Saturday, December 12, 2009

Merry Christmas Honey Bees

Ever wonder what bees do during winter?

The survival of the bee through the cold months of winter is largely dependent upon the particular kind of over 1,000 species to which it belongs. Generally speaking, the social bees do not summer in the South during the winter, as do migratory birds, but, instead, live or die in their natural environs.

The young queen bumblebee, who earns her title by being the one egg-laying female, or queen mother, in the colony of social bees, does survive the winter. She does so by burrowing out a hold in a well-drained sandbank, or simply by taking the easy way out by moving into a pre-owned home, such as a deserted mouse nest. Once settled into her nest, she plays happy homemaker and makes beebread from the nectar and the pollen she collected all summer, dumps the load of bread, lays eggs on it, covers it with wax, and relaxes atop it.

Approximately 250,000 eggs later, her Highness washes her hands of the whole thing, and leaves the work to her offspring. As soon as the workers, or fertilized, but non-egg producing females sprout wings, they set to work, and only later get assistance in the form of drones, or unfertilized males. The workers bees and drones, who toiled for the queen all summer, are rewarded for their efforts by a certain death in winter. No bother...they are easily replaced by cheap labor, when the queen lays more eggs in the spring, and puts her new brood to work.

Her counterpart, the young queen honeybee, earns her title by being the first of the special queen cells to emerge, and literally kills her competition, her sisters, in their queen cells, before they have the chance to emerge. The colony she rules is the epitome of efficiency, as it adapts to endure a full range of adverse climates. This species of honey-producing bee, ergo the honeybee, winters in a temperature-controlled hive. The worker bee thermostatically controls his hive with great precision, ensuring that the temperature in the hive's nursery, where baby bees are developing, is maintained at 93 degrees Fahrenheit, and that the temperature in the remainder of the hive does not drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The worker bees accomplish this winter task by fueling up on the honey that they have stored, and by releasing heat as they feast.

The honeybee wisely keeps a stash of honey for himself, after the beekeeper has had his take, thus benefiting from his labor in the warmer months. The social bees utilize these months in a productive manner, by buzzing from flower to flower, sucking up the flowers' nectar as they bumble along. The nectar the bees extract from the flower flows to their honey sacs, which are enlargements of their digestive tracts, and are located in front of the belly of the bees.

Here, the sugars from the sweet nectar of the flower, chemically transform, and are reduced through the honeybee's built-in mechanism to evaporate large quantities of water contained in the nectar. The honeybee stores the end product, honey, both internally, and externally. Pooh-like "honeypot" cells store the thinner version of honey, honey with a short "shelf-life," and honeycombs, the more concentrated version, honey with the "shelf-life" of canned goods in wartime. In a sense, the honeybee is preparing to combat, and to survive, the bitter winter months that lie ahead.

(from Cool Quiz)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, August 31, 2009

September Team Challenge

I would like to submit a September Team Challenge on our Blog!

I ask the team members to take a tour of some of the other team members shops and find inspiration for an entry of your own. Then post the original inspiration and your new creation here on the blog . It's a great way to see the talents of our other team members and to get a creative boost of your own.

This challenge will not be subject to a vote. Enter as many as you want. But we will have a team art show blog after the dealine to see each others work and to make comments.

The challenge will close September 30. I hope you all participate and we get to know each other better! Looking forward to inspiration!

Love, Honeybeads

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sorry to report, CCD has come to our team!

Due to non-popular demand, our team challenge was cancelled and no further date has been established.

It is common practice (or non practice, in this case) to check in on the Ning website in order to coordinate and keep informed with the team's happenings, only since most members don't check in on Ning, it's impossible to run a team!

If you have any suggestions or input concerning how to revive the Etsy Honey Bee Helpers team, then please post your suggestions and comments here. Unfortunately, as with many things in life, the good intentions are there, but without action, nothing can happen.

Over and out!

Wishing you well and happy trails...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Update: Early Summer Team Challenge delayed!

Come to your hive, gather around and hear the buzz!

Attention, fellow Honey Bee Helpers! The deadline to enter our contest has been POSTPONED for a month.

The NEW deadline to enter our Early Summer Team Challenge is now:

Thursday, July 23, 2009.

