>Wed, 08 Jun 2016 17:53:15 GMThttp://beeutifulbees.com/bee-blog-its-a-beeuty/free-beesThis article contains dry humor, sarcasm, wit and bits of personal wisdom taken from a few years of commercial bee removal.  It never bothers me to hear a potential client say, “Never mind, we found someone who will do it for free.”  Because this releases me from a very hard days work and potential to see it all wasted because we did not save the queen.  “God Save the Queen “ isn’t just a UK comment. This beekeeper, married to an English girl, says it often,  

There is a term heard among beekeepers and professional apiarists from time to time.  It often gets the same reaction from an experienced person as hearing “Big Foot” or “Alien Visitors.”   What urban myth am I referring to?  “Free Bees”  Now while there are rare occasions when a phone call comes in from a local neighbor saying there is a swarm hanging from a pecan tree branch or on a fence post and our ability to walk less than a quarter mile with a pillow case or a swarm box and quietly return our unpredicted swarm to the apiary, this is as close to free bees I get and is far from the normal circumstance.  You have to drive to that swarm? And it costs what, .10 a mile to drive your car for just the petrol, never mind car insurance, maintenance and all the other sundry associated costs like seat covers and place to hold live honeybees while you drive. It’s not a round trip, you are gong to camp in a cotton tent like Moses right next to the captured swarm come high water or low temperatures.

Let me first clarify between a swarm and a cut out or extractions. A swarm of honeybees is the natural reproductive cycle of a colony of bees in the Spring and Summer. When a beehive become too full for the resident queens liking, she will lay two or three swarm cells housing the larva of a new queen. The day before or the day the first new queen hatches, the old queen of the hive gathers to herself about half of the colony of bees, mostly from the bees older than a week and she swears away. While she clings to that fence post or tree limb she has her scouts out looking for an appropriate size space for a new home.  These bees are at their calmest during the swarm, their primary focus is keeping the queen at 98℉ so she may begin the daily process of laying a thousand or so eggs every day of her remaining life as soon as wax comb is built.  

The swarm, this is different from a cutout or extraction.  If you hadn’t heard, honeybees are becoming a rare find, kind of like the Bald Eagle was in the early 1970’s.  Manmade chemicals used in farming, genetically modified crops designed to be insect resistant, the rush to harvest using herbicides to cause ‘red kill’ and reduce tillage of the soil, the harvest of timber on a schedule preventing excess maturation of trees, the ever increasing population of mankind and his building of subdivisions to house more people reducing the natural places bees live. All these things contribute to honeybees seeking places to live near people.  The exterminator has referred you to the beekeeper or the county farm extension office.

From houses built before 1960’s building codes requiring wall insulation, to the decorative columns of structures, the eaves of roofs, under a mobile home where insulation has fallen down, all these places serve as a possible place where a gallon or more of space is free from obstruction for a beehive to build.  Honeybees are not like termites, they do not eat wood materials and build in the vacant spaces. Honeybees build wax comb in empty space that is away from predators, where they are able to control the temperature all year long and keep their mother at peak egg laying temperature.  Because honeybees are not welcome in ‘man space’ often, the first call people make is to the exterminator who will refer them to an apiary or beekeeper, because honeybees are not pest, no matter how afraid you may be. 

If you choose to kill the bees yourself with a few cans of insecticide, when the temperature is no longer controlled by the bees, the wax melts seeping into your building materials, the honey flows into the drywall, the larva and young bees die and begin to decompose leaving a lurid odor to attract other pests like rats while you are driven from use of your structure for a few weeks.  Companies like ServePro specialize in disaster cleanup and services start at about $2000 for your now ‘hazardous waste’ cleanup site. You see, insecticides are hazardous wastes once they have permeated your building materials.  Oh and they wear special breathing equipment to not smell the problem you created.

