Honeybees are not native to America. They were brought here by immigrants from Europe. These folks realized the value of bee offerings – honey, pollen, propolis and beeswax. Today, science has revealed that bees carry a powerful medicine in their venom – melittin. This “gift” appears to be an enemy of cancer! Moreover, honey is a wonderful and effective wound healer. In some places, it is used for wound care instead of antibiotics, which is a good thing since antibiotics have become overused. Apitherapy is used around the world for its healing benefits.
Honey has been shown to be as effective as over-the-counter cough syrups for use with children. Honey mixed with herbs can be healing for many conditions, such as colds, flu, digestive issues and more.
Respect the bees! Let dandelions grow in your lawn and gardens! They are the first protein food of the spring. Grow bee friendly flowers! Let the wild flowers grow: goldenrod, New England asters, wild roses, even Japanese knotweed (if you can believe it) are all honeybee favorites. Keep your lawns and gardens free of bee-killing pesticides not wild plants. Consider keeping bees yourself! Your life will be greatly enhanced by sharing your gardens with them, and you’ll be closer to nature in many happy ways.
There are some bees that are native to New England. Mason bees, Leafcutter and Bumble bees and more are all a busy and productive part of our ecology here for example. Some of them are four to five times more productive at pollination than honeybees. They don’t produce honey for us to harvest, but they play a large part in pollination, which provides food for all of us.
Living with Chickens
A few words about living with chickens. I have about a dozen bantam chickens and a rooster. They are delightful! Funny, cute and smart. They can even hold a beat and bob their heads in time with music. They are sentient beings with personalities of their own. They grieve the loss of each other. I don’t “cull” them when they stop laying eggs. I’m glad to share their “retirement” with them still. And I give them herbs when they aren’t feeling well. And they make me happy everyday I’m in their company.