Electronic pheromones – Wild Things in a Box is moving

We have enjoyed our stay @ WebPress.com but it has some limitations that our new blog spot doesn’t. So we are taking our electronic hive and moving to

 http://wildthingsinabox.blogspot.com/2010/07/restart-for-wild-things-in-box-using.html . 

If you click on our electronic pheromone trail above you won’t have to do any electronic bee dance to find us.

Remember, if you talk slower, we can learn quicker.

If the honey is happy then the whole world is happy.

Bee boy out.

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What’s it’s name?

 This is a tale of more than a name.

It is a tale of communication between generations.    

My wife and I are of the generation named in the press as baby boomers.  The generation created by returning service men from WWII who hadn’t seen their wives and girl friends in years and did what bees do and got busy.  We are the generation that said “Don’t trust anyone over 30!!”.  Well now here we are over 30 so what can we do?  I know, we will get into the bee business with our creative progeny.      

So after feeling all creative and proud of ourselves, we announced the name for our new land as “Plan Bee”.  We thought it was a neat play on words symbolizing our plan for the second half of our lives and one frequently referred to when “Plan A” didn’t work.  After excitedly announcing our new name to our joint partners, my son and his equally creative wife, we got a reaction that we hadn’t anticipated.  After all they were young and creative, while we were, well,      over 30.  At an emotionally charged meeting over a dinner table in Greensboro we were challenged about the decision making process for the land.  In fact the very name of the property needed to be discussed.  A new name was presented by our creative daughter-in-law.  The new name was “Tree Swing Farmstead”.    

   The Tree of Tree Swing fame

 You see the first project we accomplished after closing on our new land was the installation of a tree swing. The project involved the entire family.  We went just inside the center part of the tree line of our property and selected a noble ancient oak tree on which to install our hand crafted tree swing.  My son and daughter-in-law bought the materials and we had to do, as a team, install the swing.  All efforts to get a rope over our first choice for tree swing ended in failure.  Either we didn’t reach the branch or upon throwing a rope over the selected branch, it became tangled in the surrounding greenery to make the final tying of the 3 person board of the tree swing an impossibility. My son decided to try another ancient oak and voilà, success.

Newly installed Tree Swing

So what made this, our first project, so important?       

  • Our entire family was involved, including our 5 and 1 year old granddaughters. 
  • We triumphed over a challenge. 
  • Every time we visit Tree Swing Farmstead, our granddaughters have to go for a ride on “their” swing.

I would be happy to close our little tale on this a positive note but alas there is one little fly in the ointment, one little rub in the shorts, one little….  You see, it was our creative daughter-in-law that came up with the name and as a consolation “farmstead” was added instead of homestead because we just had to get the word farm associated with the property.  We recently received a call telling us that airplanes were spotted flying over the land and were asked what we thought of “Plane Site Homestead” or how about “Plane Site Farmstead”.  To our finish the plate mentality it seemed a “FINAL” decision was yet to be made on something as simple as the name of the stupid property. On other family blogs we noticed the property was simply referred to as “the farm”.       

Recently “we” decided to house about 12 guineafowls on our property to help with the tick problem.  Good news, they seem to avoid bees but will eat about 10 ticks an hour.  Without going too far down the guinea path, it seems that after a quick installation of guineas onto the property, they literally found a way out of their new home and flew the coup.  My mother tells me that since there are no bloody feathers they have probably just relocated to a more guinea friendly environment.  I digress just to introduce the latest name in contention for our property.      

Hiding Guinea Homestead

Keep your hive tools sharp, your veils tight and your smokers lit.  From the land, aka the farm, aka the property, aka Plan Bee, aka Tree Swing Farmstead, aka Plane Site Homestead/Farmstead, and finally also known as Hiding Guinea Homestead.  This is your bee boy signing out.


