Friday, June 21, 2013

Friends of the Flowers

Most people think of yellow jackets and hornets when they see bees, but before you run in fear or take out the insecticide, take a moment to learn about the many more pollinators out there that are essential to food production AND rarely sting! (Don't worry -- pictures not to scale!)

According to Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, "Native bugs met North America's pollination needs long before Europeans imported honeybees. To entice them, start by planting native species: After all, local flora attract local fauna. In honor of National Pollinator Week, check out some pollinator favorites below!

1. Common Eastern bumblebee // Bombus impatiens
Traits: Large, fuzzy, with yellow or orange and black bands. Females' legs have pollen baskets. Noisy.
Favorite flowers: Clover, rosemary, sunflower, willow.
Fun fact: They rest on leaves' undersides.

2. Native bee // 4,000+ species
Traits: Vary by species.
Favorite flowers: Not picky; they love anise hyssop, blazing star and fruit crops.
Fun fact: They don't live in large hives, are solitary and often burrow underground.

3. Pollen wasp // Pseudomasaris genus
Traits: Clubbed antennae.
Favorite flowers: Western wildflowers such as beard-tongue and scorpionweed.
Fun fact: They're vegetarians! Unlike other wasps, they feed their young pollen instead of critters like spiders and insects.

4. European honeybee // Apis mellifera
Traits: Fuzzy, about a half-inch long, smaller than the bumblebee.
Favorite flowers: Sage, verbascum, lemon balm.
Fun fact: After they use their stingers, they die. Need a hand with pollination from native bees, due to their declining population.

5. Hoverfly // Syriphidae family
Traits: Resemble yellow jackets. Can hover and dart forward and backward quickly.
Favorite flowers: Yarrow, coyote brush, buckwheat, feverfew, wild mustard.
Fun fact: Their larvae often prey on aphids and other pests.

6. Bee fly // Bombylidae family
Traits: Fuzzy like bumblebees, but with two wings (rather than four) and large, faceted fly eyes.
Favorite flowers: Desert and alpine flora, such as scrub mint and penstemon.
Fun fact: Females lay eggs in other bees' nests.

7. Drone fly // Erisalis tenax 
Traits: Like stingerless honeybees, these hoverflies have only one pair of wings and an hourglass pattern.
Favorite flowers: Alyssum, cosmos, Queen Anne's lace, statice, lupine.
Fun fact: They mimic bees by shuttling between flowers.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Get a Buzz-Worthy Garden!

The June 2013 issue of Prevention magazine includes some great tips on gardening for healthy bees that we had to share as part of National Pollinator Week!

Choose the right colors and blooms.
Yellow, violet, orange and blue flowers are especially attractive to bees. Plant borage, a honeybee favorite with ultraviolet flowers that bloom for months at a time, or other long-lasting bloomers such as coneflower, coreopsis, Russian sage, bee balm and black-eyed Susan. Bees also love cosmos, lavender, calendula, sunflowers and asters.

Keep shape in mind.
Be sure your garden's mix includes more than the trumpet-shaped blooms that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Bees have short tongues, so they can't get as much food from trumpet shapes.

Get more out of your grass.
Consider letting the white clover and dandelions grow in your lawn by going herbicide-free. These give honeybees seasonal food sources for a balanced diet when other blooms are scarce.

Give them a place to drink.
Decorate your backyard with a birdbath or dish to serve as a rehydration station. Stack some large pebbles until they reach just above the waterline to prevent honeybees from drowning when they drink up before returning to the hive. Change the water regularly to avoid attracting mosquitoes.

Avoid pesticides.
Pesticides -- even formulas labeled "bee friendly" -- can be toxic to honeybees. Steer clear of using any chemicals in your garden. An insecticidal soap such as Safer brand shouldn't hurt honeybees, as long as you don't spray them directly. But remember to use it only in the early evening when bees aren't visiting flowers.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy National Pollinator Week!

Six years ago, the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown to be an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. The growing concern for pollinators is a sign of progress, but it is vital that we continue to maximize our collective effort. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture signs the proclamation every year.

Pollinator Partnership is proud to announce that the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Department of Agriculture have designated June 17-23, 2013 National Pollinator Week.

