issue 146 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #146

More bee facts

I enjoyed the article on bee-keeping, especially the old hive designs and traditional methods used by your Uncle Bob.

I keep bees at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Agricultural Center in Las Vegas and wanted to clarify, for your readers, some points that you made in your article in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue.

Honey bees are certainly some of the most interesting and helpful biological-chemical factories in the insect world. The honey bees produce four products that are valuable for personal and commercial consumption, including: honey, pollen, beeswax and propolis.

As the bees visit the flowers to collect nectar, which is stored in their stomachs, they also collect flower pollen which is stored on the fine hairs of their rear legs. When they return to the hive with the nectar and pollen, it is placed separately in wax cells in specific regions around the brood cells located near the center of the hive. The nectar is continually placed into honey cells and most of the water is evaporated by fanning of the bees, until it reaches approximately 20 percent moisture content and the cell is full. Then the cell is capped with wax.

As you mentioned, the honey and pollen, along with enzymes, fungi and bacteria are mixed to provide bee bread for the growing brood in the hive. When the worker bees sense that the existing queen may be failing or other hive conditions warrant creation of new queens, the worker bees place several larvae in large queen cells and feed them a rich diet of royal jelly. Royal jelly is created by worker bees from special enzymes excreted from their head, mixed with pollen and honey, which is fed to the queen larvae and which triggers the development of fertile queens. Both pollen and honey are useful to humans as food sources and for treatment of allergies.

One of the other products which are of value is the beeswax collected from the cells, which can be used for a waterproofing compound, a lubricant and candles. Bees excrete the wax from glands on their abdomen and it is a very, honey consumptive process, so it should probably not be routinely harvested from all of the cells in a productive hive, but considered a byproduct of the honey harvest from the top of the hive or reclaimed from dead or abandoned hives.

The propolis is collected as sap, primarily from trees, then condensed by the bees and used to stabilize hive components and seal unnecessary openings in the hive. It has been used by people as a salve for treatment of infections and inflammation and extracts of propolis can be taken internally for allergies.

Michael Barrett
Las Vegas, Nevada

Big Brother cleans up on fuel taxes

Dave, I think you left out one very important element in your My View column (Jan/Feb 2014 Issue #145) about ethanol and gasoline. The federal and state tax on a gallon of gasoline is the same no matter how much or how little ethanol that gallon contains. As ethanol only produces about 70% of the energy of gasoline this works out to a reduction in fuel economy. As a result we consumers must purchase more ethanol (E85, etc.) than we previously did when using honest gasoline and enjoying better fuel economy. Not only is Big Brother cleaning up on all the additional fuel taxes at the pump due to increased sales of lower quality products but this tax bonus also extends all the way up the supply chain.

Craig P. Jenkins
Ione, Washington

A chiropractor’s view

I am happy to hear that your back is feeling better. As a licensed Chiropractor for almost 20 years, the McKenzie method has always been a part of my treatment plan for patients. Every Chiropractor that I know uses this method of core strengthening as a logical adjunct to spinal re-alignment for disc related problems. It is taught in our schools and incorporated frequently in the Chiropractic profession. It is widely used in the health field. The question is, why did your Chiropractor not recommend it? Just because one Chiropractor didn’t mention McKenzie does not mean Chiropractic in general is “unnecessary.”

For your information, I have treated hundreds of patients whose physical therapist never utilized the McKenzie method. They may have used ice or ultrasound, but did not utilize McKenzie. It seems odd that you would castigate an entire profession based on the negligence of just one Chiropractor … yours. Perhaps a little research would have uncovered the fact that core strengthening to bring balance to the spine is taught by every credible health professional, P.T. or Chiropractor. And while I disagree with McKenzie’s opinion that Chiropractic is only necessary in “a handful” of cases, I certainly recommend the McKenzie method for any disc related case.

However, McKenzie is not for everyone. It would be contraindicated or detrimental, for example, for anyone with spondylolisthesis, acute facet syndrome, tropism, grade 3 degenerative disc disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm or neoplasm, just to name a few. Just because one fishing lure worked for one fisherman on one day does not mean this lure will work on all fish every day. There are many sources for back pain with all the bones, discs, nerves, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, tendons and blood vessels involved. McKenzie is one treatment that works well for some people … but not all. That is why one should be careful to offer medical advice without the proper education to do so.

Dave, I know your intentions are true, and your reputation is sound, so all apologies would apply, and so therefore, I digress. As a fellow truth seeker, I just thought you would like to know.

Once again, I am happy you are feeling better!

Dr. Mark Winyard, Chiropractor
Lexington, North Carolina

Need a permit in NY

I am writing to respond to the letter entitled “Don’t need a permit” in the Jan/Feb 2014 Issue #145. I thought Barbara and other readers should know that here in New York, even upstate, away from NYC, a pistol permit is needed to even possess a pistol in your own home. NY is far off track from the rest of the country. I truly wish our rights were not voted away by the liberal downstate law makers but they were. I hope everyone reading this votes for freedom every time they go to the ballot box.

M. Curtis
Degrasse, New York

Passive air vents

In response: “Winter health care” (Jan/Feb 2014 Issue #145.) There is an alternative to opening windows and subsequent cooling of the living space in a house. Passive make-up air vents. You will need a thru-the-wall boot, similar to a dryer vent boot, a good length of insulated flex duct and metal strips to wrap around the duct to screw it to the joists, studs, etc. I would recommend the heavier duty metal boot over the plastic. But, in either case, I would add a layer of window screening over the heavier mesh screening in the unit for small insect control. Proper installation, although relatively easy, is important. At the interior terminus the duct must be maintained in a U or J form as a rapid air flow trap. I have 2 separate air vents in the basement. A 4″ that remains open year round and terminates between the furnace and water heater. And an 8″ that I only open when using the fireplace. This type of vent is not susceptible to inversions, wind and other climatological events that impact the air pressures in an unvented structure. Since installing these 8 years ago, the house has been less drafty & the air quality and overwinter health has improved. I no longer worry about combustion air by-products back drafting into the house.

Marty Milanese
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Husband’s gift

We had to stop receiving our subscription a few years back due to financial issues, but I am renewing today for my husband’s gift. We love all the articles and really enjoy Jackie’s canning recipes! Thank you for keeping up this great magazine!

Kate Johnson
Waxhaw, North Carolina


This is the only magazine I am renewing. I don’t feel I can afford the others and know I can’t afford not to renew BHM. Keep up the good work, the country needs your common sense.

Donna Kosa
Ulysses, Pennsylvania

I’ve been buying your magazine for years now at Barnes and Noble and before that at Borders Books. My darling wife finally said enough is enough, I’m getting you a subscription for Christmas. Now go order it! How can you argue with a woman like that?

Don Feltz
Fenton, Missouri

… Love your magazine! Grew up with Great Depression presidents, so have lived most of what you do all my life — great to see a publication passing it on!

Ryan R. Lorenzen
Wakefield, Nebraska


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