Sunday, April 29, 2007



Also known as May Eve, May Day, happens at the beginning of May. It celebrates the height of Spring and the flowering of life. The Goddess manifests as the May Queen . The God emerges as the May King.

Beltane is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, and delight.

  • Prepare a May basket by filling it with flowers and goodwill and then give it to someone in need of healing and caring, such as a shut-in or elderly friend.

  • Form a wreath of freshly picked flowers, wear it in your hair, and feel yourself radiating joy and beauty.

  • Dress in bright colors.

  • On May Eve, bless your garden in the old way by making love with your lover in it.

  • Welcome in the May at dawn with singing and dancing.

There are many ways to celebrate Beltane yourself:

· Weaving a garland of flowers to wear in your hair
· Wearing green all day (and nothing all night!)
· Hanging fruits and baked goodies from trees and bushes for later feasting
· Building a Beltane fire: leap over it to cleanse yourself, or state your desires and let the fire carry them upward
· Leaping over your garden rows (or house plants), sharing joyous energy
· Making a 'May gad': peel a willow-wand and twine cowslips or other flowers around it
· Erecting a Maypole; choose a bright ribbon of a color symbolizing your desire, and dance and weave...

R. Kipling

"Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight, Or he would call it a sin; But we have been out in the woods all night, A-conjuring Summer in! "
*~* Have a wonderful May Day *~*

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hi All, Well I had a request to get a picture of my Fairy Goblet.. Well these are very hard to photograph.. Or maybe Iam just getting to old and shaky?? But I did my best I got up VERY early this morning and tried to catch the Fairy's dancing on the rim.. But it looks like one of those naughty girls drank my honey wine and slipped in?? Not sure if that a fairy inside or not??? :-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tips From the Fairy Garden

