15 responses to An Amish Beekeeper
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    Alice Aber
    An Amish Beekeeper (April 11th, 2011 at 06:46)

    I am deathly allergic to bee stings but I love honey. I use honey in my home made bread instead of sugar. Yummy!! Just the mear sight of these pictures makes my stomach a little queezy thinking about what would happen if something ticked these bees off and they started stinging, LOL. No thanks!!

    I usually buy my honey down in Arthur. They sell honey for a bee farmer in Sullivan, IL where there are a few Amish living I believe. I am not 100% sure if the honey is actually “Amish” raised but it is local raised and that is good enough. The price is fair and the quality is excellent.

    Blessings, Alice

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    An Amish Beekeeper (April 11th, 2011 at 07:35)

    I would never wear a bee-beard but I like honey too.

    Interesting that the Polish name for rhubarb is so similar to the Swedish one (rabarber) because there aren’t many words that are similar otherwise. In Sweden we jokingly say that Polish is the language where you take a perfectly normal word and then put as many z:s in it as possible.

    My brother shares your love of rhubarbs, he hates gardening so his garden basically consists of two huge rhubarb ‘djungles’ and grass… I like it but not as much as him although strawberry and rhubarb jam is delicious. Jam sweetened with honey is great, the best jam I have ever eaten was cherry jam sweetened with honey. I must admit I ate the whole can myself just spoon after spoon… (I such a pig, I know)

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    Bees and honey jam (April 11th, 2011 at 08:17)

    Bees and honey jam

    Elin, perfect description of Polish.

    Jam sweetened with honey is not a concept I’ve come across, I guess this is in opposition to jam sweetened with sugar? Sounds pretty healthy, though pretty sweet! I do not think I could eat a jar of jam, I need some sort of bland or salty alternative such as bread or peanut butter.

    Alice on the bees stinging I did not drill down too hard on it but it seemed to be that when they are in the swarm they are loaded down with honey, which makes them more docile? Maybe a bee-ologist reading this can confirm.

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      Klaus K. Zimmermann
      Amish beekeeper (January 31st, 2012 at 09:41)

      Amish beekeeper

      Hello Erik;
      Interesting article about beekeeping by Amish people, as there are different technical questions open:
      – do they treat their bees against varroa mites in any way?
      – do they interfere with breeding or swarming other than natural?
      – do they suffer from CCD – Colony Collapse Disorder?
      – do they use honey extruders?
      Some of my friends are very interested in these facts, as this might be the answer to overcome modern beekeeping and its consequences.
      Thanks in advance – Klaus.
      P.S. If possible get me a direct email to an Amish expert.

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    An Amish Beekeeper (April 11th, 2011 at 09:43)

    Under the man with the bee beard it says;
    The Ordnung requires a minimum 10,000 bees per beard
    I’m curious as to what that’s about…

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    Ordnung humor? (April 11th, 2011 at 10:03)

    Ordnung humor?

    Hi Beth, glad you asked. That’s just my attempt at humor. The Ordnung is the Amish code of social rules which describes things like style of dress, technology allowed, etc.


    So I imagined this “Bee Amishman” might have an Ordnung of his own dictating the # of bees on a beard…ha-ha, right?? ;) or maybe not!

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    Marilyn in New York
    An Amish Beekeeper (April 11th, 2011 at 10:06)

    I, too, am deathly allergic to bee stings. I was dumb and did not know I could eat honey. Finally it came the course of conversation and I called my doctor and asked her. She said sure I could eat honey-so back I went eating honey on my bread and rolls. When I was a kind, many years ago, my Mom use to use honey as a sweatner sometimes instead of surger. She also use to sometimes mix the terrible tasting medicine with a tiny bit of honey to make it so us kids could stand the taste of the medicine and take it. LOL

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    Yonie Wondernose
    An Amish Beekeeper (April 11th, 2011 at 10:59)

    Hey Erik I’ll take the description bee-beard anytime over goat beard

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    An Amish Beekeeper (April 11th, 2011 at 11:30)

    Generally bees sting in defense of their hive/queen. When they swarm, they haven’t yet established a new hive, so they are not as defensive. I have captured and hived swarms, and had bees pretty much all over my arms, but that was just business; I was not of a mind to play with them or take unusual liberties with them. I’ve only been stung when I accidently mashed one while working at the hive.

