On Second Thought ~ The Latest Buzz

Colony collapse disorder, the mysterious worldwide epidemic of bee die-offs that showed signs of easing is still being seen as the culprit in many regions across the US and even in countries abroad. Some bee-keepers are reporting as much as 66% of hive loss this spring compared to 36% in 2008.

Beekeepers, scientists and researchers have been unable to unravel the mystery of colony collapse disorder, or why it cut such a disruptive path throughout northwestern Pennsylvania this year (where this data comes from).

Nearly one-third of what we eat depends on honeybees for pollination nationwide; more than 100 crops depend on bees for this service.

Pinpointing a cause for the disorder is still elusive four years after the first case was reported.

Sage Hill Farms hasn't seen any honey bees up to this point this season; we are beginning to be concerned. We do however have bumble bees and pollinating wasps. And, I noticed today a huge number of butterfly larva on the fennel...this is good.

According to data from different Tennessee bases we have not encountered this in a major way, but honey bees here are still struggling according to some official sources.

Keep a good thought~

You Asked....

What are some natural options to keep summer bug bites at bay ?

There is a commercial product by the name of "No-See-Um" - it's organic and supposedly works well.

Citronella, Lemongrass, cedar wood, garlic and cinnamon oils all work equally well for me.

After bites have happened; sage, lemongrass or calendula is excellent for stopping the itch and promoting healing before the bites become an issue. These remedies work really well on children, safe and natural.

Place a cup or two of leaves in the blender and pulse to a pulp...store the mixture in a sealed glass jar in the frig for up to a week.....apply the pulp to bites and it also works well on poison ivy.

If you are using sage, add a few drops of Echinacea to the mix, it's super at stopping the itch.

Table Tips~

Summer is a relaxed and fun time for family.

A great way to include the children in the daily household activity is: Allow them to be in charge of the dinner table setting. Use sturdy china and keep a large basket of simple napkins that little ones can easily fold and put into place.

A Yummy Recipe sent to me by a friend~

1 cup sugar ( I don't promote the use of refined white sugar, but if you use it this sounds good )
1 cup fresh basil leaves, plus 8 sprigs for garnishing
8 cups lemonade

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring the sugar and 1 1/2 cups cold water to a simmer. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, add the basil, and let cool to room temperature. Strain the syrup into a re-sealable container and discard the solids.

Pour 2 to 3 teaspoons of the basil syrup into each of 8 ice-filled glasses, then fill with lemonade. Garnish with an additional sprig of basil. (You can cover and refrigerate the remaining syrup for up to 2 weeks.)

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Wishing you each a Joyful June~

Remember Sage Hill Farms for all your culinary-herbal needs. Shop now and be prepared for a summer full of flavor, from salad to grilled fares, it's all better with herbs~   http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com .

Bea Kunz