*~* Bee Garden*~*
So you want to plant a bee garden or modify your existing garden to attract many of the native ("wild") bees that occur in the United States. The first thing you should know is that by planting bee-attracting plants, you can attract a diverse array of other wildlife as well. Butterflies, wasps, flies, hummingbirds and other pollinators will give you a bountiful harvest of fruits, vegetables, seeds and provide you with many hours of outdoor entertainment. You will be providing pesticide-free safe havens for pollinators. Once such havens are duplicated across your county or state, they can provide significant wildlife habitat for native animals involved in the often threatened process of pollination.
Bees as "watchable" wildlife you ask? Don't worry, nearly all species of bees are gentle and will not sting you. They are simply searching for food-- pollen and nectar-- to feed themselves and their young. All bees need the same few basic requirements in order to make a living. It may surprise you to learn that of the nearly 5,000 species of bees in the U.S. most lead solitary lives and construct their nests underground or in twigs or abandoned beetle burrows in dead tree branches.
If you have already taken the first important step in providing what the bees ordered for dinner-- flowers. The bees won't chew up your prize specimens. Instead, they will take away pollen and nectar, leaving a "pollination path" of luscious fruits, vegetables and seeds in their wake. Remember, they aren't intentionally trying to be helpful to flowering plants by moving the pollen from flower to flower. In search of a quick sip of nectar, some tasty pollen and maybe some building materials to transport back to their nests the bees pollinate blossoms leading to fertilization and fruits to form. By selecting the best bee-rewarding plants, you can attract beneficial pollinating bees and other creatures to your flower, vegetable gardens, or backyard fruit orchard.
The most important consideration is how to use a maximum of native annual and perennial wildflowers which naturally grow in your region. These plants evolved there and are adapted to the growing season and local climate and soils. They often require less water, fertilizer and pesticides than showy exotics, fanciful hybrids splashed across colorful ads in the most recent seed or bulb catalogs. The native wilflowers will also provide your bee visitors with more nutritious pollen and nectar since plant breeders do not think about providing floral rewards for pollinators and their magnificient creations are often all show and no bee chow. You can also make selections from old "heirloom" varieties such as Cosmos, black-eyed Susans, lupines, mints and others which are now enjoying a Renaissance of popularity.
Once you have provided your garden landscape with attractive and rewarding bee plants, there are a few other things to keep your bees healthy and around to pollinate another day. Apart from bountiful flowers, all bees require places to hide from predators, to locate and court a mate or establish their nests. Thus, they need you to help provide safe havens from predators, parasites and chemical insecticides.
If you can't avoid not using some insecticides, try to use less persistent ones which have been proven safer for bees and other pollinators. Also, remember to follow the application instructions on the label and apply these materials after dark or when pollinators like bees are safe within their nests. If you poison your bees, you will have fewer prize-winning fruits on your table to brag about with your gardening neighbors. The biggest and tastiest fruits are the direct result of flowers pollinated by bees. Over a third of all the fruits and vegetables we eat are the result of bee visits to blossoms in our farms and gardens.
Bees also need sources of water which can be provided from a dripping faucet or pond or bird bath. Some, require mud as a building material for their nests. If you are lucky enough to have "Blue Orchard Bees" in your neighborhood, or other so-called Mason bees, encourage them by providing some mud. Create a one foot tall conical mound of soil near your garden. Allow some water to seep up from a pan at the base. The eager Mason bees will collect balls of mud from the wet soil at the proper height and reward you by sticking around and increasing in numbers.
In creating a bee garden, it is important to remember that you should leave a small patch of bare ground somewhere in or around your garden in which bees can establish their underground nests. Very few bees can nest in manicured grass lawns. Similarly, if you, or your neighbors, can tolerate a dead tree, or at least some dead branches, these will prove invaluable as nesting sites for many leafcutter and mason bees. Tie some dead branches up against your garden shed or other building to create some enticing holey bee real estate. The more beetle burrows the better for the bees.
Often, it is not floral abundance but rather nesting sites that is limiting for our native bees. If you have access to elderberry stems, cut and dry some into 1-2 foot lengths. With a drill, different sized starter holes can be drilled into one end and into the sides of the woody stems. Sharpen one end like a tent stake and push them into the ground around your yard. If your dog doesn't use them as toys, the bees will soon find them and reward you for your bee stewardship efforts.
"Bee houses" are easy and fun to make or can be purchased commercially from several vendors. Making your own can provide you and your children with hours of fun and even more entertainment once they are hung up in your yard to entice new bee pollinating tenants. With a drill bit of various sizes 5/16th of an inch works best for Mason bees including the Blue Orchard Bee simply take some scrap lumber and drill holes 3 to 5 inches deep but not all the way through the wood block. Nail these up securely in protected places under building eaves in the early spring. Using paper or plastic soda straws, you can bundle these materials and glue them into the bottom of paper milk cartons or coffee cans. Place them in protected shady and dry places in the early spring and the bees will come.
Nectar, pollen, water, nesting materials and open ground-- combine these ingredients and your collaboration with nature should result in some larger and tastier fruits and vegetables in just a season or two from now. By creating small patches of pesticide-free safe havens for all pollinators, you can play a small but vital role in reversing the dramatic pollinator declines which have occured during the past few years. It may not seem like much, but magnified across your state and across the country, these gardens (a patchwork quilt of "floral islands") can serve a vital role by feeding and protecting many threatened animals that pollinate wildflowers and our crop plants. This is especially true for migratory pollinators (animals like nectar-feeding bats or Monarch butterflies) which travel long distances across state and international boundaries. Along these "nectar corridors" the migratory pollinators can take a much needed nectar break within your newly-constructed pollinator garden.
Leave dead wood as branches and entire trees standing on your property if possible. That's because most bees in the leafcutter bee family (Megachilidae), especially the genera Megachile and Osmia do not make their own nests but use tunnels made by the larvae of wood-boring beetles (long-horned beetles and metallic wood-boring beetles among others). These holes and tunnels occur in solid but dead wood. The illustration that follows is from a palo verde tree (Cercidium microphyllum) in the Sonoran desert around Tucson. Note the englareed section showing the numerous beetle exit holes in the small branch. In the spring, female leafcutter and mason bees actively search over dead branches to find new homes. Let them become your new tenants. If you don't have beetle holes in that dead branch, you can help these bees by drilling holes for them.

A list of Bee flowers

Birds eye
Blue mist
Balifornia buckwheat
Cape mallow
Chinese house
Coast buckwheat
Cranes bill
Dusty miller elegant clarkia
Elegant madia
German sage
Lambs ear
Mexican sun flower
Lindley blazing star
Russian sage
Scented geranium
Sunflowers--> in general

Garden plants

Creeping thyme,---honey bees - love it
Basil flowers,-- honey bees - love it
Broccoli flowers---honey bees - love it
Here are some links to some websites were you can purchase seeds for butterfly and bee flower gardens.

