Showing posts with label honey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label honey. Show all posts

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Beekeeping - A lesson in Business and Trust

Bee Keeping Fresh Honey Considering frugal

About 10 years ago we started buying honey at the local farmers market. We fell madly in love with this one brand and started using so much of it that I decided to call the beekeeper directly, and ask about wholesale pricing.

Little did I know what that would turn into...

from Distributing Honey

It all started very innocently, when I bought some wholesale honey in bulk. As more and more friends and family caught on, our co-op grew until, when we decided to move to Wyoming, this was one of the few pieces of our life I didn't want to leave behind. So, after some encouragement from our beekeeper friend, I thought, "well, if we are moving that far, I think I would like to do this too!"

So my girl and I started dreaming about the farmers market, the beeswax candles, the baking and making, oh the mead I will make, strawberry, blackberry, caramelized honey mead! We love making lipgloss and soaps! We would have an endless supply!...

It sounded perfect, "and if beekeeping takes patience...I already have patience!" I quickly learned though, that beekeeping is not about patience at all...its about trust. When you can't see what is going on in that box in the winter start sweating bullets wondering if they are surviving the latest storm. You have to trust them.

to Beekeeping

I'm sure its no coincidence that I'm learning trust in this season of life.

Our first spring, our first swarm.

Our first spring, last spring, one of our hives lost a queen to a late and very cold spring snow. Spring snows are very common here, I had the hive set up just in time, but hadn't had time to put up a wind guard. The wind chill here in Cheyenne is usually several degrees colder than the actually temps, and the queen was hanging out right on the east side of the box where the wind always hits. Since then, we have put up a pallet to slow the wind on that side, and ironically the bees in that hive always cluster on the west side of the box. They re queened right after the storm and swarmed on the first warm day. Luckily they swarmed in the only short tree we have, and with the help of several friends, we got them back.

"He who has loved and lost is better for it!" - unknown

This winter has been weird. We had kind of a late fall, with temps staying in the 50's. And then boom, 4 degrees and icy. Unfortunately, one of my hives didn't make it through this. When I dissected the hive, I found quite a bit of brood and they were also re queening. The queen had died too. They weren't supposed to be making so much brood this time of year. It was as if the weather had confused them into some spring activities.

The hive that had swarmed last spring, so far, they are still alive and kicking. They still avoid that east corner of the box where the first queen died. They seem to remember what to do from the loss of last year.

I was surprised that the larger hive is the one that died, but I am so thankful for the bees that gave they're little lives to teach me my first lessons. When I first discovered the untimely passing, I was devastated. I really thought my dreams of harvesting honey every summer, making yummy mead for the county fair, and selling beautiful gold filled jars at the farmer's market were gone! But as I began to work through cleaning up the waste and examining the bees, I realized I was just getting started learning. It wasn't all lost. It wasn't a disease ridden hive that had to be burned. I still have an empty hive box and another living hive. I ordered spring bees for the empty box and extracted the remaining honey. From a business standpoint, it isn't really a loss.

Trust is a part of business that I never really considered before this venture. I remembered farmers and beekeepers loosing everything at once growing up in Indiana. Twenty tornadoes could come through in one night and wipe out a lifetime of work, but I never considered that those same farmers, in addition to trusting the weather, also had to trust the process of biology itself. That seems like a risky business! - the business of developing trust, the foundation of faith.

Back when we started our remodeling business in Arizona, we used to think we always needed space big enough to hold our dreams. While I still think this is true, I understand the process better than I used to. There is a push and pull in business between dreaming big and not getting emotionally attached to your venture as an investor or entrepreneur.

Some of the big time investor's will try to tell you to NEVER get emotionally attached. I don't completely agree with that either. I am learning that it is definitely a balance. I have watched many friends and acquaintances as they began to dream big...and while it is hard to watch because often times it is that moment when we are susceptible to crashing, dreaming big is also that moment when we become emotionally attached. Without the emotional attachment, we don't love our work and without the love we can't love, lose and learn and get better. If you are not emotionally attached, you don't have a dream and without dreams, life has no passion. So, my advice...GET EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED to your dream and your business.

Get emotionally attached to what you love! Know that you will lose sometimes and decide now to learn from it and get better.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wyoming Bee College

Wyoming Bee College
I attended Wyoming Bee College this past weekend at LCCC! It was super fantastic! I attended workshops on the basics of beekeeping as well as how to plant a pollen rich garden! I learned why my beeswax candles aren't burning right...finally solved a problem I couldn't find an answer to on Pinterest! The workshops were taught by highly educated professionals ranging from medical science to agriculture. And the range of topics was very broad, so it appealed to the beginner and experienced alike. I even sat in on a great lecture on soil conservation and one on reviving native plants.

The weekend didn't just serve as a tool for beekeepers either. I was super impressed with the amount of people that traveled to Cheyenne from other states. By my naked eye judgment, I am willing to estimate that there was a 5/6 ratio of out of town guests and of those 5, at least 4 came up from Colorado. Yes! The Wyoming Bee College attracted visitors from Northern Colorado! And they were excited to be here. Two guests even complemented our downtown core.

In addition to great workshops and attracting visitors to Cheyenne, Wyoming Bee College also had great vendors. Some of which were local...

One of my favorite downtown businesses was there! Three Crows....

They had some great bee artwork...

Three Crows Art

And I bought a wonderful little iridescent bee ring bowl...

Bee Ring Bowl
If you think you would like bee keeping, you may also want to read The Beekeeper's Bible. Below is a free preview on Amazon.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cooking with Foods that Heal

Cooking with Foods that Heal
Cooking with Foods that Heal
About five years ago now, my husband began having severe stomach problems that stemmed from a virus he picked up from an infected water source. Although the virus had to be treated with antibiotics, the doctor gave him a strict dietary regimen and told him that if he did not stick to it, the problems that the virus created would return. While we are thankful for modern medicine, we also recognize that much of our health problems begin and end with diet, so I immediately began to research what foods are known to heal the stomach. We not only avoided the list that the doctor gave him but we also added these foods to our diet and within a few weeks he had made substantial progress toward healing. Now that we incorporate these foods into our normal menu, meaning I add at least one to every meal I cook, he virtually has no problems with his stomach and he is able to cheat and eat foods from the "do not eat" list on occasion without any problems.
Some of the foods I added to our daily menu were Apples, Honey, Celery and Parsley. It is best if the skin remains on the apples because it is the pectin in the apples that heals the stomach. Parsley and celery are both healing in that they provide a sort of natural indigestion relief and Honey not only contains B vitamins but it is pH balanced which helps to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach.

We also cook with plenty of garlic and onion, these purify the blood stream and aid in digestion, however I cook with dried garlic and dried minced onion. Fresh garlic, onion and peppers are all too difficult for an already damaged stomach to  handle.

Some foods we still try to avoid are white vinegar, peanuts, fried foods, white potatoes, store bought tomatoes and white sugar. These are all foods that multiply the acid in the stomach. I don't think you will be surprised that we found that organic and home canned tomatoes are often very tolerable. They appear to be lower in acid. Although many people have found digestive healing by eating pineapple, we have found that this aggravates his particular condition.

Finally, we drink quite a bit of herbal tea sweetened with organic local honey. I especially like peach chamomile and blueberry from Celestial Seasonings. The Peach blend is very calming and the blueberry blend is good for both brain and lung health and the flavors are a big hit too. We have found that this blueberry tea blend along with the honey has reduced our allergies considerably.

You may also want to read Making Your Home an Allergy Free Zone.

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8