Friday, March 28, 2014

Bee Quote of the month: March


Uses for honey: cooking and skin care.

Brother Adam and the bees

Brother Adam was born Karl Kehrle in 1898, in Germany.
He became a Benedictine monk and a beekeeper at Buckfast Abbey in England.

Buckfast Abbey 1798 painting by J. White Abbott

He became an authority on bee breeding, writing books on the subject and developing the Buckfast bee. This was a strain of very productive bee that was resistant to the Acarapis woodi parasite.
"He was unsurpassed as a breeder of bees. He talked to them, he stroked them. He brought to the hives a calmness that, according to those who saw him at work, the sensitive bees responded to." (The Economist, Sept. 14th 1996)

Many bee breeders, especially in Europe, have used Brother Adam’s stock.

BOOKS BY BROTHER ADAM

Beekeeping At Buckfast Abbey with a section on mead making
Breeding the Honeybee
Brother Adam- In Search of the Best Strains of Bees

More info about Brother Adam at Elspeth Payne's site.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

One beautiful bee brooch




Marcasite Bee Brooch
Hallmarked 925 Sterling Silver Marcasite & Smokey Quartz Bee Brooch
This beautiful bee brooch is crafted from sterling silver, with a pear shaped cut smokey quartz gemstone for the body of the bee. The marcasites, set in sterling silver, are on the wings and legs.

Did you know?
Marcasites are made from pyrite.
Marcasite jewellery has been made since the time of the Ancient Greeks.
It was popular in the eighteenth century, the Victorian era and with Art Nouveau

You can purchase it here at Amazon.  Be quick though as there is only 1 or 2 left.




Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bee quote of the month: February

For bees, the flower is the fountain of life;
For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.
    -Kahlil Gibran, poet

Friday, November 1, 2013

Address on Bees by Pope Pius XII

Address on Bees


ADDRESS OF PIUS XII
November 27, 1948

Impelled and guided by instinct, a visible trace and testimony of the unseen wisdom of the Creator, what lessons do not bees give to men, who are, or should be, guided by reason, the living reflection of the divine intellect!

Bees are models of social life and activity, in which each class has its duty to perform and performs it exactly—one is almost tempted to say conscientiously—without envy, without rivalry, in the order and position assigned to each, with care and love. Even the most inexperienced observer of bee culture admires the delicacy and perfection of this work. Unlike the butterfly which flits from flower to flower out of pure caprice; unlike the wasp and the hornet, brutal aggressors, who seem intent on doing only harm with no benefit for anyone, the bee pierces to the very depths of the flower's calix diligently, adroitly, and so delicately, that once its precious treasure has been gathered, it gently leaves the flowers without having injured in the least the light texture of their garments or caused a single one of their petals the loss of its immaculate freshness.

Then, loaded down with sweet-scented nectar, pollen, and propolis, without capricious gyrations, without lazy delays, swift as an arrow, with precise, unerring, certain flight, it returns to the hive, where valorous work goes on intensely to process the riches so carefully garnered, to produce the wax and the honey. . (Virgil, , 4, 169.)

Ah, if men could and would listen to the lesson of the bees: if each one knew how to do his daily duty with order and love at the post assigned to him by Providence; if everyone knew how to enjoy, love, and use in the intimate harmony of the domestic hearth the little treasures accumulated away from home during his working day: if men, with delicacy, and to speak humanly, with elegance, and also, to speak as a Christian, with charity in their dealings with their fellow men, would only profit from the truth and the beauty conceived in their minds, from the nobility and goodness carried about in the intimate depths of their hearts, without offending by indiscretion and stupidity, without soiling the purity of their thought and their love, if they only knew how to assimilate without jealousy and pride the riches acquired by contact with their brothers and to develop them in their turn by reflection and the work of their own minds and hearts; if, in a word, they learned to do by intelligence and wisdom what bees do by instinct—how much better the world would be!

Working like bees with order and peace, men would learn to enjoy and have others enjoy the fruit of their labors, the honey and the was, the sweetness and the light in this life here below.
Instead, how often, alas, they spoil the better and more beautiful things by their harshness, violence, and malice: how often they seek and find in every thing only imperfection and evil, and misinterpreting even the most honest intentions, turn goodness into bitterness!

Let them learn therefore to enter with respect, trust, and charity into the minds and hearts of their fellow men discreetly but deeply; then they like the bees will know how to discover in the humblest souls the perfume of nobility and of eminent virtue, sometimes unknown even to those who possess it. They will learn to discern in the depths of the most obtuse intelligence, of the most uneducated persons, in the depths even of the minds of their enemies, at least some trace of healthy judgment, some glimmer of truth and goodness.

As for you, beloved sons, who while bending over your beehives perform with all care the most varied and delicate work for your bees, let your spirits rise in mystic flight to experience the kindness of God, to taste the sweetness of His word and His law (Ps. 18:11; 118: 103), to contemplate the divine light symbolized by the burning flame of the candle, product of the mother bee, as the Church sings in her admirable liturgy of Holy Saturday:
   .
(For it is nourished by the melting wax, which the mother bee produced for the substance of this precious light.)

Provided Courtesy of:
Eternal Word Television Network
5817 Old Leeds Road
Irondale, AL 35210
www.ewtn.com

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Australia's amazing Native Myrtle Tree Honey

 
HONEY SOURCED FROM AN AUSTRALIAN native myrtle tree has been found to have the most powerful anti-bacterial properties of any honey in the world and could be used to treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections that commonly occur in hospitals and nursing homes. See the full story

We see hundreds of bees on these, what we call, yellow tea tree blossoms.