Hope this helps all who had ask questions.. :-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

May Pole History

With May 1st fast approaching I thought I would do a couple of blogs on May Day. I remember rolling up the paper cone and drawing on it with colored pencils and crayons.. Adding ribbons then picking fresh wild flowers and placing it on the unsuspecting door knob of one of my neighbors.. Oh how I miss the real neighborhood feeling..
The May Pole, A lovely memory for me.. The May Pole has been captured in every medium.. through the years.. Photos, drawing, painting, stitchery.. To have a lasting effect on society it must have a very special and positive meaning.. Here is some information I have collected on the story of the May Pole..

May Day celebrates the height of Spring and the flowering of life. In the pagan tradition the Goddess manifests as the May Queen and Flora. The God emerges as the May King and Jack in the Green. The danced Maypole represents Their unity, with the pole itself being the God and the ribbons that encompass it, the Goddess. Colors are the Rainbow spectrum.

May day observance was discouraged during the Puritans. Though, it was relived when the Puritans lost power in England, it didn't have the same robust force. Gradually, it came to be regarded more as a day of joy and merriment for the kids, rather than a day of observing the ancient fertility rights.
The tradition of Maypole and greenery's: By the Middle Ages every English village had its Maypole. The bringing in of the Maypole from the woods was a great occasion and was accompanied by much rejoicing and merrymaking. The Maypoles were of all sizes. And one village would vie with another to show who could produce the tallest Maypole. Maypoles were usually set up for the day in small towns, but in London and the larger towns they were erected permanently.
The Maypole tradition suffered a setback for about a couple of decades since the Puritan Long Parliament stopped it in 1644. However, with the return of the Stuarts, the Maypole reappeared and the festivities of May Day were again enjoyed. One of the great Maypoles, was The changes brought about by the Reformation included attempts to do away with practices that were obviously of pagan origin. But the Maypole, or, May tree, was not issued in practice at the behest of the second Stuart.
Although they succeeded in doing this, Maypole with most of the other traditions, many still survived. And Maypole is one of them. In France it merely changed its name. In Perigord and elsewhere, the May Tree became the "Tree of Liberty" and was the symbol of the French Revolution. Despite the new nomenclature, the peasants treated the tree in the same traditional spirit. And they would dance around it the same way as their forefathers had always done.
Maypoles and trees - Trees have been linked to a part of celebration, perhaps, to the days ancient New Year rites. The association of trees to this celebration has come riding on the back of the spring festival in ancient Europe. Trees have always been the symbol of the great vitality and fertility of nature and were often used at the spring festivals of antiquity. The anthropologist E. O. James finds a strong relationship between the ancient tree related traditions of the British and the Romans. According to James' description, as a part of the May Day celebration, the youths in old Europe cut down a tree, lopped off the branches leaving a few at the top. They then wrapped it round with violets like the figure of the Attis, the ancient Roman god. At sunrise, they used to take it back to their villages by blowing horns and flutes. In a similar manner, the sacred pine tree representing the god Attis was carried in procession to the temple of Cybele on Rome's Palatine Hill during the Spring Festival of March 22.
Maypole dance: On the first day of May, English villagers woke up at daybreak to roam the countryside gathering blossoming flowers and branches. A towering maypole was set up on the village green. This pole, usually made of the trunk of a tall birch tree, was decorated with bright field flowers. The villagers then danced and sang around the maypole, accompanied by a piper.
May Queen: Also part of the celebration was the crowning of a May Queen. When the sun rose, the maypole was decked with leaves, flowers and ribbons while dancing and singing went on around it. The Queen was chosen from the pretty girls of the village to reign over the May Day festivities. Crowned on a flower-covered throne, she was drawn in a decorated cart by young men or her maids of honor to the village green. She would be crowned there right on the green spot. She was set in an arbor of flowers and often the dancing was performed around her, rather than around the Maypole.

