Our friend, Blaine Watson, recently sent us this note: Gary, Watch out for honey. If I buy honey it is always raw, unpasteurized and ideally from the producer but most health stores sell really raw honey. There is a huge upsurge of urban beekeeping as well and it is easy to raise bees and take care of them so you can also produce your own.
Blaine sent a link to the November 9th, 2011 CNN article entitled “Most honey sold in U.S. grocery stores not worthy of its name” that said:
Photo from CNN’s “Most honey sold in U.S. grocery stores not worthy of its name”
Most of the honey sold in chain stores across the country doesn’t meet international quality standards for the sweet stuff, according to a Food Safety News analysis released this week.
One of the nation’s leading melissopalynologists analyzed more than 60 jugs, jars and plastic bears of honey in 10 states and the District of Columbia for pollen content, Food Safety News said.
He found that pollen was frequently filtered out of products labeled “honey.” ”The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies,” the report says. “Without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.”
Among the findings:
• No pollen was found in 76 percent of samples from grocery stores including TOP Food, Safeway, Giant Eagle, QFC, Kroger, Metro Market, Harris Teeter, A&P, Stop & Shop and King Shoppers.
• No pollen was found in 100 percent of samples from drugstores including Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy.
• The anticipated amount of pollen was found in samples bought at farmers markets, co-ops and stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s.
Why does it matter where your honey comes from? An earlier Food Safety News investigation found that at least a third of all the honey consumed in the United States was likely smuggled from China and could be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals.
Fortunately Merri and I are surrounded by beekeepers in North Carolina, Florida and Ecuador.
Local honey in our North Carolina kitchen.
Here is a sweet funky business idea that can help save the world.
Yesterday’s message was the first in this three part series on thinking outside the box or funkiness thought. See Funky Global Business here.
When I lived in the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, one of my neighbors was the painter, Kit Williams. He was definitely funky by the definition that he thought (and painted) out of the box. In the late 1970s he created a book Masquerade, a children’s book that sparked a worldwide treasure hunt for a jeweled golden hare, that he had created and hidden.
Hundreds of thousands of copies sold and became the inspiration for a genre of books known today as armchair treasure hunts.
I have autographed copies of Masquerade and Kit’s next book on my bookshelf. I pull them out once in awhile to remind myself of the power of funkiness.
Kit’s next book was originally called the Book of Bees… so in a way he made a fortune from being funky from bees.
Now perhaps you can as well… earn a fortune from funkiness and bees.
Big problems create big opportunity. The biggest problem is preserving our environment so one my most fulfilling accomplishments was working with Jyske Bank to create an entirely green investment portfolio that rose 266.3% in its first year.
The money was nice… but more important was the statement…. “gaining wealth and improving the environment can go hand in hand.”
One huge environmental problem that humanity faces is the loss of bees.
I have written about this problem many times… originally in an early 2006 article entitled “International Investments in Bee the World“.
Since that time I have been staying tuned for business ideas that involved bees. This was why I was so delighted when our son, Jake, introduced us to the Beehaus.
A press release about Beehaus said: The bees seemed to like their ultra-modern home as they buzzed happily in and out of the postbox-like slot in the grey and yellow ‘beehaus’ on the roof of state-backed conservation agency Natural England’s London offices.
The agency’s chief scientist Tom Tew said if more urban residents kept honeybees, it would increase the insects’ numbers and make them more resilient to attacks from disease and pests which threaten their survival.
“We need to recognize that if we want plants to flourish, we need healthy populations of insects to sustain them,” Tew said.
“There’s no reason why our towns and cities should exist as wildlife deserts — wildlife can thrive when we design our urban areas with nature in mind and the ‘beehaus’ is a great example of how easy it is for anyone to bring the natural world closer to their doorstep.” The number of honeybees in Britain has dropped by up to 15 percent in the past two years, according to government figures, as they face a growing range of diseases and wild flowers they feed on are wiped out by urban development.
Bee keeping in the middle of a city. What a funky idea!
Yet this an idea that is scientifically sound. Urban areas are better for bees than agricultural areas for several reasons. There are more pesticides in agricultural areas. In urban areas all the concrete keeps the environment warmer so flowers bloom longer.
There is an article in the Guardian Newspaper entitled “Hi, honey I’m home – the new hobby that’s creating a buzz in Britain’s towns and cities” Here is an excerpt: New plastic hive promises affordable beekeeping. The humble native honeybee has been dying out in recent years due to disease, but it may have found an unlikely ally in a creature which shares a reputation for busyness: the urban dweller. Apiarist courses in many places are over-subscribed and membership of beekeeping associations has shot up with the increased awareness of the plight of the productive pollinator. Those without gardens are increasingly using rooftops for their hives.
