It is troubled times in our beehive this week. After checking on the girls a couple of weeks ago and finding them happy and busy as bees making honey and babies, we were dismayed to discover that they had shrunk drastically in numbers and had eaten ALL their honey. Every single bar of comb was eerily empty, and there were no babies to be seen. The bees have been acting sort of agitated and lost, and this week I got stung for the first time by our hive. It felt like such a betrayal, since they had been so docile up to this point. The sting was in my finger and I immediately put an onion on it to draw out the venom and applied lavendar oil religiously for 3 days which kept the swelling and itching way down.
After consulting with our beekeeping mentor, Jessie, it appears that we have lost our Queen. We are in talks with several people to figure out how to get a new Queen so late in the season, and I definitely feeling worried about the survival of our hive through the winter. I’m trying not to panic about it because I love the bees so much.
I have been feeding them honey and sugar syrup every day, hoping they won’t starve to death, and Jessie generously gave us a comb with some brood from one of her hives so they will have something to do and can potentially raise their own Queen if worse comes to worst. This is the last month before winter to open up the hives and assist the bees, so we don’t have much time to get them back on their way. Keep your fingers crossed for our ladies!
silvia is so cool
Because I worked from home today (after a tummy ache caused by questionable Vietnamese food yesterday…), I decided to try out Silvia’s homemade deep conditioning hair concoction (because basically everything I do that’s cool is copied from Silvia). It is supposed to make your hair super soft, shiny and lustrous. Well, Silvia has about the most soft, shiny and lustrous hair of anyone I know, so I figured her advice was reliable. I used her (extremely vague) recipe and modified it with a couple additions of my own. The most exciting part was that 2 of the ingredients came right from my own back yard!
Recipe for Home-made Super Shiny Hair Deep Conditioner
- 2/3 part olive oil
- 1/3 part coconut oil
- honey (roughly equivalent to the amount of oil)
- 1-2 eggs (depending on the length of your hair)
- 5-7 drops of lavendar, tea tree, or other good smelling oil
Make as much as you think you will need for your hair length/thickness. Whisk it all together, coat your hair (over a sink), and secure hair out of the way.
I left it in for around 1/2 an hour and that seemed sufficient. It’s pretty sticky and messy so Silvia recommends to just leave it in “as long as you can stand it.” Shampoo out.
You can also use an apple cider vinegar (for dark colored hair) or lemon (for light colored hair) clarifying rinse afterward. I discovered that too far gone super acidic kombucha works as a great rinse as well!
Here are the results:
Happy, shiny, soft, healthy hair!
west highland terrier
silvia is so cool
Friday evening Silvia’s dog, Watson, was stung by one of the bees. He was the first to get stung, human or animal, since we installed the hive in the backyard. Poor little Watson was freaking out and rubbing his face on the ground and hopping around all crazy. I think he and the bee were trying to share the same water bowl.
I was stung (for the first time) at Les Crowder’s beekeeping class a couple of weeks ago and discovered that 1. bee stings hurt pretty darn bad for about 5 minutes, but more importantly, 2. they swell up and itch like hell for about 5 days after.
Lavendar oil was the only thing that helped with my itchy bee sting, way more than hydro-cortisone or benadryl. Lavendar is a natural antihistamine, and Apitoxin, or honey bee venom, is comprised of histamine. Lavendar is also very calming which is helpful for animals since they don’t quite know what just happened to them. I wasn’t totally sure how the lavendar oil would work on a dog, but I made a little salve and after removing the stinger we rubbed it on his face and turns out - it worked miracles! Watson calmed down right away and the next day he had no swelling! His whole face should have been all swollen up, but he looked just fine. I noticed him itching a bit the next day, but put more of the lavendar salve on the sting and he calmed down right away. Hooray for super easy, natural home remedies!
Bee Sting Remedy:
1 tsp coconut oil
2 drops doTerra Lavendar oil
I was recently turned on to doTerra essential oils at my Chiropractor’s office. One of the best things about moving to Albuquerque (for me, the “big city”) has been the availability of all sorts of different health practitioners that I didn’t have access to in a smaller town. I feel super lucky to have found Dr. Kelly Coogan at New Direction Chiropractic. She is amazing and has really helped me a lot, as well as referred me to some other great health practitioners.
She practices Ayurveda and Chiropractic, and sometimes uses essential oils in her practice. One day I had super bad cramps and as I was waiting for her to come into the office I was lying on the table, trying to breathe through the pain, and fully intending to head straight home after my appointment and lay around in pain watching movies and eating chocolate for the rest of the day. When she finally came in, I mentioned my cramps and she rubbed some peppermint oil on my back and - I swear to god - I felt better within minutes…well enough that I was able to stay for the hour and a half essential oils class afterward. And now I am hooked.
Nothing has ever been helpful for me for cramp pain (i.e., midol, raspberry tea, etc). From just this one experience I am totally and completely sold on the use of oils - for cramps if nothing else. But I am excited to learn more because I have a feeling that this may be a whole area of health that I don’t yet know about that will prove to be really useful and effective. I now have the doTerra “Family Physician Kit” which has all the most commonly used household oils, and I am trying to use them in different situations to see how they work. The peppermint oil is a great all-around pain reliever. I have been rubbing it on my neck and shoulders when they hurt. It has a really pleasant cooling effect too.
So this is what inspired me to start writing about some of the life changing experiences and discoveries I am having as I take this journey into Integrative Nutrition and becoming a Holistic Health Counselor. I am learning a ton about my body, about food, and about all the different aspects of what encompasses “health.” So I am psyched to share what I find works for me and hopefully some of it might speak to you as well!