In Hawaii the May Day is celebrated with the tradition of Lei. A festival of the natives of Hawaii, nurtured since time immemorial, Lei was officially celebrated first in 1929. Lei Day is celebrated in Hawaii instead of May Day. Schools throughout the islands crown their own kings and queens and create courts in celebration, and to honor the people and customs of Hawaii.
Though Lei is also thought to be in praise of the season of summer, it is celebrated in a very different way compared to the traditions associated with the European spring celebration.
The native islanders have some wonderful customs. They regard this day as a auspicious day. They greet the day with lei. A lei is a garland or necklace of flowers given in Hawaii as a token of welcome or farewell. Lei Day began in 1928.Leis are most commonly made of carnations, kika blossoms, ginger blossoms, jasmine blossoms, or orchids and are usually about 18 inches long.
Everyone gives the gift of a lei to another, putting it around the receiver's neck and accompanying it with the traditional kiss. Some Hawaiian celebrations are complete with pageants, a Lei Queen and her court.
While leaving the island a traveler customarily tosses the farewell lei onto the harbor waters. The drift of the lei back to the shore indicates that the person will someday return to the islands. The custom of wearing leis originated with the indigenous Hawaiians, who wove necklaces of leaves or ferns or sometimes strung dried shells, fruits, beads, or bright feathers for personal adornment. Hawaiians celebrate Lei Day on May 1, symbolizing their tradition of friendliness.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Earth Day 2007

Please Join Me

The Buzzing Bee

Pledge to Live a One Planet Life!

For Earth Day, I pledge to start practicing One Planet living by:
Educating myself about how to reduce my impact on the Earth
Telling my friends how they can reduce their impact on the Earth
Reducing the amount of clothing and luxury items I buy
Reducing energy consumption in my home
Buying healthy, local, organic food
Cutting down on transportation
Buying environmentally-friendly home and personal care products
Cutting down on water use and waste in my home
Offsetting my impact by supporting organizations that work to preserve natural resources

After signing the pledge below, You will receive information from Care2 about how you can start!

More informative information can be found at:

Friday, April 20, 2007


*~*Garden Magic*~*

The hoe is a simple garden tool, almost unchanged in appear­ance since ancient times. Our early ancestors' hoe was a long stick with the shoulder blade of an animal attached to it. Ask any gardener what a hoe is used for, and they'll tell you it's for turning the soil and preparing a seed bed—but they fail to mention the "magic" found in a hoe. When you use a hoe in the spring, you are connecting with Mother Earth after winter's rest. You can feel it: the sun on your face, the feel of the hoe in your hand, and the scent of the moist, fresh earth. But the most magical part of all is when you lean on your hoe after a session in the garden. That is when you learn the secret only a fellow gardener would know: the Earth belongs to us, and we belong to the Earth.
There is a old saying I think pertains to this as well; "Good things come to those who wait"
If anyone out there has grown gardens or grows them now.. You really get the drift of that old saying!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Colony Collapse Disorder

Albert Einstein has been credited with stating :
"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left." Honey Beekeepers are desperately needed and are rewarded ten fold for the care they provide.

Hi All
With all the misunderstandings of the current Honey Bee situation here in the USA... Let me make it clear that a “for sure” cause has not come to the fore-front as to the current CCD in the honey bee populations on the East Coast... But that said; I think the information I have posted below this government research is painting the picture fairly clear. Although I was disappointed that there was no mention of the genetically altered cash crops that are now being used in the current vegetable market (which I am sure my buzzing bees are sent to pollinate...) As in “corn” particularly. Seed production scientists did genetic alteration to corn seed by adding pig genes??? Not to smart if you ask me...

The second was with no mention either... The tracking down of the water sources... In ranching and in the raising of live stock it is well known that if any abnormalities in the health of your herds is seen the “Water Source” is the first place you go inspect... Hopefully these apiaries are not city water fed or worse yet bottle watered... Most large cities east coast especially their water sources are refined sewer... The bottle water industry as well as only about two out of all the brands is not bottled from refined water...--> I am so glad I have a natural well!!
As many of you know my first area of University Study was Biology Science... I had a back ground in my life of cattle ranching and race horse breeding as well as agriculture... Not for a desk job or anything like that but that was my everyday life... So university study was a given for me... When I first heard of this CCD some months back it was a rumor... Which I tend to disregard rumors about the honey industry. As it is a multi million dollar industry... So there is always someone that trying to influence the price. Rumors are one way of doing that... Then a friend of mine TFF... Emailed me an informative article... (I had had a similar episode about 3 years prior.) Then with further research I found the government had stepped in with research team with the aide of Penn State U and other experts...

Here are they real facts;

Symptoms of CCD
1) In collapsed colonies
a. The complete absence of adult bees in colonies, with no or little build up
Of dead bees in the colonies or in front of those colonies.
b. The presence of capped brood in colonies.
c. The presence of food stores, both honey and bee bread
I. which is not immediately robbed by other bees
ii. When attacked by hive pests such as wax moth and small hive
Beetle, the attack is noticeably delayed.
2) In cases where the colony appear to be actively collapsing
a. An insufficient workforce to maintain the brood that is present
b. The workforce seems to be made up of young adult bees
c. The queen is present
d. The cluster is reluctant to consume provided feed, such as sugar syrup and
Protein supplement

1. All were migratory beekeepers. All had moved their colonies at least 2 times in
The 2006 season, with some colonies being moved as many as five times over the
2006 season.

