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Thread: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

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    Canada Avalon Member northstar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    I am loving this bee discussion! I am so happy when people talk about their experiences with bees!!
    I love those little buzzers!! haha!!

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Quote Posted by Star Tsar (here)
    Hey on my travels today I saw two Bees and one Wasp all of which seemed to be lethargic and where just crawling on the pavement can someone fill me in as to why they are displaying behaviour like this?
    On all three occasions I moved them to grassy areas.

    Save the Bees, One at a Time...........




    Makes me wonder if one reason they are in trouble is because we steal all their honey from them.

    Give a little back.
    Last edited by norman; 30th September 2013 at 00:42.
    .................................................. my first language is TYPO..............................................

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Hi guys.

    When Northstar decided to start our focus on bees, I was all enthusiastic about doing my meditation thing for them- I still do, but I realised that while I was not afraid of bees, I was afraid of bee hives.

    I have over the years been given the opportunity to learn from experienced bee keepers but always turned them down.

    Last week, I asked my Yoga instructor if he knew anything about beekeeping and was delighted to learn that they had 2 hives and were willing for me to learn from them.
    We are in very early spring now, so I am assuming my lessons will be beginning very soon.

    I'm getting excited about this now rather than feeling nervous.

    I have a reasonably large vegetable garden and had noticed that we do not have bees in the garden all through the growing season.
    I'm hoping to spend this growing season learning how to look after bees using natural methods as well as finding out what I need to plant for them so they have enough material to feed themselves properly with some for us.

    One thing I do know we need to sort out before we get a hive of our own, is temperature and wind control.
    Being on one of the highest spots around, we get wind, sometimes fierce winds, so I know I need to learn how to determine the best location for the hive/s and temperature ranges.

    Cos I like to have my own reference materials, I also just bought a couple of books on natural bee keeping too.

    What I am looking for now is a book that tells what plants are best for them, preferably one that gives the seasons rather than local month planting times.
    Does anyone know of one like this?

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Quote Posted by norman (here)
    Quote Posted by Star Tsar (here)
    Hey on my travels today I saw two Bees and one Wasp all of which seemed to be lethargic and where just crawling on the pavement can someone fill me in as to why they are displaying behaviour like this?
    On all three occasions I moved them to grassy areas.

    Save the Bees, One at a Time...........




    Makes me wonder if one reason they are in trouble is because we steal all their honey from them.

    Give a little back.
    That's just ace Norman!!! I had no idea now I do!!!
    I vow to help when opportunity arises....
    I for one will join in with anyone, I don't care what color you are as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this Earth - Malcolm X / Tsar Of The Star

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    gotta good vibe going on this thread......360.. always balance into flow.
    TRUTH and BALANCE

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Don't worry Bee happy!

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Quote Posted by mischief (here)
    When Northstar decided to start our focus on bees, I was all enthusiastic about doing my meditation thing for them- I still do, but I realised that while I was not afraid of bees, I was afraid of bee hives.

    I have over the years been given the opportunity to learn from experienced bee keepers but always turned them down.

    Last week, I asked my Yoga instructor if he knew anything about beekeeping and was delighted to learn that they had 2 hives and were willing for me to learn from them.
    We are in very early spring now, so I am assuming my lessons will be beginning very soon.

    I'm getting excited about this now rather than feeling nervous.
    I am so happy you are going to keep bees, mischief!! If each person started keeping bees, or planting bee-friendly flowers, or writing letters to legislators to demand banning of harmful perticides, or simply started doing positive visualizations about bees, the sum total of all of that would be a complete turn around for our "precious pollinators".

    Every single time someone writes something here about bees, it uplifts my spirit. There is a place for everyone's contributions, whether they be keeping bees, planting bee-flowers, studying bees, protesting devastating pesticides and corporate poisoning of our planet, meditating on bees as a spiritual practice, or just being curious about bees in general.

    This thread is blooming like a well tended, much loved garden.
    Last edited by northstar; 1st October 2013 at 16:03.

