There aren’t too many foods that you can either eat or wear, but honey is one of them. Not only is it nutritious, but it also has many medicinal effects whether eaten or applied to injured skin. That goes for humans as well as many animals. Can cats have honey?
A cat is neither a person nor a Pooh but small amounts of honey can be good, and we’re going to tell you how! Our goal is to help you learn about honest cat care that works.
Honey with a Grain of Salt
Asking, “Can cats have honey?” is only half the question. The other half is, “HOW can cats have honey?” Feline digestion differs from that of omnivores such as dogs and humans. Omnivores can get their nutritional needs met from both plant and animal sources.
Cats, on the other hand, are obligate carnivores, meaning that they’re obligated to consume an animal-based diet or they’ll starve. Sugars, found most abundantly in plants, aren’t easily digested and can cause upset stomachs, vomiting, and diarrhea. Senior cats with age-related changes frequently experience difficulties with certain foods.
Diabetes and obesity are ever-present risks. Young kittens with undeveloped immune systems are especially susceptible to infection by toxin-producing bacterial colonies growing from spores in their tiny intestines.
Talk to a trusted holistic veterinarian before introducing your pets to new foods, especially if the pets are very young, pregnant, very old, or otherwise vulnerable. If you don’t have a regular vet who’s open-minded and familiar with your animals, consider finding an office practicing integrative veterinary care which integrates the best of modern medicine with alternative methods. A natural holistic approach addresses each patient in terms of age, gender, general health, and personality.
What Makes Honey Special?
Honey is unique, made only by a few bee species. Comparable to an insect equivalent of mother’s milk, honey nourishes the growing young with needed nutrients as well as provides anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial support. Scientists are actively researching its many beneficial properties.
That might sound like a simple question but it’s not. Did you know that cats can’t taste sweetness? Since plants most often contain the molecules triggering sweetness in certain taste sensors, obligate carnivores have little need for them. Humans have 9,000 taste buds, dogs have 1,700, and cats have only 470. None for detecting sweetness.
If you’ve noticed your feline buddy enjoying honey, it’s likely because of other overriding scents and tastes. Maybe the dog is gobbling up some honey, or maybe your cat is CURIOUS! You know how that works!
Can Cats Have Manuka Honey? Is Manuka Honey Safe for Cats?
Manuka honey is pretty potent stuff. It’s made from flowers of the Manuka bush, a hardy evergreen plant native to Australia and New Zealand. It’s known to contain high concentrations of substances with healing properties. It definitely has antibacterial abilities.
Tests on rodents indicate potential benefits for stomach ulcers, indigestion, gum disease, tumor growth, and as a dressing for skin and wound conditions. More research needs to be done, especially on cats, but Manuka honey offers hope. In small amounts, it’s quite safe.
Benefits of Honey for Cats
There are more than 300 kinds of honey, but they all contain the following:
Honey is being researched to treat the following medical conditions:
Cardiovascular problems: May reduce inflammation leading to cardiac disease.
Cough: Not only a throat-soothing syrup, but honey may also function as a cough suppressant promoting undisturbed sleep.
Diarrhea: May ease loose stools from gastroenteritis.
Infections: Taken orally or used as a wound dressing especially on burns, honey supports healing.
Neurological issues: Some evidence exists that honey helps reduce depression, anxiety, memory disorders, and seizure activity.
Rehydration: Can aid in recovery from dehydration.
Can cats have honey? A little, yes. Its traditional medicinal and veterinary uses are sure to increase with time.
Diet: The Foundation of Health for Cats & How Food Is Medicinal
Although food is often regarded in our society as recreation, in truth FOOD IS MEDICINE. The entire purpose of food in biology is to fuel growth and repair. The sense of taste evolved to guide critters to eat more of some substances and less of others.
The importance of the study of ecology is maintaining balance in the food chain with a diversity of life so nothing goes to waste. Diversity implies different kinds of nutritional needs. Felines in the wild have been successful for millions of years because they prevent the overpopulation of prey animals by consuming them. Given freedom of choice, animals crave what they need most.
What Is the Best Diet for Cats?
Cats are obligate carnivores. They must have animal flesh to survive. You can’t be squeamish watching cats eat natural food because their preferred diet is based on instinct. In a perfect world, pets would be able to enjoy all the benefits of a BARF-type diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. “Biologically appropriate” refers to the specific needs of felines in the right proportions, including muscle meat from mammals, birds, and fish.
Additional essentials include brains, eyes, stomach with contents, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, uterus with contents, testicles, eggs, fat, ground bone or small raw bones, the works. “Raw” refers to being fresh, clean, unprocessed, and uncooked, preferably from humane local sources. “Food” encompasses supplements such as the essential amino acid taurine, small amounts of plant material such as grasses and herbs in the right proportion, and enough variation to prevent boredom.
In a less-than-perfect world, barriers prevent consistency and might result in indigestion or malnutrition. One alternative is giving pre-made BARF foods from reputable specialists. Another alternative is offering BARF supplements to improve what your cat has been eating. Finally, evaluating your pets’ present kibble and canned food ensures high-quality and minimally processed nutrition.
Transitioning From Kibble To RAW
Transitioning: Cats accustomed to dry kibble may not immediately accept a raw diet because they’re conditioned to carbohydrates as an energy source. Unfortunately, carbs are not nutrient-dense, meaning that they contribute empty calories. Try new foods gradually to give your pets’ digestive systems time to adapt.
Water: Water is an essential nutrient. In the wild, cats gain water from their food, but pets don’t live in the wild. You can meet their water requirements by placing several clean bowls in sheltered spots away from the litter boxes. Many cats enjoy running water, so investing in a kitty fountain will make drinking more fun. Since water supplies vary greatly in their purity, investing in a undercounter reverse osmosis system is an investment in the health of everyone in your cat’s household.
Can Cats Have Raw Honey?
Raw honey is not only uncooked but also unprocessed in its most natural form. This means that it contains the most active enzymes and nutrients in their most powerful form. Same rule applies to cats and raw honey . . . . . a small amount is most like medicinal for them but their carnivorous diet doesn’t require it.
Is Honey Good for Cats?
This is an exciting time in the history of honey. Scientists and doctors all over the world are researching honey’s potential to support the health of people and pets. Can cats have honey? Until confirmed evidence is available, remember Vitamin M: MODERATION. In fact, we have a couple of recipes for cat treats below. Can cats EAT honey? Try these and find out!