Pollinating animals, including bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and others, are vital to our delicate ecosystem, supporting terrestrial wildlife, providing healthy watershed and more. Therefore, Pollinator Week is a week to get the importance of pollinators’ message out to as many people as possible. It's not too early to start thinking about an event at your school, garden, church, store, etc. Check out some events near you on the Pollinator Partnership website. We'll be posting tips all week on how you can get involved to help.

Pollinators positively affect all our lives -- let's SAVE them and CELEBRATE them!

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Father's Love

Here's a message from Jason, CEO of BeeAlive and father of three adorable 3-year-olds, Evelyn, Jax and Julia in honor of Father's Day this weekend. Enjoy your time with all the special men in your life!

Jason: As the father of triplets and President and CEO of BeeAlive, people frequently ask me, “How do you do it?” In all honesty, I would have to say that the two jobs work hand in hand. My wife Rose and I extend the same values of love and care we give our children every day to the company and our loyal customers.

In fact, for the triplets’ third birthday, I decided to build them a tree house in our backyard. Some called me crazy for adding to my already-lengthy list of responsibilities, but I decided to put my skills and energy to the test. By day, I was CEO of BeeAlive; by night, I became a master builder. And, thanks to my daily dose of Royal Jelly, I had the energy to do it all.

While completing the tree house, I realized that I was undertaking this large project with the same goals and values in mind that we practice at BeeAlive.

For instance, I had a VISION: a vision of my children playing in the tree house, having fun and creating memories for years to come – similar to the vision I have for the future of BeeAlive: a vision to help individuals pursue a healthy lifestyle through wise choices and great products.

These visions are what guide my daily actions. With the triplets in mind, I made sure to construct a SAFE, secure and durable tree house. At BeeAlive, we always have our customers in mind. Providing high-QUALITY products that are pure and effective remains our top priority.

Achieving these goals requires hard work and DETERMINATION. With the tree house, I reminded myself not to get discouraged by my lack of knowledge or experience, but to live in the moment, appreciating what I was learning in the present, and envisioning how excited the triplets would be when the tree house was finished and how much fun they would have in the future. Similarly at BeeAlive, we continually strive to improve every aspect of the company, our products and our services to exceed customer satisfaction.

Doing so requires DILIGENCE and PERSEVERANCE. I constructed the tree house during the evening and night hours after working a long day; my floodlights and hammering probably didn't make the neighbors happy, but I knew what I needed to do in order to complete the house/ my determination to complete the house allowed me to persevere. Part of the reason BeeAlive has endured almost 30 years is our ability to persevere through challenges by identifying them, developing and implementing solutions and planning for the future.

And finally, I CELEBRATED ACCOMPLISHMENT! After I finished the tree house, I couldn't wait to show it to Jax, Julia and Evelyn – the enthusiasm on their faces was irreplaceable and will remain with me forever. I loved coming into the office to show off the photos of my step-by-step journey and proving to everyone that I was not crazy; I was motivated and successful. Likewise, at BeeAlive, we acknowledge small and large achievements every day, and we owe them all to our loyal customers. So, today, and every day, we celebrate YOU! Thank you for being a part of the BeeAlive family. Like the tree house, we plan to continue making memories for years to come. And with the help of our high-quality fresh, never freeze-dried Royal Jelly, we will have the energy, stamina and vitality to do so!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! Looking for a gift for a special man in your life? Give him the gift of heart health!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Five Lifestyle Tips for Keeping Dad’s Heart Healthy This Father's Day

Men, dads included, don't always have the best reputation when it comes to good health habits. This Father's Day, help the special man in your life pick up new healthy habits so he'll be around for many Father's Days to come!

