Makes 20 servings
6 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, shelled
1 cup cashews, peanuts or almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup water
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups golden raisins, banana chips, dates, dried figs, apricots or prunes, chopped
Combine oats, coconut, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and cinnamon in large roasting pan. Mix oil, honey, water, salt and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients. Bake at 350°F 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool and add dried fruits as desired. Store tightly covered. Microwave: Combine ingredients as above. Place in 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Cook on MEDIUM 10 minutes. Stir and cook 5 minutes longer on MEDIUM. Stir. Cook on MEDIUM 5 minutes or until crisp. Cool. Add dried fruits. Makes 10 to 11 cups (20 1/2 cup servings).
Courtesy of National Honey Board
Dry Skin Moisturizer
Makes 2 applications
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons cocoa butter, melted
2 drops bergamot essential oil, optional
1 drop lavender essential oil, or tea tree, optional
Mix all ingredients together and apply to clean, dry face. This all-natural moisturizer can be covered and kept in a cabinet, but it will solidify. For a second application, heat in microwave for 10 seconds, stir and apply to skin same as before.
Courtesy of National Honey Board
Lemon Drop Body Scrub
Makes 3-4 applications
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup honey
2 Tablespoons sweet almond oil
2 Tablespoons vegetable glycerine
2 cups sugar
Combine lemon juice, honey, sweet almond oil and vegetable glycerine in a large bowl. Slowly add sugar and stir to combine all of the ingredients. If too runny, add more sugar to soak up the excess liquid. Store in container with lid for up to one month.
To use: Scoop a handful of scrub and massage all over body, paying special attention to dry areas. This scrub is gentle enough to use on your face. Be sure to avoid under eye area and use finger tips to gently massage the face and neck. Rinse off with damp cloth or in the shower.
Courtesy of National Honey Board
Interested in learning how to start your own hive? Check out this article Bubba wrote for Molly Green Magazine. Click here to read the full article - Beekeeping 101 - How to Start a Hive.
Pulling Honey in January
We’ve had such a wet winter, and it’s even been a mild winter for the most part. The beautiful part is that the bees have been productive this winter. We were able to pull about 100 pounds of honey from the hives as of yesterday. Expect lots of honey this year if the weather holds out like it has been. In the video below you can see Bubba and his dad, Johnny, pulling frames:
Killer Bee Video
This is what happens when you have a killer beehive. Johnny was re-queening the hive and his brother, Danny, was recording it. For Bubba’s own safety, we wouldn’t let him near this hive.
Bees Up Close
Lauren, James’ sister, took some amazing photos of the bees. There are a few hives we brought back from the community garden that were infested with wax moths (which can destroy a hive rather quickly). The bees in these pictures are gathering the leftover beeswax on the frames, balling them up and transferring them from one set of legs to the next and adding the beeswax to their pollen baskets. Amazing detail in these photos!
Last night under cover of darkness, two trucks pulled up to the local community garden with high beams showcasing the object of their desire…3 beehive hives. Working with steadiness and speed, they loaded the two empty hives into one of the trucks and made preparations to move the large 3-story active hive. Plugging the hive with duct tape, strapping it together and carefully sliding a net over the top the two giant men slowly moved the precious cargo. Within 30 minutes the deed was done and the two trucks packed it all up and drove away, leaving behind the legacy of the garden hive and beginning a new adventure in Liberty Hill.
Such are the things of stories, but much to my daughter’s delight, it happened last night. We’ve had a hive in a local community garden for a few years and although there are many gardens and lots of blooms, we have never been able to extract honey from that hive. Although it was a strong hive with TONS of thriving bees, we never saw a drop of honey. Realizing we were going to start the nectar flow Bubba added a honey super to the hive about six weeks ago in anticipation of the nectar flow. We would check it every few weeks to check on their progress. The last time we went, we realized that the comb they had been building was gone and the frames were older and dirtier. It was then Bubba realized that our honey had been stolen. And, we figure that it’s probably been stolen every year that it’s been there. We just didn’t realize it until this year.
What prompted us to move the hive? We had anticipated moving the hive on a colder day, but we received word from our beekeeper’s association that another local family had all 8 of their hives stolen FROM THEIR PROPERTY! It was all we needed to prompt a covert bee removal operation in the middle of the night. Bubba has worked too hard for too long to have someone steal his hives as well. We realize how fortunate we were that only our honey was stolen. They could have easily gotten the entire hive and the other pieces of equipment we have in the apiary at the garden.
As of last night we have all of our hives much closer to us so that we can keep an eye on them. We feel so incredibly sad for the family that lost their hives. They were a year’s worth of work for a 16-year old boy. Prayers for their family, and even the thieves, would be appreciated.
Does Honey Go Bad?
If honey crystallizes, does that mean it’s bad? Absolutely not. Honey crystallizes for a few reasons:
Crystallized honey is still good. Some people even prefer it to liquid honey but in reality it’s all a matter of preference. To re-liquefy honey, simply place the jar in a pot of water on the stove. Turn the heat to low and let it sit there for a little bit. It will re-liquefy and is as good as new. Do not put it in the microwave and I would strongly encourage you not to put a plastic jar in a pot of water as it will melt (yes, I’ve done that).
Also, if you heat honey at a high heat you will kill the enzymes that make the raw honey so nutritious for your body.
Here are a few suggestions to keep your honey from crystallizing:
We are a small apiary operating out of Liberty Hill, Texas, right on the edge of the Texas Hill Country. Who is Bubba? Well, that’s a great question. Bubba is our 16 year old son (aka James). At the tender age of 11 Bubba wanted to know if he could have a beehive. Considering that we are a homeschooling family it seemed like a great way for Bubba to learn about bees, figure out if this is something he really wants to do, and to put it all down for me in a research paper. Fast forward 5 years and Bubba is now the owner of Bubba’s Beez.
He started it as a little hobby and word soon spread that we had honey. We ended up having more customers than honey, so over the years we have increased our product line to include not only honey, but beeswax products like lip balms and hand balms, and we’ve even written a cookbook. And, depending on the season, we also sell fresh bee pollen (people use it for many of the same reasons they do raw honey).
The picture on the left is of Bubba during his very first hive inspection back in 2011. He was at the tender age of 12 years old. Crazy how time flies.
And me? I’m Bubba’s mom, Meredith. You’ll find out much more about our beekeeping business and how the hives are progressing as I post updates here and there along the way.
Life is busy when you run an apiary and a homeschool, but that’s what makes our family so darn unique. We’re rocking the hives and loving every minute of it.
Till next time…bee good!