So now lets consider these ‘free bees’.   Momma always said “Nothing is free.” and boy was she right.  Even welfare comes with a billion dollar annual operation cost to pay all the people who the government employs to oversee that welfare.  But lets consider that a package of new honeybees from a breeder runs about $80 - $100.  Minimum wage in the US is $7.25 and hour under FSLA and $5.15 for those not covered by FSLA,  On average a cutout is a labor intensive job that takes no less than six hours for two people.  Two people, at $7.25 is 12 hours labor; $87. There are those beekeepers who say, “I can do that by myself.”  Good for you, you keep saying that, there is a demand for your charity.  Now let’s look at equipment and tools needed to gather the bees, cut out all the honeycomb and put it into frames and into a beehive. And never mind the preparation time before the call to get all your equipment ready, never mind the four hours after extraction to situate the bees in a new home, clean up all your equipment and inventory your wares for the next call.  I will say to you a single bee hive extraction is a full days work, not just six or eight hours on site, double the time for prep and after action.

Equipment list:  Knives, putty knives, scrappers, drywall saws, circular saws, tool boxes, surgical gloves, plastic buckets for loose honey comb, plastic sheeting, movers blankets, drop clothes, frames and rubber bands for ‘sized’ honey comb on frame, wood and metal files, rasps, respirator masks, pry bars, crow bars, brooms, bee suits that will become soiled with honey and dirt and sweat and become not cleanable,  heat sensors, fiber optic tube camera, stethoscopes, hammers, drills and bits, extension cords, battery chargers and spare batteries for portable equipment, head lamps, flash lights, smokers, bee vacuums, vacuum hosing and attachments, queen clips, bee hive boxes, duct tape, putty and drywall paste, shop vac and bags for cleanup, hand trucks, trailers for haling equipment, trash cans, water spray bottles, smoker fuels, rags and portable water for tool cleaning, hive tools, goggles, training and experience to capture the queen, explaining your every move to the concerned homeowner who is curious…… Oh did I mention insurance for your protection, insurance for your trailer and tools from accident or theft while you work.  Rental equipment like man lifts, cherry pickers, scaffolding.   Ack..., you don’t need this stuff!  Its ‘free bees’, you will get them direct deposit into your garden hive, you don’t need to remove them.

Let’s look at the dangers of working above your head or off the ground 20 feet for four to six hours. Look into the possibility that all your work will be for naught if the queen is damaged or killed during your cut out. Consider that the property owner was not expecting the construction and remodeling quote provided by the remodeling crew to replace the dry wall you removed, the siding of the building, the ceiling damage caused when you put your knee through the drywall. Consider the litigation costs if you are sued. Consider the cost of the lawyer you use to draft the properly legal, hold harmless agreement your property owner needs to sign before you begin work.

Consider the milage to and from your apiary, the multiple trips you may need to make to assure you have gotten all the bees or that you make to assure you have the right equipment in the changing nature of the extraction, taller ladders, longer extension cords, cordless drills, saws, flashlights, plastic sheeting to protect surfaces from homey, drop cloths to collect dead bees, wax and propolis and all the dozens of other materials you find you need like an extra bee suit, rubber bands, extra bee boxes and frames.

Now consider that the federal government requires you have health insurance and that you provide health insurance for those you work with.  Did they mention it was just $500 a month from a large employer or $1000 a month from a small employer to give ONE employee a subsidize by the employer health plan?  That's why you pay a lower premium, it's subsidized by the employer.  Did anyone advise you that anyone can become allergic to bee sting?  Did you know that one Epi pin for emergency use costs $100 and that use of an Epi pen recommends you travel to an emergency room after use?  Did you know an Emergency room visit for a bee sting is $800 to start?  You say, I’m not allergic to bees.  And what about everyone around your extraction?  How many times will you get stung before you become allergic?  After all, YOU stirred up a beehive and if you were not there they never would have been stung.  Do you have that hold harmless agreement signed? Does the property owners property insurance cover bee sting victims?

So, ‘free bees’ would indicate you already own all your equipment that never breaks, never needs maintenance, never runs out.  You give out God like immunity to all bee stings to everyone in a 100 yard radius, you have extra bee suits for workers helping you do the deconstruction, you are a lawyer in your state and have prepared for free your own legally binding hold harmless agreement and you are the offspring of the only judge in your jurisdiction who will throw out any case brought against you for property damages while removing your ‘free bees’.  Oh and you don’t work and do not receive any public benefits so the time you use to extract these bees has no comparison value.  They are actually free because your time has no value.  You were given all the stuff you use to ‘get them bees’ and were going to throw it away soon anyhow. So your stuff has no value either.  Mmmmm, momma always said, “Nothings free!”