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How NOT to move a beehive

Beehives on hive stands on Plan Bee

 For more details on building the hive stands, please look at our June 6, 2010 post. https://wildthingsinabox.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/building-a-hive-stand-on-plan-bee/

My son and his friend had their beehives in different locations in the Greensboro, NC area.  With our hive stand ready, they were anxious to move their beehives to Plan Bee.  So far so good.  Their plan was to wait until late evening when all of the foraging bees should be back in the hive; screen the entrance to each hive and then move the beehives.  One little problem, someone forgot to tell the bees.  As many a mentor has told us new beekeepers, bees will bee bees.

So at  10:30 in the evening  when all good bees should be in their beehive and asleep, their bees weren’t.  You see since it was a bit warm some of the bees were on the outside of the hive cooling off and fanning themselves.  What to do?  Wait?  Use a large net around the hives?  No, our anxious Greensboro beekeepers decided to go full steam ahead with the move.

As it was told to me, everyone was suited up in their nifty bee suits.  These suits are the ones with gloves, veils and white clothing that is sting resistant.  So they went and loaded up the beehives into the back of the pickup without screening in the bees.  Needless to say neither the bees inside the hive nor the cooling bees on the outside were too happy about the move.  To show their displeasure they stung our Greensboro beekeepers through their stingproof suits.  Was that love in the air, no it was a swarm of  bees.

So if you can picture a couple of guys driving a pickup in bee suits with the veils over their heads and a swarm of bees following the pickup, that was the picture that evening. This is the way NOT to move a beehive, HA!  I believe it was about midnight when the last beehive was settled in and the stinging stopped.  If you see some fellows in the Greensboro area driving around in little white suits it could be our aforementioned beekeepers.

Happy Trails all and keep your hive tools sharp and your veils tight.  If you are moving your bees when they aren’t all in the hive, that tight veil thing may just not help.

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Look for beauty every day..

Morning light today! We made it again.

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Israel, a land flowing with milk and honey

In order to view some of this post you will need to have a Hebrew font loaded.  Here is a link that will help you.


This post will be a combination Biblical study and discussion of Rudolph Steiner’s book, Bees.  Many will think I have lost my mind.  Many will say there wasn’t much to lose in the first place.  Come along if you like and feel free to depart at any time.

 As some of you know, my wife and I are now beekeepers.  So with this week’s Torah portion “Sh’Lach L’Cha (Send for yourself) #37, we found it interesting that The Land, Israel, is referred to as a land flowing with milk and honey. 

There appears to be a debate among the rabbis as to whether the honey referred to here (01706 דְּבַשׁ {dev-ash’} Meaning:  1) honey Origin:  from an unused root meaning to be gummy; TWOT – 400a; n m Usage:  AV – honey 52, honeycomb + 03295 1, honeycomb + 06688 1; 54) is the honey we know of from bees or from something called date honey.  The rabbis contend it is date honey.  The only thing I can point out factually is that the word “date” is found nowhere in The Holy Bible.  One rabbi stated that Israelis were not involved in apiculture.  In doing more research I found that honeycomb, which only bees make, was mentioned nine times in The Holy Bible.

 KJV  1 Samuel 14:27 But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, ((03295 יַעַרָה {yah-ah-raw’} )) and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.

KJV  Psalm 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (05317 נֹפֶת {no’-fet} Meaning:  1) flowing honey, honey from the comb, a dropping down, honey, honeycomb )

 KJV  Proverbs 5:3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, (05317 נֹפֶת {no’-fet}) and her mouth is smoother than oil:

 KJV  Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, (06688 צוּף {tzoof} Meaning:  1) honeycomb) sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

 KJV  Proverbs 24:13 My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, (05317 נֹפֶת {no’-fet}) which is sweet to thy taste:

 KJV  Proverbs 27:7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; (05317 נֹפֶת {no’-fet}) but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

 KJV  Song of Solomon 4:11 Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: (05317 נֹפֶת {no’-fet}) honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

 KJV  Song of Solomon 5:1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb (03293 יָעַר ya`ar {yah’-ar} ) with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

 KJV  Luke 24:42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. (3193 μελίσσιος melissios {mel-is’-see-os} Meaning:  1) of bees, made by bees Origin:  from 3192;; adj Usage:  AV – honeycomb + 2781 1; 1)

 My point here is for a culture that was not involved in apiculture there seems to bee quite a bit of discussion on bees, specifically honeycomb.

