Our Earth as they know it

Our Earth as they know it
If we don't fix what we've done, how can we expect our precious bees to survive?

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Shea Butter has been used for centuries in Africa as a decongestant, an anti-inflammatory for sprains and arthritis, healing salve, lotion for hair and skin care, and cooking oil. However, the protective and emollient properties of Shea Butter are most valued for skin care. In recent clinical trials, Shea Butter was found to help to protect skin against climate and UV aggressions, prevent wrinkle formation, soothe irritated and chapped skin, and moisturize the epidermis. Shea Butter also enhances cell regeneration and capillary circulation, which helps prevent and minimize stretch marks, inflammations, and scarring. The shea we use in our products is obtained through fair trade efforts! Our cost is a bit higher but we are more than willing to pay the extra amount knowing we are supporting the following prgrams;
Nut prices - Our suppliers pay 15-25% above market price for shea nuts
Fair wages - Their cooperative members receive a salary that is more than 4 times the average family income in Togo!!!
Benefits - Cooperative members also receive full medical care, employment security, and one paid month of vacation each year!!!

So not only are we supporting these wonderful programs, but we are also extending a higher quality product to our customers. And rest assured knowing our ingredients are produced using ethical and morally upstanding means!!!

Colony Make Up!!!

 A colony is a living breathing entity!!! The queen (which might live for several years), thousands of worker honey bees (which might live for several months, but continually are being replaced by the queen - she lays thousands of eggs every day!), and some drones to keep the whole enterprise happy. The colony has living organs - a mouth to feed itself (the forager bees); lungs (the bees that fan fresh air into the hive); a reproductive system (the swarms that fly out each spring); growth tissues (the new wax and new honey stored in 'fat cells' of the hive).... You can see, the the hive is alive and it truly may live for many, many years.

We found a non-chemical all natural organic treatment for varroa!!!!!

In all the years I have been bee keeping I have never had an issue with varroa mites.  I in all actuality had only seen them in my hives this once, and it was only in the one hive.  The poor things were completely infested, so much so that the capped brood was coming out with deformed wings and a grey coloring to their bodies. It was really sad.  I have never medicated my bees for anything and am against chemical treatments so I was at a loss.  I have read that dusting the infected colony with powedered sugar can be a somewhat effective temporary treament, so I immediately ran inside grabbed my sifter and a bag of powdered sugar and dusted away!
Now for long term...
At home with my family we use a lot of tea tree oil and have used it  on our black lab for various infections without any adverse side effects, so why not bees.  There have been a few studies where essential oils were tested on bees and found to be effective treaments for varroa with out any adverse effects to short and long term bee health.  Tea Tree oil is known to be lethal to varroa and when tea tree laced sugar syrup or tea tree laced honey is fed to brood, it disrupts the varroa life cycle therefore causing the varroa to die off rapidly.  Soooo I unbottled  about a gallon of honey from my healthy bees I had stored away for honey bee food emergencies and added 1 tsp of organic tea tree oil for every quart of honey.  I fed this mixture to the bees via an entrance feeder for 2 weeks. I also changed the bottom board of the hive to a screen bottom board.
It's bee three weeks and I am proud to say.....IT WORKED! And all of our bees are varroa free!!!