Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Don't Step On A Bee Day

Today is Don't Step on a Bee Day. It is pretty much a reminder about going barefoot during the summer and to protect your feet. But it is really so much more than this.

Colony Collapse Disorder is where bees are disappearing and dying at ever increasing rates. Wikipedia defines it as:

"...a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear. While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, the term colony collapse disorder was first applied to a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006. Colony collapse is significant economically because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by bees; and ecologically, because of the major role that bees play in the reproduction of plant communities in the wild."

If you like to eat, the last sentence should matter very much to you. Bees are responsible for much, if not most, of the foods you eat. Want to know just how many foods rely on bees? Just take a peek at this list. Pretty eye opening, isn't it?

There are things you can do as an individual to help the bees. Some suggestions are:

Plant things bees like. Clover, sage, salvia, oregano, lavender, yarrow, alfalfa, honeywort, dragonhead, echinacea, bee balm, just to name a few. Flowering trees, flowering plants, there are so many bee friendly plants available to you. Just plant some!

Create or provide a bee habitat. Like all creatures, they need a safe place to live. They also need a water source. Research how to make a bee house, one you can do easily.

Don't use or severely limit pesticides. It has been theorized that pesticides are what is contributing to the bee death. Go organic - for you, for the bees, for the planet.

As a vegan, I don't use honey. Bees are extremely intelligent and studies have demonstrated that they feel pain. BeeCulture magazine reports that beekeepers are notorious for contributing to the spread of disease: 'Beekeepers move infected combs from diseased colonies to healthy colonies, fail to recognize or treat disease, purchase old infected equipment, keep colonies too close together, [and] leave dead colonies in apiaries.' Artificial diets, provided because farmers take the honey that bees would normally eat, leave bees susceptible to sickness and attack from other insects. When diseases are detected, beekeepers are advised to 'destroy the colony and burn the equipment,' which can mean burning or gassing the bees to death.

Bees need their honey. I don't.

I'm thinking today should be renamed to Be Kind To Bees Day instead.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stay Out of the Sun Day

Today is Stay Out of the Sun Day. Since tomorrow, July 4, is a day a lot of people spend outside and in the sun, I guess today is as good a day as any to remind people to take care.

You can find information everywhere about using sunscreen and sunblock, how to avoid the hottest parts of the day, what to do to treat sunburn if you don't pay attention to the aforementioned. The thing I want to remind you about today - and every day - is to drink plenty of water!

Something as simple as drinking water can have profound effects on your health. It can help with weight loss, give you more energy, stave off headaches, help with digestion, give you glowing skin and has even been shown to reduce your risk of heart attack. Yet, most people don't get nearly enough.

How much should you drink? A rule of thumb is to take your weight, divide it in half, and drink that many ounces. Okay, let me explain that better: if you weigh 160 lbs, half of 160 is 80, so 80 ounces of water.

So, how to drink that much if you are more used to sucking down a couple of sodas or chugging down several cups of coffee a day? It's really not so hard to do. When my husband was in basic training in the Air Force years ago, they made the new recruits drink two glasses of water with each meal before they could even consider drinking anything else. That's 48 ounces right there already. You're already over half way there if your goal is 80 ounces. You may need more or less than that based on weight and how much time you spend outside or exercising.

My son insists on filtered water, so we have two different style of pitchers with filters. My daughter likes to add sliced lemon or mint sprigs to her water. I'm a little different. I make a pitcher of this water every morning and drink it throughout the day until it is gone.

To the pitcher I add 1/2 t. turmeric, 1/8 t. black pepper, 1/8 t. cayenne pepper, 1 T. organic apple cider vinegar, 1 T. food grade diatomaceous earth and three garlic cloves cut into pieces. To this I add two quarts of water and stir.

When the water is gone, I add the garlic pieces to a dish I'm already eating and consume them raw.


The health benefits of the ingredients are many, and this is something I designed based on that research. The diatomaceous earth is a later addition based on a recommendation from my doctor.

Try it. You just might like it.

At the very least, please make sure you are drinking enough water. If you are thirsty, you are already mildly dehydrated.
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