Spring welcomes our daydreams and longings to bee outside in the blossoming landscape. Trees budding with pollen, fragrance and color, inspire a warm feeling of love for all life.
The warm, teasing’s of what Summer will bring (hopefully sooner than later) remind me of my childhood days, playing in the forests of Eastern Tennessee, running through the woods with friends, chasing God knows what till dinner time…still, to this day, fills my heart with joy.
Growing up with nature as our play station, imbued us with a subconscious love and respect for the land we called home. Dirt, rocks, leaf, trees, poison ivy, fish, whirlpools, sun showers, mud puddles, tad poles, dragonflies, lightning bugs…what a magical way to play as a child. A direct revelation of the world we will learn to survive in.
Somehow, I feel our children today have been ripped off. Swindled out of that short window of opportunity to build immune systems with the rich soil of the earth in their eyes, ears and mouth…the burning pain of bee stings that strengthen their connection with all the bacteria that make up 90% of their bodies. Or to experience the thrill of building own own fort, in a toad infested swamp, and all the challenges that build their confidence and character as adults.
How do we, encourage our children to feel free to explore in the world we have left them today?
Every public and private park in the US is managed with toxic chemicals that do not stay put in their intended areas or that break down into something even more menacing, inorganic arsenic. Our neighbors are blinded by this idea of perfection as well. Mixing cancer causing cocktail of pesticides, only to keep up appearances that suggest they are rich, well organized and have supreme control over their domain. To what real cost?
Landscape Marketing companies have developed a global, subconscious master mind group, that begs most men of a certain age to grab a long magic wand, and command perfection at every curb, corner and crack of their pristine driveways. The chemical manufacturing marketing’s team forgot to mention where these chemicals flow when you water your lawn? Or when the rain comes?
Into the gutter, into the river, into your water system … where the water analysis reports shout out alarming stats to local and national authorities: ‘over 51% of our water ways test positive for cancer causing pesticides every year!’
As I write this news release, nonprofits and governments around the world are sounding the alarm, “bees are going extinct! Bees bumbles bees and other native bees in danger…. What does this mean really?
Rumor has it, that if bees are extinct, man has 4 years left until he too collapses. I read it on the internet, must be true. 😉
All Jokes Aside. We do, however have something serious to consider…
Yes, honey bees around the world are in serious trouble. No, it is not some mysterious plague, but clear, cut problems, that you and I are responsible for. Yep, that’s right, I said it. You and I are both to fault here. Ouch! The truth may set you free, but your going to need a nap after reading this article.
It isn’t what you’re thinking…so, keep reading.
The foods you choose to eat in and dine out, to the clothes we buy, the landscapers we hire, the policies we allow to manage the grounds in our schools, cities, counties and states. WE are allowing this destruction. What can you do? Is someone somewhere doing something? Surly these large non profits are doing something. Maybe I should just donate some money to one of them.
Donating your money to a nonprofit is one small step for mankind, but getting off your toosh, and doing something that directly affects positive change…is one Giant Leap for humanity.
Where should you begin on your new knighted quest to save our world?
I could bark out orders…but that is boring and so corporate yesterday. Let’s grab your life by the horns and fire up a life you will be proud to share with the grand kids. (if you can get them to come inside for dinner)
What fuels your desire for a thriving, happy, full bodied life?
Seriously…daydream about it. Write it down or have a hot cup of tea and feel it out. Are you a foodie? An artist? A fashionista? A dare devil motocross nut job? Where are your passions for living?
You, can drive your love for these items as a leveraging tool for greater good. Examples of industries that you can swing the pendulum back to where it belongs on the time scale of history are:
- Foods and Drink.
- Flowers, landscaping admiring the natural landscapes
- Fashion, all things beauty.
- 4 wheeling, ATV’s Dirt bikes, motorcycling.
- Painting. Music. The arts. Crafts.
- A good book.
- A good movie.
- A beautiful resort.
- A beautiful new home.
- BBQ’s and PicNics.
- Hiking and Biking.
What other passions can you share? Please post in the comments below and I will add to this article.