Homemade Treats for Cats
Manuka Honey DIY Treats For Cats
1½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon catnip
1 tablespoon Manuka honey
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix catnip and flour together in a medium bowl, forming a well in the center.
In another bowl, mix Manuka honey, melted butter, and egg together.
Pour honey mixture into flour mixture, combining to make a firm dough. If too sticky, add more flour.
Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut small shapes with a cookie cutter or the open end of a glass.
Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool. Store in vacuum-sealed container up to two weeks in refrigerator or up to three months in freezer.
Note: Remember that these are quick kitty rewards, not a substitute for regular meals. Too many treats cause the blood sugar to spike.
A small amount of honey including raw or Manuka honey is generally safe for cats. Honey, Manuka in particular, may provide health benefits as listed above.
Don’t apply honey as a skin treatment on your own. Without proper training, you might introduce infection. Anyway, your kitty will probably lick it off right away, ingesting unneeded sugar.
Food is medicine! A balanced diet of a variety of fresh, natural foods is more healthful than cheaply processed food with excess fat, sugar, salt, carbohydrate fillers, and additives such as dyes, preservatives, and flavor enhancers.
Always consult your vet before giving a cat new foods, especially in the case of kittens, pregnant or nursing cats, the elderly, and pets with obesity, diabetes, and other conditions.
Vitamin M for moderation! Begin slowly in small amounts and observe for problems.
Keep reading Happy Tails for new information!
Vitamin O for Other Important Stuff
Along with a nutrient-dense diet, cats have other requirements. Good feline health involves every body system. Here are other basic needs:
Mental stimulation: play, places to explore, challenges
Companionship: bonding, interaction and communication with others who are familiar, not being isolated; contrary to the saying, cats are not independent souls
Exercise: physical movement, opportunities to play, relieve frustration, and practice natural skills
Outdoor time: windows and catios; you can take the cat out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the cat
Can cats have honey? Yes, in small quantities, but keep watching for research updates. As obligate carnivores, cats mostly prefer animal protein. What they honestly prefer from you is your caring friendship: Vitamin L for love! Now that’s sweetness they can’t get enough of.
Amino acid: One of the many building blocks of proteins
Antioxidant: Any chemical compound that inhibits oxidation; in common use, it refers to natural compounds believed to prevent cells from degrading
Botulism: A condition caused by ingesting the botulinum neurotoxin or the spores produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria
Ecology: The study of organisms, including humans, in their environment as they relate with each other
Holistic: Treating the entire patient instead of focusing only on disease processes; including factors such as age, weight, general health, lifestyle, personality, and preferences
Kibble: Dried processed meal formed into pellets composed of meat, plants, and additives
Obligate carnivore: A living thing that must consume meat products for its main source of nutrition
Reverse osmosis: The process of forcing water molecules through a filtering membrane that collects contaminants
Pooh: A beloved fictional fuzzy yellow bear that talks to his animal friends and loves honey
Sugars: Organized molecules of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (carbohydrates) that form chains and rings; since special enzymes or intestinal bacteria are needed to break down each kind into simpler forms, not all animals can digest all sugars
Taurine: A specific amino acid necessary for many body functions; unlike many omnivores who synthesize taurine from other amino acids, cats need to get it from meat, fish, and eggs in their diet; deficiencies can cause blindness, heart problems, digestive disturbances, and poor development in kittens
Did you know that around 25,000 species of bees exist in the world today? About three-fourths of them are solitary, meaning that they don’t live in colonies but instead burrow into the soil or other places. Very few of them make honey. So do bees eat honey? If they make it, they eat it. So what do other bees eat? And what else do bees make? We’re going to explore everything about these sweet little vegetarian critters!
What Makes A Bee A Bee?
Here’s the story. Millions of years ago there were no flowers. Instead, ferns, mosses, and conifers stored spores or male and female pollen in dull packets to be distributed by the wind. No brightly colored sweet-scented flowers and fruit. The first insects were flightless but developing the ability to fly made their lives much easier because pollen was nutritious.
Some beetles and flying wasplike insects preferred the lifestyle of landing on plants to nibble. It was only a matter of time before plants co-evolved with insects to take advantage of their flying around to aid in their reproduction. It was much more efficient than random gusts of wind.
You know the question about which came first, the chicken or the egg? If you ponder the question of which came first, the pollen or the pollinator, the answer is that it was a partnership. The newly emerged flowering plants flourished when insects found their colors attractive and their sweet nectar refreshing.
The first fossils of flowering plants appeared around 130 million years ago, beginning what one bee lover called “the longest marketing campaign in history.” The insect-flower partnership worked so well that flowering plants quickly spread all over the globe. The protein-rich pollen was as nutritious as the prey insects the carnivorous wasps devoured, so some of them specialized as pollen-eaters.
Life Stages Of Honey Bees:
Eggs: Eggs are the result of the queen bee leaving the nest for a few romantic flights to mate more than 20 times in mid-air with different drones. She then returns to the nest to begin laying over 1000 eggs daily.
Larvae: After three days, each egg develops into a larva, a small grub that is fed by young nurse worker bees.
Pupae: After about six days, the worker bees cap each cell with beeswax so the larvae will spin cocoons around themselves and, like butterflies, begin to transform. Depending on which kind of jelly the nurse worker bees have fed them, they emerge as workers, queens, or drones.
Role determination: Most of the eggs will develop into female workers as well as a few queens, but the unfertilized eggs become male drones. Worker bees feed the larvae special jelly made in special glands in the heads and mouths of young nurse worker bees. The type of jelly controls the growth of the larvae.
Workers, Queens, And Drones
Workers: Fed “worker jelly,” eggs destined to become workers emerge in 18 – 22 days. They start work immediately, cleaning and prepping wax cells. After a few days, she begins work as a brood nurse to care for the larvae by feeding them.
Around two weeks later, she graduates to producing wax to build and repair the cells in the nest. About three weeks later, she becomes a guard bee to defend the nest against threats. She eventually begins the last stage of her career by collecting pollen and nectar.
Other duties include collecting water, removing dead larvae and bees, and fanning air to control the internal temperature. Workers only live around six weeks, spending every day of their lives helping the nest
Queens: Fed “royal jelly” with more protein and extra nutrients, queen bees emerge in 16 days. They spend their lives laying eggs except during a winter break. When the colony needs more space, the queen will lay extra eggs destined to become queens, and then she will lead a swarm of bees out to establish a new nest elsewhere. A queen may live as long as four years.