Maybe that will give everyone some extra time to complete your challenge item so that we will have more contestants for more fun ... and more excitement!

Keep those creative juices flowing and think: beach - flowers - summer fruits (thanks to our busy honey bee we have plenty to chose from) palm trees - ice cream - outdoor grilling - whatever reminds you of summer. The possibilities are endless!

I wait all year for these sweet jewels of summer: thank you, little honey bee!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Green Tip: Plant yourself some herbs!

Plant some herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes!
You can start from seeds, or buy baby plants and bring them home.

You can put them in your garden outside (make sure they aren't in a spot where wild animals will decide to mark them, though! Eewwwww!), or plant them in pots and place them in a bright and sunny window!

You'll save money from buying herbs at the grocery store, and save on packaging, too!
Plus, fresh herbs taste better than dried ones AND they're better for you- all the nutrients are still in tact!

Keep your herb garden organic. If you find that some of your yummies are being destroyed by bugs (caterpillars love parsley!), perhaps you could plant extra for them, since pollinators need all the help they can get! Or, clean them off and move your herbs indoors away from those who partake in them.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Treasury! May 23 :)

Sweet Sea Honeybees- treasury featuring greens and blues from our wonderful team!

Visit! Click! Give our team some love that it deserves :)

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Treasury West- May 20!

Hello Bees, we have a new Treasury!

Thanks to Doris for creating this one!

See it here- click, comment, click some more and give it some love ;)

Green Tip of the week.. "Off White"

From my "Page A Day" Calendar from May 17- which isn't today, but I liked this tip :)

Try to break the association between snowy white paper products and cleanliness. White paper products are bleached with chlorine or chlorine derivatives, which release dioxins- known carcinogens and endocrine disrupters- into the environment. (Plus, the chlorine industry itself is amajor source of neurotoxic mercury emissions.) So seek out products labeled Processed Chlorine Free (PCF). Same goes for cotton linens- a pure white product has most likely been treated with toxic bleach.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


It's on, bees!

The new team Challenge entry is "A Day at the Beach" (Theme picked by Doris, winner of our previous team challenge).

Please go to the Ning page to see more details about the challenge. And please try to get over to Ning once a week and post something (even just a hello in the Team Chat thread) so we know you're still part of the team!

Thanks everybody!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Challenge... Please vote!

Our theme for this month was Spring!
All of the team challenge entries will be posted here, with a poll that will run for a week. Everyone can vote on the entries and share the link to our blog with as many folks as you can!
Winner gets a small gift and gets to pick the next challenge theme!!

Here are the entries:

CottonEyedJo created this cute little Bluebonnet Elf:

Greenbriar created a great Beekeeper's moss terrarium, complete with a bee!!

GreenGoddessHerbals created a lovely Lilac soap...

Doris has croched a cute little Bee accent pillow:

Fat Cat Crafts created an adorable honeybee and fuschia flower pin cushion set:

LonesomeRoadStudio illustrated this 5x5 artwork titled "Grow":

SamanthasArtStudio painted an 8x10 Tulip Tree Flower:

And Honeybeads created this "Nectar Flow" necklace, described in her own words,
"My entry is a necklace in spring colors of aqua, greens and blues to represent the flow of nectar and the dance the bees use to show the colony the direction of the blooms"

We'll have the poll running for about a week, so get your friends and family and other teams to vote! And let's share the thread on Etsy as much as we can and get as many votes as possible!

Everyone's entries are great, guys! Thanks for contributing!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Green Tip of the week!

Who celebrated Earth Day yesterday?

Here is a great trailer for a series called "Waste?"

I wanted to share this to get everyone thinking twice about what they throw away. Chances are it can be reused or recycled somehow. All you have to do is check around locally for the right place to take it!

Staples accepts ink jet cartridges and most other electronics.
Nike has a program for recycling shoes.
If you don't have curb-side recycling, you probably have a place nearby where you can take it. Walk or ride a bike there if you can! You'll get exercise and cut down your emissions.
Most Home Depot stores will recycle your CFL bulbs.

Just do a little bit of digging around, or call your local trash/recycling collectors and they should be able to help you out! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bee Green!! Greep tip of the week...

