Thank you to everyone who participated in our National Honey Bee Awareness Fundraiser! We were able to raise funds to help purchase materials and equipment for the education of bee keeping and awareness! We also were able to connect with 2 possible hive hosting locations! And Dennis J. you were the recipient/winner of our fundraiser drawing! We look forward to hosting this event again next year with more additions!
Celebrate the Honey Bee.......
What You Can Do.....
Amidst all the nations preparedness for the viewing of the Total Solar Eclipse on Monday August 21, take time out today to appreciate natures best little farmer The Honey Bee. Today is National Honey Bee Day!
Here are just a few tips on how you may help to keep our country's bee population healthy and abundant, after all they do pollinate 25% of all the food we consume.
Local Resources in Southern Illinois
Angie Kuehl email@example.com
A family oriented bee rescue and relocation service, as well as ethical source of local raw honey & beeswax. Although there are other beekeepers and rescuers in our area, Angie and her family are mostly who I connect with.
Food Works www.fwsoil.org
May be able to connect you with local farmers and growers who produce non-GMO plants/seedlings. Also a great source to help you locate your areas Farmers Market.
Although there are more resources in our area the below are reputed and ethical sources for additional information on seeds and plants.
Flora Bay Farm, Carbondale, IL www.florabayfarm.com
All Seasons Farm, Cobden, IL www.allseasons-farm.com
Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds and Plants www.rareseeds.com
Strictly Medicinal Seeds and Plants www.srtictlymedicinalseeds.com
Honey, Beeswax, Propolis & Royal Jelly, Oh My!
Now that we know how how each of these honey bee byproducts is made lets explore the wellness, medicinal and beauty benefits of each.
In ancient Egyptian times honey was mixed with herbs and other plant oils for wound healing. Honey has also been used in healing sore throats and coughs. Modern research on the medicinal benefits of honey totes helping to aid in circulatory and blood regulating issues. Honeys healing properties consist of being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, is an astringent, expectorant and full of antioxidants and may even help to strengthen the immune system. Honey is the base for herbal preparations called "Electuary's". Honey is a B vitamin powerhouse containing beta carotene, vitamins A, C, D, E, & K as well as many minerals and enzymes. Honey is also considered a natural sweetener, being able to replace processed and refined sugars, used for cooking and baking and helping to make that cup of joe or tea not quite so bitter. Honey is also a natural sunblock, and a humectant which means it attracts moisture making it an excellent source for hydrating and moisturizing skin and hair.
Beeswax has so many uses! From being used in products for furniture care, candle making and art. Beeswax is a base for many medicinal preparations such as salves and balms. It is a great emollient in skin care products, producing butters, lotions, cremes and lip balms. Beeswax is rich in vitamin A, seals in moisture helping to protect the skin and naturally condition.
Propolis has many healing benefits. Research has shown that propolis taken from a bee hive may fight off infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Propolis is antiseptic and is a great addition to cleansers for hair and skin. Propolis may also help to repair skin damage such as scars and rashes.
Royal Jelly has been proven through cosmetic research to be loaded with amino acids, Vitamin B, and trace minerals which naturally support the skins regeneration and rejuvenation process. However, to obtain this substance comes at a cost. The harvesting of royal jelly may contribute to a colony's death because it involves continuously removing queens from a colony, causing stress on the queen and her workers. Questioning the ethical practices of any persons or company using this ingredient would be advisable.
Honey, Beeswax, Propolis & Royal Jelly...Oh My!
Honey, one of the byproducts of the Honey Bee has been used throughout history for its medicinal and beautification purposes; but lets start off with how these byproducts are made from the honey bee.....
Honey originates as a nectar of a flower collected by honeybees which return the nectar to the hive onto other worker bees. These bees suck the nectar from the honeybees stomach and chew the nectar for around a half an hour. During this time enzymes are breaking the complex sugars in the nectar into a simple sugar. This makes for easier digestion for the bees and less likely to be attacked by by bacteria while stored in the hive. The bees then spread the nectar throughout the honeycomb with a plug of wax. The honey is stored until it is eaten. In one year a colony of bees eat between 120 and 200 lbs. of honey. Honey bees make an average of 1,600 round trips in order to produce one ounce of honey.
Beeswax is a natural wax produced by the honey bee. It is formed into scales by eight wax producing glands in the abdominal segments of the worker bees who discard it in or at the hive. The hive workers collect it to form cells in which to store the honey and use as protection for the larvae within the hive. It takes approximately eight lbs. of honey eaten by bees to produce one lb. of beeswax. Beeswax production in most hives is only about 25 of the honey yield.
Propolis is a glueous mixture the honey bees produce by mixing saliva with beeswax and resins gathered from tree buds, sap or other resinous botanical matter. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive.
Royal Jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae as well as adult queens. It is fed to all larvae within the first three days of their lives, but only a few bees are chosen to continue with the feeding. When worker bees decide to make a new queen because the old one is week or dying, they choose several small larvae and feed them.
The amazing lives of bees, they are an amazingly sustainable insect! Look for the second part of this post soon!
A Bee's Life....
Did you now that an average summertime honey bee only lives about 28 to 35 days?They have four wings that are latched in to pairs by hooks, these wings are flapped about 12,000 times a day!A worker bee can visit more than 2,000 flowers on a good day.
The average life span of a queen bee is 3 to 4 years. Queen bees will lay as many as 2,000 eggs on a good day, that is about one every 45 seconds. A good queen bee will lay between an average of 175,000 to 200,000 eggs a year. Wow! I can't even imagine!
Workers forage for pollen and nectar, tend to the queen and drones, feed larvae, ventilate the hives and defend the nest. A worker can visit as many as 50 to 100 flowers on a single foraging trip.A worker can also travel as much as up to 3 miles awayfrom the hive to forage for food, flying an average of up to 12 to 15 miles per hour.
