Pollinator Week 2019
We are asked all the time if the bees are doing better? Well that is a loaded question and depends on the overall goal of asking. Is the honeybee populations increasing? Yes. Well there, I am glad we made it through that rough patch. If life were only that easy.
In 2006, when colony collapse was first reported, people became nervous about the health of the honeybee. Since that time many people picked up the mantle to be a beekeeper and bee colonies have since seen an increase in numbers. Does that mean that bees are getting better or there is just more bees?
Bees are still suffering.
Bees are still suffering like they were, in fact the number of honeybee deaths are continuing to increase. So how is it that bee populations are increasing, then? Good question.
Bees are a fantastic animal that can populate quickly. A good queen can produce almost 2000 eggs a day when food supply is plentiful. There is also money to be made from bees, making it financially advantageous to be a beekeeper. Bees can make so much honey that the excess can be sold, pollinations services are needed more now than ever, and other products from a beehive are in high demand. The reason bees are not in a decline is because beekeepers are stepping up to help this amazing little bug and can make money doing what they love.
But what if bees are not so easy to keep, or money can’t be made from them? We can see the effects of that with the Rusty Patch Bumble Bee. The Rusty Patch Bumblebee was once prolific around the Great Lakes Region, but it was placed on the endangered species list last year. It does not make enough honey to sell, you can’t easily domesticate it, and its hive is limited in size because the queen is the only one that survives winter.
Other pollinators are in decline
Other natural pollinators are seeing the same kind of decline in their populations. If it becomes financially insolvent to be a beekeeper, many businesses will give up and decide to let their passion go. If hives continually die, many hobbyists will also throw in the towel. If that happens, we will once again see a huge decline to the bee populations.
What is the simplest way to help the bees? Help the beekeepers. Beekeepers are on the front lines keeping bees alive and healthy, but we need your help to do it. We need you to buy our products, support our business, and spread the word. We need you to let your dandelions bloom and to stop using sprays that harm bees. We need you to plant flowers that are not treated with systemic pesticides, so bees have more forage. We need you to be calm and call a beekeeper when you see a wild swarm dangling from a tree in your front yard.
Bee Lovely Botanicals has an excellent option that allows you to support beekeeping and get a little in return. Our Adopt-A-Hive programs is geared toward giving you the knowledge you need to do your part and the support we need to do ours. With our Adopt-A-Hive program you get to pick between a full share or half share. Each share includes equal amount of product as your investment, a hive manual, an adoption certificate, and hive updates. You can also name the queen with the full share option.
Please join us on Facebook for our 2nd Annual Pollinators Trivia Night. We’ll be giving away an awesome honeybee inspired gift set to person with the most knowledge of honeybees and the fastest typing fingers.
“Come on, come on. Listen to the money talk.”
This year, we decided to stay home from Black Friday shopping. We were never hard core door busters, but we liked to buy the boys a few new pairs of jeans and get a deal on batteries.
After spending a few years on the road doing craft shows, we have met so many awesome, unique people. We see the hard work that they put into their products and the time it takes to sell them. We know their families and their stories. We know the jewelry maker whose tent collapsed, almost ruining all of her inventory, the seamstress whose retina detached and had to take time off of work, the florist’s son who offered Josh breakfast and a place to stay when our car broke down, and the artist on a mission to further the good news.
We know that when we buy products from them, our money is speaking about our values. It’s saying that we value these people, and their families. It’s saying that we appreciate the countless hours they put into their trade, making sure that each product is just right. It’s saying that their values remind us of our own values, and we want to see them succeed.
We want you to know, dear customer, that your money talks too. We want you to know that when you support our small business, your money is talking. We’re not a large corporation that has mass market appeal. We’re a family business, and we have family values. Your money says that you believe in family when you buy from Bee Lovely Botanicals. Your money says that you want to support your community when you buy from Bee Lovely Botanicals. Your money says that you care about the type of ingredients you use on your skin when you buy from Bee Lovely Botanicals.
We were at the Country Living Fair in Nashville this past weekend. Josh was sitting at a table eating lunch when he was…
Posted by Bee Lovely Botanicals on Wednesday, April 25, 2018
The next time you’re about to tender your hard earned money, stop and think about what your money is saying. Is this transaction going to support your morals and beliefs? Are these products good for you and your family?
Small Business Saturday is a great time to let your money speak to your values! We would love to provide you with quality products for your friends and families this Christmas season.
In the day and age of Amazon Prime, free shipping has become a well loved perk of many online orders, especially through e-commerce giants like Amazon or Walmart.com. We are often asked about shipping costs, so here’s the way that we look at it.
There really is no free lunch. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s no free shipping, either. UPS, FedEx, or the US Post Office isn’t going to release their fleet of delivery trucks and drivers for free, and they shouldn’t. It’s their business to deliver packages, and they are and should be paid for their work. So, the question really is, who is going to pay for their work? The answer to this is simple, although sometimes deceptively simple. Outside of once in a while special promotions, the consumer is the one who foots the bill for shipping, one way or another.
