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?
Belong to the International ClubInternational Club members can attend all the seminars and courses that Merri and I conduct free, plus much more.
Join Merri and me all year long and share ideas for better natural health… greater wealth…. as you serve the community and enjoy personal fulfillment. Learn how to enhance positive purpose…. enthusiasm… fulfillment… as you gain extra income, profits and fun.
I invite you to join the International Club for 2014 and winter of 2105.
Join us this summer in the Cool Blue Ridge in summer… plus Montreal and Mount Dora next winter.
West Jefferson Farmers market.
As a club member you save on seminars, courses, online courses plus Spanish lessons and Ecuador tours.
Join Merri and me for all the courses and seminars that we’ll conduct in 2014 and 2015 FREE. Gain positive solutions to your economic, financial and lifestyle concerns..
Here are the courses you can attend at no cost. (New seminars added are in bold).
August 30-31-September 1 Super Thinking Writer’s Camp, West Jefferson, North Carolina. (Normally $999. Free for club members)
October 10-11-12 International Investing & Business Seminar, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Normally $999. Free for club members)
November 14-15-16 Super Thinking Writer’s Camp, Mt. Dora, Fl. (Normally $999. Free for club members)
January 16-17-18 Super Thinking + Spanish, Mt. Dora, Fl. (Normally $899. Free for club members)
February 13-14-15 2015 Super Thinking Writer’s Camp, Mt. Dora, Fl. (Normally $999. Free for club members)
Save $3,096 plus much more. Even if you attend only two seminars you save.
Members can attend the Super Thinking + Spanish course that Merri and I teach free.
We conduct most of our courses and seminars in the peace and quiet of Smalltown USA.
West Jefferson July Festival. Summer courses are held in West Jefferson North Carolina
February Mount Dora Arts Festival. Lake County (Mount Dora and Eustis Florida) is the site of our 2014-15 winter courses.
There are many benefits of membership.
Most members join us for at least three courses… one investing and business, one writers camp and one Spanish course. That alone creates a $1,198 savings. Some members attend every course plus more.
You (and a guest of your choice) can attend all of the seminars shown above in the year ahead FREE.
Join us for the leaf change and an international investing seminar in Montreal.
As a club member you also receive seven online reports, courses and workshops FREE.
The first of these seven online courses is “Tangled Web – How to Have an Internet Business,” normally sold at $299.
The second is our online course “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher”, which has a $299 value. I am sending you this extra course free as I think it will help you have greater success. This is an extra $299 savings.
The third is our online course “International Business Made EZ” sold at $299.
You also receive fourth the 50 minute video by our webmaster David Cross on “How to Get Your Web Business Started”.
Your fifth course is the 50+ lesson course “How to Create your Own Website Using Sitesell” by Michelle Toole. (We are proud that this course was written by a student of our courses showing how well the 43 years of knowledge that Merri and I have accumulated and put into these programs can help you start your own global micro business.)
Sixth, you become a beta member in our newest online course “Event – Full Business – How to have a Seminar and Tour Business” currently offered at $175.
When you enroll, we’ll send you a password that makes the online courses easy to access at the Club website. You can reserve as many seminars as you desire.
Five Positive Steps
Join Merri and me as we look at positive ways to prosper during 2014 and 2014. Here are five ways to gain from the forces of change.
#1: Having your own micro business for extra earnings, freedom, fulfillment and fun.
#2: Living and prospering in lower cost countries or small towns.
#3: Multi currency investing through US brokers and bankers abroad.
#4: Commodities that rise with inflation.
#5: Good value real estate…. especially multi dimensional and agricultural property.
We have specialized for over four decades in helping our readers excel in these five inflation beating opportunities.
The big benefits of belonging to the International Club are the power of repetition, updates and international friendships. As a club member, you become friends with other members as you meet again and again.
Your first saving is on waived seminar fees for the seminars over the next year.
As you will see above and below you can attend Florida & North Carolina seminars. If you attend just two of these seminars, the $1,799 membership fee will have already created a savings for you.
Yet there is more. Much more.
International Club members meeting in West Jefferson for a reception after the North Carolina seminar.
Make the Years Ahead Your Best Years Ever
The International Club brings together experienced, like minded souls, who take a positive view and think outside the box… in constructive, thoughtful, doable ways.
Being in the club surrounds you with successful… positive… like minded souls. This benefit alone is truly powerful stuff!
The courses you can attend free integrate Super Thinking with business and investing ideas and experience that enhance your health and wealth.
