Sir Indiana Bones

Sir Indiana Bones

By Marianne Smith

Sir Indiana Bones (Indy) of Mount Pleasant is the sire of this beautiful litter. He will be two years old in June, and is about 47 lbs full grown. He’s an outside dog and though he was a soft woolly puppy, his lux fur is now more coarse. His coat is currently very thick for winter.

I’m amazed at the cleanliness of this breed. He cleans all the burrs out of his fur every day, and has created his own “latrine” area in his space. However, if I can get out to walk him early enough, he waits to do his “business” in our meadow or woods.

My walks with Indy are a highlight of my day. We live on 20 acres of mixed meadow, pines, and hardwoods. Indy loves to inspect the grounds, and “herd” any living creatures he can find (sorry, birds.) It’s a joy to watch him run full-bore in the meadow, his flag-like tail waving. It is clear that this is what he was made to do! (Here is a video of Indy enjoying the meadow.) For our situation, we have trained him with a long-range Garmin collar and he’s very responsive to commands.  There’s always new discovery, much sniffing, and marking of territory on our walks.

Indy also enjoys being a companion to our three boys as they hike and explore outside. He’s a part of any outdoor chores. He loves to be with his humans. He’s affectionate and will soak up any loving attention willingly.

He regularly conducts bird feeder inspections and defended our home from a stubborn groundhog that lived under our deck. He’s excited to see visitors, and alerts us with barking when someone drives into our property.

Indy was the last puppy available in the first litter of purebred English Shepherds named Tug and Honey (owned by Allen and Pam Stiles in Otisville, MI.) We really feel that we got the hidden jewel of the litter with our loyal, loving dog Indy.

English Shepherds – Great All Around Dog!

English Shepherds – Great All Around Dog!

We first heard about English Shepherds from friends of ours, who had grown up with the breed.  They promised them to be intelligent, loyal dogs.  They’re bred to be herding or hunting dogs, but adapt well to being a family pet.

English shepherds are medium sized dogs, weighing between 40-70 pounds. The color and markings of English Shepherds are varied, and not emphasized as much as in other breeds. They can be black and white, black and tan, tri-color, red or liver colored, and sable or yellow to brown. They have a soft dense coat that doesn’t tangle or require too much maintenance (other than more frequent brushing when they’re shedding.)  They can be born with a natural bobtail. They used to be referred to as a “farm collie” or a “farm shepherd”, but have been recognized as a distinct breed through the UKC and English Shepherd Club since 1930.

They’re prized for their intelligence, coupled with a willingness to cooperate. They love to work closely with their favorite humans.

ESs are also known for their loyalty.  They usually choose one person as their favorite, or master, and are extremely loyal to that person.  Junie would often sit under my desk while I was typing, or lay on my feet in the living room.  She definitely listens to me better than anyone else in the family, but she’s found a way to relate to each of us differently. She even knows each of us by name, and will go check on them if she’s told “Go see what so-and-so is up to.”

ESs are territorial, and tend not to stray too far from home. Most often, an ES will alert you of a new person in her territory, and stand guard until you give her the all clear.  Once she knows this person is supposed to be there, she’ll accept that and calm down. Junie has assigned herself the job of patrolling our yard.  Every day she’ll run the same route around the property, scaring off any hawks or eagles.  Should she come across something that maybe shouldn’t be there, such as a baby possum, she’ll bark and keep it cornered until we come check on it. One time my cousin’s dog was over playing with Junie. It was all fun and games until they ran toward the railroad track. I hollered to Junie, and she sent that other dog packing.  I’m guessing she thought I was telling her he didn’t belong in our yard.

Because of the working background of English Shepherds, they make great pets for active families that want to include their dog in all of their adventures. ESs are happiest when they have a job to do, even if that job is escorting the family on an outing to the park or alerting everyone to the arrival of the UPS man.  If an English Shepherd isn’t given jobs to do, he’ll make them up for himself, and you might not be happy with what he decides to do.  These animals love to be a part of the family, so families without the time to train or involve their dog in daily routines should reconsider this breed.

If you think an English Shepherd might be a good fit for your family, fill our our New Owner Questionnaire.


Shop Small with Bee Lovely Botanicals

Shop Small with Bee Lovely Botanicals

“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.

Join the Bee Lovely Team

Join the Bee Lovely Team

Hey there! So glad you stopped by, because I have what might be an AMAZING offer for you!

My family and I started Bee Lovely Botanicals after a swarm of wild bees inhabited a hollowed out tree trunk.  We were so amazed by these little creatures’ ingenuity, intelligence, and creativity that we started beekeeping the following year.  Never in my wildest dreams did I see this path for myself and my family, but there is a time for planning and a time for letting God do His thing.