Stay tuned for comments from that old beekeeper.... nobody ever gets stung and free bees are not a myth.

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<![CDATA[Every Blooming Thing]]>Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:36:01 GMThttp://beeutifulbees.com/bee-blog-its-a-beeuty/every-blooming-thing1This post was started in January 2014 and is updated often as reports are made of newly blooming flowers. The current update is as of 4/17/16

Ecclesiastics 3:1-8 says
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace." 

It is with this particular blog post we will grow, A time to bloom: Below listed are the bloom dates thus far in 2014 so you can know where and when the nectar and pollen flows.  This is a second attempt to publish this.Here is a link to the  UGA collection of flowering things for reference.  

Annuals die off each year and are replanted from seed or nursery stock.
Perennials are like trees, they are there even when the leaves fall off seasonally.
To indicate which type is shown, a symbol * will be used to represent annuals and those without should be considered perennials. Look here for the official UGA page Flowering Perennials for Georgia Gardens.  Annuals bloom dates will depend on when they are planted, late or early freezes, how much water they get and a number of other things so take annual dates this year as "around that time."

Of course without your watchful eyes and busy fingers the blooming dates for these would be incomplete. So, if you were the one who shared the bloom this year, an acknowledgement is also attributed. The links to each species will vary in location so that you can also learn about species from different sources to create your own book of knowledge on bee food sources.  Watch your bees, they see the pollen sources like in the trees.  If they are rooting around in the tress it's probably not a home for the bees, but a garden. Not all plants require pollination by pollinators, however this does not mean that the pollen or nectar these plants have is not appealing to bees. 

Poisonous Plants
Locations with abundant growth of California buckeye (Aesculus spp.), deathcamas (Zigadenus venenosus), locoweed (Astragalus or Oxytropis spp.), laurel (Kalmia sp.), or rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.) should be avoided, if possible, while these plants are in bloom. Damage to colonies from poisonous nectar or pollen may be severe in some years.
⬇⬇⬇  If you click on the arrows you will be taken to a web page that contains just this article. One you do that chose the share button and send the link to every-blooming-thing.

Date
01/11/16
01/14/16
01/24/15
02/06/14
02/11/14
02/15/14
02/17/16
02/18/16
02/21/14
02/25/14
02/25/14
02/25/14
02/26/14
02/26/14
03/14/15
03/02/14
03/02/14
03/02/14
03/08/14
04/02/15
04/11/15
04/06/15
03/16/14
03/19/14
03/19/14
03/19/14
03/19/14
03/19/14
03/20/14
03/20/14
03/20/14
03/20/14
03/20/14
03/20/14
03/21/14
03/21/14
03/21/14
03/22/14
04/01/14
04/01/14
04/01/14
04/02/14
04/10/14
04/16/14
4/18/14
4/28/14
4/28/14
4/28/14
5/03/14
5/04/13
5/05/14
5/08/14
5/08/14
5/08/14
5/08/14
5/09/14
5/12/14
5/24/14
5/25/16
5/25/16