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    mischief.i only have one book on honeybee plants.i dont have any books to recommend.from what i gather your best bet is to go with your region and plant native flowers first that you know the bees will work.then ask the beekeeper whos teaching ya what they would recomend.and then go online.seems the amount of info on the net is almost endless.guess you already know this..dont bee to nervous.and glad your excited.i was nervous around my first hives.and bees.my natural instincts are to run or avoid..thousands of stinging insects.in the begining i didnt know for sure if i could handle getting stung.and if i could over ride my base fear and work em.i decided if i couldnt bee not afraid then i probly shouldnt keep bees.so i called a beekeeper i had met..who had 1000 hives outside of desmoines and asked if i could work with em for a week cause i was thinking on gettn some hives ..he agreed.best week of my life.gott stung alott that week.but came out more set on raising bees than before.also phil ebert is his name.that last day working with em he told me the bees seemed to respond to me and that i had a knack with em.that was 15 years ago.so..go get stung atleast once.gett it over with.if thats the thing keepn ya from the bees or whats making ya nervous.i wont lie to ya.that first sting years ago..feels like the last sting i gott a month ago.but its never as bad as the mind makes out to bee.atleast it was that way for me.blessings to your new hives and bees mischief.enjoy them.
    Last edited by william r sanford72; 1st October 2013 at 15:20.
    TRUTH and BALANCE

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    also wanted to add..talk and hang with lotts of beekeepers.they are a diverse bunch as you know and always have differant OP on what and how to keep bees and such.soak it all up.then go spit it out in the way that works for you.
    TRUTH and BALANCE

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Hi William,
    I'm not too sure I agree with you on planting out native plants First.
    Having said that, one of the goals this year Is to wean myself of exotics in favour of native flower plants. Not that I actually have alot of flower garden.

    As I have been working on turning the back yard into a huge garden to provide (hopefully) all our herbs, fruits, vegetable, eggs and some grains,(grown over winter when not much of anything else seems to want to grow).
    Up until now, I have been relying on nature to provide the pollinator in the way of bumblebees mainly.
    We have had honey bees come to our garden, but I think the hive owner must move them in summer to somewhere else cos they seem to just disappear and I have had instances of flowers and pods empty of seed......which is why I finally decided to face my irrational worry about hives.

    New Zealand was once covered in dense forest.
    Alot/most of our trees grow enormous and are way too big for our long skinny yard.Some things like the lemon tarata and manuka I know are good bee plants and can be kept trim as a hedge, but I havent been able to find information about what else is.
    I do remember reading years ago, that alot of NZ plants are pollinated by moths, but cant remember exactly which ones.
    I just found the seed for the Manuka, which I am going to grow to replace the hedge that runs along the back of the garden.

    My personal viewpoint on planting specifically for bees is to put in what you know provide either alot of nectar/pollen, or have quite long flowering periods while finding out which of the natives species are best to get for this purpose.
    I have worked out what I'm going to put into my first all native flower garden- there are two of these along the fence line where I have just planted two dwarf pears.These are being esapaliered and the under plantings are going to be the NZ Iris, with NZ Brooms at each end.
    I'm pretty sure the brooms will be good bee plants, but not sure about the irises, nor the NZ Clematis that is now growing up a trellis and will be trained over the seating area that is between the two Pears.

    I spent ages going through a tree nursery catelogue over winter, whilst trying to work out what would be best to plant along the road front.
    There is currently a very large Australian bottle brush tree, much loved by our native Tui (bird). I have been alittle worried that this is getting too old and needed something to plant in this general area just in case (and before) it needed to be cut down or our Tuis would miss out.
    I have been trying to plant things that are as multi functional as possible and found two eucalyptus trees that are good tui and bee plants And are good firewood trees that can be coppiced on a short rotation.
    While these are not natives, they are much loved by the Tuis and produce flowers for them much more quickly that the Kowhai's, which seem to take awhile to flower or grow large enough to be a good food source.
    By careful coppicing, I should be able to make sure these dont get too big and become a hazard, while making sure there is still a good supply of flowers.

    Some other, smaller, NZ shrubs that are going in are the hebe's.
    I've just emailed a friend who is has been a bee guardian for some time, to find out from them as to what they recommend too.

