Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bee Keeping in the Missouri Ozarks

I found an interesting source on bees and bee keeping here in Missouri from the Missouri Department of Agriculture's  website and I wanted to add a little excerpt from their article on Bee Keeping and some information about these fascinating flying helpers to your garden and flowers. Not to mention tasty honey makers!

Bee Facts

"Most people tend to group all bees into the same category – those that produce honey and sting. Truth is, there are more than 30,000 species of bees and the majority of bees do not sting.
Missouri alone is home to more than 400 species of the 4,000 different types that live in North America.
Bees play an important role in agriculture as pollinators of flowering plants that provide food, fiber, spices, medicines and animal forage. Three-quarters of all flowering plants rely on pollinators such as bees to reproduce. In Missouri, that means our cucumbers, pumpkins, fruit trees, berries, tomatoes, soybeans and corn rely on bees to keep them growing strong.
Many of the state’s agricultural crops would not exist without the bee. It is estimated that bees contribute more than $14 billion to the value of U.S. crop production. That’s a lot of food!"

Identifying Bees

"With hundreds of bee species buzzing about Missouri, it is sometimes hard to distinguish the type. Below are some things to help you identify that bee flying about:
honey bee
Honey Bees – Honey bees are not native to the U.S., but were brought over by Europeans in the 17th Century. It’s safe to say that these buzzers have been here a long while. Most honey bees live in large social colonies with 30,000 or more living in man-made hives and natural places such as tree hollows. If you see them swarming, they most likely are locating to a new address or nest. Look for a heart-shaped head, black to amber body with pale and dark stripes on abdomen.
bumble bee
Bumble Bees – Researchers have been trying to determine why some native bees such as the bumble bees are disappearing. They are important to pollinating flowering plants, like tomatoes, that require vibration to release pollen. Bumble bees live in social colonies and nest underground – in old rodent burrows. You can recognize a bumble bee by its robust hairy black bodies covered with black, yellow, brownish or orange hairs bands.
Leafcutter bee
Leafcutter and Mason Bees – With a broad head, black body with pale bands of metallic green or blue on the abdomen, these bees are solitary. They nest in aggregations in natural or man-made holes such as beetle holes, nesting blocks, soil or stems. Some line their nests with leaves while others use mud and resin."


"The first evidence of beekeeping appears to have been on the wall paintings in ancient Egypt. Today, USDA estimates that there are more than 200,000 beekeepers across the U.S. – most of which are classified as hobby beekeepers with less than 25 hives.
Many beekeepers have bee hives in their own backyards and some are kept on city roof tops. Bees can travel for miles to collect nectar and pollen but most areas in Missouri, both rural and urban, have plenty of flowers and crops nearby to keep bees making a good crop of local honey."

A Few Simple Steps to Get Started

  • Get Involved – Join a local beekeeping association for tips and additional resources. MoStateBeekeepers.org is a great place to start.
  • It’s Bee Time - Beekeeping is a seasonal hobby, and therefore, the time varies with seasons. The busiest time of the year is the warm days of early summer. Hives should be checked weekly to prevent swarming. In the winter months, very little needs to be done except to check for physical damage or snow blocking the bee’s entrances.
  • Start right – Build at least one of your new bee hives from scratch. If you are handy with wood, building hive boxes and supers (compartments that support the honeycomb) is easy. Or you can order the hives put together already.
  • Placement is everything – Be sure to put the apiary near a great source of nectar and pollen. Our first pick is near your garden. Ornamental trees and plants also provide for a great location. If you are in the city, ornamental plants can provide for an extended honey flow. Bees need water so be sure to have a water source. A shallow pan filled with water and rocks to rest on is an excellent addition to your apiary. This will keep the bees in your yard and now your neighbor’s.
  • Purchased Equipment – Buying new equipment is best, but if you do purchase used, be sure to contact us for an inspection. (It is required by law.) Check out the equipment essential at http://extension.missouri.edu/p/g7600.