With promises of 50 jars of homemade honey a year they hope to tempt the busy townie who dreams of the good life. And with the support of Natural England, the agency responsible for safeguarding England’s natural environment, its green credentials seem intact. Certainly, there is a market.
“There has been a definite shift in the demographics of people coming into beekeeping,” said Tim Lovett, chairman of the British Beekeepers’ Association, which has seen membership increase by 3,000 to 14,500 in the last 18 months.
“Many of our new members are in urban settings, the worried wealthy, so to speak. They are environmentally aware people, who would like to do a lot more than they are able because of their busy lives.
“They are the concerned working families, the professionals under pressure from their kids who are getting the story at school. And now they are getting the message. Beekeeping is not incompatible with busy family and working life.”
But with urban beekeeping comes responsibility. There are fears would-be beekeepers, seduced by the apparent simplicity of the new hive, could order on a whim with no thought for the practicalities. This could lead to the spread of diseases, the death of their bees or huge swarms in their neighbours’ gardens.
“These are legitimate concerns,” said Dr Tom Tew, chief scientist for Natural England, “and the first thing we would stress is that anyone thinking of keeping bees should speak to their local beekeeper association.
“But,” he said of the Beehaus, “we support anything that helps promote the honeybee.”
The Beehaus has been developed by Johannes Pauls and his company, Omlet, previously created a plastic chicken coop, called Eglu, that sparked a wave of urban chicken keeping in England. Omlet supplies everything including a full bee suit for about $800. Bees cost between $100 and $200. They will provide training parties as well.
So where is the sweet funky business opportunity?
Merri and I have been doing all we can here at our farm to encourage bees.
We continually buy the local honey and give it away as gifts to encourage local bee keepers. Here are two and a half quarts we bought at the farmers market before we left for the winter.
We also grow sunflowers.
A lot of them because…
they attract bees. Often two bees will be on each blossom, like these busy guys I photoed.
Not to mention the bouquets I get to put on Merri’s desk.
Here is the sweet funky business potential.
Beehaus is just in the UK. You may want to export Beehauses from there.
Or create and sell something like it your own… in your urban area. The need is global.
Just the honey sales make sense.
I bought the three jars of local honey above and paid $12 a quart. (But this was at the Farmers’ Market in Ashe County, where prices are very low.) If one hive produced 50 quarts, at $12 a quart this would generate $600 income a year on an investment of maybe $1.000 plus an hour’s work a week. 60% is a pretty good cash flow to work with.
There are a multitude of fringe opportunities that can be built around this sweet, funky, simple idea… that creates profit and is good for the environment.
How can we start a sweet, funky global business? Certainly our emailed course on how to have a global internet business can help.
Yet there is more. Bees may be your thing or not.
Do what you love.
Merri and I love nature and honey… so this idea might make sense… for us.
Though a funky bee keeping business will not be for everyone… we can let bees tell us how to find our business.
Our son, Jake, introduced this idea it to me… and by happenstance, I had felt compelled to take these shots of Foxglove and bees in our front yard.
These flowers have this intelligence to become an object of such beauty that bees fall in love.
Here is one dancing in her sweet nectar… the flower and the bee in a romance …apart but as one in a dance of life. Not knowing that in their worship they are also pollinating the world. They do not do this because they think this is what to do. They are led by the divine intellect of the heart… filling their being with joy.
You can let that same infinite wisdom in your heart lead you to turn your passion into a profit.
Sound pretty funky?
Learn How to Write to Say or to Sell
Seven Secrets of Self PublishingHere are seven secrets that can help you earn as a writer and self publisher.
Join me as a wirter and self publisher.
These secrets are important because growing numbers of unknown writers have become famous writers and rich by self publishing over the internet.
Take for example Amanda Hocking. After self publishing her first book at Amazon.com in the spring of 2010 she became one of the the best-selling e-authors. In the next year her book sales grossed approximately $2 million.
In 2011, St. Martin’s press paid Hocking more than $2 million for the world English rights of a four book series. In 2013 she sold another series to St. Martin’s Press.
E.L. James is another such story. She sold 250,000 copies of “50 Shades” via Createspace and Amazon.com before publishers noticed her and published the erotic romance trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed which sold over 70 million copies worldwide, setting the record as the fastest selling paperback of all time.
Hugh Howey is a third example. He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks. Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on Amazon. This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.
These are great inspirations.
I know Hugh. This type of success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person. He deserves every accolade he receives and he does not take a bit of this success for granted. Hugh is pouring enormous energy into be worthy of his readership. We’ll share some of Hugh’s secrets in a moment.
