A warm summer evening sitting in your garden, the smell of herbs and flowers, the buzzing of little flying creatures visiting plant after plant. Just have a glass of wine or tea and relax. Isn’t it magical? Now imagine the same garden without buzzing, without smells, without flowers and fruits. This isn’t a pretty scenery. Our life is closely connected to the life of Bees and other pollinating insects. Without them, the world would be a completely different place.
Pollinators living a vital symbiosis with pollinating the plant. Flowers providing nectar (food) for the adult bees and pollen for the hives and infant bees. What do the plants get for return? The bees helping the reproduction cycle of pollinating plants by flying one to another and transferring the pollen from flower to flower. Many of our crops, herbs and fruits are depending on insects like the honey bee. Just to mention some, you probably have in your fridge or cupboard: Raspberry, Apricot, Peach, Almond, Buckwheat, Squash, Zucchini and I would be able to continue to the bottom of the page. Not to forget the lovely raw honey they producing for us.
There is a real threat to our little friends, even governments recognise it. Bees and other pollinator insects numbers are declining. This is due to human activities like pesticide use, pollution and climate change. Shrinkage of natural habitat.
There are many little things you can do to help.
Aim to have plants preferred by pollinating insects flower from early spring to late Autumn, winter flowers can be helpful too
Grow bee-friendly flowers, plants to attract pollinating insects
Avoid plants with multi-petalled flowers, these can lack pollen and nectar or can be difficult for insects to gain access.
Try to avoid pesticides or DON’T use it on plants while flowering, there are plenty of natural options to tackle certain problems
Encourage pollinator insects by providing nesting places. You can find these in garden centres or you can make your own. Drill holes to block of woods, different sizes 2-8 mm.
Try to plant native wildflowers species, this not only looks lovely but also native to the bees/insects.
Here is a list of bee-friendly plants:
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Cantaurea scabiosa (greater knapweed)
Digitalis purpurea (common foxglove)
Eupatorium cannabinum (hemp agrimony)
Lonicera periclymenum (common honeysuckle)
Origanum vulgare (wild marjoram)
Thymus pulegioides (large thyme)
Trifolium repens (white clover)
Verbascum nigrum (dark mullein)
Viburnum opulus (guelder rose)
Caryopteris x clandonensis (caryopteris)
Dianthus barbatus (sweet william)
Hesperis matronalis (dame’s violet)
Hyssopus officinalis (hyssop)
Jasminum officinale (common jasmine)
Lavandula angustifolia (English lavender)
Lychnis coronaria (rose campion)
Monarda didyma (bergamot or bee balm)
Verbena bonariensis (purple top)
Weigela florida (weigelia)
Our Bee Friendly Wildflower selection is available here: Bee-Friendly Wildflower seeds
Alternatively, you can get advice in your local garden centre about the bee-friendly flowers. With this little action plan, you can provide vital food and living place to bees, bumble bees and other lovely pollinating insects. For a return, you can enjoy raw honey for many years to come. :)
Please try to help to #savethebees
Our Bee Friendly Wildflower selection is available here: Bee-Friendly Wildflower seeds
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, please help to spread the world and share it on social media.
The life cycle of the Honey bee has 4 main stages or phases, egg, larva, pupa and adult. Honey bee colonies are generally perennial with the exceptions of bumble bee and paper wasp colonies. The bee colonies consist of three castes, Queen Bee, worker bee and drones (males). Queen bees lay eggs, worker bees are not producing eggs and drones are for a mating purpose.
Honey bees developmental time
The total developmental time for a Queen bee is 16 days, for worker bee is 21 days and approximately 24 days for drone bee. The four distinct honey bee life cycle stages are:
Egg stage is the first stage of development in the life cycle. Eggs are very small and have the appearance of poppy seeds in shape. Every egg has an opening on the broader side that enables a sperm to penetrate in. Eggs will hatch normally after three days of egg laying.
This stage generally lasts up to nine odd days. During this stage, hatched larva is almost microscopic in size without legs and eyes. Larva is fed on a diet known as royal jelly for initial two days. As the third day progresses larvae that are destined to develop into queen bees continue to fed on royal jelly, while worker larvae feed on honey, water and pollens. The larval stage for queen bee lasts for 5.5 days, 6 days for worker bees and 6.5 days for drones.
Reorganisation of tissues massively takes place during the pupal stage. The worm-like body has now three distinct parts of the body. This stage usually lasts for 7.5 days for the queen bee, 12 days for worker bee and 14.5 days for drone bee (male bee).
All three types of bees are now fully grown and are fully ready to accomplish their tasks. A typical colony of honey bee consists of 50,000 to 60,000 worker bees, 600 to 1000 drone bees and only 1 queen bee.
Source: By Waugsberg - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2445861
In winter, viruses and bacteria abound like snowflakes. Work and school environments test our immune systems every day . But don’t despair! Our secret weapon called PROPOLIS will help you and the family stay well during the cold, dark months of winter.
What is propolis?
For thousands of years, propolis has played a role in the health of humanity. In the days of Hippocrates, propolis was used to heal open sores and ulcers, including internal ones. In ancient Egypt, propolis was used in the process of mummification. In Europe, propolis was said to relieve inflammation and fever, and in World War II it was used to dress wounds sustained in battle. Over the years, it’s been used to fight tuberculosis, colitis, viruses (including the flu virus), and even acne. It’s been shown to be effective against harmful bacteria including staphylococcus. It’s also been used to enhance the immune system, which makes it doubly effective as an antibiotic – not only does it kill germs; it also boosts your own germ-fighting capabilities. Propolis is making a comeback today, making its way into supplements and even toothpaste.
Our folk medicine is teaching us how to take propolis, from its experience. It’s good to know what worked for centuries, and learn how to adjust the dosage to our daily conditions.
I have just came across this video on youtube, and I thought I will share it with you.
This documentary is about the Gurung tribe in Nepal, whom following their ancient traditions and hunting for raw honey produced by wild bees. They believe this honey is an aphrodisiac and the source of long life. The mens taking enormous risk to harvest this special honey! I believe raw honey has many health benefits, and no wonder they take the risk to get it.
Credit to Raphael Treza for this fantastic film! He also lives with this people and working on projects to help them. Follow his Youtube channel and watch his videos.
What do you think about raw honey and its health benefits?
This is the most common question, our customers ask on markets where we have the chance to talk to them.
Nowadays the honey you can get in supermarkets very likely it has been pasteurised, filtered and may times it is a mix of honey from different sources. Why are they doing this? Big retailers are aiming to stock fairly consistent honey products, which can be categorised easily to certain categories like mild, medium, strong etc. As honey is a natural product it can be very different from vintages, regions and by the type of plant it has been collected from. They can only control these properties if they putting the honey through an industrial production. Which involves pasteurisation, micro filtering and sometimes the use of additives like corn syrup.
Why are these matters? Honey is a very delicate product. It requires very gentle work during the harvest and processing. If honey pasteurised (heated to high temperature) the natural enzymes, the healthy bacteria and vitamins will be destroyed. Micro-filters also destroying and removing the health properties of the raw honey. Then you left with a liquid sweetener which has no health benefits what's so ever.
If you want to consume honey because of its natural goodness and health benefits, you should only consume Raw Honey, Unpasteurised Unprocessed Honey.
Even caveman was eating honey, which means honey been part of human diet for 1000s of years. Good example the honey found in the pyramids actually, it was still good and edible. It is the oldest known source of sweetness and energy known to mankind. Raw Honey is easy to digest and a healthy alternative to refined sugar.
Enjoy Raw Honey this amazing gift of Nature and discover the many different characteristics and flavours.