• Implications:

I. Moving colonies is stressful on bees;

1. Possible reasons: confinement, temperature fluctuations,
And possible reduction (or cessation) of egg laying

ii. Moving colonies is thought to amplify adult bee disease agent

1. Possible reasons: increase rate of defecation in the colony,
Forced mingling of young and older (possibly infected and
Would otherwise be foraging) adult bees increase chance of
Disease transmission

iii. A remote possibility is the bee colonies are more apt to be exposed
To new diseases or pathogens.

2. All experienced a cumulative dead-out rate of at least 30% over the course of the season. It is common that 10% of colonies die after transportation; some
Beekeepers claim losses of 30% are not uncommon after pollination of crops such
As blueberries.

• Implications

I. Beekeepers are constantly “splitting” colonies to make up for
losses (see below)

ii. The equipment from the dead-out colonies is continually being
recycled back into the operation in creation of new splits. Existing
Food reserves in the dead-outs and comb is provided to the new
Colonies; potentially any disease agent or chemical contaminant
Would be carried over to the new colony.
3. Upon finding a dead-out colony, all interviewed beekeepers placed the dead-out
equipment on strong neighboring colonies to facilitate comb care and splitting.
When the queen from the strong colony began to lay in the dead out equipment,
the dead-out equipment and brood were removed (split) from the surviving
colony. Some beekeepers then introduced a mated queen or queen cell into the
queen less unit while others allowed the unit to rear a new queen naturally.

• Implications

I. Continual reuse of dead out brood comb

1. Reuse is a known way to transfer disease agents and
possibly other chemical contaminants (e.g. Miticide
buildup in colonies)
2. Reuse can potentially amplify the presence of disease
agents on comb
ii. Large-scale spitting of colonies is stressful on bees and can
amplify disease agent populations
1. The age profile of the worker population is altered by
a. Older bees are forced to act as nurse bees; these
bees are not as efficient in brood provisioning and
may be more likely to be infested with diseases
affecting adult bees
4. All producers experienced some form of extraordinary “Stress” at least 2 months
prior to the first incidence of “die off” associated with “Fall dwindle disease”.
The nature of this stress was variable but included nutritional stress (apiary overcrowding,
pollination of crops with little nutritional value), dramatic pollen and
nectar dearth, or varroa mite pressure. Due to drought in some areas, the bees
may have had limited water resources or contaminated water supplies.

• Implications

I. Stress compromises the immune system of bees, making them
more susceptible to infection by opportunistic microbes.
Practices and conditions not common to interviewed beekeepers.

1. Feeding: The practice of feeding was common to most of the interviewed
Beekeepers. The reason for feeding varied. Some fed to help encourage build up,
while others fed to hold off starvation in the summer during particularly severe
a. Carbohydrates: some did not feed, some feed HFC, others sucrose. They
used frame feeders, top hive feeders, and barrel feeders. Some added
mineral salts to the feed, some added antibiotics, none used Fumaigillan.
b. Protein: most did not feed, some used pre-made protein supplement.
2. Chemical use:
a. Antibiotic use: While all used antibiotics, the type, frequency of
application, and method of application varied.
b. Miticide use: all but one beekeeper had applied a miticide treatment over
the course of 2006. The products used method of application, varied.
3. Major income:
a. Some reported that their major purpose was the production of honey,
while others received most of their income from pollination contracts.
Some used both.
4. Source of Queens:
a. All purchased at least some queens throughout the year. One beekeeper
reared a majority of his own cells, but most bought either mated queens or
queen cells. Queens were bought from at least 5 different states (Florida,
California, Texas, Georgia, Hawaii) and 2 foreign countries (Canada and

The Buzzing Bee's footnote to the current research:

My first reaction to this was .. Its cause was mis- handling of hives and colonies.. The record so far reveals.The good most of the beekeepers that have reported so far are in it for the money. "Honey production" So their heart is not in it. The health of the hive particularly which means no thinking involved. They medicate when they should not-- not thinking they could be over medicating, they cut corners to save a buck.. reusing old hive equipment. The bee is something they USE not respect. Not ever thinking of damage their practices could cause to honey bee populations in the long term.
If I have to guess the origins of CCD I will go on record today and say the reason will not be found within nature.. It will be found in the carelessness of mankind..