Drones: Fed “drone jelly,” adult drones emerge in 24 days. They have no other purpose but to fertilize a queen. After mating, the drone dies.
Leaving the Nest
Leaving the nest: When the nest becomes overcrowded, the old queen and part of the colony leave in a swarm. They find a safe place to wait while scout worker bees explore potential sites for the new nest. Ideal nesting sites are usually hollow trees, rock crevices, caves, or underneath roofs.
Communicating by dance, each scout reports on the location and suitability, also taking time to disrupt the dances of other scouts. Eventually, a decision is made as other scouts and colony members gravitate toward the most effective communicator and echo the dance as well as disrupt the remaining dancers. A nest will be used and enlarged for several years.
Check out this National Geographic video to get an idea of what it’s like to be a honeybee.
Where Do Bees Go In The Winter?
When the weather gets cold, honey bees will hunker down in their nests. Do bees eat honey? Winter is the time they survive off the honey they’ve been storing during the previous months. On warmer days the field workers will seek water and whatever flowers are nearby.
Although many insects hibernate, honey bees don’t. Keeping the nest warm requires a lot of energy, as does flying in cold temperatures. As soon as the weather begins to warm up in early spring, bees are on the go again in search of pollen and nectar to bring back to the hive to begin replenishing the honey.
One of the toughest times for a hive is in very early spring because not much is blooming yet. With their highly developed sense of smell, foraging bees will find your offerings hopefully before the ants do.
Planting Cold-Hardy Early Bloomers:
Do Bees Drink Water & What Do Bees Do During A Drought?
Bees need water, not only to drink but to thin the honey and to cool the nest or hive. They use their excellent sense of smell to locate it. Once they’ve found a reliable source, they’ll keep coming back. Not only do they prefer slightly salty water, but also nutrient-rich water that smells like dead leaves, worms, moss, and algae.
With nectar and honey available, they don’t need added sugar. Although sugar water can help them temporarily, it should never be put inside the nest because it can make the inside of the hive damp and promote the growth of mold. Water is less available in winter, but worker bees collect it from dew and other sources on warmer days. They also make use of condensation within the nest.
Do Bees Eat Their Own Honey? What Else Do Bees Make?
Do bees eat honey? Bees make honey for their hive members to eat, especially during the winter when flowers are no longer available, but they make several other substances as well. Some you’ve heard of but the others might surprise you:
HONEY: Mouth-watering details in a moment.
ROYAL HONEY: This milky secretion made by worker bees provides early nourishment for developing larvae as well as for the queen her entire life. It contains water, proteins, sugars, fats, vitamins, salts, and more.
BEE BREAD: Basically a chewed mixture of pollen and nectar or honey along with other secretions, bacteria, and molds, bee bread is what worker larvae and adults eat.
Propolis And Wax
PROPOLIS: Made from plant resins, propolis is also called “bee glue” because workers use it to line new nests before laying down the honeycomb cells. The workers select various plants to collect their resins for repairing wounds, repelling insects, and protecting new buds. Mixed with saliva and wax, propolis seals holes in the nest that would otherwise allow heat to escape.
If an invader such as a mouse is too large to carry out of the nest after the workers have stung it to death, it will be “embalmed” in propolis. In fact, the ancient Egyptians sometimes used propolis during the mummification process.
WAX: Do all bees make wax? No, only those from the genus Apis, which includes 11 species of social bees living in nests, making honey, and communicating by dancing. Beeswax contains over 280 compounds depending on the type of pollen used.
VENOM: Not all bee species can sting, and most bees that can sting won’t unless provoked
What Exactly Is Honey?
As you know by now, honey is made from nectar and pollen that honey bees collect and process to feed the colony. “Do bees eat honey?” you asked. Yes, yes, yes! Most honey is “multi-floral,” made from different kinds of flowers. Mono-floral honeys are more expensive because they’re made from mostly one flower type and have distinctive flavors.
Popular varieties of honey:
Acacia: It actually comes from the black locust tree and has a sweet, strong honey flavor and pale color; often used for skin conditions because of its antibacterial properties.
Buckwheat: Thick, dark, and strong, this honey is highly nutritious, delicious when used as a marinade, and highly effective as a healing wound poultice.
Clover: The most popular type in North America, it is amber-colored with a light floral taste.
Dandelion: Made early in the season, it is dark amber with an intense floral flavor and a tart finish.
Eucalyptus: Predictably, this honey has a menthol-like herbal flavor but is often used as a home remedy for respiratory conditions.
Linden: Popular in Europe from fragrant linden trees, it has a bright, slightly herbal taste; it also has mildly sedative properties.
Manuka: Made from the tea tree bush, it has a medicinal flavor, but is popular for strong antibacterial properties; used for oral health, the FDA has also approved it for wound treatment.
Orange blossom: Light-colored with a delicate citrus flavor, popular in Spain and Mexico.
Sage: Light and mild, this honey is often mixed with other honeys to keep them liquid instead of crystallizing.
Sourwood: Not sour at all, sourwood honey boasts a rich caramel flavor with hints of butter and spice; made to be enjoyed.
Tupelo: From southern swamps, this luscious honey has been described as “buttery smooth.”
Wildflower: A multi-floral honey that varies from batch to batch; light with a fruity flavor.
Another type you may not have heard of is “honeydew honey,” made from bees stroking the aphids of sap-sucking insects to collect the sweet secretions.
What DO Honey Bees Eat And Do Queen Bees Eat Honey?
The best food for bees is the honey they make. What do bees use for energy? If they’ve had access to flowers all season, they will have made and stored enough honey to sustain them. So do bees eat honey? There is one exception, as you’ll read about next. The workers do and the drones do, but not the queen.
She’s able to feed herself, but being the queen, she is always surrounded by her personal attendants tending to her every need. They even pre-digest her nectar and honey for her into royal jelly, feeding it to her mouth-to-mouth all of her life! Queens eat almost constantly, too, because their job is to produce thousands of eggs to populate the hive. Now you know the answer to “Do bees eat honey!”
Did you know that without bees and other animals carrying pollen from flower to flower, about three-fourths of native American plants would likely disappear? On one trip, a foraging worker bee will check out about 100 flowers to gather nectar and pollen. She’ll make 10-15 trips per day.
