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The Sweetest Gift of Nature – Beautiful Sunday

The Sweetest Gift of Nature – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

We have been yearning to go out on a nature trip for quite some time  now. Finally we had a chance, but the question is where do we go? A place we have never been and at the same time a good learning experience for the kids. First thing that came to my mind was something sweet and I realized that we always wanted to visit a honey bee farm. Off we went on a two hour travel to visit a place hidden away along the highway. Come join me today as I take you to a quiet place where the busy bees work all day.

The Sweetest Gift of Nature

Since this is the first time we are visiting this place, we used Waze which is a popular navigational app. With the up you will never get lost and we easily found the bee farm. From the highway we took a turn and followed a dirt road leading to the place.

After a few minutes there was a big open space and a big dome greeted us in this beautiful morning. The hexagonal shapes on the painted glass gave us a sign that we have reached our destination.

The name of the farm is “Ilog Maria” located in Silang Cavite in the Philippines. There is a short story behind the name of the farm. There was a time when there was no rain for 5 months and the crops of this farm were dying. The owner called his mother to tell her about the bad situation of the farm. The mother immediately requested to be brought to the farm so she could pray. When she reached the farm she prayed from morning till afternoon. The skies darkened and miraculously a thunderstorm came which lasted for almost an hour. With this miraculous act they named the farm Ilog Maria to honor the Virgin Mary to whom she prayed to.

The air here was fresh and the sound of the gentle breeze could hum you to sleep. Immediately, I scouted the place and saw the beehives scattered all over the place. I see the bee hives, but couldn’t see the bees. Where are the bees? I was expecting that there would be thousands of bees flying around. Initially, I was a bit worried of being stung by them, but I could not see any of them.

I asked one of the employees where the bees are located. I was directed to the right side of the farm and was advised not to do anything to stress the bees. The bees in this colony are stingless, but they do bite when agitated. With much excitement I took out my gear and quietly entered the area.

A lot of beehives were made from natural materials like old wood and coconut shells.

I am not sure how these were bound together. Looks like some sort of mud binds all the materials together. Each of them had small entrances where you could see bees flying in and out.

The thing that surprised me the most is the size of the bees. I could not believe how tiny they were, almost like the size of a fly. In spite of their size, they are known to produce more honey and they are also resistant to diseases.

It is amazing how these tiny creatures create so many products which are very healthy and beneficial to us. Each one doing their part to benefit the colony.

With their tiny size it is very hard to focus and get a clear shot.

Also I did not hear any buzzing sound from these bees. They seem to be very docile and calm as they were not flying all over me. I do not know much about bees and I only see videos of people with protective gear when approaching a bee colony. I never realized there is a stingless bee species that existed.

Since there is not chance that we will get stung. Let’s have a closer look at these sweet creatures.

Back in school we were taught how they help pollinate flowers and fruit trees. Nectar is collected and then taken to the hive to feed the larvae. The nectar is stored in their stomach, regurgitated and transferred to honeycombs for storage.

Here you would notice the waxy surface of the hive from the outside. The same material which makes up the honeycomb that stores the honey.

 

 

The farm has so many plants and trees. One of the sources of the nectar that the bees collect is from the Narra tree, also the Philippine National tree. It has tiny yellow flowers and when they fall it is like  a yellow snow that fills the ground.

The place is perfect to just sit back and relax for a moment. Connect with nature and just enjoy the wonders of nature surrounding the place.

Everything is inspired by bees including this small structure. With the honey comb roof and hexagonal shape designs. I do not know if you could guess, but this is the comfort room separated in the middle for ladies and gents.

Take a stroll and explore the surroundings. Most of the plants and trees has descriptions on them including it’s vitamin contents.

Piles of firewood are stacked in one place which are probably used as fuel in making bee products.

Another attraction in the farm is a small museum which houses old equipment that they have used for the past years.

Inside a short story about the farm can be read, including how they started the business.

This shows the fruits that are native in the area and it’s connection to the bees. It also shows different types of bees, but we only saw the stingless ones.

Here are the types of bees:

Asiatic Honeybee

Giant Honeybee

Stingless bee

Black Dwarf Honeybee

The other bees might have been there, but probably not advisable as some could give a very painful sting.

Here are some old bee hives that they used back in the days to produce honey. Now on display they are used for educational purposes.

Pull each layer and you would get more information about the bees.

This one looks like a woven bee hive and almost looks like something to catch fish with.

These wooden boxes gets filled with honeycomb and easy to access once they are all filled up.

One of the popular products that they manufacture here is soap infused with bee products. I guess you are wondering what the soap looks like. Just to mention they have a shop here with amazing products.

An old extractor that they used for the honey.

A bottling machine for oil, lotions and shampoos. I could imagine that they manufacture a lot since they required this type of equipment.

A brick oven that I always wanted to have. Maybe they used to bake bread infused with honey as it looks like it hasn’t been used for some time now.

Bees can be seen almost everywhere including this painted glass. With the amber colored honeycomb I really love this piece.

Look up and you would see light shining thru the bee hive shaped roof. I think there is access to climb up there, but it is off limits to visitors. The roof could need a little bit of cleaning though to get more light.

We have seen the bees and a museum filled with old stuff that they used. Now let us visit their shop as earlier when we arrived cars were coming in and out of the place. Like buying something from a grocery store and going on their way once they got what they needed. I was wondering how come they did not go around the place. It is probably they are regulars who have already seen everything and just needed to buy honey or a soap.