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spring is coming so fast..

I thought beings it is the mid- way point between the Spring Equinox and May Day ( Ostara & Beltane) I would post a couple of recipes.. The first one is for a bread. Great recipe for May Day .. The second is for us fun loving Fairies that celebrate with the ;
"Midnight Margarita!!"
Anyway Enjoy
*~*Bee *~*

Creativity bread.. To help enhance your creative side..

1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup applesauce
3 tbsp. oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup raisins
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

Mix all ingredients together. Bake in a 350° oven
for forty five to fifty minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in the middle of the loaf comes clean.

Margarita Magic
Margaritas have all the ingredients you need to add a little magic to any gathering.
Salt on the rim of a glass is protective lime juice, both for purifying and protective
Other flavors bring in the energies you desire. For luck and fortune, add orange juice.
Strawberry will intensify your love-and-luck. A dash of mint will add healing and prosperity.
Start with a pitcher, filled halfway with ice cubes. Pour enough lime juice over the ice to fill the pitcher 1/2 full. Add your favorite magical flavors until the pitcher is three-quarters full. Then top it off with equal parts tequila and brandy or sparkling water. If your guests are magically inclined, have everyone take a moment to imagine all the blessings they want filling the glass before drinking. Be sure to toast to your to your blessings and enjoy!

SO do as you will--> but just remember *~* Margaritas at midnight.
They never tasted better!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


"I know a bank where upon the wild thyme blows, Where ox lips and the nodding violet grows; Quite over-canopied with lush woodbine, With sweet musk roses, and with eglantine: There sleeps Titania, sometime of the night, Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight, And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin, Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in."

*~William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream ~*

The Flowers
All the names I know from nurse: Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse, Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock, And the Lady Hollyhock.
Fairy places, fairy things, Fairy woods where the wild bee wings, Tiny trees for tiny dames-- These must all be fairy names!
Tiny woods below whose boughs Shady fairies weave a house; Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme, Where the braver fairies climb!
Fair are grown-up people's trees, But the fairest woods are these; Where, if I were not so tall, I should live for good and all.

* ~Robert Louis Stevenson~*

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Honey Bee Worries Plague France

Hi All, Lately there has been some concern about a mystery ailment effecting honey bees here in the USA coin named "Colony Collapse Disorder". I ran across this new article on the AP with some honey bee concerns in France as well.. Funny that our lovely buzzing friends are under assault all of the sudden?? This worries me greatly!!


French Beekeepers Brace for Asian Sting
By PAUL LAUENER and MARIE-LAURE COMBES (Associated Press Writers)
From Associated PressApril 13, 2007 1:42 PM EDT

PARIS - Ambushing locals as they return home from work, foreign invaders are dismembering French natives and feeding them to their young.
This horror scenario is playing out in France's beehives, where an ultra-aggressive species of Asian hornets - who likely migrated in pottery shipped from China - may be threatening French honey production.
The hornets are thought to have reached France in 2004 after stowing away on a cargo boat, said Claire Villemant, a lecturer at Paris' Natural History Museum.
She said a France-based bonsai merchant traveled to the Yunnan province of southern China to buy ceramic pots for his trees.
"He saw the hornets in that region," she said. When he saw them again, they were buzzing around his property in the southwestern French village of Tonneins.
Since then, the hornets have been establishing themselves in their adopted country, concentrating mostly on building imposing nests.
It took until last summer for their numbers to start threatening honey production, said Henri Clement, president of the National Union for French Beekeeping. He said it was too early to give figures on the hornets' economic impact, but he is bracing for a tough summer.
The situation is "very worrying," he said. "If the hornets keep attacking the bees then their number will be reduced and honey production will be severely handicapped."
France's 1.1 million hives produce up to 30,000 tons of honey a year, about 2,500 tons of which are exported, according to the French national agency for fruits, vegetables and horticulture.
Experts fear the hornets - which also sting humans - may spread to the warmer reaches of southern Europe. They could begin colonizing Spain as early as this summer, Villemant said. Even Britain could be vulnerable if they hornets cross the English Channel through freight, she said.
Mike Hood, entomology professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, warned, "If it could spread to France, it could spread to other regions of the world, so that would be a concern for the U.S."
North America is already suffering its own bee troubles.
An invasion of highly aggressive Africanized bees has spread across the southern United States. These "killer bees" are easily provoked and attack in huge numbers. Since the hybrid Africanized bees are considered less efficient than European bees, beekeepers worry they could lower honey production and pollination.
A mysterious illness has killed tens of thousands of honeybee colonies in at least 22 U.S. states, threatening honey production. The cause of the ailment, called Colony Collapse Disorder, is unclear.
In France, the Asian hornets have spread quickly and turned once-tranquil hives into battlefields, since there are no natural predators in the region.
Bigger and bulkier than their European cousins, the hornets have no trouble overcoming honeybees. They ambush beehives and dismember the bees, ripping off their heads, antennae, and wings and reducing them to a paste to feed the hornet queen and her larvae.
The honeybees are beginning to mount a counteroffensive, Villemant says: They gather around an invading hornet, flap their wings to increase the temperature and effectively roast it.
Beekeepers also are fighting back - they can change the size of the entrances to the hives so the smaller bees can get in but not the hornets.
Some have suggested destroying all hornet nests in the region, including those of French and European hornets. But Villemant says that would be ecologically disastrous.
Hood said French beekeepers "could go back to where (the hornets) came from to find natural predators." But he added, "You have to be careful with this kind of solution as what you bring back might be worse than the pest problem you already have."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Cool Card I bought