 Just in from a non-bee friend.  In fact, this guy is a serious non-bee techie that just happens to have caught a minor case of the buzz, bee interest.


Ancient Beehives Yield 3,000-Year-Old Bees



Ancient bees from wired 06-08-2010

Honeybee remains found in a 3,000-year-old apiary have given archaeologists a one-of-a-kind window into the beekeeping practices of the ancient world.

“Beekeeping is known only from a few Egyptian sources, from a few tombs and paintings. No actual hives have been found,” said Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologist Amihai Mazar.

The hives were uncovered in 2007 at an excavation in Tel Rehov, Israel, home to the flourishing Bronze and Iron Age city of Rehov.  Mazar and his team found more than 100 hives, capable of housing an 1.5 million bees and producing half a ton of honey.

In a paper published June 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers analyzed bees preserved in honeycomb that was charred, but not completely burnt by fire that likely destroyed the rest of the apiary.

Unfortunately for would-be makers of ancient honey, heat damaged the bees’ DNA, making it impossible to revive their genes in modern bees.  But the researchers were at least able to identify them as Apis mellifera anatoliaca, a subspecies found only in what is now Turkey.  It’s possible that A. m. anatoliaca’s range has changed, but more likely that Rehov’s beekeepers traded for them.

Local bees are notoriously difficult to handle.  During the 20th century, when beekeepers tried to establish a modern industry in Tel Rehov, they ended up importing A. m. anatoliaca — a literally sweet example of history repeating itself.

So back to The Land of milk and honey – In Rudolph Steiner’s book, Bees,


in his Lecture Three on December 1, 1923 there appears a discussion of the positive medicinal effects of the combination of milk and honey.  Being German, they analyze things from about every way possible.  They fed milk and honey to one group of children and to another group of children they fed them honey only.  The kids that were fed milk AND honey went from 53% to 82% red corpuscles.  Older kids that got the honey only went from 70% to 78% red corpuscles.  According to Rudolph Steiner commenting on Dr. Paula Emrich’s experiments, “you would have to come to the conclusion that milk and honey play an extraordinary significant role in the life of a human being”. (Page 46)

Gustav von Bunge did an experiment with mice that is somewhat related.  He had a group of healthy mice that were fed milk.  Being German he decided to feed a group of mice the chemical components of milk. (casein, fat, sugar and salts)  The results, the mice died in a few days.  This physiologist of Russian origin supported the notion of neovitalism, a renewal of the theory or doctrine that life processes arise from or contain a nonmaterial, vital principle and cannot be explained entirely as physical and chemical phenomena. 

 So thinking of the application to Israel, it seems The Almighty is passing a message as only HE can.  It is a land of milk AND honey not just milk or just honey. 

 So what is spiritual milk and what is spiritual honey?  I went to the web to search this out and it seems that most feel that spiritual milk refers to “The Word”/T’NAKH/The Holy BibleHoney seems to be referring to the sweetness of this world as it originates in the plant kingdom and comes to humans via a detour in the bee. 

 Interestingly enough honey, which is stored in a six sided cell, is a viewed by Steiner as a way for mankind to absorb the energy of the earth.  According to Steiner, the earth generates crystals which are six sided and mankind does the same thing but just to the point of crystallization and then the process stops.  “It is interesting how the same substance the Earth let stream out of itself became hard, took on the form of a quartz crystal, can now be seen constantly flowing downward from the human head.  With the Earth it is found streaming out of the Earth’s interior, and with human beings it streams from the head to the rest of the body.  It is either quartz or silicic acid.” (Page 49) “We have what you might call a very thin solution of quartz “fluid” in us. (Page 50) Bees laying eggs in a six sided cell and then putting honey in a six sided cell may take this to another level we have yet to fully appreciate.

