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Hear Ye Hear Ye: A Letter From the Queen to the US Senate Drones (Males) Regarding Contraception:

My honey-gatherer tells me you are at it again, attempting to control women and their fertility and I feel compelled to write to point out the error of your ways and advise a change of course.

As the mother of the thousands upon thousands of children in my colony I’m no reckless, childless, free-roaming femeNazi lobbing bombs of criticism at you from the outside.  On the contrary, I’m in the reproductive thick of it, laying 2,000 eggs a day with the help of my daughters just to keep our hive alive.  Together the females of our colony decide which eggs are fertilized and which are not-depending on the needs of our community, making room to receive with graciousness and preparedness an increase or decrease of population in accordance with the times of natural abundance or lack.  In the human community it seems this is not so: you require women to conceive, then withhold support from them; you encourage expansion when it is inadvisable given dwindling resources and the mass extinctions of the plants and animals on which you rely.

Like human mothers, 95% of child-rearing and everyday living tasks rest squarely on the shoulders of the female members of the hive, while the drones (males) laze around drinking our hard-earned honey, waiting for their chance to mate with a Queen-activities you yourselves I’m sure are familiar with.  While the drones’ sole purpose in life is to mate, ours is chiefly concerned with the maintenance of life and well-being of future generations, work we apply ourselves to with unequaled diligence and passion, whether through the generative act of motherhood or the creative arts.  We, the female denizens of colony and hive decide who is to be or not; and what is to be or not. To hear my honey-gatherer speak of human drones deciding such things, in all-male council no less, is utterly laughable and conceivably dangerous.

We regulate our fertility in another way; as the Queen my body is particularly equipped as a container for both egg and sperm, and as an egg is released I decide whether or not it is fertilized to create a male or female of our species. This ensures that the reproductive cycle, child-rearing and honey storage is kept in fine balance to assure our survival through a harsh winter or unfavorable season.  It is a skill our human female contemporaries too mastered years ago, yet seem to have forgotten or had trained out of them, and now only exercise in small part through the use of contraceptives.

To make contraception more difficult to obtain, more expensive or an un-insurable medical benefit, or even suggest a trans-vaginal ultrasound before receiving an abortion is to deny human women their intrinsic and inalienable rights as keepers of their sacred body-temples.  You have heard the saying ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ have you not? Unwelcome penetrations of womb and hive will be equally met with sting, and hopefully this letter will serve as advance warning, along with the rising hum of perturbed feminine voices.

My recommendation, sirs, is that you take heed of our example and step out of the way of attempting to control women’s fertility.  For the part of the story I have not yet shared with you, is that come autumn (which I hear is your election season) all males are eliminated from the hive; all drones are forcibly removed by the female workers.  We simply don’t have the honey, or the patience, to keep you.

Yours truly,

The Queen

Beginning Beekeeping Class- ‘The First Year of Keeping’- Columbia River Gorge, Mar. 13th, 2012

Beginning Beekeeping Class Part II

Want to get started beekeeping? Interested in chemical-free bees and  beekeeping? Have you studied bees and beekeeping on your own and would like a class to fill the gaps in your understanding?

Join Melissa Elliott of Melissa Bees, a local landscape designer, beekeeper and apitherapist for an informative look at what to expect in your first year of beekeeping. Subjects to be discussed include hive placement and protection, sourcing bees, hiving bees (putting them in the hive), handling the bees, swarming (bees’ natural increase) honey supering and related topics.  Hives, hive tools, and protective gear will be available for purchase the night of class.  At sign up, please let Melissa know if you are interested in purchasing a hive.  This course is for everyone, regardless of whether or not you attended the first class.

Practical matters will be covered: the how, where, when, cost, etc. of starting beekeeping. Bring your notebooks and questions!

Cost: $30 (Cash or Check) or by Paypal incl. taxes and fees.  Payment address: PO Box 62, White Salmon, WA 98672

Payment: Class limited to 12; by 3/6/12.  After 3/6/12 class fee is $35.