On a good day she might visit as many as 5000 blossoms. Although the big foraging season ranges from March through September, bees will go any time of the year if the temperature reaches 50F.
Plant your flowers in clumps or “drifts” of individual species instead of mixing them since the bees focus on one type of flower per trip. You’ll want to plan your plantings so something is blooming all the time. When choosing plants, you might be tempted to try out new cultivars advertised as double flowers.
These varieties produce exotic blooms resembling two flowers in one with lush, thickly layered petals. Although beautiful, they’re not good for bees and other pollinators because the extra petals make the nectar and pollen difficult to access. Choose single flowers whenever you can.
Bee tongue length is another factor determining the best flowers for bees. Different species of pollinators have different tongue lengths. That’s another reason why it’s good to provide bees with a variety of choices. Avoid hybrids because they’re sterile, hence, no pollen.
Provide some bushes or trees that offer protective scaffolding for the plants. Regarding color, red appears black to bees. Bees respond best to blue, purple, yellow, orange, and white. Avoid toxic pesticides and fungicides or at least apply them when pollinators aren’t active, either very early or very late. Not at all is best.
A Word About Native Plants
While many environmentalists advocate the use of native plants over non-native plants, climate change is affecting the ecology all over the world as species migrate or die off. For that reason, a newer school of thought is suggesting that choosing a variety of non-invasive plants might be the best strategy to keep local wildlife healthy. To learn more about other pollinators, check out our Happy Tails post on butterflies!
Suggestions for bee gardens:
Sedum (especially Sedum spectabile)
Why Weeds Are Not Weeds!
Weeds are unwanted plants. In light of climate change and declining insect populations, the term “weeds” is quickly becoming obsolete. We prefer to call them “wildflowers” because they feed a large number of pollinators.
Do bees eat honey? They can when they can make enough from abundant flowers all season long. By mowing lawns less frequently, flowering weeds such as the following can significantly contribute to local bee colonies:
Bird’s foot trefoil
Crimson red clover
Joe Pye weed
What Kind Of Birds Eat Honey & Honey Bees?
In the wild, few birds eat honey because nectar is so much easier to access. Also, honey is thick and sticky, so it can disable flight feathers. However, honey’s stickiness makes it an excellent binder when used to make delicious bird treats, so check out our recipes!
Some species of birds in the U.S. that go after honey bees include purple martins, thrushes, swifts, kingbirds, mockingbirds, summer and scarlet tanagers, and woodpeckers. Woodpeckers are the most assertive because they focus on a specific hive and feed off any available bees. Most bee-eaters also consume wasps, instinctively knowing how to quickly remove the stingers.
Did you know that in some areas of Africa, humans and wild birds known as greater honeyguides have partnered up to locate honey bee nests? The humans want the honey and the honeyguides want the wax. The humans call to the birds to alert them when an expedition is forming, then follow the birds who slowly lead them to the nest.
After smoking the nest to calm the bees, the humans share the combs with the birds. The honeyguides aren’t domesticated but in some cases, the wild birds even initiate the calls to the humans to help them open a recently located nest.
Is Honey Healthy?
Honey is meant to sustain busy, fast-growing bee larvae and active adults, so it has to be extremely healthful. Its benefits are most available when it’s raw, unfiltered, and locally sourced instead of highly processed and diluted. Manuka honey provides the biggest antibacterial and antifungal punch. Dandelion, heather, honeydew, and tupelo honey are said to contain the most antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E, plus phenolic acid and flavonoids).
Other nutrients include B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin K, and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc. Dark honeys are the most nutritionally concentrated.
Benefits Of Raw Honey Vs. Commercially Processed Honey
Mass production as well as the desire for convenience have governed food production for many years. Unfortunately, processed foods generally exchange freshness for extended shelf life by adding chemical stabilizers, preservatives, dyes, artificial flavoring, and less nutrient-dense fillers like corn syrup.
In addition, to save money and increase production, factory farming methods have generally replaced humane farming practices. Animals are housed in crowded conditions to save space, fed the cheapest feed, and discarded when they become ill or when their productivity declines.
However, as people become more aware of sustainable farming practices, the tide is turning. In the case of bees, beekeepers are finding that their hives are healthier and more productive when allowed to live more natural lives. Buying natural, unprocessed, raw honey from local farms will give you the most healthful honey with the most benefits.
Usually store-bought honey contains many additives as well as additional non-honey sweetening agents. Genuine fresh honey may be cloudy or crystallized or contain bits of honeycomb, and that’s all good.
In the case of our household pets, many humans are taking advantage of BARF-type diets: Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods. This means eliminating processed ingredients in favor of the natural raw foods found in the wild, with freshness, balance, and variety. This is why we suggest homemade pet treats with natural honey instead of sugar, corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners. See recipes below.
Medicinal Uses Of Honey
Not only has honey been used for thousands of years as an oral medication and skin poultice, but it is still used today. Although all honeys have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects, manuka honey from New Zealand by far contains the most.
Taken by mouth, honey is used to stimulate appetite, reduce cough symptoms and cough duration, ease sore throats, aid stomach ulcers, improve sleep quality during respiratory illnesses, balance gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, and help ease joint pain. When local honey is taken, it may assist with seasonal allergies due to trace amounts of pollen possibly stimulating the body’s immune system.
Honey also fights infection and stimulates healing in wounds and skin conditions such as injuries, burns, road rash, diabetes-related foot ulcers, eczema, insect bites, rashes, and hot spots. Researchers are exploring its effectiveness with psoriasis, herpes lesions, and MRSA infections.
FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions
Is it spelled “honey bee” or “honeybee?“ According to the Entomological Society of America, the correct spelling is “honey bee” to specify one of many kinds of bees.
What’s The Difference Between A Nest And A Hive? A nest is a place where a colony of honeybees builds a safe home, often in hollow trees, rock cavities, caves, or under overhanging roofs. A hive is a manmade structure built for a colony in order to harvest their honey. Archaeological evidence suggests that humans have been beekeeping for over 9,000 years.
Who Else Eats Honey? Do bees eat honey? Bees make it for the colony to eat, but other animals such as bears, honey badgers, raccoons, opossums, skunks, and humans also eat honey. They also eat the wax and the nutritious larvae and pupae.