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    very cool mischief.new zealand?..funny what stuck out the most is how i have some of the same flowers.there not native to the farm.i got some iris bulbs from my grmmother almost twenty years ago.shes been growing the same line..since she was a little girl..dig em up and move with her.so when i see mine bloom i am reminded of her and just how old my iris really are.clematis is popular to plant and a lovely vine but its not native thats for sure.and only thrives where its beeing taken care of.glad i didnt recomend any plants for ya.new zealand is not iowa..for sure.sounds like you have your work cut out for yourself.nice pre-planning to.i kinda gotta laugh.if you seen my yard this year.native here turned into 7 foot..not sure how you all measure feet?? in new zealand.uk..tall horseweed plants..and tons of burdock.with a mix of other wild plants and flowers.it took some getting use to.already starting to cut em down here.and under the patches of horse weed is these huge patches of plain earth.think this is where my new gardens are going.im in line with you and gonna turn 90% of the farm house yard into garden.i also have some new plots picked out that aint never seen tiller in 50 years.true blue sod busting there!! and great vegi and fruit ground.i wont have to add anything to it for the next 4 years if i do it right.thanks for the post mischief.gott me to thinking about spring next year.360.balance into flow.
    TRUTH and BALANCE

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    That sounds fantastic William, can I suggest you check out permaculture methods of grass conversion and dealing with things not in what you think might be in the wrong place? I am assuming there is quite abit of lawn.
    Sorry if this seems like abit of a thread hijack but in some ways it is all related.

    Most of our 'lifestock' live in the soil and are the starting point to looking after our bees too. I feel we need to look at what we do in our dealings with all aspects of nature. Too many of our methods disrupt natural life cycles which then ripple out unnoticed.
    If you can use methods that disrupt the soil as little as possible through using mulch, it is much better than digging and turning the soil over and exposing it to the sun and wind.
    If we can look after our soil livestock, these can then continue to create a more balanced living soil, which then feeds the plants that grow in it so much better. Healthy soil leads to healthy plants and healthy consumers- be that us, birds or our beloved bees.

    I found using lawn clippings laid down, wet to damp if its dry and stepped over to compress it, then another layer treated the same way, then a third just laid on top cooks the grass underneath and provides a natural food source for worms to move in and multiply. As they get to work, they start to pull down the clippings and aerate the soil at the same time, making it much easier to simply dig alittle hole to put your plants in.
    I found that this does not create nasty smells like you can get with alot of clippings in a compost bin and makes use a the natural process that it goes through to better effect- multi functional=kills grass and weeds in an area, provides food to encourage worms and microbes in the soil to move in and multiply.
    Because this is not something we are used to, it can seem to look unsightly, so perhaps a layer of what ever leaves have fallen from your trees could just go on top to pretty it up and provide an even great variety in diet for our hard workers.

    It might be alittle late for you to get enough clippings now seeing as you are in autumn/fall, but if you can, this is actually a good time of year to do so. It prevents weeds from growing over winter and gives the worms time to do their job.(plus it prevents you from willy nilly planting- you have time to think about what and where you are going to plant things, whereas in spring, there is the urge to hurry up and get it all in before its too late).

    Sorry, I get so excited when people tell me they are going to turn their yard into a garden instead of lotsa lawn.
    Wouldnt it be lovely if we could call our planet "Paradise" rather than (bare) earth?

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    sounds good mischief.dont think your hijacking nuttn.and also excited to.my outlook and view is wide open so suggest away.and i feel it is all connected also.many ideas are percalating in me ol nogging for next year.did grow and sell vegis and such for many years.all organic.so with all this new and diferant info and methods floating around it will be fun to try new things.balance into flow..ps.your farm sounds pretty nice.
    TRUTH and BALANCE

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    I just came inside cos its starting to get alittle cold. Been sitting on our seat under a tree that I think might be a fantastic bee food source- I'm going to keep an eye on it again this year. I'm sure I heard it literally humming with bees last summer(late).
    Unfortunately I still have no idea as to what it is, it just turned up one day in our hedge and is now about 30 feet high. I will post a photo of it on my photoblog and do alittle research to see if I can learn what it is.

    In front of this seat is my 'mustard seed plantation'. I wanted to see if I could grow enough mustard seed to make a pot of german style whole seed mustard. Bees love this plant and even coming up to dusk they are still working away on these flowers.

    I dont have a farm, William, I have a quarter acre section with most of this in the back yard and most of it is a...ahem....bit of a wilderness right now, if I am to be completely honest....but it feels nice to bee in.