How can you merge your passion for dirt biking, hiking, cooking, dancing, etc. You get the idea… into helping to save the honey bee and all her relations? (this includes you to btw)
A few hints from me, the lowly worker bee, are to do the following, asap.
FOOD AND DRINKS
When buying groceries, look for the Biodynamic symbol on all your food and drink. Biodynamic is the ultra-label for all food snobs and loving chefs worldwide. This is The Premium label of food and drink quality worldwide. No pesticides allowed here. Highest standards.
Have a modest budget? Look for the USDA Organic words and/or label on the food or drink product. Although this is the gold standard in the US for quality and safety, it is being hammered away into something more corporate than your health would like. USDA organic can still use synthetic materials and use allowed pesticides.
- What about non-GMO? LOL what a joke. Everything is GMO now a days. Want to steer clear of this fake food source? Just look for the USDA Organic and/or Biodynamic logos and you can rest assured this food product is non-GMO. Did you know a food product could be labeled non-GMO and still use toxic pesticides to grow it? Yuck!
- Look for certified organic and/or Biodynamic clothing, toys and furniture. Ask for it every time you have a chance. Sure, you will get some odd looks, but you will have something to snicker about once your back at home. Asking will get the wheels turning and motivate the store to consider eco-friendly products to sell.
- Ask your restaurant if they use organic foods. When they say yes, ask for a tour of the kitchen. Have a look at the boxes of food they have in the back. Do you see an organic logo anywhere? If not, call their bluff and leave them a review. Just because the restaurant advertises they are using organic ingredients, does not mean their telling you the truth. I drive Starbucks crazy with this one. Starbucks used to be organic. Now, not so much. They have gone corporate all the way baby. The more of us that ask, they larger the reach we have.
LANDSCAPES, PARKS AND BEAUTIFUL VIEWS
- Consider your own backyard and garages for the obvious dangers. Weed killers, insect killers, rodent killers… all pesticides. They have got to go. Call your local health department and/or agriculture department for your state and ask where they can drop these cancer-causing, earth killing chemicals? Use alternatives like weed torch, organic land care practices and OMRI certified landscaping products.
- Ask your landscaper to NOT use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides of any kind on your property. Make them sign something stating this is what they will in fact do. Ask them to learn organic land management best practices if they want to keep your business.
- Take an organic land management class or workshop.
- Request that your local church, school and municipality to do the same. Thousands of cities around the country are converting to organic land management practices. Your city can too!
- Grow your own food. That’s right. I don’t care if it is pea shoots. Get your hands into some certified organic and/or Biodynamic soil baby! Grow some house plants. The idea is to connect with what your ancestors naturally looked forward to every day, touching soil. This is great for your immune system as well. Make sure, you buy certified organic and/or Biodynamic seeds, plants, soil, compost and/or any other gardening material that you buy from a garden shop. Most natural products you buy have been treated with long lasting insecticides without telling you it is treated! IT IS CRUCIAL. THAT YOU BUY ONLY CERTIFIED ORGANIC AND/OR BIODYNAMIC PLANTS SEEDS SOIL COMPOST FERTILIZERS…
- For the love of what is left whole and sane in this world, STOP trying to kill a few mosquitoes to save less than 300 humans next year. Learn more on how spraying to kill mosquitoes is killing hundreds of thousand of men, women and children across the country.
When looking for products to buy, look for the logo that states it was grown without the use of toxic chemicals that harm our pollinators as well as your environment. Look for organic makeup, clothing, accessories, food and furniture.
Do you love to travel? Do you hike, bike or trek through the deserts of the west? How about buying certified organic NATIVE flowers and plant seeds, sharing them along the path during your trip?
Find a way to use your passions to bring awareness and education to your community and the world. Practice saying my favorite Mantra “Buy only certified organic seeds and plants…because, if you do not, you are spreading toxins throughout the environment. Most plants and seeds are treated with long lasting pesticides you cannot wash off.” Or get creative with it. Add your own flare. The point is to educate and drill into their minds the fact that this is getting real serious and we all must do our part to save the world.