“Eeewwww!” you’re saying! But the larvae and pupae, referred to as “honey bee brood,” are consumed in many countries including Mexico, Australia, and Thailand. They’re commonly eaten dried or cooked, often in soups and in egg dishes.
Is Beeswax Edible? Bees make wax from the honey they eat. The workers secrete it from glands in their abdomen, then chew it to make it soft. Originally white, it turns yellowish from absorbing pollen oils. Unlike wax made from paraffin, a petroleum product, it contains no added chemicals and is basically inert. You’ve probably already eaten it in the form of food glazes on hams, turkey, pastries, and other sweets.
Honey Recipes for Your Pets
Can birds eat honey? In treats, absolutely yes!
Homemade Bird Treats With Honey
1/2 cup quality bird seed
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup gluten-free flour
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup honey
Optional: Finely chopped dried fruit
Optional: Finely chopped chilis (safe for birds according to the author)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine dry ingredients.
Add dried fruit and chilis if used and mix well.
Add water and mix well, then add honey to form a dough.
If the mixture is too sticky add more seed or flour.
Roll the mixture into small balls.
Place lined baking tray. If you want to hang them, push holes in them with a chopstick or straw.
Bake 20-30 minutes.
Remove from oven when firm and beginning to brown.
Once cooled store in an airtight container.
http://www.allpetseducationandtraining.com.au/homemade-bird-treats.html “I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where I work and live. I pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging. I celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.”
Homemade Birdseed Treats Honey Treat #1
1 cup birdseed
1 tsp honey
1 egg white
Combine birdseed, honey, and egg white.
Add enough nuts and fruit to make a thick mixture.
Spread on lined baking sheet let sit for two hours.
Break into small chunks and serve.
https://animals.mom.com/how-to-make-homemade-bird-seed-treats-12191359.html These treats and several others can be made for pet birds and wild birds alike, either broken into chunks or spread into pine cones or over cuttlebones.
Honey Treat #2 ~ Birds
Coat cuttlebone with honey, then sprinkle with birdseed.
Place in freezer until seeds are firmly set.
Bring to room temperature and present to pet bird.
Homemade Bird Treats With Millet
2 tbsp birdseed
2 tbsp oats
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 tbsp water
1 tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix birdseed, oats, flour, and millet.
Add water and stir.
Add honey and mix until fully incorporated into a dough. Add more water or flour to make dough easy to work with and not sticky.
Sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, B6, and fiber. These homemade dog treats are great for diabetic dogs because sweet potatoes may help stabilize blood sugar and lower insulin resistance. Pumpkin: Substitute or add fresh or canned pumpkin for this recipe but not pumpkin pie filling. Wheat-Free: Use a gluten-free flour like potato, rice, or oat.
1 large sweet potato
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/8 cup honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 350F.
Peel and cut sweet potato into 1-inch chunks. Place into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a paper towel, and heat for 2 minutes or until soft.
Mash soft sweet potato chunks with a fork.
Stir together with the applesauce and honey.
Lightly beat the egg and mix into potato mixture.
Gradually stir in flour until combined.
Lightly grease a baking sheet or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Using a 1-inch cookie scooper, place round mounds onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.
Keep in refrigerator and use within one week. May be frozen for up to 6 months.
1 cup peanut butter (BE SURE IT CONTAINS NO XYLITOL)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
For the Frosting: ⅓ cup cornstarch (or potato starch or arrowroot powder) 2 tablespoons peanut butter 1 tablespoon honey 3-4 tablespoons hot water
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Combine flour and egg in a large mixing bowl.
Add peanut butter, water, and honey. Stir until dough is stiff, mixing with your hands if necessary.
Roll out dough about 1/2 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Make different shapes using cookie cutters.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden.
Once done, set aside to cool (with smaller cookies, shorten baking time to prevent burning).
To make frosting, combine peanut butter and honey, and microwave in 15-second increments, mixing each time.
Stir melted peanut butter mixture into cornstarch until just combined.
Add 1 tablespoon water at a time until reaching desired consistency.
Add icing to a piping bag and pipe designs on each dog treat.
Frost treats with the peanut butter/honey mixture if desired.
Store in an airtight container or give as gifts!
Upload an image on Instagram or tag me @thecookierookie!
Becky’s Tips: You’re making two different frosting consistencies. Thicker frosting will hold the outline; thinner frosting will fill the inside. To make thicker frosting, you need 2-3 tablespoons of water to be thick enough to hold its shape but thin enough to be squeezed through a piping tip. Use it to create the outline of your design and let dry about 10 minutes. Thinner frosting requires at least 3-4 tablespoons of water. Fill in the outline with the thinner frosting, smoothing it out with your fingertip. Since some dogs have an allergy to wheat, you can make wheat-free treats by using rice flour or coconut flour. XYLITOL is an artificial sweetener that can be fatal to dogs, so always check food labels first! Some peanut butter contains xylitol.
****Substitute milk for almond milk or plant based milk
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate mixing bowls, then combine by adding the wet mixture to the dry mixture to form a dough.
Roll out the dough, adding more whole wheat flour if needed.
Cut dough into small shapes or squares.
Bake catnip bites for about 20 minutes or until light brown.
Allow to cool completely.
Place in an airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.
TIP: Although many people think milk is good for cats, many can’t digest dairy products because they don’t produce lactase. Lactose is the enzyme that breaks down the sugar lactose that naturally occurs in milk products. You’ve heard of some people being lactose intolerant. Although cats can digest flour and eggs, they can’t tolerate dough containing yeast because it can cause bloating and even alcohol poisoning. If you think this recipe is one your cat will love, then get cooking!
Add honey a little bit at a time just enough to make ingredients stick together.
Roll into small quarter-sized balls.
Serve in moderation since frequent sweets can cause dental issues, obesity, and diabetes.
Do bees eat honey? Now you know that honeybees eat honey along with many other animals. Honey is a nutritional and medicinal substance made by creatures that have helped support life on earth for millions of years.
Maintaining grass lawns instead of flowering plants contributes to the decline of bee populations. In fact, declining diversity of plants is the main cause of the decline of native bees. Each of you reading this can make a difference! To learn more, check out our resources below after one last joke: If there’s a bee in my hand, what’s in my eye? Bee-eauty. Bee-eauty is in the eye of the bee-holder.