Hi To All, This is a photo of a card I bought a while back.. It is entitled
" The Beekeepers"..
I thought it had a kind of Goth look to it.. I really liked it!!
So different!!
I survived the Bee boxing last week end.. All hives are good to go.. All but my back!! I have been suffering from a sore back and wrists .. I just have to over do it every time the sun comes out.. I really know better. Now what I have to do is--> not do the same thing next year.. So off i go to my heating pad!!
A little less Sparkly

Sunday, April 08, 2007

New Bees

The packaged bee box holds 15,000. bees in each box. So that's about 60 thousand new baby bees..
Hi To You All on this beautiful Easter Day.. Sunny and breezy but nice and warm.. These are photos from yesterday.. I picked up my 4 new box's of bees yesterday from a my bee supplier.. New bee hives !!
Now I have 7.. I lost two hives over winter this year.. But here is the stages of loading bee box's.. I wish I could of had picture of how we dump them in and release the queen but I had to help Scotch on the Rocks.. It is easier if two people do it.. But you get the idea :-)
Sparkling Easter eggs

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Lets see the bunny do that!!

"Happy Easter" from the Bee
May all your Easter eggs be colored with the freshness and beauty of new life..

The Easter Bunny
A poem by M. Josephine Todd, 1909

There's a story quite funny, About a toy bunny, And the wonderful things she can do;Every bright Easter morning,Without warning,She colors eggs, red, green, or blue.
Some she covers with spots,Some with quaint little dots,And some with strange mixed colors, too-- Red and green, blue and yellow,But each unlike its fellow Are eggs of every hue.
And it's odd, as folks say,That on no other day In all of the whole year through,Does this wonderful bunny,So busy and funny,Color eggs of every hue.
If this story you doubt She will soon find you out,And what do you think she will do?On the next Easter morning She'll bring you without warning,Those eggs of every hue.

Peter Cottontail
By Beatrix Potter

Here comes Peter Cottontail,Hoppin' down the bunny trail,Hippity, hoppity,Easter's on its way.
Bring in' every girl and boy Baskets full of Easter joy,Things to make your Easter bright and gay.He's got jelly beans for Tommy,Colored eggs for sister Sue,There's an orchid for your Mommy And an Easter bonnet, too.
Oh, here comes Peter Cottontail,Hoppin' down the bunny trail,Hippity, hoppity,Happy Easter day.
Here comes Peter Cottontail,Hoppin' down the bunny trail,Look at him stop,And listen to him say:"Try to do the things you should."Maybe if you're extra good,He'll roll lots of Easter eggs your way.
You'll wake up on Easter morning And you'll know that he was there When you find those chocolate bunnies That he's hiding everywhere.
Oh, here comes Peter Cottontail,Hoppin' down the bunny trail,Hippity, hoppity,Happy Easter day.
Meeting the Easter Bunny
By Rowena Bennett, 1930

On Easter morn at early dawn
before the cocks were crowing
I met a bob-tail bunnykin
and asked where he was going
"Tis in the house and out the house
a-tispy, tipsy-toeing,
Tis round the house and 'bout the house
a-lightly I am going."
"But what is that of every hue
you carry in your basket?"
"Tis eggs of gold and eggs of blue;
I wonder that you ask it.
"Tis chocolate eggs and bonbon eggs
and eggs of red and gray,
For every child in every house
on bonny Easter day."
He perked his ears and winked his eye
and twitched his little nose;
He shook his tail - what tail he had -
and stood up on his toes.
"I must be gone before the sun;
the east is growing gray;
Tis almost time for bells to chime." -
So he hippety-hopped away.