The primary role of a drone is to mate with a fertile queen. Drones are the product of an unfertilized egg and are without stingers. They do not forage for nectar or pollen. The male honey bee has a grandfather, but no father.....interesting.
A typical healthy hive may contain up to 60,000 honey bees during peak times.
As my demographic area is along the path of totality for next weeks Total Solar Eclipse, there is a holiday I would like to keep alive amidst the upcoming chaos. Saturday August 19th is National Honey Bee Day! This up coming week I will be posting some short informational tid bits all about the honey bee, along with some local resources.
Our nations honey bees took a hard hit a few years back due to colony collapse disorder and the alarming use of pesticides and herbicides. At that time I had been researching the effects of honey in skin care and hair care. I wanted to be able to support my areas local beekeeping efforts through the use of this magical golden nectar in my product manufacturing and in services I provided. I really did not know a whole lot about the honey bee itself until I connected with a local bee keeper and friend, Angie Kuehl. Angie's passion for the honey bee and our environment was truly the gateway to my honey bee education. These little guys are amazing!
Where Did They Come From.......
The honey bee we know in the United States was brought over from the first colonists in the 17th century from Europe. There is controversy as to where the honey bee actually originated first, Africa or Asia.
The earliest evidence of bees was found preserved in amber pieces at a mine in northern Burma, dated back some 100 million years ago where it is believed the honey bee and wasp species were one. At that time they evolved into two different insects.
The earliest known human interaction with bees were found on cave wall paintings discovered in Spain some 6000 to 8000 years ago. Earliest evidence of bees being "kept" by humans are from Egyptian Hittite scriptures dating back to 2400 BC. So these little guys have some serious history!
Why Are They Important.......
Honey bees pollinate approximately 25 to 30% of all the foods humans consume. They are the only insect that produces food for humans. Honey bees contribute 8 to 10 billion dollars to the US economy yearly.
Some plants and crops rely on other sources for their cross pollination to succeed. Honey bees are a major pollination contributor to these crops.
Besides honey, honey bees produce wax, propolis, gather pollen and produce royal jelly.
Watch for my next post called A Bee's Life!
So, yeah! This gentle artisan blended facial toner may also be used as an after sun soothing body spritz! Handcrafted with organic Lavender essential oil which is known to help soothe and calm the skin. This toner also contains a pure non-alcohol organic Witch Hazel distilate also known for its cooling and skin soothing properties!
Have you seen this logo around, and wondered what exactly is Food Works & what does it mean?
Let me try and shed a little light and give you my thoughts on this organization and what it means to me.
For a brief definition, Food Works facilitates the development of a regional and sustainable food economy in Southern Illinois, bringing the grower and consumer together. I first became involved with Food Works about 4 years ago by participating in their fundraising events representing my business. Since this time I have met some amazing people and have witnessed positive changes due to this non-for profit organization. I have seen individuals with hopes become a reality with Food Works at their side. So go ahead and click on the link and it will direct you to the website wher you can learn more about this fabulous organization.
This organization is important to me because it has helped me to locate growers of particular plant matter for the crafting of my products. I am also able to direct and inform my clients on local and sustainable goods. As a member I am able to learn about the Farmers Markets in our regional area, and CSA program offerings. I'll save CSA information for another post! ;)
For the month of June ( I know it has gone and past us!!!), I offered Food Works members a discount off of my services and my Envi Botanicals products. It worked out so well I am extending this offer indefinitely. Discounts are as; services and Envi Botanicals product purchases are 15% off regular price. Mention you're a member when booking your appointment and show your membership card at the time of service/purchase. I look forward to seeing you!
I am loving the Rebuilding Treatment by Oway! This treatment uses Infrared iron to penetrate the custom blended serum into the shaft of the hair. The serum is protein fluid based custom blended with either or both Hyalominerals or Ceramides. I knew these ingredients are essential in skin care, but hair! Who knew, right! Look at the amazing difference after just 1 treatment!
"As a professional and business owner/entrepreneur I try and seek out sustainability on a daily basis", comments Angela Batson; Salon Owner, Licensed Cosmetologist, L.M.T. and Clinical Aromatherapist.
Services and treatments at Envi Salon are provided in a non-toxic environment. A re-purposed and up-cycled decor with local art & vintage flare set the atmosphere for a relaxing, personalized and private experience.
Angela collects hair for donations to Children With Hair Loss and hair clippings for the manufacturing of booms which help out with oil spills.
Envi Salon has a Refill/Reuse program with select Oway (Organic Way) shampoos & conditioners. Most Oway products are packaged in reusable & recyclable glass amber jars, So it's simple! Purchase your first set at regular price then stop back in for a refill and save 25% off regular retail price. Current items are Frequent Use Daily Hair Bath & Conditioner, Rebuilding Shampoo, Sculpting Mist & Nurturing Drops.
Envi Botanicals is a natural & organic plant based bath, body & skin care line with ingredients sought out locally whenever possible, Fair Trade & cruelty free. Angela Batson, founder & formulator of Envi Botanicals has been able to achieve a 90% rate of reusable & renewable packaging. Angela offers a jar return incentive for your next product purchase. Please ask your retailer what their requirements are for incentive.You may purchase the full line of products at In Sync Mind Body Therapy Center & Envi Salon in Carbondale IL., The Southern Illinois Mercantile Co. on site in Marion IL. or on-line at www.southernillinoismercantileco.com. Select products may be found at The Anthill Gallery & Vintage Curiosities & The Homestead Collective in Cobden IL and Oasis Skin Care Clinic in Murphysboro IL.