Neither you or I are likely to have this type of success. That’s not bad. The good news is… we do not need this type of success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle. Self Publishing offers so many opportunities that one can have a life that most people only dream of as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.
May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.
What most success stories like those of Hugh Howey or E.L James or Amanda Hocking rarely share is the many hours of writing they devoted before their self published book sales soared. They were journeymen first… stars second.
The sevens secrets are the journeyman secrets… call them a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income and fulfillment.
Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.
Merri and I are not writing stars. We are journeymen who have for 40 years, year in a year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.
Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars. Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.
In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably for you too. First some history.
Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts” about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in. This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.
My story allowed me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following my adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.
Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world, have homes in Hong Kong, England, a farm in North Carolina, orange groves and home in Florida… hotel and condos in Ecuador and work that we love and feel has meaning and purpose.
Self Publishing has become a new business art form and the seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.
Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing. Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology. Everything seems new… except the seven secrets. Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many. We love it due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps. The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.
The First P is Passion.
Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing. This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted in life. Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all, you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets on writing to sell.
You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget. Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.
So the question is… What do you love to do?
What’s Your Passion: An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain? He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms. For example: “What Is Whip Lash?”
The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read. These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.
There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business. It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.
Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.
I’m passionate about investing, so I write and self publish ideas about investing. Merri and I love Ecuador… so we wrote about Ecuador.
What do you love? If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf. Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art? Write and sell publications in these fields.
Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues? You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.
Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place? Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.
Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.
This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers. To be immersed in our passion and get paid well for it. That usually enough.
The seven Ps are:
#4: Profitably Priced Product
#5: Prospecting Pathway
In 1974, I had a business that never got ahead. I was almost penniless, in debt and living from hand to mouth. Then I discovered these seven secrets. They helped me write and sell book after book and report after report. Since then, our self publishing business has brought in millions.
How to build a solid business.
The key to building a successful self publishing business is to use the Golden Rule of Simplicity and the 7Ps to create your publication. The premise behind the Golden Rule is that if you have a passion… you have a problem. Your problem is a desire to fill.
The Golden rule of writing uses a writer’s desire as a compass to direct the creation and sale of the publication.
Here is the Golden Rule of Simplicity: Your Desires Are in Others. Your Desires ID Markets. Your Habits Reveals Pathways. Your Emotions Create Stories. Your Demands Create Publications.
This creative pathway works whether your publication is written by hand and sold on the street corner or published for Kindle at Amazon.com. These simple but basic fundamentals guide the creation of your works whether you use the most sophisticated equipment and algorithms or are totally low tech.
The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend seminar. We offered the course for $1,500 and were surprised when 80 delegates enrolled. People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.
Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience. We created a course based on our current self publishing activity.
That was more than 20 years ago and thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades. You can see a few current success stories at the links at the bottom of this note.
This course is not theoretical. It describes step-by-step how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now. We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong six figure annual income.
Another thing that is unique is that Merri and I do this entire business by ourselves with the help of David Cross, our son-in-law and webmaster. You will not have to build an organization to self publish. Though we have over 35,000 readers who have subscribed to our ezine and though we have have made millions we still work from home. You’ll be able to do the same—if you wish—because the course includes everything we did and do—explained in vivid detail.
To this end, I have created a special offer. When you enroll in a Writer’s Camp, I’ll immediately send you an online course “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher,” which is normally $299. I’ll also send our online course on how to use the internet and a website in your business and three additional bonuses.
Bonus #1: Get the 50 minute Video Workshop worth $99 “How to Start Your Own Internet Business” presented by our webmaster David Cross,
Bonus #2: Get FREE, the $299 online course “The Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have an Internet Business”. To read more about this course click here.
Bonus #3: Our Super Thinking Workshop in an MP3 file so you can listen on your computer, burn a disk or listen on you Ipod or in your car. This recorded course sells for $199.
Bonus #4: A special report only available to those who enroll in “Self Fulfilled” entitled “Three Secrets for Creating Publishing Ideas”.
Bonus #5: Self Fulfilled 202 and 203. Self Publishing is changing so fast that the course continues to evolve. We added Self Fulfilled 202 in 2012 and 2o13. Now we are adding Self Fulfilled 303 in 2-14. You’ll get all new lessons we add for a year.
In all, you get $896 of bonuses FREE.
Whether you are an engineer, doctor, housewife, business owner, or retiree… self-publishing offers a way to turn your passion into profit.
Don’t miss this special opportunity. Order Self Fulfilled How to be a Self Publisher today.
Self Publisher and Author
Read the entire CNN article Most honey sold in U.S. grocery stores not worthy of its name