When: Mar. 13, 6:30 pm

Where: Private residence, White Salmon WA. On sign-up you will receive location info.



Chemical Free Bee Hive Products

Chemical Free Hive Honey

Beezlebalm Lip Balm

Rose Swarm Calendula Salve

100% Pure Beeswax Candles


Honey Made in America: Raw, unfiltered, chemical free hive honey naturally imbued with pollen and propolis.

Melissa Bees’ Chemical-Free Hive Honey: No miticides, fungicides, no treatment- nada! Just honey, as pure and raw as the bees who made it, imbued with pollen and propolis from the combs. Straight from the hills of White Salmon, WA in the magnificent Columbia River Gorge.

4 oz. Hex Jar $6.00 + shipping and handling

6 oz. Hex Jar $8.00 + shipping and handling

12 oz Hex Jar $18.00 + shipping and handling




Apipuncture Bladder 23- 2011 Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course, American Apitherapy Society

Frederique Keller, L.A.c. DOM and president of the American Apitherapy Society, demonstrates apipuncture on Bladder 23 at the Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course held in New Orleans this year.  The course is a wonderful opportunity to connect with healers and doctors utilizing products of the hive in their practices. The 2012 course will be held in Portland, OR- the date TBA:

Legalize Urban Beekeeping LA Victory! Mar Vista Votes Yes on Urban Beekeeping thanks to HoneyLove

Congratulations to Mar Vista on legalizing beekeeping! Chelsea McFarland, from the nonprofit HoneyLove.org  paid a surprise visit in September to tell me of beekeeper struggles in Los Angeles, as well as her dreams and visions for the area. Unbelievably, beekeeping is illegal in Los Angeles and HoneyLove is doing great work to change that.  Chelsea is such a delightful, sparkling person and I trust that she will become a great leader for beekeeping and other important issues in her community.  Be sure to check out HoneyLove.org to stay abreast of their important work!



Menuka Honey Preparation for Burn Wounds- 2011 Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course, New Orleans, LA – American Apitherapy Society

In this clip Dr. Alan Dennison MD walks us through a Menuka Honey Preparation for a severe burn wound.  The subject’s shin was burned by a scooter exhaust pipe in Aug. 2011, which she treated for three months using only honey from her hives and acupuncture.  The preparation shown is using irradiated Menuka honey and sterile bandages. Listen closely, there is valuable cross-talk in the video, particularly the full-length version.  To access the full 12 minute video from the 2011 Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course, join the American Apitherapy Society here: http://www.apitherapy.org/


She Flows: The White Salmon River Runs Free

The Condit Dam in White Salmon, WA was breached today, near our home.  One blocked artery opened so the earth blood can flow, allowing us all the chance to breath freely again.  May the mighty Salmon thrive in these waters!

She Flows: The White Salmon River Runs Free

CoHousing is for the Bees: Oakleigh Meadow Co-Housing Workshop, Eugene OR

When a honeybee colony’s population expands beyond the bounds of a hive, it will swarm, and in one reproductive act, depart with the original queen and 40,000 or so workers, leaving behind approximately the same amount of workers and soon-to-be hatched queens, one of which will mother the left-behind colony.  When a swarm commences, the thrum of thousands of golden, honey-engorged bee bodies fills the air- as well as the heart of one who witness it- with anticipatory glee and a tinge of fearful unknowing.  A great cloud of whizzing bees rises up and away from the hive entrance and emits a sweet neroli-like perfume, which identifies the group outside the safe confines of the hive, and sets about to find a tree branch or a fence post to cluster and settle upon.  From this vantage the workers will scout out viable locations for a new home.  What happens next is instructive to our human family, for if we are to continue to exist (and dare I say thrive) on this planet,  must find ways of living together that are based on real needs, democratic processes free of lies, with an openness to the magic of possibility.

