World Bee Day
Before adding brood boxes

World Bee Day

 

Today I celebrated World Bee Day with 100,000 little friends.

The were buzzing about the nectar flow and collecting pollen.

They ate pollen patties, and drank sugar syrup.

And, I gave them extra room to build more brood.

Today is a great day for the honeybees

World Bee Day
Extra brood boxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You're in the tribe

The Tribe

There's one in every crowd. That one who marches to their own drum. One year it was a turkey that herded the sheep. He'd drag his wings and strut around, circling the sheep. He wasn't part of their tribe so they ignored him.

The ram hangs out with the bulls. He head butts and pesters them. They ignore him, he's not part of their tribe.

The hog in the picture above supervises the comings and goings of the sheep. She squeezes under the pasture fence and watches over them. She doesn't bother them, just watches. They ignore her, she's not part of their tribe.

Join the Tribe

Our farm is different from conventional farms. To them our practices are a curiosity, but for the most part other farmers ignore us. We're not part of their tribe.

Our tribe is growing, though. Certified organic farms have increased 56% since record keeping began in 2011. Every year the land transitioning into organic practices increases. In 2016, there were more than 14,000 certified organic farms in the United States. Our hope is that more farms join our tribe. The environment, pollinators, and consumers all need the organic tribe to grow.

Acure for World Cancer DayIs there a cure for World Cancer Day?

If the consequences of herbicides were taken seriously, we wouldn't need a day to remind us of how fragile life is.

Unfortunately  the disease is so prevalent that there’s a day designated to cancer awareness. But It’s important to share valuable information about prevention and treatments, and eliminate falsehoods.

Cancer isn’t about one day of awareness. If we took the following days more seriously, we might find a cure for World Cancer Day:

Solutions

If the impact of herbicides, pesticides, toxins and GMO’s were evaluated, and the consequences of them were taken seriously, we wouldn't need an endless list of other designated days to commemorate healing ourselves or the environment.

World Cancer Day is about awareness. Gaining knowledge about treatment options and spending every day praying, struggling and working to save lives.

It’s about celebrating survivors, mourning the lost, and supporting loved ones.

I hope there’s a day, in the not so distant future, when cancer is eradicated and every day becomes designated, World Free of Cancer Day.

Pesticides Influence Bee MemoryWhat does this have to do with you...

Royal Holloway University of London compiled a decade of studies on agrochemical research and the effect on bees. Their research determined that very low, field-realistic dosages, of pesticides significantly reduced the bee's memory. Their ability to memorize rewarding scents, which are a vital component in their search for food, were damaged. Exposed bee's had trouble remembering what type of flower to visit, where to find flowers, and which flowers they'd already drained of nectar. Another consequence of pesticide exposure is that the exposed bees couldn't find their way back to the hive.

 Could Alzheimer’s Be In Your Future?

Studies link pesticides with Alzheimer’s

DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was used extensively as an insecticide in the 1940s, but has been banned in the United States since 1972 after scientists linked the compound to wildlife health and environmental concerns. DDT is still used in other countries to combat the spread of malaria.

"We have additional studies underway that will seek to directly link DDT exposure to Alzheimer's disease," said co-author Dr. Dwight German, Professor of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern. "If a direct link is made, our hope is to then identify the presence of DDE in blood samples from people at an early age and administer treatments to remove it."

The study found elevated levels of DDE in blood samples of 86 patients with Alzheimer's disease as compared to 79 control patients from the UT Southwestern Alzheimer's Disease Center and the Emory University Alzheimer's Disease Center.

Source: UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution's faculty includes many distinguished members, including five who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985.

Children and Pesticides

Beyond Pesticides has a Pesticide-induced Disease Database  The database links studies and research about children's exposure to agrochemicals. 

Protect Yourself

Since the repeal of Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) it's not easy to identify where fruits, vegetables and meat is coming from. Outside of the United States, other countries allow classes of pesticides which are banned in the United States.

Consuming products containing pesticides may increase your exposure.

Limiting your exposure is as simple as switching to an organic diet. You can do that by growing your own fruits and vegetables, buying organic meat and dairy, and by using clean products around your home.