    I also learned not to try and work with them when I was in a bad mood. They seem to sense it and get upset; or maybe I’m just not as careful with them then as I usually am.

    A glass of warm water with a spoonful of honey and a spoonful of vinegar is a popular tonic here, taken daily.

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    Tonic ? (April 11th, 2011 at 17:07)

    Tonic ?

    Forest, what is the tonic used for? You said taken daily !!!!

    I remember yrs. ago , a friend of my Dad’s used to eat a teaspoon of honey every day…..just said it was good for you …..

    Have you heard that honey is good for cataracts???

    I know you are not suppose to give a baby honey ……..

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    Doc Erik Wesner’s Miracle Amish Tonic (April 11th, 2011 at 21:19)

    Doc Erik Wesner’s Miracle Amish Tonic

    Doc Erik Wesner’s Miracle Amish Tonic

    Doc Erik Wesner’s Miracle Amish Tonic! Good for what ails you, the remedy for worry, animosity, hypochondria, window and eye glass cleaning, cold sores, bad breath, a match for a mild coil of kielbasa for those who can’t or won’t drink wine, one of natures uplifting spirits and a source of a lively evening, midday or for those 4:00AM visits to Flossy the cow, available now in behind the Church wagon while the elders aren’t looking, available on the porch when they are but their wives aren’t!

    Doc Erik Wesner’s Miracle Amish Tonic!

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    An Amish Beekeeper (April 12th, 2011 at 06:01)

    Shom, hear hear!

    Forest thanks for the info on bee swarms. Honey enjoys the reputation of being an all-around healthy food (taken in measure, Yogi the Bear notwithstanding :) ) Mona I had not heard that babies shouldn’t eat honey, is that true?

    Yoni, you have to enlighten me on goat beard…If it’s worse than a bee-beard, sounds pretty bad!

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    Babies and Honey (April 12th, 2011 at 17:46)

    Babies and Honey

    I had heard that it is unsafe to give infants honey several years ago but forgot why, so I looked it up on Mayo Clinic website just now. They said honey could harbor “…Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum) spores. Bacteria from the spores can grow and multiply in a baby’s intestines, making a toxin that can cause infant botulism. The concern is only for children younger than age 1….”

    In reference to bee body-art: I really like seeing animals in nature but don’t think it is a good idea to wear them.

    On a different note, I really like Alice’s homemade bread with honey idea. I had never heard of that. Sounds fantastic!

    Thank you for writing on this topic Erik. I learned a lot.

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    An Amish Beekeeper (April 13th, 2011 at 13:37)

    I always heard if you have bad allergies, to take a spoonful of honey made from a local producer a day. Though they stress it had to come from a local producer, as the bees would have been using the same pollen that your allergies react to. It apparently works to kind of build up antibodies to the pollen your allergies find irritating. I don’t have allergies these days (thankfully not too many lilac bushes in Chicago) so I can’t vouch for the effectiveness.

    Ugh, the bee suit freaks me out…obviously I watched Candyman a few too many times as a kid!

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    Esplainin my silly, talking on tonics, getting salty (April 13th, 2011 at 20:52)

    Esplainin my silly, talking on tonics, getting salty

    I tried to write old timey when I wrote about Doc Erik’s tonic, that is were that came from, the idea of people hawking (in front of displays of the tonic in bottles, at circus, various other traveling shows or on their own) tonics that are either, for instance, honey and water mixture, or straight forward alcohol and selling it as a medicine or cure all remedy. I’m glad the humour was noted!

    From what I understand, a tonic is something one drinks as a medicinal beverage, it seems to me, in some cases, like Forest’s, tonics may be drunk like some people take vitamins or supplements for their health, or perhaps in Forest’s case because its always been done and it’s something people enjoy, in this case Forest’s tonic is homemade.

    In my family we rely on a salt and hot water mixture to rinse our mouths if we have a cold related sore on the inside of the mouth, like the one product I know of in Canada (it may be on offer in the USA too), it tastes awful but it works…

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