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Bee Here Now

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Laine stands by in an improvised bee suit, watching Carlos smoke the bees. This calms them down and gets them out of the hive they have built between our rafters.

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Carlos Tzib of San Antonio village smoking out the bees. We were much happier to have him collect them than have to kill them by using pesticide. Bees are one of the most precious natural resources in the world, and are endangered by pesticide use and cell phone frequencies. Every bee counts.

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Wax comb from the three week old hive.

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Carlos coaxed the queen onto his bee hat, and the rest of the bees gathered around her. The queen is somewhat bigger than the workers, and can also be identified by her shiny thorax, whereas the worker bees have a fuzzy thorax.

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The bees were all about their comb, and gathered onto it. Carlos just shook them off into a clean bucket.

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Bees and comb in bucket, ready to go to a new home and hive. According to the article, “The Queen Honeybee” in the May-June issue of The Belize Ag Report, all Central-American bees are “Africanized”. Even though these are purportedly more aggressive, no one was stung during the time they made their home at the ashram.

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The comb didn’t have much honey as it was so newly established, but it was full of bee larva growing in tiny tightly curled crescent moons within the cells of the comb. Carlos said his kids eat them. This kind of blew my mind. I ate a fat, well developed one to see what it was like. It didn’t taste like honey, but perhaps it bestows some magical nutrients of some kind…

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The latest buzz from The Chaya Garden Ashram is all about the bugs.   Rainy season, dry season, cold fronts, hurricanes, it’s still pretty new to us after three years in Belize.  Actually, the weather in Belize has been acting pretty unpredictably for the past three years, so they say.  It all started when we came in with a wicked cold front (presumably from Canada.)

(One thing we do know though is the bug weather, and we’re just finishing up on wasp and bee weather, and getting into rainfly weather.)

The rains have just started, and so the grass is greener in Belize (pun intended).   That brings to end the time of pollination for the bees.

The Bees moved into the ashram two or three weeks ago, and have bee’n hard at work making some nice wax, and lots of little baby bees.  We called up one of the local bee keepers (Carlos Tzib) and he came and collected the bees at no expense.

Bees need a water source, so the Chaya Garden Ashram is perfect for these little honey makers.   Right down by the waterfall there were always dozens of bees peacefully drinking up the water as it cascades down the rocks.

Carlos offered us to keep bees on our property, and we’re inclined to to say yes!

To learn more about bees, check out Issue 21 of Belize Ag Report.

Zen Tea

I remember sitting around the breakfast table about 5 years ago with Laine and her family, and Laine asked us to imagine that whatever we could have that we really wanted, what would it be!?   And at the time, I could think of nothing better than to have a Zen tea house, where extraordinary (or just ordinary!) visitors could come for an authentic experience of the Zen lifestyle.   Alan Watts explains the ritual of Tea in his book The Way Of Zen.

The ideal tea house would be located next to a stream where the visitors could wash their feet and hands.  The tea house would have an organic shape, and it would be closer to nature than any regular nearby dwellings.  The art of the tea house should be discrete and not detract from the beauty of the surrounding nature.  Here, the visitors could take there time and enjoy their tea, while they dissolve into the boundless flow of bliss and eternity.

Ritual and ceremony is not required, the daily chores of the Tea House and the preparing of tea become the ritual and ceremony.   I pictured myself sharing the enjoyment of those who seek a similar delight, though they would be those who travel and I would be one who had found and seeks no more.

In the five years since I have seen many of the things I have envisioned for Laine and myself.  It has been an incredible journey that I have looked at many things we’ve done and places we’ve been and say “I envisioned this!”

The Chaya Garden Ashram is just like that, I only have yet to meet the faces of the visitors that I have seen in my day dreams.

Please come by for a visit and have some tea, some kombucha, and talk about or partake in in health and healing, well being, and mindfulness.

 

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Chaya @ The Market

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Our kitchen is overflowing with goodies so we’re prepared to bring our best offerings to market.  This is our second trip to the market as entrepreneurs, last time, the bread sold before we even set up and this time, the bread looks even better!  We also did remarkable on our kombucha sales, selling over ten bottles!   So we’re in a good position to best our efforts.  Hope you enjoy!

Our dear buddy

Travis

Has written a really great blog about his pilgrimage to 88 buddhist temples.  We think you will enjoy reading it.

An interesting thing about Travis is that he got a rare skin infection in the Belize jungle, and we we’re very concerned that he might have to amputate his foot.  We healed him as best we could, but he eventually found the treatment he needed in Thailand.  We’re very proud of Travis for setting such a monumental goal in front of him so soon after his recovery.

Hi Tech

Wasup ya’ll! Chaya Garden Ashram is now receiving a digital signal so we’re online, able to get to your emails quickly. Chayagardenashram@gmail.com

It’s amazing to be in Belize, chillin’ in the jungle, and on the internet!  It’s been a long time coming!