This tip is about paper. Sugar cane paper!

Sugar Cane paper is made from a by-product (Bagasse) of sugar cane farming. It is biodegradable (faster than regular paper) and easily recyclable too!
Here is a little more info:

Planet Green has a GREAT article here
about requesting sugar cane paper in your office. Or, you can use it at home in your own home office!

Sugar Cane paper does not contribute to loss of trees.

Staples has sugar cane based notepads (Awesome!), and this paper from Green Line Paper is 50% bagasse and 50% recycled content.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bee Green! Weekly green tip...

If you liked the show "Bill Nye the Science Guy" (he's so cute!), you'll love this!

Bill Nye is back, rockin' his bowtie with a new show on Planet Green. Each episode has a different theme and they discuss how everything we do makes things happen to the environment. The show is full of interesting facts and tips on what you can do to be more environmentally friendly.

Even if you don't get the channel, you can learn a lot from following the link above and reading different sections from the show.

Glad to see you back, Bill!! :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Silly bee stuff

For anyone who loves "Family Guy" :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Weekly Green Tip

From my "Page A Day" Green Tips calendar...

"A rechargeable solar flashlight is a brilliant alternative to one that eats up conventional batteries. Buy one- or two or three- from, and the company will match your order, for people who need them desperately. (Nearly two billion people worldwide have only one option for lighting at night: a dangeous, expensive kerosene lantern.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Weekly Green Tip

Pollinator Week this year is June 22-28th, and is already keeping us up-to-date with events as different states announce them!

(image courtesy of - to get your own, click here!)

Is your state listed as participating?

If not, BEE sure to write to your governor!
The link above provides all the information you will need to get in touch with your governor and even includes a sample letter.

Let's bring some awareness to our local pollinators! If your state has no events listed, how about getting the wheels turning to organize one? Last year, Whole Foods grocery stores participated in several areas. If you've got stores that sell local products, especially local honey, most likely they'd be willing to run some sort of promotion that week. Even if you just print out some information about local pollinators, and drop it off for the store to display during pollinator week, it's creating a lot of awareness that otherwise wouldn't be out there!

You can contact local beekeepers and see if they are doing anything to celebrate pollinator week. Maybe you can coordinate something fun with them.

You can put together a local craft show, and rent spaces for a fee, then donate part of the proceeds to a pollinator charity such as

There are lots of things you can do, and I know June seems soooo far away- but organization takes time (contacting people, doing research, staying in touch, coordination) and it would be great to start now!
This same link also has a plethora of information you can use in organizing your own Pollinator week event.

If the idea of organizing an event seems intimidating, that's okay! If you start putting out feelers to others in your community (beekeepers, gardeners, crafters, organic food markets, farmers markets, etc.) who might be interested in doing something, chances are you'll get other ideas and offers from people to help and before you know it, you'll be up and running!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Return of the Honeybee documentary

For the past two years Hive Mentality Films (made up of me and my co-director George Langworthy) have been traveling the world in service to the bees and their plight. We;ve traveled to more than ten states as well as Australia, England, France and Germany.

We are now about to launch into our final edit. (we recently pre-viewed a rough version of our film for the opening night of the Environmental Film Festival in D.C. where 500 people showed up.) This film will be seen in theaters all around the world as we believe that education is the best way for people to realize the crucial role these beneficials play in our lives. Our film also addresses big agriculture and the need to return to a way of bee-ing where nature presides over economy.

For the first year George and I were paying things out of pocket and placing things on credit. We now have matching funds of $150,000 but we are still in need of monies to finish with post production. Part of our mandate will be to eventually offer this film online for free. We are also going to create a special 30 minute version to offer kids during a school tour.

And we are also going to start an outreach program Hive in Every Home and Bee Loving Etsians could help in these efforts. Our film offers solutions and we speak to Jay Feldman from Beyond Pesticides as well as Michael Pollan.

We need your help! Please spread the word and if you know anyone who can donate, every dollar is matched and is tax deductible since we have non profit status.

We have a fundraiser coming up Mill Valley on April 3rd where we will be showing excerpts of our film and offering a yummy meal. Let me know if you'd like the invite.