5/26/14
5/26/14
5/27/14
5/27/14
5/28/14
5/28/14
6/3/14
6/6/14
7/7/14
​6/13/15
​6/7/15
​6/11/16
Flowering
Rosemary
Red Maple
Dandelion
Saucer Magnolia
Ligustrim Japonica
Blooming Jade
Alder
​Cedar/Juniper
Service Berry
Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Tulip Tree - Liriodendron tulipifera
Elm
Juniper
Cedar
Henbit Deadnettle Lamium amplexicaule  
Camellia japonica
Dandielion       
Lugustrum
Crab Apple - Malus
Gardenia
Daffodil
Bradford Pear
Dogwood
Azelea
Yellow Jasmine
Wild Raspberry
Ornamental Cherry trees
Honeysuckle
Magnolia
Flowering Crabapple (Malus)
Holly
Wisteria
Pansy
Loropetalum chinense
Tulips
Hyacinth
Gardenia
Trumpet honeysuckle
Round leaf hepatic
Princess Tree Paulownia
Photenia Red Tip
Pieris
Yaupon Holly
Trillium
Wild Turnip
Blackberry (wild)
Daffodils
Blueberry
Tea Olive
White Ogeechee Tupelo tree
Red Chockeberry
Magnolia
Honeysuckle
Confederate Jasmine
Bottle Brush
Service Berry
Blue Vitex
Sweet Almond Aloysia
​Carolina Buckhorn
Sparkleberry
Grandiflora Magnolia
Roses
Nandina
Mimosa
Verbena
Crape Myrtle - Lagerstroemia
Hydrangea
Viburnum
Chinese Tallow (Popcorn Tree)
Yarrow
Cotton
Clover (red)
Clover (white)
Butterfly Bush
Buddleia davidii
Zinneas *
Marigolds *
Pansies *
Petunias *
Zinnias *
Chrysanthemum  (Mums)
Hibiscus
Sunflower
Vinca *
Trumpet Vine (Campsis)
Soybeans *
Corn *
Veronica
white-Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum)
yellow-Jasmin (poison)
Phlox
Russian Sage
Asters
Purple Cone Flower
Yarrow
Peonies
Iris
Where
Savannah, GA
Bulloch County 
Tybee Island, GA
Savannah, GA
Savannah, GA
​Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Evans County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County     Bulloch County ​  
Effingham County
Effingham County
Screven County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Statesboro
Statesboro
Bulloch County
Statesboro
Statesboro
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Jasper County SC
Effingham County
Effingham County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Chatham County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Beefield
​Beefield
​Garden City
Bulloch County
Portal, GA
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Bulloch County
Acknowledgement

Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Jerry Fleming
Jerry Fleming
Steve Thosa
Steve Thosa
​Beeutiful
Beeutiful
​Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Bobby Colson
Beeutiful
Beaufort Jasper
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
​Beeutiful

Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Beeutiful
Gerry Lanier
Nancy Celani Baker
Beeutiful Bees

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<![CDATA[Honeycomb, the perfect storage locker.]]>Sun, 02 Aug 2015 22:01:08 GMThttp://beeutifulbees.com/bee-blog-its-a-beeuty/honeycomb-the-perfect-storage-lockerPicture
The honeycomb cell actually start off as a circle — molded by the shape of a bee's body the constructor, who happens to start her life as a round egg placed into the bottom of the cell.  The circle then flows into a hexagonal pattern seconds later during its construction. This all to prove a mathematical conjecture two thousand years old, the most effective use of space and materials to create a storage space is the hexacomb.  The bees, by heating the cells, cause the wax to become molten and flow like lava. Once the wax starts flowing, the cell walls naturally fall flat and take on the shape of a hexagon.

The honeycomb conjecture states that a regular hexagonal grid or honeycomb is the best way to divide a surface into regions of equal area with the least total perimeter. The first record of the conjecture dates back to 36BC, from Marcus Terentius Varro, but is also attributed to Pappus of Alexandria (c. 290 – c. 350). The conjecture was proven in 1999 by mathematician Thomas C. Hales, who mentions in his work that there is reason to believe that the conjecture may have been present in the minds of mathematicians even before Varro.  Read the mathematical proof here:
http://www.communitycommons.org/wp-content/uploads/bp-attachments/14268/honey.pdf

A honey bee must consume about eight ounces of honey to produce a single ounce of wax. Now you know why beeswax foundation, whether sheets of pure press or Plasticell℗ lightly wax coated sheets costs more than honey by weight. This further justifies the behavior of the beekeeper in no longer crushing his comb to extract honey, but removing the capping and and spinning out the honey before returning the unharmed comb to the beehive to be reused by the honeybee. 