Above IMAGE and more botanical information at Noosa's Native Plants.

Beautiful blossoms of the lemon scented tea tree
from Trees in Newcastle

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How Doth the Little Busy Bee

                 
How doth the little busy bee poem by Isaac Watts
       


by Isaac Watts
How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!

How skilfully she builds her cell!
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labors hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bee Quote of the month: Charles Tennyson Turner

A Summer Night in the Bee Hive


The little bee returns with evening's gloom,


To join her comrades in the braided hive,


Where, housed beside their might honey-comb,


They dream their polity shall long survive.


Charles Tennyson Turner - A Summer Night in the Bee Hive

Sunday, June 9, 2013

History of the honey bee: An ancient Greek Myth


Aristaios the Greek discoverer of bee keeping
Pencil sketch by James Van Kollenburg, 
known as Kallimachus, of a statue of Aristaios,
public domain image.
Aristaios the Greek discoverer of bee keeping.


Aristaios or Aristaeus, it is told in Greek mythology, was the son of the god Apollo and the shepherdess Kyrene.  He grew up with the Nymphs of Mount Pelion who taught him how to tame the bees and keep them in hives. He in turn taught this to the Greeks, and they glorified him as the patron god of beekeeping.  His name was derived from the Greek word aristos,"most useful." Mankind gained great advantage from his many discoveries in agriculture and revered him.  
He  taught numerous other useful agricultural arts and was not only the patron god of bee-keeping, but also of shepherds, cheese-making, honey, honey-mead, olive growing, fruit trees, hunting, cattle and  medicinal herbs. 

Apollonius Rhodius, states in the Greek epic from the 3rd century B.C. Argonautica: "When the child had grown up the divine Mousai (Muses) found him a bride, taught him the arts of healing and prophecy, and made him the shepherd of all their flocks that grazed on the Athamantian plain in Phthia, round Mount Othrys and in the valley of the sacred River Apidanos."

Aristaios's teaching of apiculture was elaborated on by Nonnus in his Greek epic from the 5th century AD:
"That man [Aristaios, Aristaeus] ranging the mountains on his springing feet, first found out the business of hunting the prickets among the rocks they love... 
That man invented the riddled hive with its rows of cells, and made a settled place for the labours of the wandering bees, which flit from flower to flower over the meadows and flutter on clusters of fine-fruiting plants, sucking dew from the top with the tips of their lips. He covered every limb from toenails to hair with a close woven wrap of linen, to defend him from the formidable stings of the battling bees, and with the cunning trick of smothering smoke he tamed their malice. He shook in the air a torch to threaten the hive-loving bee, and lifting a pair of metal plates, he clapt the two together with rattling hands over the brood in the skep, while they buzzed and humble bumbled in ceaseless din; then cutting off the covering of wax with its many pointed cells, he emptied from the comb its gleaming treasure of honeydripping increase."

Oppian, the Greek poet from the 3rd century A.D. mentioned him in the epic poem Cynegetica:
"Aristaios . . . instructed the life of country-dwelling men in countless things . . . he first brought the gentle bees from the oak and shut them up in hives . . . [he lived with] the Nymphai that have bees in their keeping."Aristaios was worshipped in Greece and Ceos and Boetia and Thessaly but mainly in the islands of the Aegean, Ionian and Adriatic seas.
Aristaios is rarely depicted in art, but where he does appear, he is often winged. In the pencil drawing above he has a large bag and probably an agricultural implement of some sort in his left hand.


Sources: 
  • The Theoi Project : Greek Mythology
  • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
  • Apollonius Rhodius, The Argonautica - Greek Epic - 3rd century B.C.
  • Oppian, Cynegetica - Greek Poetm - 3rd century A.D.
  • Ovid, Fasti - Latin Poetry -1st  century B.C. to 1st  century A.D.
  • Pliny the Elder, Natural History - Latin Encyclopedia 1st A.D.
  • Nonnos, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic - 5th  century A.D.


 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blessing of Bees on the Feast of St. Benedict


Saint Benedict. Detail from a fresco by Fra Angelico.


St. Benedict is the patron of beekeepers, and many people attach medals of St. Benedict on their hives. Here is a blessing over the bees. This blessing is from the old Roman Ritual, which has been suppressed since the issue of the new Ritual. Laypersons can still use this blessing in private as personal prayer. St. Benedict's feast was formerly March 21, but it is now celebrated on July 11.

Prayer:
Those who themselves have bees could not do better than mark his day by praying for their hives. Farmers can pray for their cattle and their barns; fishermen for their fishing boats and the fish in the sea, why should bee-keepers do less? In some parts of France it was, and may still be, customary for bee-keepers to have a medal of St. Benedict affixed to their hives:
O Lord, God almighty, who hast created heaven and earth and every animal existing over them and in them for the use of men, and who hast commanded through the ministers of holy Church that candles made from the products of bees be lit in church during the carrying out of the sacred office in which the most holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ thy Son is made present and is received; may thy holy blessing descend upon these bees and these hives, so that they may multiply, be fruitful and be preserved from all ills and that the fruits coming forth from them may be distributed for thy praise and that of thy Son and the holy Spirit and of the most blessed Virgin Mary.

Prayer Source: Candle is Lighted, A by P. Stewart Craig, The Grail, Field End House, Eastcote, Middlesex, 1945
SOURCE: CatholicCulture.org

See more on St Benedict and the bees

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sweet honey butter


public domain images

Half a cup of honey
Half a cup of butter
Quarter of a cup of castor sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together. Pour mixture into a container. Delicious on warm toast or pikelets or pancakes.

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