I've been keeping a blog for two years on CCD and our adventures.
You can also come and see our trailer

thank you!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Weekly Green Tip!

After a temporary break (busy schedule), I'm back with a green tip for this week!

This is similar to the gray water tip, as it has to do with watering your plants...

You can keep a bucket outside to collect rainwater for your houseplants, or small individual outdoor plants. Since Spring is coming, it's usually a time of a lot of rain and showers for most people, so if you put your bucket(s) out soon, you'll be collecting water in no time!

You can use an old 5-gallon bucket (make sure it didn't contain any harsh chemicals though, like chlorine- unless you're using this on a plant you HATE), or an old tub from a product (such as margarine) to collect a little bit of water, or even an old drinking glass. Any container will work! When my container filled up and I didn't need all of the water, I just stored it away for later- in an old gallon bottle with a lid or something like that.

At my old house, I kept a bucket under a place where our gutters had a leak. That bucket filled up with even just a little bit of rain! So if you've got a gutter issue and need a LOT of water, that may be a good place for your collecting.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New HoneyBee Helpers Team Challenge

We are starting a new Challenge today and entries will be accepted through Thursday, April 23rd. That gives us almost two months to create! Voting will start the following day, on Friday, April 24th and will end April 30th, 2009. This time, there will be a thread on the Etsy Forum so that other Etsians can vote on our entries as well. I think this will add an additional element of excitement and exposure for our team. The winner will receive a small gift from me and also gets to pick the next challenge theme.

My pick for this month is "Spring" and everything that typically relates to spring, like blossoms, daffodils, tulips, butterflies and, of course, bees... baby chicks and bunnies (Easter) and anything you would like to add that represents a new beginning.

Spring is a wonderful and exciting season! I always enjoy looking at the young green little leaves pushing through and the delicate blossoms on the's a marvelous time to be alive!

REMEMBER to post your entry on Ning here:

Good luck and have fun with this challenge.

On your marks, get set, go........!!!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

CONGRATULATIONS to our Challenge Winner Doris!!

Doris created "Buzz the Spiffy Caller" for the "Love" themed team challenge and won by popular vote!!
Doris gets to pick the theme for the next challenge, and will be receiving a bee-themed bracelet in the mail as her challenge prize!

Congratulations Doris!!
Let us know what our next theme will be! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Colony Collapse Disorder Showing Up Again in East Coast Hives -

Hi all,

I ran across this post by Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture Magazine.

Colony Collapse Disorder Showing Up Again in East Coast Hives -

Posted using ShareThis

Team Challenge: LOVE entries!

All of the team challenge entries will be posted here- once I make sure that all entries have been posted, I'll put up a poll and run it for a few days and everyone can vote on the entries!
Winner gets a small gift from me and gets to pick the next challenge theme!!

BumbleBabyMommy created an adorable bib:

LonesomeRoadStudio created a beautiful pendant:
(Sorry folks, it's already sold!!) :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weekly Green Tip: Dishwasher Soap

This week's tip comes from team member BumbleBabyMommy's blog: How to make your own dishwasher soap!!

It only ends up costing about 8 cents a load, so you'll save money while you save the environment! Click and read the blog for more information on why this detergent is so great.

Here's how it's done:

Mix together 1 tablespoon of Borax and 1 tablespoon of Baking soda. Then put it into the soap compartment of your dishwasher and run the dishwasher as you normally would.

I wanted to say that a few days ago I made this detergent and used it, and yes indeed it DOES work well!! My dishes were cleaned to perfection and not only that, but I didn't have that obnoxious bleachy smell permeating through the house that most dishwasher detergents tend to create.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another Honeybee Helpers Treasury! Actually, 2!

It's very similar to the last treasury, just a couple things switched around. I liked the colors and composition so much and really thought it might get a lot of hits!

Co-QueenBee SturmDM created this lovely treasury as well. There are so many beautiful things in the team's stores!!!

These are in Treasury and not Treasury West...
Maybe they will make the front page. Take a look! Click! Comment! We love it! :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Weekly Green Tip! Pet poop clean up.

Many people with pets justify the use of regular nasty plastic grocery bags with cleaning up their pets' poop.