"Honey is honey – and the perfect sweetener. A bottle of pure honey contains the natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from the nectar of plants or secretions of living parts of plants. When scientists begin to look for all of the elements found in this wonderful product of nature, they find a complex of naturally flavored sugars as well as trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids.
Honey is made by bees in one of the world’s most efficient facilities, the beehive. The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey.
The color and flavor of honey differ depending on the bees’ nectar source (the blossoms). There are more than 300 unique kinds of honey in the U.S., originating from such diverse floral sources as Clover, Eucalyptus and Orange Blossoms. Lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor, while darker honeys are usually more robust in flavor."

Forms of Honey

"Most of us know honey as a sweet, golden liquid. However, honey can be found in a variety of forms.
  • Comb Honey – Comb honey is honey in its original form - that is, the honey inside of the honeycomb. The beeswax comb is even edible!
  • Cut Comb – Cut comb honey is liquid honey that has added chunks of the honey comb in the jar. This is also known as a liquid-cut comb combination.
  • Liquid Honey – Free of visible crystals, liquid honey is extracted from the honey comb by centrifugal force, gravity or straining. Because liquid honey mixes easily into a variety of foods, it’s especially convenient for cooking and baking. Most of the honey produced in the United States is sold in the liquid form.
  • Naturally Crystallized Honey – Naturally crystallized honey is honey in which part of the glucose content has spontaneously crystallized. It is safe to eat.
  • Whipped (or Cremed) Honey – While all honey will crystallize in time, whipped honey (also known as cremed honey) is brought to market in a crystallized state. The crystallization is controlled so that, at room temperature, the honey can be spread like butter or jelly. In many countries around the world, whipped honey is preferred to the liquid form especially at breakfast time."

Honey’s Nutritional Profile

"Honey is composed primarily of carbohydrates (natural sugars) and water, as well as trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Providing 17 grams of carbohydrates and 64 calories per tablespoon, honey is an all-natural sweetener without any added ingredients.
Darker honeys have higher antioxidant content than lighter honeys.
For a complete nutrient listing, please visit USDA’s National Nutrient Database, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Design and Build your Dream Cabin without needing a lot of room!

I was browsing some resources online for homesteading options and came across a helpful little site that has designs for cabins 1 story, 1.5 story and 2 story homes that you can customize and fiddle with the design to create the dream cabin you have always wanted to build and they don't take up much room but looking at them and the designs it seems they're huge but really they're not that big but they have a lot of space.

Here are a few pictures from the website, they offer the designs for a price but you can see them also in pdf form as well. www.countryplans.com

I personally like this outdoor rustic look and they list it as a Solar Saltbox Home!

Solar Saltbox from SW
 If you're more after a cottage or smaller quaint home, check this design out! This is listed as a Universal Cottage and has been used in many styles.
2-story Universal cottage with side porch

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

September is around the corner and there's lots to do in the Missouri Ozarks!

Afternoon everyone, today was a wonderful day in the Ozarks, just beautiful! The weather is a nice cool 80 degrees compared to our heat wave of 100-105 degrees that we've had over the last several weeks. Coming up in September are some local events that you don't want to miss, Pioneer Days in Mountain View, MO and Oz Fest in Willow Springs, MOs these two of many local events are times when everyone gets together, has some fun, enjoys great local music and there are many vendors that offer home made or hand crafted items, there's car shows, games, prizes and more so you don't want to miss it, I will be updating with the September dates soon!

Hunting season is just around the corner starting September 15th, so if you're looking for a place to set up those blinds in the perfect spot, it's time to get on the ball and get your hunting ground set for that perfect buck or Tom then check out these lots available that are riddled with wild game.

Get your own private lake and over 100 acres for hunting, recreation, horseback riding, ATVing or just park and RV and live in peace and quiet with a great view of the lake! Nab this Great Opportunity before its GONE for only $2495/year! NO DEPOSIT!

We also have an outstanding hunting parcel, 100 acres, 4 creeks and wild game galore!

This turkey was pictured on the property, and there's more waiting to be proudly mounted on your wall or as a delicious entree' on your dinner table! Best your Hunting Buddies and bag this Deal! Only $2,375/year NO DEPOSIT!