Five Lifestyle Tips for Keeping Dad’s Heart Healthy
  1. Exercise, exercise, exercise. According to studies, fitness is the key to longevity in men. An ideal exercise program for keeping Dad’s ticker strong and healthy involves cardio exercise daily along with strength training a minimum of twice per week.
  2. Eat a nutritious, whole foods diet. A diet filled with whole foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish, nuts and legumes (and low in processed foods) is the best diet for a strong and healthy heart. Add a glass or two of red wine with dinner (if Dad’s physician approves) for extra heart-healthy antioxidants.
  3. Reduce stress healthily. Stress is never good and has been linked to plaque buildup and heart disease in men. Encourage Dad to take some personal time every day to release stress naturally through activities he loves, such as painting, enjoying nature or playing golf.
  4. Achieve a healthy weight. Being overweight contributes to the progression of heart disease. Encourage the man in your life to get his weight under control through a nutritious, calorie-controlled diet and daily exercise.
  5. Supplement with BeeAlive’s exclusive B-12 PLUS Formula. This Father’s Day, give Dad a gift from the heart for the heart. When added to a healthy diet and lifestyle, BeeAlive’s high-potency B-12, B-6 and folic acid supplement can help maintain a healthy nervous system and help fight the effects of stress, while supporting cardiovascular health.*
Key Benefits of BeeAlive B-12 PLUS
  • High Potency Formula B-12 / B-6 / Folic Acid & Royal Jelly
  • Counteracts the damaging effects of stress
  • Supports energy production
  • Supports healthy nervous & immune systems that can be weakened by lack of B Vitamins
  • Lowers homocysteine levels in the blood to support vascular and heart health*
Scientific research has shown that high homocysteine levels (amino acid found in the blood) may be associated with cardiovascular health problems. B-12 PLUS from BeeAlive® can help lower those levels.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Recipes with Rose: Honey & Cinnamon Glazed Chia Seed Donuts

Today, Friday, June 7 is National Donut Day, an event that started in 1938 as a Salvation Army fundraiser to honor the women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I (when donut was still spelled "doughnut"). In recent years, the event has become an occasion for donut chain giveaways and new food rollouts.

We're all health-conscious, but that doesn't mean "do-nut" partake in today's festivities (see what I did there??). There are tons of healthy donut recipes out there you can make that are baked instead of fried and made with natural ingredients -- so good and good for you you won't feel guilty going back for a second! Follow Rose's yummy AND healthy recipe below or find other exciting ones on Pinterest!

Honey & Cinnamon Glazed Chia Seed Donuts
Bake time 17-20 minutes. Yields 6-8 donuts.  


Honey & Cinnamon Glazed Chia Seed Donuts
1 c. whole wheat flour (or, if you're like Rose, a gluten-free alternative like almond flour)
1 egg
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. sugar or Stevia
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
3 tbsp. water
1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp. BeeAlive Pure & Natural Honey

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To liquify honey, place jar in a bowl or pan of hot tap water for 5 to 10 minutes. This makes the honey (sometimes firm due to minimal filtration) workable without destroying its nutritional value.
  3. In a small bowl, mix chia seeds and water together, stirring them to form a gel. Set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients (including chia mixture), except for the honey & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.
  5. Stir well with a wooden spoon (mixture can get get very thick due to the chia seeds and take on a dough-like consistency -- not a problem if it doesn't!).
  6. With a metal tablespoon, scoop up a decent portion of the dough, then spread it around one of the donut slots of the baking tray. Use enough dough to evenly line the donut slot.
  7. Repeat until all slots on the tray are full.
  8. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until donuts are firm (test with a toothpick -- should pull out clean and not sticky to the touch).
  9. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool until you can touch the donuts to remove them from baking slots.
  10. In a small bowl, add honey and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Stir together to combine into a honey glaze.
  11. Take a donut, and dip or drizzle top with honey glaze. Set donut on a plate.
  12. Repeat until all donuts are glazed.
  13. Serve and enjoy!

Read Labels: The Buzz on Organic Products

Over the past few years, there has been a surge in the production and consumption of organic products. Not only are organic food products available more often in supermarkets across the country, organic skin and hair care products have been on the rise, as well.

Many common chemical-based products that most of us have bought throughout our lives have taken a back seat to, or at least been hindered by, the rise in the availability of organic products. The seemingly recent discovery of the harmful ingredients in many cosmetics, such as skin and hair care products, has sparked a new wave of organic alternatives.