But have you heard of biodegradable poop bags? If you've got to throw away poop from pets, it's a great solution.

Here's another idea- while not as perfect as the idea above, it's a way to reuse something that would otherwise be thrown out anyway: Why not use another readily available bag? ...Sure, if you're trying to be more green, you're choosing items with less packaging and waste. But let's face it- some items will come in a bag and there is nothing you can do about it. Bread, chips, a lot of crackers and cookies... these all usually come in a sealed bag. You can re-use this bag for picking up after the pets instead.

For a cat's litterbox, some recommend flushing. However, if you leave near a coastal area or near rivers or other water sources, it's best not to flush it. Sea otters are being infected with a toxin that could be coming from the flushed cat poop and litter. The best solution is, again, a biodegradable plastic bag.

Before reading further, keep in mind:
Do NOT use cat or dog poop in compost that will be going on or anywhere near your vegetable garden!!!

Their poo contains toxins that you don't want coming near anything you eat. Eewwwww.

You can compost your cat's poop and litter remnants:

If you are interested in composting your dog's doody for gardens without vegetables, here's an article about how you can:

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Marie Antoinette Bracelet

This was a special order from someone who LOVED the movie, "Marie Aontoinette". I used pink and aqua glass beads and pearls. And added birds, painting of Marie, a little french dog, silver shoe and even a slice of cake! More photos on our flickr site.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Hooray for our wonderful team! Look at all these fabulous Valentine goodies available from the Honeybee Helpers!
Check out our treasury!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

February Challenge Entry

For the February challenge, I created two lovey-dovey bug Valentine (or any time) cards! They are in the cards section of my Etsy shop.

I created two little (about 5" x 5") works of art which I scanned in, added some text and a background to the design on my computer. Then I printed them onto fine art paper, and mounted them onto light green cardstock- it was fresh and bright and springy, but since I had Valentines day in mind, I'm going to have to go find some red cardstock and make a couple more. But getting the art itself done was the difficult and time consuming part, so here are the two cards! :)

The honey bee and rose was done in pastels and black ink.

The lady bug and grass art was done with colored pencils and black ink.

I'll probably eventually sell the original art, too- I would like to frame it and mat it though, since they are small, and I think that would make a nice presentation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weekly Green Tip: Birthdays!! And Laundry --BONUS!

Since it's still early in the year, it's a great time to plan ahead for all of the birthday gifts you will be giving this year!

So this year, why not pick one green/eco-friendly item to give everyone on your birthday-gifts-list? It'll make shopping so much easier, and maybe you'll influence some friends or family to be a little more green this year!

Some great gift suggestions that everyone (well, almost everyone!) can use:

- An aluminum reusable water bottle (posted about these last week). You can get a high-end one from a company like Sigg, but if you're looking to spend a little less, Old Navy has some reusable aluminum bottles too. At full price they were $7.50, but Old Navy has great sales all the time and you could probably stock up on them if you bargain hunt!

- On a similar note, a travel coffee/tea/hot beverage mug. If you always keep a clean one in your car, the next time you stop for a coffee you won't have to use another paper cup/plastic lid! ...This is great for long road trips! You can also put iced drinks like iced teas and chais and iced coffees in them too, of course. No more plastic cups!

- How about supporting the handmade community on a site like Etsy and giving everyone a handmade item this year? Or if you're crafty... make the items yourself! Everyone loves a personalized piece of art.

- If the recipient has a yard, look into a plant store that sells local plants and flowers, and buy them a flowering plant that's native to the area. They'll have minimal care to maintain it since it's used to the conditions of the area, and the pollinators will love you for it!

- Keeping with the local theme- if you can find a local farm or orchard, look into homemade jams and jellies, sauces, and other local farmed canned goods.

- Laundry products. Everyone has to do laundry, right? So why not make it greener? Give the gift of eco-friendly laundry and send the ingredients needed to make your own detergent, along with a couple of dryer balls!