OR Find the perfect hunting or homesteading land for you today!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How is your part of the world?  The Ozarks have been quite pleasant this past week.  The weather is cool at night and not unbearable during the day.  We are still hoping for rain,doing many rain dances and made up songs for it.  We are fast approaching the most colorful time in this area.  Still good floating and hiking and certainly prime time for family, or just you and that special someone, to have a picnic.  The woods are filled with vocal creatures,especially at night.  Imagine having a place of your own to sit outside and listen to the night time sounds and wake to the sun coming up over the Ozark hills.  It is a good place to be.

I will give you a heads up on a few properties that we have on our website right now.  There is a location called Pomona Missouri  that is all country.  A gas station is close by and a post office.  Not far from Pomona is Twin Bridges a good place to swim.  If country life is somewhat alarming to you, have no fear West Plains and Willow Springs are withing driving distance for a sudden attack of must have ice cream.  Pomona land listings are 35 acres for $590 a month with $300 down and 15 acres for $350 a month for $200 down.  Check out the pictures on our website www.homesteadcrossinginc.com

Another favorite spot of mine is the Gentryville area in Missouri.  Gentryville is almost the middle of everything.  Right off of hwy 95 and near hwy 14.  You can get to Ava,Norwood,Mtn Grove,Willow Springs,Gainesville,and West Plains easily.  Not to mention Rockbridge where there is an amazing restaurant.  The places to have fun outdoors are close by.  Hammons picnic,swimming,and hiking is a family favorite.  The land listed in Gentryville is a setting with a rustic cabin on 11 acres $350 month with $200 down.  Gentryville land goes fast.  My family has walked the Gentryville area a very long time.  My great grandfather rode his horse all through these hills.  I have heard many stories about the moonshiners, horse thieves and hill people.  There were even gypsies that used to travel through on their way to other parts of the world.

That's about it for the day.  I have roads to clear.  Have a good one.  achris property manager

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Almost There...

Good Morning Everyone,
   I hope that you are having a good week so far! We are halfway through this week...and I wanted to give some important information out about Missouri's hunting season that many are already gearing up for. Deer archery season starts here in Missouri on Saturday September 25th and ends on Friday November 9th. It starts up again on Wednesday November 21st and ends again on Tuesday January 15th. Deer youth season starts Saturday and Sunday November 3rd & 4th. And deer firearms season starts November 10th and ends November 20th. And deer firearms antlerless season starts Wednesday November 21st and ends Sunday December 2nd. Hopefully that gives all of you hunters out there a better idea of when our hunting seasons are here in Missouri. I hope that you all have a great week and if you or anyone you know is looking for a property to hunt on here in Missouri. Check out our website and see what we have to offer you!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Monday!

Good Morning Everyone,
   I hope that everyone had a great weekend! According to the weatherman it looks like we will be getting a little break from the scorching hot heat this week, temperatures are supposed to be in the low 90's. Now if we could get some more rain, we would be in good shape. You are probably going to have to keep watering your gardens and lawns for now though...doesn't look like we are going to get much rain. Don't forget that this is the last chance for sports physicals. They are taking place TODAY at the Munford gym in Willow Springs, starting at 8 a.m. School starts next week on August 15th for Willow Springs, Mo. There is going to be a back to School Fair for Willow Springs School district, on Saturday August 11th, for students (kindergarten through 8th grade), 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, sponsored by Willow Springs Rotary Club. Also on Saturday August 11th is the next Farmer's Market, at the Booster field. Hope you have a great week!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Thursday

Good Morning Everyone,
   I hope that you are having a great week so far! The temperatures have been holding steady near 100 here in Willow Springs, Missouri. I thought we were going to get some rain the way it was lightening and thundering last night, but nothing more than a light short sprinkle. Don't forget that the Farmer's Market will be open Saturday August 4th at the Booster field opening at 7:30 a.m. Then, on Monday August 6th is the last chance for sports physicals for the upcoming school year. They will be in the Munford gym, starting at 8 a.m. Are you looking for a small piece of land that is close to town? If so, we have a 4 acre parcel that is only 12 miles from Ava, Missouri. If this sounds like something you or someone you know would be interested in...Come check out our website and give us a call for a showing. We would love to meet you and show you just what we have to offer you!