Monday, April 02, 2007

More of the Bee *~* Round *~* Up


Hi All, I made it home late last night..

So here are some photos of the flea market that accompanies the picnic.

Lots of trading and buying going on here.. Really fun..

Well I am a BeeCharmer extraordinaire again, I sneaked by with 2 1/4 pounds of comb and honey this year with only one sting... To get my blue... :-) In the honey nabbing competition ..
2 1/4 pds of honey and comb really is not a much as it sounds like--> honey is quite heavy..
My red was won in the hive rotation team competition... Maryann and I kicked butt!!!
There is also a photo of my hand sneaking honey--> My friend Maryann took this picture..Sorry its blurry.. Scotch-On -the Rock is never any where to be found during this event....
His fear of bees you know... :-) I am sure he was looking for the honey wine booth???? I 'm not sure who has more fun me or him, as he likes sampling all the venders wares???
Beecharmer*~*Extraordinaire??? Yep,Why--> Because I give my honey and comb back. Yes, I go back and lay it all out on a frame by the tree and the Lil Devils go to work taking it back in their wonderful natural hive... The other eother beekeepers think I am really funny.. But I know how much work it is and they are wild bees so I give them back what was theirs..


I am posting some more honey info--> Enjoy

Sparkling Honey Combs


Local Honey and Allergies

This Bee Charmers life was changed by bee pollen.. I have a severe allergy to dust mites.. Bee Pollen basically cures this problem for me, I use pure fresh honey as well.. Either or it has changed my life and health..

Honey contains bits and pieces of pollen and honey, and as an immune system booster, it is quite powerful.

Honeybees will collect pollen from local species of flora and it will be present in small amounts in honey that was gathered by bees . When people living in these same areas eat honey that was produced in that environment, the honey will often act as an immune booster. The good effects of this local honey are best when the honey is taken a little bit (a couple of teaspoons-full) a day for several months prior to the pollen season.
When I’m asked how local should the honey be for allergy prevention I always advise to get honey that was raised closest to where you live, the closer the better since it will have more of exactly what you’ll need.
It may seem odd that straight exposure to pollen often triggers allergies but that exposure to pollen in the honey usually has the opposite effect. But this is typically what we see. In honey the allergens are delivered in small, manageable doses and the effect over time is very much like that from undergoing a whole series of allergy immunology injections. The major difference though is that the honey is a lot easier to take and it is certainly a lot less expensive. I am always surprised that this powerful health benefit of local honey is not more widely understood, as it is simple, easy, and often surprisingly effective.

European settlers introduced honeybees to North America during the 1600’s. The Native Americans called them the "White Man’s Flies":-)

• There are 3 different types of bees that are found within a colony: The queen, workers and drones.

• A queen bee, the mother of all bees in the hive, will lay an average of 1500 eggs in a day!

• The worker bee, which is always a female, will live from 6 to 8 weeks and only produce 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime, so don’t forget to lick the spoon!
• A drone bee, which is always a male, has no father but does have a grandfather since he is produced from an unfertilized egg!

• Man has been collecting honey from the honeybee for at least 9,000 years.

• Cave paintings that have been found in Spain from 7,000 BC are the earliest records of beekeeping.

• Romans used honey, instead of gold, to pay their taxes.

• Ancient Chinese completely covered small pox sufferers with honey to speed healing and prevent scarring.

• Ancient Egyptians used honey to treat a variety of ailments such as cataracts, cuts and burns. • A honeybee’s top-flight speed is 15 miles per hour.

• Bees are more important to us in their role as crop pollinators than as honey producers. Honeybees perform approximately 80% of all crop pollination.

• One third of our food is the product of pollination.

• The value of crop pollination is estimated to be $19 billion!

• Honeybees never sleep!

• The venom from honeybees is used to treat a multitude of body ailments from cancer to multiple sclerosis!

• Other products of the beehive that are important to us are pollen, royal jelly, propolis and beeswax.