Remember, You have control over your health.

Related posts:

Healing the Earth

 

Why I'm not opposed to going ‘meatless’

If given the choice between eating conventionally raised meat and going meatless - I’d choose meatless, hands down. And I wouldn’t want the fake meat burgers. They’re full of GMO’s, chemicals, and estrogen's, and they’re made in a lab, not a kitchen.

I'm hyper aware of how the majority of livestock producers raise meat. Especially since we raise livestock on an organic farm. In our area there are too many confinement cattle and hog operations.

Going Meatless? Try Organic grass-fed meat instead

The rolling hills of north east Iowa are beautiful. A drive through the country sounds picturesque.

In truth it’s smelly and gross. It’s rolled up windows and held breath. It’s disgusting stenches from feedlots and gagging when manure pits are emptied and sprayed onto fields.

When we go to a restaurant that doesn't have organic meat on the menu I choose the vegetarian dishes for two reasons:

  • I've seen how confinement livestock is raised
  • I’ve smelled how confinement animals live

I never want to taste the meat that the majority of farmers produce.

Organic, grass-fed meat is the best choice. If that’s not an option, I’ll go meatless.

Interested in organic grass-fed beef?

We're taking orders.

going meatless

 

 

 

 

Related Article:

The Power Of One Grass-Fed Steer

 

Pasture Raised Chicken is the healthy choice!

Here are the facts:

  • Pasture raised meat is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, carotenoids, vitamin E, vitamin A, and folic acid
  • Pasture raised chicken has 50% more vitamin A and 100% more omega – 3’s than confinement raised birds
  • Compared with commercial birds, pasture raised chicken has 21% less total fat, 30% less saturated fat, and 28% fewer calories.
  • Under USDA guidelines breast meat from pasture raised chicken is so lean it earns the designation, “fat free.”
The National Pork Board conducted a study of the Top 3 Family dinner occasions:
  1. Feeding a Family in a Hurry
  2. Quick, Healthy Meals
  3. Familiar Family Dinners
Here are the protein choices for Feeding a Family in a Hurry (12.6% of meals):
  • Ground beef 22%
  • Pepperoni (likely on pizza) 15%
  • chicken breast 10%
Here are the protein choices for Quick, Healthy Meals (12.4% of meals):
  • 25% Boneless chicken breasts
  • 8% Rotisserie chicken
  • 7% ground turkey and salmon
Here are the protein choices for Familiar Family Dinners (10.7% of meals):
  • 25% ground beef
  • 17% Boneless chicken breast
  • 5% pork chops
You'll notice that chicken is on ALL of these lists. It's not surprising. Chicken Producers have done an incredible job of promoting confinement chicken as healthy protein. Pasture raised chicken is healthier.

Is factory farmed chicken healthy?

Here's a link for the movie, SUPER SIZE ME 2 - Holy Chicken
release date September 13, 2019
Pasture Raised Chicken is the healthy choice!
Is Chicken a Healthy Choice?
Forest Hill Farm's pastured chicken

A New Super Villain Idea for HollywoodCleaning up the Environment

If movie writers in Hollywood want to create a super villain more devious than Lex Luther, they should look to the mega companies supplying agricultural chemicals. Super villains always have devious plans to control people’s basic needs; food, air, or water. Those un-seen, yet ever present, ag chemicals are polluting the essentials of everyday life; water, food, and air. They’re killers.

On A Scale of 1 - 10

It seems that we’re vilifying plastic grocery bags and drinking straws, which have environmental consequences, however they’re not the super villains of the environment. On A scale of 1 -10 they're up there, but they don't rank at the top.

Scout troops and community do gooders can’t walk the roadside cleaning up the chemical residue and then stacking the garbage bags to show the success of their cleanup efforts. Reversing the impact from agricultural chemicals will take policy changes and an environmental protection plan that actually protects the environment.

Policies should be in the best interest of soil, water, consumers, and all lifeforms. Policies should not be politically motivated by elected officials whose campaigns are funded with kickbacks, lobbying donations or solely motivated by the desire to be re-elected.

