Tag Archives: Honey

Bee Fever

honeybee-full

I was talking to a beekeeper in Victoria who I am getting bees from. She says the bees are a month behind because Winter nosed it’s way into Spring and it was much colder longer than it should have been. Someone should send a memo to the Big Guy to put the seasons in their place!

But she also said that there is such a demand for honeybees this year that it’s overwhelming. There were a couple guys in Campbell River that made 200 nucs (small hives for sale) and they charged $125 each, and they were sold out in a matter of hours. I’m so impressed with this news! There are people reacting positively to all the media excitement on the collapse of the honeybee. It renews my hope in people and their ability to take a tough situation and offer a positive reaction! Yay people!

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When I first started broaching the subject of beekeeping with friends and family, their first reaction was a curious encouragement. But always there is a fear of these bugs crawling all over you. For anyone interested in keeping bees, beekeepers are some of the most enthusiastic hobbyists I’ve found. They are more than willing to share all the information they know, and some they’ve read. I find this openness exciting.

Honeybees. Did you know that from their hive, you can use everything they produce. Honey, not only for consumption but for treating cuts as it has anti-bacterial properties, and for sore throats to soothe. Pollen gives people a much-needed protein boost. It also can stave off allergies. Propolis, which is tree sap that the bees collect to glue their hive together, can be collected and used as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal remedy for sore throats or wounds. Bee venom is currently being researched to relieve arthritic and MS pain.

The demand for local honey, wax candles, beauty products and pollen suppliments far outweighs the production at this point. Especially on Pender. But I’m working my darndest to provide to these demands. My biggest hurdle is gathering funds to buy equipment and bees, to be honest. I’ve been told that it pays back but the initial start is the expensive bit

Any business people out there that know how I can start a fund project where people can provide funds so that I can keep bees? I was thinking some kind of “shares” program where people can own shares in a bee hive and then they get a portion of the honey the hive produces. The enthusiasm and manual labour isn’t a problem for me. Do you think people would go for it?

I’ll put that out there. Hopefully people will come up with good ideas to make this come true. After all, it was Einstein who said “If the bees disappeared off the face of the globe, man would only have 4 years left to live.”

5km Diet

That is a video of my bees on a warm Spring day, yesterday in fact. Right now they are gathering pollen and nectar from the arbutus, the Japanese cherry trees, the daffodils and any hazlenut trees in our area. This is not an exhaustive list. Needless to say, the bees have an all-you-can-eat buffet out there this time of year.

The honeybee follows the 5km diet very closely. We, on the other hand, indulge in watermelons in March, lettuce all year round, not to mention avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and oranges! I’ve heard of people growing kiwis in our climate but I’ve not heard of a successful West Coast orange producer.

Honeybees have been around a lot longer than humans. Perhaps we should think about taking some tips from them.

As for as the honeybee diet is concerned, I hear nasturtiums are a tasty treat!

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The Extraction

Today I was given two frames of capped honey by a friend who’s bees died. Take a moment to remember the dead bees…

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Anyway, she was burning her frames that had dead moldy bees on it but she managed to find two frames that had capped honey in it with no mold. She’s leaving for Washington State early tomorrow morning and didn’t have time to process the honey.; which meant I got to! For all my talk of bees, for all my care of bees, I’m still a “newbee” myself. I have never extracted any honey.

The method you see here is for the hobbiest. This is not how they do it commercially nor how I will do it in the summer when I extract my honey. Usually you have an extractor that uses centrifugal force to fling the honey out of the wax cells and against a cylinder pot like container. The method I use is the poor man’s method. The method that you use when you have no other option…

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Sprouted Quinoa and Honey Bread

Rainbow Tails

So at the inspiration and encouragement of my dear friend, I have begun sprouting…

I mentioned this casually to friends of mine with a twinkle in my eye, and one says “oh you’re using your Mom’s sprouter?” The other says “When are you due?”

ha. ha.

Anyway so I took store-bought quinoa (my new favourite grain) and put it in a mason jar, with a square of cheese cloth and screwed the ring around it tight. I seem to be swimming in cheese cloth these days but any meshing will work. Then I soaked the quinoa for 20 minutes, then rinsed. I continued rinsing every 8-12 hours for three days and voila! They sprouted. Like a rainbow too! The little stems were red, yellow, green. Then I took these lovely lively little plants and I cooked ‘em to the death!

I perused past this blog in my internet travels, reading about sprouting and I came across sprouted quinoa and honey bread.

Mine didn’t look quite like this loaf. Hers is puffier. But it tastes good. Earthy, planty, healthy. I know, none of these words make you salivate. But really, toasted with honey, it’s a treat. We also made labneh recently (Yoghurt cheese) and the satisfaction of eating two products you made yourself, well, let’s just say it’s just irrevocably satiating.

And the dough looks like it has tails of a rainbow.

Bread is done

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