Monday, December 10, 2012

Wonderful Benefits of Honey

The Benefits of Honey

  *Better athletic performance: The glucose found in honey, plus other natural sugars, can provide an all-natural energy boost to athletes.
  *Improved sleep and relaxation: Taking a spoonful of honey before bed can help you get restful sleep.
  *Fewer allergies: Consuming honey daily before allergy season can help your body grow accustomed to the pollen and immunize your body against it.
  *Healed cuts and scrapes: Honey has antibacterial properties that prevent infection in minor abrasions. Simply dab a little honey onto your cut and cover with a bandage.
  *Immune booster: Honey is chock full of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps to protect cells from free radical damage. It can also contribute to heart health as well as protection against cancer.
  *Skin moisturizer: Honey is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture in hair and skin.

Uses for Honey

  *Honey Foaming Bath Soap
1/2c. organic honey (not store bought)
1c. sweet almond oil (or light olive oil)
1/2c. liquid hand soap
1tbsp vanilla extract
Add all the ingredients to a clean plastic bottle with a squeeze top and shake gently until completely incorporated. Be sure to shake again before using. Squeeze desired amount under running water into a bathtub. Step in and enjoy.

 *Honey Hair Conditioner
Mix 1/2c. honey with:
1/4c. olive oil (use 2tbsp. of oil if you have normal to oily hair.)
Using a small amount at a time, work mixture through hair until it is evenly coated. Cover hair with a shower cap; leave on for 30 minutes. Remove shower cap; shampoo well and rinse. Dry and style as usual.

 *Soothing Skin Clarifier
(for minor acne flare-ups)
Mix 1/2c. warm water with 1/4tsp salt.
Using a cotton ball, apply directly to blemish. Maintain pressure with cotton ball for several minutes, to soften blemish.
Using a cotton swab, dab honey on blemish; leave on 10 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

  *Honey Beauty Mask
2tbsp raw honey
1tbsp french green or rose clay
2 drops lavender essential oil
Thin with water as needed
Wash face and leave slightly damp. Apply mask all over face, avoiding the eyes. Leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. Pat dry.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Basic Honeybee Duties

A bee hive looks pretty simple from the outside. But on the inside it's like a factory with everyone hard at work. All the bees have different responsibility to manage everything correctly. These duties are placed by bees age. All bees in a colony are female except for the drones.

Drone bee
A male bee that has NO stinger. They are a bit bigger than the female bees and their only duty is to mate with virgin queens in the ares. A bees working area is roughly 2 1/2 miles from the hive. As the summer months move closer to the fall the females boot the drones out of the hive. This is because the drones like to eat but don't help bring in any food. So they need to go so the bees can build up food stores for winter months.

Nursing bee
The young bees that are between 1 day and 2 weeks old are called nursing bees. These young bees have lots to do from cleaning the hives, feeding larva, build wax cells, and making honey. As the older bees (foraging bees) bring in a load of nectar they pass it to the nursing bees to place it in the comb.

As the nurse bees reach the 2 week mark there are promoted to a higher duty. If the inside of the hive is to hot her first duty is to fan the hive with her wings. When bees fan they put there butts in the air and their front quarters down as if they were getting ready to race. Then they begin fanning the hive. When they fan their wings flap over 183 time a second. You would be surprised how much air they can move this way.

Guard bee
Next they move to a guard bee. Guard bees stand outside the hive around the entrance. These bees recognize there house mates by scent and will attack any bee or insect that's not familiar to them. When bees sting they let off a alarm pheromone from a gland close to the stinger. This is what draws more bees to help attack and defend the colony. This scent is similar to the smell of bananas.

Forager bee
These are the bees we see out and about. Flying around foraging flowers in fields, garden, and orchards. They are in search of nectar, pollen, water, and propolis (bee glue).  This is the stage the bee will die in. A bee will live to about 6 weeks old.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Storing firewood

 With winter coming upon us fast the rush to get wood stored indoors is on for some. There is nothing like the heat from a good old wood burner on a cold crisp day. Keeping the wood good and dry is very important to those who heat with wood. Moisture in the wood can creates creosote which causes house fires. It also make starting a fire a real pain. So for this reason people tend to store a portion of there winter fire wood indoors after it's seasoned outside.

What's hiding in that wood

Hiding inside this wood is spiders, carpenter ants, black beetles  grubs, and sometimes even terminates. These insects were trying to hibernate inside the wood then you brought them inside. Now that they are in where it's warm they don't want hibernate anymore. Now not bringing in to much in advanced. This might not give them the time to venture outside of it log nest into your home before you burn it.

Places to avoid placing firewood

 Placing wood in a basement is a bad idea from the start. This could introduce wood boring insects to your joists and house framing. Never store would to close to wood burner where a stray spark could ignite the wood pile. Wood should be keep off the ground away from moisture.

Where to stack wood

During summer wood should be keep 50 feet or more from your house. You may even consider 100 feet if you start thinking about the carpenter ants can go 100 feet to search for dinner. Rodents also like to build nest in wood piles and once it gets cold outside you don't want them moving in with you. Wood should be stack to get proper air flow to dry after splitting. I use a 10 x 10 dog kennel for my wood shed. It lets the air flow through the wood all summer long then in the fall I cover it with a tarp. A 10 x 10 kennel can hold over 4 1/2 cords of wood. Plus I can move it if I need.

Firewood state Laws

In Ohio the laws reads that all woods sold as " seasoned " must have less than 50% moisture content. All firewood must be sold in a cord or in fractions of a cord. One cord, when stacked correctly ,will measure 8 feet long by 4 feet high and 4 feet wide or 128 cubic feet. Many of Ohio's 88 counties are under a quarantine because of the gypsy moths or emerald ash bore. If caught hauling wood from an infected county to clean one there is a $4000 fine. Ouch! Check your firewood laws in your state.

I Just Bought A Nuc, Now What?

If your here, your probably about to pickup your very first nuc of honeybees. A nuc is a miniature bee hive usually consisting of 5 dee...

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