When you buy from mega e-commerce stores, such as Amazon, your shipping costs are factored into the cost of the product. You’re still paying for the shipping, it’s just not a separate line item. Amazon also has very sophisticated search algorithms and cookies, so you’re more often seeing the higher priced items first in your search results. It makes it easy to figure your total cost up front, but might not be saving you any money.
At Bee Lovely Botanicals, we believe in being straight forward with our prices, and our shipping. Our shipping prices are extracted straight from the USPS website, with no additional charges added. They are computed based on the weight of the package and distance of the delivery address. Once in a while, we can find a less expensive option, in which case we always refund shipping overages of differences greater than $2. Occasionally, we need to pay a little more than what was charged, and if that’s the case it comes out of our pocket. In the end, what we collect and what we pay out in shipping are about the same.
We are a small family business, and we believe this is the most conscientious and honest way to provide the best service to you, the customer. We could increase the cost of our products to include the price of shipping, but in the long run, our best customers, who place larger orders at once would end up paying more than they would pay in actual shipping charges. There are rare occasions when we’ll run a special and pay the shipping for you. If you come across one of these offers, you better jump on it, because we can’t afford to foot the shipping bill too often!
So yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, but sorry, there’s no such thing as free shipping.
We would love to hear your comments on this topic! We truly desire to provide the best products and most useful service that we can! Would you rather pay more for products, and have free shipping, or pay the actual shipping charges of your package? Let us know in the comments section!
We just got back from Nashville, can you tell? We were vendors at the Country Living Fair and we were so happy to get a little southern sun and warmth while there. We also were blessed to meet so many wonderful vendors and customers. We want to thank all of you that participated in our questionnaire from last month. It definitely was nice to get to know you a little more and gain some valuable information on how to serve you better. Congratulations to Danielle on winning the $50 gift certificate for participation.
I know we make what we do look easy (he he he), but it can surely take a toll on a person’s spirit to always need to be on the cutting edge. We were so very encouraged by our neighbor vendor who had been doing shows for awhile. She gave us to the great advice to follow God’s direction (if this is on our heart then continue, He will provide a way to make it happen).
We know we have a great product, we love beekeeping, and we love the opportunity to serve our customers. However problems always crop up that make doing those things challenging. Computer issues that make running an online store difficult, having all of our bees die over the winter (apparently the US has had a huge bee die off this past year), and finding time to wear all our many hats can be very trying.
This beautiful, sunny day, we are going to clean out our hives. This is probably the saddest beekeeping day of the year, but even more so when you have no surviving hives. We’ve already missed seeing them buzz around the yard when the temperature creeps up in early spring, and our budding dandelions look really bare this year.
While we were in Nashville, we spoke with a bee inspector from Ohio. He said that both Ohio and Tennessee experienced heavy losses this year. We’ve also heard that large commercial operations in Michigan had losses exceeding 75% and that no hives survived in one Michigan county.
It’s discouraging and expensive to have to replace your entire apiary. If a cattle farmer lost all of his cows, if a majority of beef farmers over 3 states lost even half of their herd, people would wonder what was going on. When a beekeeper loses bees, people say you should have put them inside, you should have used antibiotics, you shouldn’t treat at all, you should this and that all day long. The truth is, this is a problem much larger than any individual beekeeper’s methods. Traditional, natural, non-treatment beekeepers all sustained heavy losses.
Bee populations are sustained by beekeepers. We read a recent study that bee populations are rebounding, and CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) is not a problem any more. Looking at the surface of these statistics, the number of beehives in the US may be on the rise, but the true statistic you need to look at is survival rates. If you were to look at the population at the beginning of March this year, my guess is that it would have been very low. In another few weeks, beekeepers will be rebuilding their hives, and the numbers should look a little closer to normal. Should beekeepers stop rebuilding their hives, the true weight of the problem would be realized. Ross Conrad has an excellent 6 part series on the effects of pesticides (especially neonicatinamides) on bees. (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part V, Part VI ). In Part IV Ross explains that honeybees are actually faring better than some of their pollinating counterparts because of the intervention of beekeepers.
This is where our Adopt A Hive Program
comes into play. It’s an excellent way to support honey bee populations, while also getting some awesome products and education. Each Adopt A Hive comes with an adoption certificate, hive updates, a Hive Awareness Manual, and products or honey.
It makes a great gift for Mother’s or Father’s Day. You could use the full share option and customize products for your mom, mother-in-law and grandmothers. 1. Finish shopping 2. Save the bees. Check!
Our Adopt a Hive program is also a great way to learn about bees in the classroom. Our full share option includes 4 video hive updates, the kids get to name the queen and we would ‘bee’ delighted to customize gift bags for the classroom. We’ll even bring the field trip to you by bringing the queen bee into the classroom in our observation hive (within reasonable distance).
We currently have 27 hives available for adoption, below you can see how the share program is broken down.