The bees employ primarily one ancient tool to meet their ends: Inspiration.  One by one the scout bees leave the warmth and relative safety of the cluster to search nearby tree cavities, chimney flues or house walls (to name a few) and return to the cluster to report, in the form of a dance, their findings.  It is the inspiration of the dance that leads the other sisters to examine a particular location.  There is an ebb and flow in the excitement over a particular site selection. Several ‘options’ will be offered at once, and many different dances danced. Eventually, the less desirable choices stop being danced, and the group reaches a consensus over a particular site.  Once a significant number of bees is dancing the same dance, they take flight once more, and take up residence in their perfect new home.

I could see this process, much like the way of the bees’, begin to take shape and was duly inspired by architect Charles Durret’s introductory presentation last weekend to the Oakleigh Meadow CoHousing group, which is seeking to build a housing development on the Willamette River in Eugene, Oregon.  He described a process by which a self-selecting group of people come together to build a housing development that suits their needs for community and community dinners, privacy, green living, child rearing, aging, all on a beautiful riverside setting.  The group decides everything: Square footage, affordability, setting, distance between buildings, access, etc..  Each member becomes an investor and builder.  Chuck and his wife Katie McCamant have facilitated fifty such developments in the U.S..  “I’m amazed at how quickly decisions are made.  One person has a good idea, another person a better one.  Eventually the group arrives at a third; an even better solution.” Chuck went on to describe how empowered CoHousing groups become, literally bastions of change in their surrounding communities as a direct result of their decision-making capacities.

At the center of this human swarm is not a queen, but a couple- Joan Connolly and David Adee and their daughter Corinna, long-time residents of the River Road neighborhood who purchased the rare riverfront property two years ago, seeing it as an opportunity to make a community space.  “Buying this property was in itself a community experience.  My sister in Hilo, Hawaii and my mom were a big part of making this happen” said David, a local music teacher.  Joan, a longtime landscape designer and contractor in the Eugene area, was a key player in the design and implementation of nearby Razor Park, a native Oak Savanna planting and dog park a little ways up the river. Both Joan and David feel there is an element of fate in the selection of this property, having been both keepers of community and the river along with their neighbors on River Road, and feel they have been holding the land in wait for the opportunities CoHousing affords.

Following the architect’s introductory presentation on Saturday, was a site walk with all interested parties Sunday morning.  Thirty-plus people arrived from all corners of the riverside meadow at the early hour of eight am, to sip coffee and enjoy bagels as Chuck pointed out landscape features and answered questions from the group. A sign-up sheet for the next phase of the project, the ‘Getting it Built’ workshop slated for Dec. 3rd and 4th, by the end of the day had 17 names.  The group’s ultimate goal is 30, and is still welcoming participants.  The workshop centers on affordability, development and build-out costs.

An inspired buzz was generated from the weekend which lingered, along with the group, until mid-day.  One woman excitedly said, “You know, I like what Chuck said about how we are in denial about aging.  I live alone, my house is paid for…but still- there’s something missing.  I like how he describes the group-decision-making process, and I would really like to live closer to people.”  Another piped up, “Its interesting how he describes modern development as looking backwards, to maximizing square footage and having a car be the forefront of the house as a garage, instead of looking forward to the future of more efficient houses and fewer cars.”  A man I talked to wasn’t convinced yet.  “I just bought my house, and put a bunch of money into it.  I’m not sure how I could do this.” Interestingly though, he was there to see what was going on.  Something about it drew him there to the southern end of the meadow, I could see the sparkle in his eyes.

CoHousing is magic; inspirational. Based on real needs and invitational. Democratic and relational. In short, CoHousing is for the bees. Blessings on the Oakleigh Meadow CoHousing group whoever you may bee; may you make the perfect home.







Melissa Bees’ Chemical-Free Hive Honey

Melissa Bees’ Chemical-Free Hive Honey: No miticides, fungicides, no treatment- nada! Just honey, as pure and raw as the bees who made it, imbued with pollen and propolis from the combs. Straight from the hills of White Salmon, WA in the magnificent Columbia River Gorge.

4 oz. Hex Jar $6.00 + shipping and handling

6 oz. Hex Jar $8.00 + shipping and handling

12 oz Hex Jar $18.00 + shipping and handling