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<![CDATA[Wild Edible Things]]>Wed, 29 Jul 2015 04:04:18 GMThttp://beeutifulbees.com/bee-blog-its-a-beeuty/wild-edible-thingsPicture
Recently a bit of garden work here at Beefield got posted to our personal FaceBook pages and a sudden realization of my life experiences due to age. I'm very fortunate because Ruth is adventuresome and an outdoors girl. Her recent digging in the garden brought up the root of this article.'

I am writing this because of a life long interest in self sufficiency. At an early age I wanted to be a mountain man like Grizzly Adams or Daniel Boone and as I grew up nature and the outdoors called me to the Boy Scouts where my adventure in learning began.

Today the southeast is full of Duck Dynasty types, survivalists, great outdoors men and others who see the end of the supermarket and government order, the end of fast food and cash flow. So, I meet all types, from the curious Boy Scout dad to the up and coming survivalist. This is written to share the knowledge I have accumulated over the past forty years to make fine dining from the wilds or your own backyard more achievable. Although some plants or plant parts are edible raw, you must cook others to be edible or palatable. And just because it is safe to eat does not mean it has nutritional value or savory taste. Edible means only that a plant or food will provide you with necessary nutrients, while palatable means that it actually is pleasing to eat. Many wild plants are edible but hardly palatable. Take away fats, flavors and seasonings and much of the food available in the grocery store might actually fall into that group, so enjoy experimenting with wild food.

Here is a basic start to identifying those edible plants which an be done through experience and some memorization. Basic botany groups different plants into easily memorable patterns.

Starting from the bottom up is basic types of root structures which are the bulb, clove, taproot, tuber, rhizome, corm, and crown. Bulbs are familiar to us as onions and, when sliced in half it show concentric rings. Cloves are those same bulblike structures that remind us of garlic and will separate into small pieces when broken apart. This characteristic separates wild onions from wild garlic. Taproots resemble carrots and may be single-rooted or branched, but usually only one plant stalk arises from each root. Tubers are like potatoes and daylilies and you will find these structures either on strings or in clusters underneath the parent plants. Rhizomes are large creeping rootstock or underground stems and many plants arise from the “eyes” of these roots. Corms are similar to bulbs but are solid when cut rather than possessing rings. A crown is the type of root structure found on plants such as asparagus and looks much like a mop head under the soil’s surface.

Now there are grasses, vines, shrubs, trees and they all have leaves. Those leaves come in many different shapes and they all sprout from a stalk. How the sprout, from opposite, or compound, simple or alternative or even basal rosette help in identifying the plant as do the leaf shape and composition. Hard and shiny or soft and furry, lance shaped, oblong, wedge shaped, triangular, elliptic or long pointed. Each is a type of leaf identifiable to a species, genus, or family. Visual identification is the foundation of a sure safe meal.

So you want to eat a new item, guess there should be way to check out that item right. Well try to remember its a new  I.T.E.M.

Identify the plant beyond doubt. Don't count on me to be an expert. An EX is a has-been, a spurt is a drip under pressure. Get a good book on botanicals and wild edibles. (That's is two books with illustrations and photos) Pictures often don’t tell the entire story. Yes the Internet is full of informative sites and resources. In this age of twisted truths and misinformation will you trust your life web site alone?

What grows here in the sandy soils of SE Georgia might look different in the clay soils of N Georgia. Temperatures, soil conditions, amount of sunlight, competing species, they all have the ability to make something look a bit different. It's a visual thing. You know how “we all look alike” to a different nationality or race? Well, its a plant; depending on your training, experiences, visual acuity, they all look alike. Drugs and poisons are mostly made from plants, so don't drug yourself or poison yourself on a guess.You can always attempt to find a local university professor or a farm extension agent who is also a botanist to help in your identification, but append your questions with, “Do you guarantee this is okay to eat?”

To the botanist, university professor, ranger or other “expert'. To certify a plant is edible means: you have found it many times, prepared it properly to eat many times, eaten it many times and every time you see it anew you make sure it is the right plant. It is one thing to be wrong and endure all the aches, pains, gut wrenching or medical examinations that its consumption entails by yourself, it is another to be wrong and have people get sick over it. Can you pay the lawyers and the medical bills of the associated victim if you make an error? Yes, I respect your education and experiences. I also respect your common sense in recommending a new food from the wild for a friend or acquaintance.