Many people ask us: are your products certified organic?
All BeeAlive products are 100 percent natural and free of any synthetic ingredients, including parabens, artificial colors, fragrances, preservatives, genetically modified organisms and nanoparticles. However, at this time, we are certification-free.


We cannot track flight patterns of bees.

Some bees travel 55,000 miles to make just one pound of honey. Farms that call themselves "organic" in their practices, therefore, do not know how far their bees have traveled. Some bees may have foraged thousands of miles away in areas that use harmful pesticides. The true organic content of bee products, therefore, is very difficult to determine. Because all BeeAlive products contain bee products, we have not certified any organic at this time due to unknown bee migration.

Are certified-organic products really organic?

Every day, it seems, new organizations are emerging that offer organic certification logos for product packaging -- at a cost. Each logo differs in the percentage of organic content, or, more importantly, the amount of synthetic ingredients they allow for products to receive certification. As more and more companies wish to market their products as "natural," logos appear more frequently and, as a result, greater emphasis is being placed on organic certification.

The trouble with the multitudes of seals is that they lull consumers into a false sense of safety, making them feel as if they don't have to read labels.

These certifications were crafted by large corporations that predicted buying decisions of conscientious consumers, easily influenced by packaging seals.

"Hey, this product's got a natural/organic seal -- it must be safe!"

Not so fast. That's like saying baby carrots that have been sprayed with chlorine are safe just because they've been certified organic. Think that doesn't happen? It does. The USDA permits a certain amount of chemicals in products that are certified organic. Even in your drinking water.

As consumers, it is our right and responsibility to read, question and make informed choices about the products we put in and on our bodies. We implore you...


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Introducing New Product GINST 15:
Stress Management as Nature Intended

"When we discover great products, we want to make them available to our customers. We’re confident that GINST 15 is a great complement to BeeAlive’s product lines... Ilhwa is a great addition to the BeeAlive Family."
– Jason Balletta, President
Today, we are proud to announce the addition of a new product to our current line, GINST 15. Read Rose and Jason Balletta's testimonial below and check out our website to learn why BeeAlive has decided to partner with Ilhwa Co. to offer 21st century Korean ginseng.
Rose: As the mother of toddler triplets, with a busy work schedule and a very large family, it’s easy for things to get out of balance quickly. That’s why I was so relieved last Christmas Eve when my parents came to help us cook and prepare for the 35 family members we were expecting for dinner later that day. Even with their help and support, I was still expecting the typical Christmas chaos. And, just when I thought things couldn’t get any crazier, my parents were called away unexpectedly and I was left to prepare everything by myself. I then noticed the GINST 15 capsules I had been given earlier in the week to try. I thought, "Why not?" and popped one in my mouth. Within 20 minutes, I was moving steadily from one task to the next and felt relaxed. Throughout the day, I remained calm and collected, as I cooked, cleaned and decorated. My husband Jason even joked, "Where did my wife go?" By the time our guests arrived, all the food was ready, the house was tidy, and the table was set – it was party time!

Jason: I couldn’t believe Rose remained stress-free through the day. It wasn’t until she mentioned taking the GINST 15 product that we put two and two together. I decided, "I want to try it, too!" Since then, we’ve faithfully taken our GINST 15 capsules every single day.

Rose: One capsule in the morning makes all the difference in my mental composure for the day; I’m able to find peace and keep my mind focused on the tasks at hand rather than unnecessary worry.

Jason: When you take GINST 15, you become active and energized – able to juggle multiple tasks – while remaining calm and focused. Who doesn’t want mental energy without stress? After weeks of taking the product myself, I decided we needed to share it with others. Today, I am proud to announce that BeeAlive will be partnering with Ilhwa to offer their wonderful Korean ginseng product, GINST 15, to our customers. We believe in GINST 15 100 percent. It possesses superior quality while offering enormous benefits just like all BeeAlive products. And not only does Ilhwa have a great product that works; they’re great people, too. Ilhwa is an excellent fit for BeeAlive in every way. We want to give you, our loyal customer, an opportunity to try our newest addition at a special price today, so you can experience for yourself the amazing stress-managing benefits GINST 15 can bring to your life to help you BeeAlive.

The Balletta Family: Jason, Rose, Evelyn, Julia & Jax