Sitting in front of my computer brainstorming ideas and forcing those ideas into writing wasn’t resulting in anything meaningful. What was more impactful than an idea is an action, an experience! Maureen gave me a tour of the MOYO grounds – the bee yard (a location where the bees are kept) and the garden specifically.
Yogic philosophy explains that we are not separate from nature but apart of it. We receive so many gifts from nature. It inspires us, nourishes us and protects us. We need to reciprocate by respecting, understanding and protecting nature in return. The honey bee population has been dwindling. Honey bees are susceptible to several different diseases including: bacterial, viral and fungal. Predators and pests such as wax moth larvae eat honey beeswax and pollen stores. In general, bees of every species are the world’s greatest pollinators. Thirty percent of the world’s crops and ninety percent of wild plants would fail without them. In order to sustain the honey bee population, it requires a habitat with a diversity of plants and flowers providing them a steady source of nectar and pollen.
As Maureen walked me down to show me the bee yard, the first thing I thought of was, “ will they sense my fear and sting?” It is said bees can sense fear so keeping your zen is advised when working with them. I can’t think of a more zen home for them other than MOYO! It was a humbling experience to see the honey bees in furious action because so much of what they do and how they do it is out of our control.
The forces of nature determine the amount of honey produced … the weather conditions, the water source, and the right plants. Bees need flowers for sustenance and flowers need bees for pollination. Bees start making honey by visiting flowers. They collect the sweet nectar from the blossom by sucking it out with their tongues. Then the bees store it in honeycomb cells, which are like tiny jars made of wax. In return, the flower gets pollinated.
Since honey bees pollinate a large variety of fruit & vegetables we eat today, they truly sustain life on earth. Without their efforts, we would not be able to feed ourselves. Honey bees, provide us with many products aside from honey…
- Propolis is the resinous substance that bees collect from other plants that disinfect the hive. The benefits to humans are very similar with its antiseptic properties.
- Bee Pollen is trending as a “superfood” with its exceptional antioxidant properties it is truly one of nature’s most nourishing foods. Try it in a smoothie with honey to pack a serious nutritional punch!
Raw Chocolate-Cherry Smoothie
1/2 cup 100% tart cherry juice
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
Handful baby spinach
2 tbsp raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
Optional: Raw honey, to taste
Combine all ingredients except the bee pollen in a blender and blend until smooth. Add honey if desired. Top with a sprinkle of bee pollen and enjoy!
- Beeswax which is a by product of honey production. I began working with beeswax when I started using essential oils. Beeswax is known to condition and moisturize but it also calms and soothes making it ideal for skin care.
1 1/2 Tbsp Beeswax pellets
1 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp Shea Butter
1 Tbsp Cocoa Butter
1 Tbsp Almond Oil
10 drops of Peppermint Oil
10 drops of Orange Oil
14 Lip Balm tubes
INSTRUCTIONS: Using a double boiler (if you don’t have one, simply set a pyrex glass dish over a saucepan filled with water), melt the cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil over medium heat. Do not boil. Take mixture off the heat and stir in the almond oil quickly. Let it cool, but don’t allow it to harden. Mix in essential oils. Next use a funnel or dropper to pour mixture into lip balm tubes or tins. Allow mixture to harden (about 5 min) then you can cap it!
You can substitute YOUR favorite essential oils. Another favorite of mine is Lavender + Lemon
What can we do to help encourage the bee population?
There are many easy things we can do to help with the bees!
- Keep your dandelions & clover! They are food and medicine (a bee’s favorite food)!
- Plant bee-friendly flowers and herbs from organic seed! MOYO’s Bee-Friendly herbs include: Thai Basil, Lavender, Chamomile, Oregano, Dill, Thyme, Chive and Lemon Balm. (See below for some of my favorite herbal recipes!)
Inspired by MOYOs bee-friendly garden, I recently bought Lemon Balm after seeing how it easily thrives and the bright scent that it gives off. I’m a newbie when it comes to gardening. Not only is this herb easy to care for and bee-friendly, it also has antiviral properties and helps to calm the nervous system. Chew on a leaf to calm an upset stomach or crush/tear the leaf and rub it on a bug bite to ease the itch. There are dozens of things to do with this gem but here are some of my favorites.
- Make herbal water – Fill a jar with fresh lemon balm leaves and a thinly sliced tropical fruits (think lime, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, kiwi). Pour in cold water until it reaches the top. Refrigerate for several hours. So refreshing on a hot day!
- Make Lemon Balm & Honey Butter – Mix 4 tablespoons of softened butter with a pinch of finely chopped lemon balm. Add a drizzle of honey to taste. Yummy on hot fresh bread or biscuits!
+ How are you helping the bees this season? Be sure to comment on this post & share!
+ What honey and herb recipes inspire you? DIY homemade beauty product?
Written by guest blogger Amanda Kelly
She is a knit fabric research & developer by day who discovered her passion for yoga 5ish years ago while studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is currently working towards her 200hr RYT at MOYO.
Her yoga journey started as a means to escape herself, her past and find her way: the letdowns you can’t predict, opportunities that end up being too good to be true, and moments when you feel like you will never survive another day. Wildly in love, married to her middle school sweetheart, she now knows that everything in life happens for a reason and you are exactly where you are supposed to be in the present moment. Sharing her passion of yoga, wellness, adventure, and personal style, her mission is to inspire and guide people through her own personal journey and experiences.