Disconnect from wifi, re connect with nature is something we all need to do once in a while. It seems everyone is always connected all the time from waking up and before going to bed. A walk in the forest, a quiet time near a stream or just listening the the waves of the ocean. We all need to re connect with nature to heal our mind and soul.

The shop has no walls and the items they are selling are all well organized in shelves. A few people are shopping today and let’s see what we could buy.

This is an anti bacterial throat spray. The spray is  made from virgin honey, propolis, peppermint and spearmint oils. It is good for coughs, sore throat and can even prevent colds and flu. Propolis is a bee product made from it’s saliva and bees wax. Cost of the spray is 100 pesos or almost $2.00 USD.

Bee Pollen

These pellets are said to contain complete vitamins and minerals. It is used to give extra stamina and are used by athletes, farmers but for city dwellers small doses are recommended. Now this is very interesting and all natural. Now wonder those bees never run out of energy. One scoop is recommended before breakfast.

Cost of 33g is 100 pesos or almost $2.00 USD.

Honey Cider Vinegar

Detoxifies the body, a natural tonic, helps with digestion and constipation. One table spoon is recommended before breakfast.

Cost per bottle is 180 pesos or $3,45 USD.

Beeswax Candles

Candles made from beeswax are smokeless and once burned gives out a honey fragrance. That is something every home should have. Give your home a sweet smell of honey and take one home today.

Cost varies size from 100 – 200 pesos about $2.00 – $4.00 USD.

Here are a few of the designs of the candles.

 

 

 

 

Complete the Nativity Scene, but it would be a shame to use them as candles. It looks too good just to burn them and would be best just to use them as a decoration.

Fly Repellant

Made from citronella, rosemary, lemongrass and natural oils. It will repel flies, mosquitoes and cockroaches. Spray a little on a candle and you could have the perfect lighted dinner table outside without any pesky flies. Also safe to use as a skin mosquito repellent.

Cost 330 pesos or $6.33 USD.

Honey Soap

If you are very particular is the soaps that you are using, you are in for a treat. They have a lot of options to choose from. Infused with all natural ingredients they have the perfect soap for you.

Cost starts at 70 pesos or $1.70 USD.

The Kalamansi and Ginger Soap

Has a skin whitening effect, help with dryness  and itchiness in skin.

They have a nice little box and perfect as a gift.

Milk and Honey soap

Made from honey and water buffalo’s milk it is used to moisturize the skin. It also gives the skin a natural balance. Talk about of bathing in milk and honey.

Bamboo Charcoal soap

Made from charcoal planted in the farm it is infused with bergamot and lime scent. It also whitens the skin and helps strengthen the bones.

Coffee and Honey soap

Best used as a hand soap before and after eating. It removes odors from food and as a deodorizer.

Pet Soap

Give you pet a sweet honey scent with the pet soap that they also offer.

Spearmint and Oatmeal soap

Best for sensitive skin which is very cool and refreshing. If you have a hot weather this soap is for you and can also treat rashes on skin.

Cinnamon soap

Ever wanted to invigorate your mornings? Try this soap as it revitalizes and stimulates blood circulation during your morning bath. It can also help with muscle pains, an impressive skin cleanser and stain remover.

Rosemary soap

To start, this soap relieves headaches, hair growth stimulant, helps fight dandruff, stimulates the brain and kidneys, relieves depression. The list goes on and on for this soap. I think this soap says it all and is best in stimulating almost anything.

My aunts and the kids were busy selecting which soap is best for them. Giving each soap a smell and  reading the properties of each variant of soap. I of course already know which soap to buy…..the soap that says it all.

 

They also offer home accents or decorations including this lovely hand made wooden bucket.

Wind chimes made from ceramic will surely make you want to sleep as the wind blows.

Painted glass, but I liked the one inside the museum. The amber honeycomb painted glass is something I could not stop thinking about.

Finally, the crown and glory of the farm.

The Virgin Honey

What I discovered from them is they only sold a maximum of two bottles per customer. They do this for the stock to last and they do not want to over harvest the honey. The honey that they harvest is only the surplus from the bees doing so prevents their bees from being stressed out. It is advised to not use it as a sweetener, but for medicinal purposes. In regards to medicinal purposes the list goes on and on. Examples are treating colds, fever, wounds, cuts, stomach problems, burn and there are so much more.

Cost of small container 170 pesos or $3.26 USD

They advise the customers not to insist for more honey as they cannot negotiate with their bees for more honey. I love this place as I know how much they care about their bees and not thinking about only the profit. This place inspired me and if ever I get a piece of land I definitely will have bees and some bee hives. To those who have a peaceful quite place not such a bad idea of starting your own bee farm.

Thank you for joining me and the bees today in this wonderful farm. I hope you had a great time  walking with me. Anything that caught your interest just let me know. Please do leave some comments and let’s talk about bees.  If ever you are interested in purchasing their products I do believe they sell online. Just visit their official website on the link.

As a disclaimer, this is not a paid content by ilog maria and medicinal claims on products are based on their brochure.

 

Official page and resources

Ilogmaria

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 14.190046 lat 120.967865 long Ilog Maria d3scr)

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85

Sigma 50 mm

12-32 mm with macro extension tube