Recipe for homemade powder laundry detergent:
  • 1 cup shredded bar soap
    Fells Naptha works well (Zote is also recommended), you can use a cheese grater and then turn the little grated curls into a powder with a food processor- but it's not necessary. Another tip is to leave the soap out for a week or so to dry out a little before you shred it. It makes the soap easier to shred and more powdery.
  • 1/2 cup washing soda (Arm and Hammer makes it). This is sometimes hard to find, but call and ask around, or order a bunch online.
  • 1/2 cup borax (you can find this with the cleaning supplies or with the laundry supplies)

All you need is one tablespoon per load of wash. I open the washing machine and turn on the hot water until it's about an inch deep. Then I turn off the water, add my detergent, and mix it around with an old wooden spoon until it dissolves. It won't be foamy. Then I switch the water to cold and let the machine fill up about half way and then I add my clothes. I've heard it's best to let the water dilute some before adding the clothes as some of the chemicals can make a peroxide and you don't want to bleach your dark clothing by adding it too quickly.

And if you need dryer balls, Etsy is a great place to look for them!

Add a comment if you've got some more great eco-friendly gift ideas!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear Mythbusters,

Dear Mythbusters,

On behalf of the many hapless honeybees who are falling victim to CCD: How about next time you feature a segment on killing them (whether the myth is busted or not), you kindly remind your viewers that it is not necessary to ever kill a swarm of honeybees at all, but instead, call a local beekeeper who would probably be more than happy to have them. If that beekeeper does not want them, it's likely that they can refer you to someone who does!

The honeybees would greatly appreciate your popular show bringing some awareness to CCD and enlightening the viewers that there IS a humane way to rid their property of honeybees.

The Honeybee Helpers

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Meet "Buzz, the Spiffy Caller"

Doris of Honey Bee Crochet created this Valentine's Bee Shelf Sitter for our HoneyBee Helpers Team Challenge. He is a OOAK original, designed and created by Doris. He was crocheted entirely freestyle (without a pattern.) Buzz has all sorts of embellishments to make him attractive, like heart shaped wings, a buzz hair do and perky antennae, a lady bug on his nose for good luck when he asks "Bee Mine" for Valentine's Day as he's giving you his heart (with a little pink satin rose.) He even has a stinger, but it's just for show. He's wearing yellow booties with a pony bead on top of each.

His bottom is stuffed with rice and polyester fiberfill to keep him sitting securely on the shelf. He measures 9" from head to bum, 15" in circumference (around his belly.)

You can see more of him here

Buzz is for decoration only and NOT a toy. He is purely for enjoyment and meant to make you smile!

Doris enjoyed making him because he represents her love of bees and the HoneyBee Helpers team member friendships that unite us in our mutual concern for the environment and the world in which we live.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Team LOVE Challange!

Dearest Honeybee Helpers,

Our team has a brand new challenge! The theme of the challenge is "LOVE."
Your challenge item can be love interpreted quite literally, with pinks, reds, hearts, and very-Valentine, etc. It could also be an item designed for a wedding. It could be an item modeled after something (or someone) that you love- such as, if you love nature, you could do an eco-friendly item. If you love bees (and I'm sure you do!), you could do any item you like and donate the proceeds to a CCD research to show your love for bees.

The list of ideas incorporating love is endless!

The challenge entries are due by February 14.

Please take pictures of your challenge entry, and then post them on the Ning or here on the blog (or both), with a short paragraph about the item.

On February 15, I'll post all the challenge entries here on the blog together and then we'll start a poll and vote on them. Whoever wins the challenge gets a special surprise :)

Part of the prize is still TBD, but you'll get a small gift from me at the very least.

Even if you're posted and sold your item before the due date of February 14, of course it will still be in the running so we can vote on it.

On the Etsy Gift Guides, there are a bunch of ideas in the "Season of Love" category so if you're feeling stuck, check that out!

Buzzin' on home now,


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Buy yourself a reusable bottle and fill it up from the tap at home. If the taste of your tap water is unsatisfactory, you may be able to purchase an inexpensive filter to improve the taste.

The Earth Policy Institute estimates that it takes about 1.5 MILLION barrels of oil to make the plastic water bottles Americans use each year. And 77% of those end up in a landfill.

These reusable Sigg bottles have gotten great reviews online, and unlike the plastic bottles, they DON'T leach dangerous chemicals into your drink!