In the United States the third leading cause of death in children is Malignant neoplasm (cancerous tumors). Could agricultural pollution be a factor?  Studies show that glyphosate is present in breakfast cereal, breast milk, and water.

Take Action

Protect your health by eating non-gmo and organic food whenever possible. Grow your own organic veggies, eat grass-fed organic meat.

There are safe insecticides that don't have negative consequences. Put your health at the forefront of your life.

Bug Jugs, Homemade Herbicide, Garden Dust

If you're a backyard orchardist and garden enthusiast here are three recipes to keep your fruit trees pest free, kill weeds, and repel cabbage worms. Best of all - the ingredients are right in your kitchen or available at a garden center.

'Bug jugs' protect fruit trees by trapping apple maggots and moth larvae. The weed control recipe is a safe herbicide that controls vegetation around young trees and kills garden weeds. And the third recipe for garden dust effectively controls cabbage worms and larvae. These recipes are safe to use around kids, pets, and pollinators.

Insect Traps for Fruit Trees

Fruit trees need special care; pruning, dormant oil, weed suppression and pest control. Here's a solution that's a safe and effective control to protect fruit from pest damage.

Safe, Alternative Pesticide and Herbicide Recipes

Bug Jugs

  • clean gallon jug
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 banana peel
  • enough water to fill the jug 1/3 full

Tape the cap to the bottom of the jug (for easy disposal because the jug will be full of gross, dead pests). Place the banana peel inside the jug, add the remaining ingredients.

After the blossoms are set hang one jug per inch of tree diameter. Use wide twine or a soft cloth tied through the jug's handle to hang them. Don't use thin string or fishing line because it cuts into the tree's protective bark.

Weed Control

Eradicate and control weeds use the following recipe, It's is very effective and with a few precautions it's safe to apply.

Homemade Herbicide:

Mix all the ingredients together. 20% vinegar is available at farm and garden supply stores or through online retailers. 

Wear gloves and eye protection, 20% vinegar can burn on contact.

When applying  in small areas, or to kill weeds in close proximity to desirable plants, use a dish sponge wand filled with this solution. Wipe the leaves of undesirable plants.

For larger areas use with a garden sprayer.

Apply in dry, warm weather. A second application may be necessary for tougher weeds.

Be careful - this mixture will kill all plants, both desirables and weeds.

Safe, Alternative Pesticide and Herbicide RecipesControl Garden Pests

The final recipe is for controlling garden pests, especially cabbage worms.

Garden Dust

  • 1 cup Diatomaceous earth or all-purpose flour
  • 3 TBS Cayenne pepper

Sift the ingredients together and apply with a garden duster or use a screen sifter (your kids sandbox sifter works great for this) dust plants in the morning while they're wet with dew.

Diatomaceous earth is available at garden centers, farm supply stores and online. It will repel a larger variety of pests than household flour, but we've been successful using both.

Apply this mixture a couple of times per week or after it rains.

These three recipes are a practical and powerful alternative to harsh chemicals.

Happy Gardening!

 

World Bee Day

Every third spoonful of food is dependent on pollinators. That's why it's important to honor them.

 

 

Here are some Bee Facts:

  • One bee produces 1/12 teaspoon of honey in it's lifetime
  • 40% of invertebrate pollinators, primarily bees and butterflies, are facing extinction
  • Bees pollinate as many as 170,000 plant species
  • The majority of pollinators are wild, including over 20,000 species of bees
  • 87 of the leading food crops worldwide are dependent on pollinators
  • Pollinators affect 35% of global agricultural land
  • In the last 50 years agricultural production that's dependent on pollinators increased by 300%

A New Type of Hive

Here in Iowa the winter took it's toll on honey bees. Some beekeepers lost  90%  of their bees.

World Bee Day

We're using Apimaye Hives. These bee friendly, Langstroth style hives are insulated and have a great winter feeding system. The top feeders are easily opened without disturbing the bees or causing heat loss to the hive. Because the Apimaye hive is so well insulated the bees are building brood faster than in past years.

You Can Make a Difference

Make every day World Bee Day by protecting pollinators, use bee friendly products and supporting local honey producers.

Related Posts:

Healing the Earth

Healing with Honey