Do you love to visit resorts and hotels? Ask the registration department if they serve certified organic foods in their restaurants? What about their landscaping? Do they use organic best practices or do they treat their facility with toxic chemicals that harm humans as well as nature? Be a squeaky little wheel in this cog of life.
Be a voice they remember. Add your own style … always.
I receive messages from people all over the planet who are wanting to help make a great difference in their communities. They get it. Your donation of money can be an empty gift, but your actions, deeds and local projects mean more than donations of money, that may or may not actually help the cause.
Take action honey!
Get in the game of life. Do something you can see, touch, feel, smell, taste and share with those you love.
I am so motivated by the works of…
Jacqueline Freeman (https://www.facebook.com/jacqueline.freeman.906) and
Spikenard Bee Sanctuary (http://spikenardfarm.org/about-us/our-mission/)
These are leaders in the field of bee keeping. As busy as these 3 are, they make time for those who are working to do the right thing in bee keeping and pollinator protection projects.
Want to bee-come the best beekeeper in your village? Look these folks up and learn everything you can. Their bee survival numbers are amazing (less than 15% losses) compared to conventional beekeepers (40 – 61% losses YIKES) who are scaring the pants off the planet with their corporate mindset beekeeping practices.
Those conventional beekeepers with nightmarish losses each year can stand to learn a thing or two from the children at The Manila Waldorf School Inc.
Across the seas, in a small school in the Philippines, a group of children reunite with an ancient bee keeping practice that has preserved a way of life for centuries.
Nature is at the center of all lessons experienced in this school that is based on an understanding of the developmental stages of a human being. With anthroposophy at its core, the students are taught to be free-thinkers, creative, and deeply connected with the world they depend on.
Children enrolled in the Manila Waldorf School, Inc., are learning what is heralded as the most important type of beekeeping known to mankind today, Biodynamic beekeeping.
“Since we are first time beekeepers, our method is an organic method, we are still at the onset of studying Rudolf Steiner’s lectures on bees and are far from applying Biodynamic beekeeping methods. For now, we have a set of parents who are interested on studying Steiner’s lectures on bees but these are not things that we teach the students–at least at the moment, much study needs to be done. What our high school students have learned so far are the importance of the bees, their life cycle, the products of a hive, the hierarchy in a hive, kinds of bees, and a little on the current state of the bees (e.g. CCD, varroa mites).
The school is working on creating a pollinator friendly school where students learn the ancient art of beekeeping. It’s my colleagues and I who are handling the beekeeping. I wouldn’t want to take full credit. There is also a handful of parents who supported our initiative, they were the ones responsible for getting two more colonies. Getting the bees in school was really a community effort.
The school keeps their natural hives on school property where children can interact in a positive and healthy way with the pollinators.
“We didn’t have to go through board approval. We did, however, conduct lectures with parents, teachers, and students about beekeeping before we purchased our colony. This also helped in getting everyone on-board with the initiative.
“Our school is the Manila Waldorf School, Inc. and we took up beekeeping as part of an initiative that started during our Asian Waldorf Teachers’ Conference in 2015. The founder of anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner, has several writings on bees and their importance. We want to support the call of keeping bees in every Waldorf school and educating our students, parents, and teachers about the life of the bees. So far, we are enjoying the bees and are very very happy to have them. We are learning gradually, especially the natural method.” Kristina Salazar.
A healthy eco system will have hundreds if not thousands of stinging insects within an average playground. This is part of a normal landscape. Most insects are going about their day gathering food, medicine and materials for their nest. If a child is stung by a bee or other insect, they are given an ice pack or an allergy pill if needed. Those who have severe allergic reactions have their own protocol. Children will be stung by a bee from time to time, it is understood that this is a part of being a human being on planet called Earth.
