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Imported Fire Ants Target of California Quarantine

Imported fire ants (IFA) represent a serious threat to California. Because of this, the state is taking extreme measures to keep them out. All bees from the IFA quarantine area will be checked closely for IFA. If even 1 ant is found at the borders, the load will likely be turned back. If IFA are found in the almond orchards, the hives will be subject to depopulation and the beekeeper will be held liable for eradicating the IFA. If you plan to take bees to California for almond pollination, make sure the hives and pallets are free from IFA.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is in charge of enforcing the inspections. They are aware of the need of gulf bees for almond pollination and will co-operate with beekeepers on the hive inspections. The county ag commissioner will be in charge of inspections. The California border station will notify the ag commissioner in the county where the bees are destined. The hives will be inspected, as they are being off-loaded into the orchards. If the hives are free of ants, the inspection shouldn't take long. The important thing to know is where the bees are going so that information can be communicated to that county ag commissioner.

(reprinted from the American Honey Producer Magazine 30:3)

Nature's Pharmacy Can Heal You

While drugs and surgery can only temporarily deal with symptoms, Nature's "pharmacy" can actually prevent and reverse most ailments. Of all the superfoods provided in Nature, honey is an excellent healer.

Your body wants to be health. But in many Americans, we are not providing the proper building materials to allow the body to maintain health. Just like a home builder needs the proper array of high quality lumber, pipes, concrete, nails, etc.; so does your body. Good health does not come from endless trips to the doctor. Good health has to be earned by working hand-in-hand with Nature.

Given the opportunity, your body should provide you with good to excellent health for 80-120 years. If you are not getting this level of performance from your body, then examine your diet, excercise, attutude, and exposure to toxins. These four major components influence how you feel, how often you get sick, how much zest you have for life, and how long you will live. Using honey in the context of a healthy lifestyle will provide you with more energy, more mental alertness, more living out of your years, and more years out of your living. Some of the other benefits are:

1) Inexpensive, costing pennies per day.

2) Widely available, in the city or country, warm or cold climate.

3) Extraordinary healing agents, with both scientific documentation and centuries of folk medicine to support their use.

4) Very versatile, and can help a wide assortment of seemingly unrelated problems.

5) Very safe, especially when compared to the risk; benefit ratio of prescription drugs.

6) Blessed with an incredibly long shelf life, when properly stored.

A Few Honey Facts...............

The bee is a true marvel of nature. Based upon the principles that we use to build airplanes, bees should not be able to fly. Along with silkworms, bees are the only domesticated insects on earth, creating vast reserves of bee's wax, honey, bee pollen, and royal jelly. Without bees, we would lose the 2.2 billion pounds of annual honey production around the world. Without the cross pollenation that bees provide in their pollen and nectar gathering, there would be at least 90 species of fruits, vegetables, and grains that would die out. Without bees, history would not have included wax candles to light up the night, wax molds to make gold ornaments, references to "love as sweet as honey" and the many major decisions inspired by mead wine.

Honey was so valuable to our ancestors that Romans used it in plcae of gold to pay their taxes.

Notice that "money" and "honey" differ only by one letter. Greek athletes would eat honey before entering the arena of competition. In the Old Testament, Jacob sent an offering of honey to Joeseph, the ruler of Egypt, to generate good feelings.

In the great Egyptian civilization which created the Pyramids, honey was given to children to ward off evil spirits and buried in the tombs as a food for the hereafter. Jars of honey have been found in Egyptian tombs 3300 years after they were buried; and the food was still edible!

Most "junk food" has a long shelf life because bacteria cannot survive off this stuff, while honey has an even longer shelf life because of antibiotic agents to halt bacterial growth, which were created by the bees.

Americans eat an average of 285 million pounds of honey each year, which is only possible because the average bee hive produces 3 times more honey than the bees need to survive.

To pollinate California's approximately 360,000 bearing acres of almonds, it is estimated that 250,000 colonies of honey bees must be borrowed from other states to add to the 500,000 colonies already in the state.

Some nutritionists would argue that honey is nothing more than another simple carbohydrate, like white sugar. Actually, honey is a complex collection of enzymes, plant pigments, organic acids, esters, antibiotic agents, trace minerals like chromium, and other unidentified nutrition factors.

When cooking with honey, always use the raw or unpasteurized variety, since cooking the honey denatures it's valuable enzymes.

Realize that honey is a combination of nectar, which is the sweet syrup produced by flowers to attract bees for their cross pollenation talents, plus the pollen, which is the plant equivalent of human sperm; all of which has been processed by the bee.

While white sugar clearly is a major factor for generating cavities in Western society, raw honey does not fuel cavity making bacteria with the same fervor. This may be because honey contains a collection of antibiotic agents, which may stop the bacteria in the mouth from using sugar to erode the tooth enamel, making honey the preferred sweetener in the kitchen.

Bees are not only hard working nectar farmers, but they are also connoisseurs of fine flower nectar, and quite vulnerable to toxins such as pesticide spray. Which means that honey is usually gathered from the sweetest of nearby flowers and is free of contamination from dangerous sprays.

There are as many different types of honey as there are combinations of bee strains and plants with nectar. Of the 20,000 species of bees, most are solitary and thus do not gather extra honey for human harvesting. Yet there are over 200 different types of honey harvested in the United States alone, with clover honey accounting for 70% of sales.

Certain regions of America have developed their own regional favorites, such as ORANGE BLOSSOM HONEY, from California, BUCKWHEAT HONEY from New York, TUPELO HONEY from Florida, and FIREWEED HONEY from Washington. The Puget Sound area of Northwest Washington state has some unique HONEY's including MAPLE BLOSSOM, RASPBERRY, WILD RASPBERRY, WILD HUCKLEBERRY, and SNOWBERRY.

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Wayne Scott - Owner
128 Gleason Ave.
Vallejo, CA 94590