 So, milk and honey, The Word and mankind.  I’m still pondering the connection.

 (orthosilicic acid, H4SiO4), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicic_acid

Orthosilicic acid is the form predominantly absorbed by humans and is found in numerous tissues including bone, tendons, aorta, liver and kidney.  Compelling data suggest that silica is essential for health although no RDI has been established.  However, deficiency induces deformities in skull and peripheral bones, poorly formed joints, reduced contents of cartilage, collagen, and disruption of mineral balance in the femur and vertebrae. [8] Study has shown that physiological concentration of orthosilicic acid stimulates collagen type 1 synthesis and osteoblastic differentiation in human osteoblast-like cells in vitro[9].

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Building a hive stand on Plan Bee

When my wife arrived @  Plan Bee our son, his family and a family friend were busy as bees working on building a hive stand for the bee hives we were planning on settling there.  In Charlotte our hive stands are made out of 2×8 pressure treated lumber and cinder blocks to elevate our hives 20″ off the ground. 

A little bee terminology for you armchair beekeepers.  A colony refers to the bees. A colony has one queen, worker bees (all female) and drones (all males).  A colony of bees is housed in a beehive.  Beehives are the white boxes most are used to seeing.  These white boxes, beehives, are balanced or rest on hive stands.  The hive stands are used to stabilize the beehives and keep them off the ground.  If you have your beehives too close to the ground you expose your bees to predators.  The predators include other insects such as hive beetles, wax moths and ants.  Other predators can include skunks and bears.  Keeping the hive at least 20″ off the ground will help protect the colony from insects and skunks.  As for bears, the 20″ won’t help. Below is a sequence of pictures we  took to show how our hive stand was built and inspected.

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Thanks to our son and his friends, things are shaping up @ Plan Bee.  We are starting to put the Bee in Plan Bee.

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The drunk, The beez and The bee boss

Positioning a hive stand outside Federal Courthouse in Charlotte

Let me preface this with one of the facts you can rely on when reading this story.  It is a story!  Truth will be added like a seasoning to a fine meal, sparingly but for flavor only.  Those of you that are truth seekers may be advised to cease further reading of this day’s blog.

So in early April a member of our bee club received a call informing him that a new sherriff was in town and wanted the feral bees removed from an oak tree in front of the Charlotte Federal Courthouse.  MS13 was okay but not the bees.  Our mentor was called, a.k.a. the bee boss, and he agreed to set up a hive stand about 20 feet up a tree to trap out the feral hive.  The plan simple, build a little screen runway that allows bees out but when they want to return they can’t find their way and return instead to a new hive placed immediately next door and also about 20 feet in the air.  About once a  week the bee boss’s crack crew of junior beekeepers would assist the bee boss in lowering full frames of bees & brood and substituting empty frames to the elevated bee box.  After about 2 months the feral hive would be out of the tree and everything would be removed so all would be well in the environmentally friendly bee world.

So before the last trip and about 01:00 in the morning, the bee boss received a call about a drunk hanging from the frame below the bee box.  As you can see in the picture above, it is virtually, and I stresss virtually, impossible for a normal human to achieve sufficient height to get their arm stuck underneath the bee hive. 

So after awakening himself sufficiently, the bee boss went to the court house to discover a drunk hanging from the bee stand and about 4 police cars, 2 fire engines fully staffed and 2 ambulances to  resuscitate any potentially injured parties.  I’m not sure if it was a magic wand exactly but somehow the bee boss single-handedly extricated the drunk from beneath the bee box without disturbing the bees. 

We know he did not disturb the bees because who do you think wakes up the bees every morning?

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