We have evolved as a species to need bug bites to boost our immune systems. Studies show that children who are not exposed to a healthy outdoors have weakened immune systems and allergy problems. Source : http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/10/why-bee-sting-might-be-good-you and http://www.beewelltherapy.com/links-resources/
Have a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting? Don Downs of Bee Well Therapy, master apitherapist and legend, shares how in his bee sting therapy practice, if a person reacts severely to a bee sting injection, he has them get into an ice cold shower or bath to slow down the process. Have them take their injection and/or allergy medicine immediately, then go to the ER.
The honey, pollen, wax and services shared by these Biodynamicaly kept, honey bees, are by far the most valued resources known to man and all creatures alike.
There are large differences in the way a Biodynamic Beekeeper manages a hive compared to the conventional beekeeper. View Biodynamic Beekeeping requirements in this free PDF.
Most conventional beekeeping clubs in the US depend on funding from chemical companies and corporate honey production businesses that have a western state of mind. Profits over production, health and longevity. Their education is misguided and dangerous for their community. Spreading disease and toxic products to the community, sold under the guise of local honey is good for your health.
Think about it. Who has more experience and skin in the game than a 40+ year veteran beekeeper in the USA who has taken all the conventional beekeeping classes, is a master Gardner or better yet, is sponsored by the chemical industry?
Well, smarty pants; how about the bees! 100 million years’ experience in management of a bee colony. Talk about bee-ing an ‘Outlier’. http://gladwell.com/outliers/. How can we as measly little humans, know what is the correct way to manage a hive, mate a queen or harvest honey from a hive?
Biodynamic and other healthy forms of beekeeping such as Natural or Small Cell Beekeeping and Certified Organic beekeeping are shining a bright light into the dark side of conventional beekeeping.
“Come over to the natural side, we have honey comb you can eat right out of the hive. Sans the chemical soup.”
Yes, Biodynamic Beekeeping, Natural Beekeeping and Organic Beekeeping will require a learning curve and some good old fashioned work, but the pay offs far out way the money pit your currently in as a conventional beekeeper.
What are some of the new changes you will bee learning? From a favorite blog on Beekeeping… (https://honeybeesuite.com/what-is-biodynamic-beekeeping/)
According to an article in the Green Guide, the aim of biodynamic beekeeping is “to minimize stress factors and allow bees to develop in accordance with their true nature.”Proponents of biodynamic beekeeping, such as practical-crafts teacher Keith Gelber of Chico, insist that biodynamic beekeepers neither “have” nor “keep” bees but simply provide them with “a clean place to live.” Gelber likes to think of himself as a bee “steward.”
Gelber keeps bees in accordance with the Demeter International Bee Standards. This group maintains a strict set of rules that must be followed in order for honey to bear their seal of approval. All types of standards are spelled out including how bees are raised, how honey is processed, and what containers may be used . . . interesting reading if you have a few minutes. (and care that the fate of humanity depends on you reading this)
A few points:
- Natural combs are used, rather than foundation.
- Swarming is recognized as the natural form of colony reproduction.
- Clipping of queen’s wings is prohibited.
- Regular and systematic queen replacement is prohibited.
- Pollen substitutes are prohibited.
- Beehives must be made of all natural materials, such as wood, straw, or clay.
- Artificial insemination is not used. Instead queens are allowed to fly free to mate.
- Grafting of larvae to produce queens is prohibited.
- No pesticides or antibiotics are allowed, although the use of natural organic acids such as formic and oxalic acid may be used for mite control.
These are some of the differences you will need to learn more on when converting from the dying conventional beekeeping practices to a safer and healthier one. Subscribe to the blogs / resources listed below to learn more.
In this great circle of life, species come and go, evolve or die. We too are a part of this wheel. How do we, as the predators on the food chain of life, seek peace within and produce abundance in a world we have all but almost, destroyed?
I know that switching to an organically managed landscape throughout the country is a much needed step. Encouraging the growth of these industries has far reaching benefits, generations to come will look back and appreciate.
Thank you for doing or Bee-ing your part in this piece of history.
See links and resources below on how to become a world renowned beekeeper. I welcome your questions and comments below.
*Please send all hate mail inquiries to:
800 North Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, Missouri 63167
Organic Beekeeping Group: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Organicbeekeepers