Focus on Ecuador & Smalltown USA & Canada
Learn how to create a BIG INCOME by thinking SMALL. At the seminars you meet speakers who are attorneys and real estate experts for both Ecuador and small town USA. You’ll rub shoulders with experts on global investing and pensions who can help you increase and protect your savings and pensions also how to increase the income you earn in positive ways you enjoy as you help your community.
Absorb through Osmosis
Merri and I are in our 45th year of organizing courses, seminars and newsletters about international and Super Thinking lifestyles. The importance of this sharing… by like minded souls… was reinforced when a delegate from a course sent an email that said:
My Dearest Merri and Gary, Thank you for your most gracious hospitality last weekend. I am just thrilled at being a part of your group. You and Gary were exactly as I imagined you to be, warm friendly, kind, considerate, genuine, helpful, fun, sincere, what else can I say……I felt so comfortable in your presence and learned so much in your course. I was sad to leave the farm that Sunday afternoon. You made us all feel so welcome and cared about. You were so kind to make arrangements for a ride with the other delegates from the Charlotte Airport. They were so nice to me and so helpful, by the time the weekend was over I felt like they were my long lost brothers. Monday morning we all had breakfast at the airport together and I was so sad to see them go, I was sad the weekend was over, perhaps sad is not the right word for how I was feeling perhaps Gratitude is a better way to describe it. Grateful for having the opportunity to share the weekend with such wonderful, like minded Human Beings, in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Thank you Merri and Gary. Thanks to you I now have new hope and a new direction to move forward in my life. I know by attending your classes and conferences that through education and due diligence I will make the right choices.
This delegate’s comments about “belonging and feeling like a brother” to the other delegates is a wonderful refrain we have heard from our readers, year after year.
24 years ago Merri and I created a way that readers can join us to be immersed in a year-long learning program through our International Club.
The ideas behind this program began all those years ago in Vienna, Austria while we were conducting a course there. One of our older delegates, had some sort of attack. The first fear was heart trouble. Several delegates took him to the hospital. Others stayed with him there. I don’t think that delegate was alone for a minute!
What impressed Merri and me was that no one asked the delegates to help this man.
The friendships of delegates sharing many courses had just grown so strong that it was a natural reaction, just as if a family member was ill. Fortunately, it was only travel fatigue and the delegate didn’t miss a session of the course!
When you join our International Club you become part of a special family. The very first member to join the club all those years ago wrote, Thank you for the enjoyable and informative courses. I am pleased to be part of your international family and look forward to continuing my education at the next course.
His feeling struck a familiar chord. It has always been one of my greatest satisfactions to see how much fun delegates have getting together, sharing information and making friendships as we learn how to improve our health and increase our wealth.
The courses draw like-minded souls. For this reason some delegates come back again and again. They come to learn, but also to be with their many friends made at the courses. When like-minded souls get together again and again to discuss a common purpose, magic happens! I can’t explain it in any other way-but it is true.
In a way our meetings are almost like family reunions. Perhaps it is getting together and reflecting on what has been said and what has been happening.
Learning with those who are also interested in the world creates thoughts that multiply the value of what we gain. This is hard to describe but results are most powerful and wonderful! This is to me is as important as the great financial benefit of attending many of our courses.
Another savings: Lifestyle for Two.
We want couples! As a member of the program, you are entitled to bring another person to every single course or tour. The cost for that extra person will be ZERO! You can bring whomever you wish. Bring your spouse, a friend, son or daughter, partner, accountant, adviser. You can bring the same person each time or a different person, whomever you choose to accompany you. (Accommodations and air fares relating to the courses are not included for members, delegates or their guests.)
The International Club fee of $1,799 is less than the price of two seminars.
I invite you to be a member of the International Club which allows you and your guest of your choice to attend all of these courses and tours.
Let’s prosper in these times of change. Won’t you join us in this exciting club and share Merri’s and my lifestyle for the next year? Join us at our farms and visit Ecuador. We look forward to seeing you at as many courses as possible and sharing this wonderful world of abundance and well being with you!
You and a guest can attend all of our seminars, courses online courses plus $1,246 of online value. Club membership is $1,799. If you attend only two courses or seminars the $1,799 is less than the price of two seminars… plus you receive all of the online courses and updates.
Bluegrass music performed FREE on summer nights in West Jefferson.
Save even if you attend only two seminars you save.
Yes, I want to become an International Club Member.
Mount Dora Florida.
Read the entire CNN article Most honey sold in U.S. grocery stores not worthy of its name