A magazine for beekeepers: https://www.beeculture.com/12-types-of-honey/
The best water for bees: https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=26345
All about pollinators: https://ucanr.edu/sites/PollenNation/Meet_The_Pollinators/Bees_496/#:~:text=Most%20bees%2C%20approximately%2075%25%2C,nests%20tunneled%20into%20the%20soil.
What kinds of flowers bees prefer: https://www.almanac.com/best-flowers-bees
Learn about Greater Honeyguides in Mozambique: https://www.audubon.org/news/meet-greater-honeyguide-bird-understands-humans#:~:text=Flock%20Together-,Meet%20the%20Greater%20Honeyguide%2C%20the%20Bird%20That%20Understands%20Humans,simple%20%22brrr%2Dhm.%22&text=The%20Greater%20Honeyguide%20is%20the%20Jekyll%20and%20Hyde%20of%20birds
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors . . . . We’ve all had the uncomfortable sensation that our private lives are being watched and judged. Since your home is supposed to be a safe place, you might ask yourself questions like, “How can I build privacy without a fence? What are cheap ways to block my neighbors view while creating an atmosphere of congeniality?
What do I do when my neighbors can see over the fence? How many years before I’m successfully blocking neighbors’ view with trees? Is privacy even affordable?” We’ve got the answers for you: cheap ways to block neighbors view.
You’ve heard the phrase that “good fences make good neighbors.” It came from Robert Frost’s 1914 poem “Mending Wall” and compares the thoughts of two neighbors discussing the wall dividing their properties. The key phrase we’re going to focus on is “good fences.”
What are some cheap ways to block neighbors view of your yard without insulting them as if you want to wall them off? It doesn’t cost much to establish simple, creative boundaries that beautify your neighborhood, help the environment, and even make your pets happy. It starts with thinking of your project as LANDSCAPING. Your goal is to create a cozy private space instead of a fortification.
The Need for Privacy
Humans as well as pets need privacy. Like sleep, it’s neither a luxury nor a hankering, but a necessity. It’s the right to emotional and physical space to control interpersonal boundaries. Privacy gives us the safety to organize our thoughts and feelings at our own pace.
It also enables us to make decisions without pressure or judgment. Being deprived of privacy in our own space results in insecurity that often escalates into antisocial behaviors such as aggression. In other words, constant surveillance without privacy robs our sense of wellbeing.
Humans have built walls for thousands of years to protect themselves from threats. Walls stand for separation, rejection, and readiness for conflict. So how can good fences make good neighbors? When we change the message by making the wall pretty! By creating beauty, we aren’t shutting out our neighbors as enemies; we’re landscaping. As Romeo and Juliet said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”
What Is Landscaping?
Landscaping is changing the appearance of the land by altering its features to make it more user-friendly. Landscaping uses the skill and art of horticulture to make gardens. It also incorporates features and elements such as rocks, ponds, streams, terracing, or walkways.
Landscaping is important because it aids the soil, air, and water. It provides areas of shade and water retention to allow plants to flourish. It creates sheltered areas for various forms of wildlife. It supports mental health with its beauty. It adds value to the property because it demonstrates attention to the needs of the community.
Before beginning a landscaping project, research the practical considerations. You’ll need to communicate with your rental office, landlord, or homeowners association (HOA). Also, check out local building codes and landscaping regulations including the location of utility cables. In addition, get informed about local climate issues such as seasonal flooding, winds, and wildfires.
Landscaping ideas are plentiful for cheap ways to block neighbors view:
Look at articles on privacy landscaping in magazines as well as online.
Attend home and garden shows.
Go to events held at plant nurseries and garden clubs.
Check out flea markets for “distressed” and “vintage” items such as trellises, doors, wooden windows, benches, weathervanes, and urns.
Talk to everybody you encounter — people love to give advice and share their opinions.
When trying to figure out cheap ways to block neighbors view of your yard, you might automatically think of fencing off your whole yard. But fences and walls are not cheap. Think outside the box: do you really have to enclose your entire yard with a privacy fence?
The answer is NO. Decide on the exact area or areas where you want privacy. Now it’s time to play detective and survey the scene: walk around to determine the direct line of sight from the neighbors’ viewing spots to the areas you want private. How wide and high does the barrier need to be to block neighbors’ view?
Location, location, location! Next, consider the area in different conditions. Photographers can tell you how different a single location looks depending on the time of day or night and the time of year. Imagine cast shadows, blinding light, snow, thick leafy branches, and the absence of any vegetation. Visualize how the area will change over time — are there small growing trees nearby?
Invasive Plants To The Rescue
Are there spreading patches of invasive plants such as Virginia creeper or English ivy that you can use to your advantage or that will interfere with your plan? Are there known populations of deer, rabbits, or other wildlife in the area?
Your next exercise is to picture a cozy little room around the area you want to block from public view. Imagine a man-cave, a she-shed, a teepee, a picnic shelter, a treehouse, a party tent, or a lean-to made of tree boughs. The shape of your privacy barrier can be anything that gives you a sense of shelter.
In fact, consider building a sukkah. In the Old Testament, you can find the directions the ancient Jews followed to build temporary structures out of natural materials and open to the air. Originally used by farmers during the harvest season, the roofed sukkah has decorations such as gourds, fruit, lights, and whatever you want. And every year in late summer or early fall, you can even find low-cost sukkah kits online to assemble.
In 1640, Mr. E. Rogers wrote in a letter that ‘A good fence helpeth to keepe peace between neighbours; but let us take heed that we make not a high stone wall, to keepe us from meeting.’ He understood the concept of “good fences” way back then.
Today many types of fencing are available, each with its own set of pros and cons. Fencing and walls come in materials such as wood, metal, plastic, stone, concrete, and even glass blocks. Most are not cheap unless you remember that you only need a short length to shield your private spot.
You can lay it out in a straight line, a three-sided semi-enclosure, or in a horseshoe shape. To design a magical hideaway, you can incorporate any of the following structures:
Pergola: a sturdy garden framework with supporting beams and a lattice top often covered with flowering or fruiting vines; may resemble a picnic shelter or an outdoor walkway
Arbor: a small arching alcove-like structure overgrown with branches or vines providing an ornamental shelter or entryway
Gate: although usually intended to provide an opening in a fence or wall between two areas, it can also be added as an inviting decorative element
Trellis: a small latticework panel used as support for climbing plants
Lattice fence extender: a series of panels aligned along a low wall or fence for supporting plants or providing dappled shade
Faux greenery panel: a lattice panel covered with artificial foliage to imitate live plants
Living wall: a panel supporting containers filled with soil and live plantings including succulents, vines, or a variety of annuals that hide the panel
Fence Cover-Up Ideas
When you want cheap ways to block neighbors view of your yard, consider masking what you’re placing to block their view. To emphasize the concept of landscaping, you can enhance the side of the fence facing the neighbors to offer a distracting focus of interest. What else can you think of besides these ideas?