This one is even black and yellow, which is a great reminder (for anyone who cares about bees, and if you're reading this blog, I hope you do!) that a cleaner environment is better for the bees!

Another great thing about having a reusable bottle is that you can take it anywhere. You can bring an empty one to the airport, and then fill it up from a drinking fountain after you pass through security. This eliminates waste from bottles on the airplane during beverage service. And in case you didn't already know, a lot of airlines are now charging for the drinks they serve- soda, tea, coffee, juice, and yes- water.

This bottle will pay for itself in no time!

Sigg offers many sizes of bottles, so if carrying around a big liter bottle seems a bit daunting, they also offer smaller bottles.

There are other companies on and a few other sites that offer similar bottles to the Sigg bottle, so you can look around for a great bargain from different brands. Just be sure that it's made from something that won't leach chemicals into your drink!


Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Good Sign -- Dead Bees!

It has been snowing in central Pennsylvannia and last time I went out to the hive there were several dead bees on the ground. I smiled. My bees are alive!
In winter the hive is ghostly quiet and appears to be dead. But inside the bees have huddled into a cluster surrounding the queen. They maintain a temp of 90F by muscle contractions. Basically they’re shivering to produce heat. Maintaining the cluster at all costs, bees carry and pass honey from the perimeter to the center. They cannot leave its warmth to seek out stores farther away in the hive. They can starve to death just inches from honey. Dedicated unconditionally to colony welfare, a starving bee will pass the last drop of honey forward rather than consume it.
On sunny days some bees will fly outside to defecate since they are fastidious when it comes to cleanliness within the hive. Unfortunately, just because the sun is out doesn’t mean they’ll make it back without falling to the ground, particularly when the temps are still barely above freezing.
I must wait till spring to inspect the hive, but these bee losses are usually a sign of a healthy colony.
Keeping warm,
Lorrie (Honeybeads)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Weekly Green Tip: Gray Water!

Another great tip from my Page-A-Day green living calendar:

"Leave a bucket (with a handle) in the shower to fill up with 'gray water while you lather up, or to bail out your bath when you've finished soaking. This water is perfect for plants (except for anything you plan to eat), the lawn, or washing the car. "

So don't use the water on herbs :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

MEMBERS! Weekly Chats!

PSA to the members of the team!

We'll now be having weekly chats every Wednesday at 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

To attend the chats, go to, and then click "Community." Then click "Chat."

The team chat room will be called Honeybee Helpers Chat. It will be password protected and the password can be found on Ning!

I understand that there will be some who can't make that time each week, as it's so hard to accommodate everyone's schedule. But if you can make it, please stop in! Even if you can only stay a few minutes, that would be great- that way if we're discussing something specific, you can give us your input, then be on your way.

Also if you go to Etsy Chat close to 2:00 and don't see the chat room anywhere, absolutely feel free to start the room. It's pretty easy.

If any earth-shattering things are discussed or decided during the chats, if I am there I will try and post a summary here on the blog and on Ning.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bee Kind, Bee Green

A lot of scientists and researchers have been suggesting the frightening idea that the honeybee here on Earth is the equivalent of a canary in a coal mine... And that the disappearance of honeybees is a sign that something is very, very wrong with our planet: Global Warming. Climate Change. Call it whatever you like, it's not good for anyone.
Here's a great article with a lot of facts-

I've heard the phrase, "Bee keeping is Planet keeping" so I thought it would be interesting and relevant to provide some greener-living tips on the blog- hopefully as a weekly thing. You can even look at the weekly tips as a personal challenge if you are following the blog- with each weekly tip, if you aren't already doing what the tip suggests, then find a way to get started!

This week's tip from Page-A-Day Calendars (from January 2):
"If you're a carnivore, aim to cut your meat intake in half this year. Meat takes more resources to produce than other forms of protein, so it's an inefficient source of fuel."

For an example of the resources to produce a pretty common food, here's an article about the carbon footprint (energy that it takes) to create a cheeseburger. The article goes into detail about just how much energy it takes to actually raise a cow to an age where it is be old enough to be slaughtered- how much food that cow will need to eat and how much energy is needed to feed the cow- and also gives an estimate of how much methane gas that cow will produce while it is alive.

This is just one example of one kind of food and one kind of meat.