Full Share: Cost: $200. Includes:$200 worth of products (you can get all honey, all skincare products, or mix of both), 4 hive updates through the season, A Hive Awareness Manual, you get to name the queen, a personalized adoption certificate, and a fully customized honey tag if you choose to get honey.
Half Share: Cost:$100. $100 worth of products (honey or products), 3 hive updates throughout the season, A Hive Awareness Manual, adoption certificate, a customized honey label, and you are in a drawing with another half share to have the opportunity to name the queen.
Quarter Share: Cost is $50, with that you get $50 worth of products (honey or products), 2 hive updates throughout the season, Hive Awareness Manual, and an adoption certificate.
These options are already pre-populated with some of our best sellers, but just contact us if you would like to fully customize your box.
Let us know if you have any questions. We’d be happy to discuss custom options with you.
Jodie + Josh
Bee Lovely Botanicals
5 Reasons to Support Small Business
Small Business Satuday, sandwiched in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was started by American Express in 2010. It gained momentum so quickly that in 2011 the senate made it a national Holiday. It’s a great way to support local businesses and make an impact in your local economy. Here are a few reasons why:
1. You help create jobs.
Money spent in local businesses will result in local jobs, creating more employment opportunities in your neighborhood. According to the Small Business association, small businesses account for 55% of all jobs, and 65% of new jobs since the 1970s. By shopping small businesses, you’re literally creating job security for your neighbors.
2. Small businesses give back.
The people of small businesses love and care for their neighbor just as much as you do. From donating to silent auctions to writing a check to 4H, small businesses are more likely to donate time, resources, and products to local causes and support local charities. Your neighborhood is their home too. A study by the research group Civics Economics found that 48% of every dollar spent shopping small stays in the local economy, while on 14% of every dollar spent at chain stores stays local.
3. Shopping at one small business benefits another.
Local small businesses are connected. By shopping one small business, you’re creating a ripple effect in the local economy. By supporting one business, you’re supporting many of your friends and neighbors.
4. Small Businesses offer high quality, unique products.
Although the price may be higher when you shop local, sometimes you get what you pay for. You know your product was made by a friend or neighbor earning a fair wage. This connection creates pride in work, and a desire to provide a high quality product. Shopping small also affords a the opportunity to give the perfect personalized gift. Small businesses are willing to go the extra mile and thrive on happy customers.
5. Small businesses are everywhere.
With the advent of e-commerce, it’s never been easier to connect with small businesses. That means that your local small business is putting money into the local economy from all over the world.
Whether you head out with friends to the local coffer shop, or search the internet for the perfect handmade gift, shop small on Small Business Saturday and support hard working families across the United States.
You can shop small at Bee Lovely Botanicals™ and receive a mystery gift for yourself. We’re also happy to save you some time and gift wrap your purchase for free. Just leave a note stating what gets packaged together.
Colonial Craft Show
Our family honey bee and beeswax product business finds us at farmers’ markets most Saturdays from spring through early fall, and at some amazing craft shows after that. This past September we were juried into Penn’s Colony, in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania for the Colonial Craft Show. The really unique aspect of this craft show is that all the vendors dressed in colonial period costumes (1750s-1770s) and most performed a demonstration of their craft. The attraction for us was both financial and educational.
Learning from History
Leading up to the craft show, I sewed each member of our family a colonial costume, complete with a jabot and tricorn hat. I revamped our canopy to resemble an 18th century tent. We did unit studies on the years leading up to the Revolutionary War. This included creative writing assignments entailing life as an American spy, and reading about key political figures, such as George Washington. We also included historical fiction boos such as Johnny Tremain. My husband even threatened taxation without representation within our “family government” to help them understand the anger and frustration the colonist felt. The boys came away with a real interest and hunger to learn more about this time period.
While at the craft show, the boys witnessed glass blowing, weaving, spinning, woodworking, colonial artifacts, period music, historic entertainment, and battle re-enactments. Because we spent a total of four days as a vendor, the boys had plenty of time to soak it all in. In between selling on the weekend, we were able to do a little touring and visited places that George Washington had traveled through. This included a visit to Murdering Town, where Washington was shot at in an altercation leading up to the French and Indians War. The trip also afforded us the opportunity to learn about geography as we traveled, visited a few other historical sites, and learned about the geology and biology of that area of Pennsylvania. We even had time for swimming, canoeing, hiking, and a few games of tag.
The boys also interacted with our customers, telling them about our products, and using our observation hive to teach them about honey bees. They also did quick mental arithmetic to add up orders and make change. Most of these interactions ended with out customers being thoroughly impressed with the boys’ knowledge, manners, and communication skills.
More Memories to be Made
Working side by side next to our boys is profitable in so many ways. Bee Lovely Botanicals™ did well, but I think the lessons the boys learned and the opportunity to work, play, and learn together was the real treasure we found. We are excited to be able to have the opportunity to journey back to Saxonburg, Pennsylvania to make more amazing memories at this year’s Colonial Craft Show September 16-17 and 23-24.