A painted mural or a mosaic
A bed of attractive annuals that grow quickly until frost
Clumps of tall ornamental grasses with low-height plants in front of and in between
A screen of sturdy bamboo (establish bamboo in urns due to its invasiveness)
Evergreen shrubs for year-round screening
One or more small trees; many produce beautiful foliage, flowers, fruit, unique bark, or dramatic branching
Sculpture, statues, or a large urn
Portable Privacy Panels
“How can I build privacy without a fence?” you’re asking. No worries because you have so many cheap ways to block neighbors view into your private life! The only thing holding you back is your imagination. Since fencing and wall construction can be pricey, look into movable panels.
Think about what makes something stable yet portable. Stability is achieved with anchoring, either being tied, embedded, or weighted to prevent dislodging by wind or flooding. Portability is achieved with temporary anchoring or with wheels. You can either make DIY (Do-It-Yourself) privacy panels or buy them ready-made. Think about what best fits your situation:
A framework (of PVC pipe or whatever you prefer) with waterproof, sun-resistant, mildew-resistant curtains that open and close like flaps on a big tent
A framework with outdoor blinds or shades
Lattice privacy screens
An arrangement of large urns or planters that you can move around with handy wheeled plant caddies
Large empty picture frames or window frames holding old mirror panes so your neighbors can watch themselves!
Lightweight old-fashioned wattle fencing panels made of woven willow, also referred to as cottage border fences
Plants for Privacy
Plants for privacy make a win-win situation for you and your neighbors. Before you make decisions on which are best to use for cheap ways to block neighbors view, you’ll want to know about the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Based not only on year-round temperatures but also on precipitation, elevation, and other factors, it gives you a way to choose plants that thrive in your area.
You’ll want to learn about each plant’s soil, light, and water requirements, invasiveness, and common diseases and pests. Local nurseries and garden clubs can give you good advice, but be sure to look up the American Horticultural Society for additional information including any Master Gardener programs in your area. Here are some general privacy planting suggestions:
Trees: Slow-growing; provide shade; offer a variety of choices; some evergreen, some deciduous; check out crabapple, hawthorn, Japanese maple, redbud, Harry Louder’s Walking Stick, the Blues weeping Colorado spruce, and Swiss stone pine
Shrubs: Generally fast-growing and may need pruning; excellent privacy screens; offer a variety of choices; some evergreen, some deciduous; check out rose of Sharon, red twig dogwood, lilac, forsythia, Diablo ninebark, boxwood, Canadian hemlock, amur maple, and privet
Vines: Generally fast-growing; offer a variety of choices; some annual, some perennial; some evergreen, some deciduous; check out ivy, morning glory, trumpet vines, blue passion flower, luffa vines, and climbing roses
Grasses: Grow quickly; offer a variety of choices; some spread while others grow in clumps; check out zebra grass, big bluestem, hardy clumping bamboo in genus Fargesia to avoid invasive runner growth, pink hair grass, Chinese silver grass, feather reed grass, and switchgrass
Privacy Garden Design
Never mind about peering neighbors for a moment. Let’s think about music: you can have the best drums, the best strings, the best brass section, the best amplifiers, the best everything, but you won’t have music until all the parts are working together in harmony. And so it is with landscaping. Now, back to your neighbors.
The basic principles of landscaping mean focusing on the purpose but also on the performance. If you construct a mountain of trash next to one of the neighbor’s yards, you won’t get privacy! You’ll promote harmony by blending a series of parts into a balanced whole: a main theme or melody, some lesser melodies to provide harmony, and some repetition to create a structure or rhythm.
Many designers arrange a few central eye-catching elements with smaller elements clustered alongside at different heights or with different shapes, then adding something different for contrast. To create a pleasing garden design, you can mix and match some of the following elements:
A tall vertical “living wall” planted with numerous smaller plants such as herbs, flowering annuals, or succulents
An odd number (one or three) of small trees
An odd number of large urns
Eye-catching elements such as tiles, hanging art, a mirror, trellises, a statue, bird feeder, birdbath, weathervane, a big rock, or anything that … catches your eye
Low- and mid-level easy-care plants such as iris and daylilies
Shade plants and/or groundcover plants to arrange under the taller plants
FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don’t have a green thumb? Landscaping is like music, sports, and cooking: anyone can learn the skills! You won’t know if you’re brilliant until you get some skills. Everyone has to start somewhere. Three great pieces of advice while you’re learning: 1. Don’t spend a lot of money upfront while you’re a newbie. 2. Talk to lots of people who love gardening. 3. Get all the experience you can. There’s no such thing as failure, only experience!
How can I block my neighbors’ 2nd story view? You have several cheap ways to block neighbors view from above depending on your home’s set-up. Again, put yourself in the position of a detective. Check out the line of sight from the neighbors’ point of view down to the area where you need privacy. Consider barriers such as latticework, pergolas, movable panels made of bamboo or other natural materials, an awning, a large tent, or even strategically placed porch umbrellas.
Really, what ARE the cheapest ways to block neighbors’ view? You can find amazing bargains at thrift shops, flea markets, yard sales, online, and on social media local selling pages. Check back frequently. You can find many money-saving landscaping ideas using pallets. Definitely pay attention to end-of-season nursery sales on perennials, keeping in mind that you’re buying roots for the future, not actively blooming plants. Learn to propagate, and then get seeds and cuttings from other gardeners.
To “mend fences” as Robert Frost described, there’s something else you can do. After establishing your haven of privacy, show your goodwill by gifting your neighbors with occasional bouquets. Offer them veggies and herbs you’ve grown, or if they like to garden, share cuttings so they can propagate their own little Eden.
And speaking of Eden, Francis Bacon commented around 400 years ago that “God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.
In this post, we are going to talk about not only Begonia maculata care, but caring for yourself with Begonia Polka Dots! Polka dots for mental health, you ask? Absolutely yes. Prehistoric art showing dots dates back tens of thousands of years. Humans love polka dots.