Time of year is next. If the pictures show a of a plant species in September with purple berries and you are looking at a similar live plant in June with those berries, it is probably a different plant. Yes, major geographic distances can alter fruiting of species, but major geographic differences are comparisons of South Africa to the North Eastern United States. If it is on your continent don't expect the timing of fruiting, blooming, leaf color or other indicators to vary so greatly. Some plants that bloom or fruit once a year in a northern climate may do so twice in a warmer climate.  Welcome to SE Georgia. As an example, pyracantha fruits twice here in SE Georgia. (Evergreen bush with clusters of little red soft berries) If a plant is not doing what you believe it is supposed to be doing at the right time of year, answer why. This is reasons to study with a local expert.

Environment. Where is the plant growing and what is the surrounding environment? The explosion of population worldwide has brought international shipping and landscaping together. The invasion of the fireant to North America is due to framing lumber and from South America. In Florida there are many species of wild plants that are considered nuisance because they are not native to the area and clog waterways or overtake bridges. In North Georgia we have kudzu, in southeast Georgia we have the Chinese Tallow or popcorn tree. Neither of these species is native to North America however over the past hundred years plants have been brought in for the ornamental or environmental benefits later to be found and listed as noxious or invasive species. So, while it is not uncommon to see plants far from their normal areas is also important to be aware that for the most part edible wilds are admirably native to the area. Another part of the environment is what surrounds the plant I am foraging for. Here in Southeast Georgia we live near the Ogeechee River, which has had some severe cases of toxic poisoning from a nearby fabrics manufacturer. The coatings put on fire protective gear have been washed into the local river causing a great deal of environmental damage including large fish kills. Just an hour of the Savannah River is the Savannah River plant on nuclear manufacturing this facility which has had a history of pollution to downriver. The state of Georgia still cautions people about eating fish from the Savannah River. That same river water is the back flow and tidal resource many local streams and creeks. So ask yourself what is the source of the water that is feeding my wild edible. How close is the nearby manufacturing facility that may be poisoning the soil? How close is the local farmer who may be spraying a cocktail mixture of chemicals on his crops every year? How close is the local waste disposal treatment plant? All of these things can affect the makeup of the Environment of the wild edible you seek. Plants growing near homes and occupied buildings or along roadsides may have been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. Don't forget about the plethora of petroleum products that it takes to run an automobile that have leaked off, washed to the roadside by local rains or dumped.

Method of preparation. While some foods are completely edible after being cooked others are not edible and may cause sickness in the raw state. Some foods may need to be more than just washed and dried. Others may need to be dried and pulverized into a powder to make a flour or other digestible matter. An good example of method is boiling. Pokeweed: You must boil it at least twice, if not more times. If you boil it once, like many other greens, you might get ill from it.  Despite efforts in the United States to get pokeweed into the food supply, the need to boil pokeweed more than once has kept it out.

Other potential food plant may need to be soaked in salty water, or peeled or only certain parts of the plant like leaves or flowers are harmful. Some tubers have to be cooked twice. Even a baked potato holds little nutritional value in a raw state. You method of preparation is important. Some plants develop extremely dangerous fungal toxins. To lessen the chance of accidental poisoning, do not eat any fruit that is starting to spoil or showing signs of mildew or fungus. Many valuable wild plants have high concentrations of oxalate compounds, also known as oxalic acid. Oxalates produce a sharp burning sensation in your mouth and throat and damage your kidneys. Baking, roasting, or drying usually destroys these oxalate crystals. The corm of the jack-in-the-pulpit is known as the “Indian turnip,” you can only eat it only after removing these oxalate crystals by slow baking or by drying.

So there you have my introduction to wild edibles. Perhaps I can continue this on other opportunities. One sure thing, while you are out poking about for wild thins to eat you are sure to see a bee.  Who knows, if you can follow her home there's a sweet treat containing all the nutrients needed to sustain life.


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