    From this seat all I see is bee covered mustard flowers and blue lupins.(with the odd bit of grass poking through).
    I had planted a patch of blue lupins and had been alittle disappointed that there appeared to bee no bees at the flowers..til tonight when I saw a bumblebee visit them. It might just be that there are more interesting flowers around at this time of the year, like the Borage, Rosemary and funnily enough the bluebells.
    I have been encouraging these to spread throughout the front garden amongst the violets. They are getting to be a sea of lovely blue and well visited by honeybees.

    I have a renewed interested in keeping note of what plants the bees like most judging by the numbers of bees working a particular plant type and when they flower.

    For example, a couple of weeks ago they were mainly working the rosemary and Teucrium Fruticans hedge. The violets, while gorgeous, I think were flowering too early for the bees- I dont recall seeing any on them.

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    The woodstove is needn lit today.cold morning.the drones in one hive are gone already it seems or atleast not many left.the other hive i checked seems to bee boiling over with honey bees and there not yet ready too boot the boys out.the first hive was or is the one with the late swarm.so not surprised the population isnt at peak.the crickets wernt singing today when i awoke.first morning in months.sure will miss summers song.360.inward.then outward.always balance into flow.
    TRUTH and BALANCE

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    I am loving the recent discussion of bees and gardening by mischief and william. It is very inspiring to hear how they are taking care of the land and the bees in a very personal, tangible way!!

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    so..heres some Tribeeal pursuits..did ya know?? facts about bees.
    Bees maintain a temp of 92-93 degrees Fahrenheit in there central brood nest regardless of whether the outside temp is110 or neg..-40 degrees.
    Honeybees must consume around 17-20 pounds of honey to biochemically produce 1 pound of beeswax.
    Honeybees produce beeswax from eight paired glands on the underside of there abodomen.
    they can fly up to 15 miles per hour.
    Honey is the only food produced by an insect that humans consume.
    The Brain of the Honeybee worker is about a cubic millimeter[very tiny]BUT...has the densest neuropile tissue of any animal!!..
    Honey it self..has been widly used for Millennia as a topical dressing for wounds and burns because microbes cannot Live in it.
    Honey produces HYDROGEN PEROXIDE.
    Honey has also been used to embalm bodies like thee well know Alexander the Great.
    and.....honey is the most ancient of fermented beverages...well thats off the top o my head just a small list i can think of without diggn.enjoy the little ladys.they are truly a wonder to behold.
    TRUTH and BALANCE

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    It just occurred to me that those in the northern hemisphere are now heading into late autumn/ early winter and your bees will be starting to hibernate for the winter.
    (Some people, I found, dont know that they hibernate).

    So while those of us in the southern hemisphere are visualizing lots of flowers for honey and safe environments, those in the northern hemisphere should probably be focusing on having safe winter 'homes' and enough honey to see them through to spring.

    Just a thought.

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    Very True..fall colors have already set into the leaves of the trees.a strong breeze leads to a few falling..one at a time.soon massive die off.piles of leaves.and then winters solemn silence.they have begun the corn harvest.and in some directions from my yard where i look you can see for miles now that the corn is gone.soy beans are up next.fall is here.Balance into flow.
    TRUTH and BALANCE

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    Default Re: Calling all light warriors - the Bees need you!

    My friend, another lone bee light warrior, has just answered my email re what to plant for bees and has put me onto the Bee keepers association (NZ). I had forgotten that there was such a thing.
    They have lots of information on bees, keeping, plants, laws regarding bees etc...

    They also had a book free to download that gave me a good idea of what NZ native plants to get that bees love and indicated whether each was either high in nectar that they make the honey from or pollen which is used to feed their babies, so I now have a better idea of what to start planting out.
    It also mentioned introduced species that are of value, which gives me a good idea of which ones to keep and/or get more of.

    I think your local beekeepers association would be a good source of local information for anyone interested in learning about bees in your area/country,in order to find out how they live and what THEY need, whether you intend to keep bees or just meditate for them.

    I'm sure it would help to know what in particular would be best to devote our energies to and the more knowledgeable we are of our friends, the more we can devote our energies giving them the help they need and want.
    (I didnt realise how LITTLE I actually knew about our beeloved bees, til I started reading about them).

    I get all tingly with excitement at the thought that with so many working positively towards a better future for our friends, we will indeed make a difference for them and are already doing so.

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