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.