The beginning of our business was completely letting go and letting God.  My husband got laid off, and we were very blessed that he found a new job within a week or two.  That was no small feat for our area or that time, but it was a significant pay cut. I clearly remember thinking “God, the next thing to go on the budget is toilet paper!  We don’t want to go there!!”  For about a year and a half I prayed that God would lead me to some way to boost our finances while still staying home with the boys.  I wasn’t quite hit with a lightening bolt, but it was a very clear vision of a display at the farmers market.

Our business slowly grew as our family grew.  The boys needed less of my complete attention, and they developed skills to help out.  We were slowly coming into the time to plan.

About 6 years into our business, Josh quit his full time job to work full time for our business.  Over the last two years, we’ve done huge craft shows, small farmers markets, and everything in between.  Our products were sold in tiny mom and pop shops and huge corporations with stores across the country.  We learned a couple things through our experiences.

1. We like working with people. Real people.  We don’t want to be in huge chain stores that try to haggle over every penny.  We love working with other small businesses.  Small business owners are really the back bone of our country! (Did you know that small businesses account for 13% of businesses, but 48% of employment?!)  We love, love, love working with honest, hard working family people!

2. Travelling is fun, for a while.  We worked at so many markets that we were beginning to burn ourselves out, and we felt it taking away from instead of empowering our family. We really did enjoy getting to interact with our customers, and we have made some life long friends out of neighbors at the farmers market, but I can’t be in two places at once, and our business was growing to the point where we needed to decide where our work would have the biggest impact and reward.

If you’ve read this far, thank you! You’re probably asking yourself, “What is this really all about?”  Bee Lovely Botanicals has always been about our passion for family (and I dare not forget my most industrious business partners, the bees!).  I want to share the blessing that God gave us with other families.  That is why we are launching a direct sales pilot program.  I’m hoping to offer families a fun, flexible way to boost their bottom line, while offering a community of Christian women that raise each other up.

Josh, the boys and I have been in direct to the customer sales for the last 8 years, and we are experts!  We want to offer that support to our Beauty Beeologists!

Our products are very high quality, and we know all there is to know about our products. We want our Beeologists to be well versed in each product, too.  We’ve invested hours upon hours into training videos that tell you everything you need to know to sell our products.

We can teach you the basics of making killer graphics, and selling through e-mail marketing and social media, and we can help you knock it out of the park with in-person selling! 

Although are products are really, truly fantastic, they don’t sell themselves.  If you think you might be interested in becoming a sales rep, know that you will have to put the work in.  For our pilot program, we are asking for a 6 month commitment.  Do you think you’re our next Beauty Beeologist?

Join our live facebook event August 23, 2018 at 6:30 to learn more.

So much family closeness!

So much family closeness!

So much family closeness!

As many of you may already know, both Josh and I work for our business, Bee Lovely Botanicals.  We also homeschool, car school, farmers market and craft show school.  You get the point, Josh and the boys and I spend alot of time together.

What’s it like to spend so much time with your husband?

A friend of mine once suggested that one of the topics that we talk about on our blog is what it’s like to work with your husband.  She wondered because when her husband was home, her schedule was thrown off, and at the end of the day her to-do list was the same as it had been that morning.

I can understand that completely, but there is a difference between a husband using some vacation days to finish a project and a husband that works from home full time.

What I’m missing out on….

There are some quiet peaceful times that I don’t have as much as I used to. The boys are some how hard wired to get up about 10 minutes after I do.  It amazes Josh that they’ll sleep in if I do, and they’ll get up early if I do.  (Except for the oldest, I think he might actually sleep for an entire day if I let him.)  Quiet Bible study and devotion times are a thing of the past. The other side of that coin is that I can sneak away while Josh is working with the boys and, although it requires a little more focus, and quiet is definitely not the word to describe it, I can still have my study time. Another aspect is that  everyday Josh and I do a devotion with the boys.

That scenario pretty much describes what it’s like to live, work, and homeschool.  You lose the quiet, contemplative times. You lose the peaceful housekeeping that stays done at least until everyone gets home.  You lose knowing where something is because you’re the only one that uses it and puts it away. You lose this ideal image that you have of yourself, your kids, your husband.

But what I gain is so much more than what I’ve lost!

It is truly a blessing to be able to spend this time with Josh and the boys.  Our “unconventional” life is far from perfect, but it is abounding in blessings from God.

I get to spend time with my boys before they grow up and fly the coop. We get to see their personalities and senses of humor develop, and we get to be a bigger part of their development.

Josh and I have gotten to know each other so much better, and we’ve learned to work together more efficiently than we ever did before. (We’ve been married for 17 years, and working full time together for 2.)

I know that this time will come to an end, one way or another. The boys aren’t babies any more, and they won’t be boys forever.  It is my earnest hope and prayer to make the most of the time we have now, and that these experiences set all of us up to be ready for whatever God has in store next.

What about you? Do you work with family? Would you want to?  We’d love to hear your thoughts on so much family closeness!

Adopt a Hive

Hi Y’all,

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.

Thank you!

Jodie + Josh

Bee Lovely Botanicals