Neuroscientists believe that our response comes from a part of the brain called the amygdala. One of the amygdala’s jobs is to help decide what’s dangerous and what’s safe. Angular shapes with points tend to be interpreted as signs of danger. Dots, on the other hand, represent gentleness, safety, abundance, and playfulness.
If you want to bring polka dots into your life, houseplants are a great way. What about begonias with polka dots? The leaves of the Begonia maculata or polka dot begonia are covered in big, silvery polka dots with dramatic crimson underneath. Once you’ve seen one, you won’t forget its distinctive look, especially since it can grow as high as five feet (1.5 meters).
Like other begonias, it’s native to tropical and subtropical climates as an understory plant, meaning that it grows in the dappled shade of taller plants. An evergreen perennial, it’s also a fairly fast grower. We’re going to describe all aspects of Begonia maculata care so you’ll know how to bring a bit of the Brazilian forest into your home. With polka dots.
Common Names for Begonia maculata & Similar Begonia Varieties
Plant and animal classification systems have been reorganized several times over the years. Scientific names are recognized around the world in identifying every known species. The first part of the name represents the genus.
For example, horses, donkeys, and zebras all belong to the genus Equus. Each species has its own name. The scientific name for donkey is Equus asinus.
Switching over to the world of plants, Quercus is the genus for oak trees, and Quercus rubra refers to the species commonly called the northern red oak. The genus Begonia has over 2,000 species. One more classification word to learn is “cultivar,” which indicates a plant variety developed by selective breeding.
Some people use the following terms interchangeably but technically angelwing and trout begonias are different cultivar from Begonia maculata:
Cane begonia: A group of begonia cultivars bred with bamboo-like stems
Begonia maculata‘Wightii’: Most commonly seen cultivar
Polka dot begonia: Common name for Begonia maculata
Spotted begonia: Another common name for B. maculata
Clown begonia: Another common name for B. maculata
Angelwing begonia: A hybrid cross between B. aconitifolia and B. coccinea; a cane begonia similar to B. maculata but not as tall; spots are smaller, more like freckling; flowers come in different colors
Trout begonia: Also called trout leaf begonia, the scientific name is B. medora; shares characteristics with Angelwings and B. maculata
What Is the Most Important Thing In Begonia maculata Care?
HUMIDITY >> HUMIDITY >> HUMIDITY
Humidity. Because of their origins, these plants have adapted to life in warm, moist climates. Your primary focus is ensuring constant high humidity, greater than 45%, especially since most buildings tend to be dry. Inexpensive digital hygrometers to monitor humidity are easy to use.
One important way to provide humidity is to avoid drafts because moving air causes evaporation. You can also place the pot or urn on top of or next to pebbles in a tray partially filled with water. Plants often thrive in groupings because they raise the humidity in their immediate area. Finally, many home gardeners invest in humidifiers just for their plants.
Watering & Soil
Lots of people wonder if misting plants helps the humidity in the air or if it counts as watering. The answer is that in the case of Polka dot begonias, neither is beneficial. The humidity boost is very temporary.
Water on leaves can contribute to powdery mildew and other kinds of mold. What’s more, the droplets act like magnifying glasses under sunbeams and can actually scorch the leaves.
Your watering technique makes a difference in Begonia maculata care. Cane begonias store water in their thick stalks, so their roots don’t like soggy soil. While the soil needs to be lightly moist, let the top half-inch dry between waterings to prevent root rot.
Dry topsoil helps keep fungus and gnats under control. Don’t water at all if the soil is wet. Many gardeners promote drainage for their plants by placing a layer of clean pebbles or pieces of broken crockery inside the pot before adding any soil.
Bottom watering is best for begonias because wet leaves encourage mold. To bottom water, place the container in a tray of water for 10-20 minutes. The soil uniformly absorbs water with this method. IMPORTANT: Allow excess water to drain after removing the pot.
Potting Mix And Amendment
Choose a light potting mix made for houseplants. The best soil pH is slightly acidic to neutral (6.0-7.0). A soil amendment is an additive to the basic mix that improves certain characteristics, just like an amendment to the constitution. Here are some good soil amendments for begonias:
Perlite: A white air-filled volcanic mineral used for aerating the soil and improving drainage; think of it as volcanic popcorn. It’s not the same as vermiculite, a mica-like expandable mineral that absorbs water.
Wood chips: Wood chips provide aeration and organic material that enriches the soil, so a few chips mixed into the potting soil are beneficial. While they deter the growth of weeds in beds, they should be used cautiously as mulch. Be sure to lay the wood chips a few inches away from each plant to prevent them from holding in excess moisture and causing root rot.
Fertilizer And Compost
Fertilizer: Add a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 2-4 weeks to potted plants when actively growing and blooming. Feed bedding plants a little less often. “Balanced” refers to equal parts of the “Big 3” primary nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Diluted liquid fertilizers are more readily absorbed than dry mixtures because they don’t cause fertilizer burn resulting in yellow or brown leaves and root damage. Compost: A little bit goes a long way and it’s all good. Half a handful per pot is reasonable, less than the recommendations on the bag.
Nitrogen (N) is used by plants to make proteins, the building blocks of most tissues in all living things; nitrogen in the soil contributes to lush foliage. Phosphorus (P) helps plants grow and develop; adequate phosphorus is necessary for blooming. Potassium (K) contributes to overall vigor as well as to disease and stress resistance; potassium in the soil also promotes the development of healthy root systems.
The ideal soil texture is light, fluffy, and springy. We’ll talk about repotting in a moment.
Begonia maculata Light & Temperature
Knowing the origins of a plant will clue you into its basic needs. Since these begonias come from the understory of tropical forests in Brazil, you can deduce that Begonia maculata care involves bright indirect light and warm temperatures.
Strong filtered light stimulates growth and blossoming. You can increase the amount of light during the active blooming season but avoid direct sunlight.
HAPPY TIP: Depending on where you live, you might give your indoor begonias an eastern or western exposure all year round, or provide a southern exposure during the coldest months. Maintain the room temperatures from 65°F (18°C) to 86°F (30°C). Keep the plant out of drafts because wind is both cooling and drying.
Your polka dot begonia will bloom for you from spring to fall, little cascading clusters of white or pale pink flowers with bright yellow centers. Other species and cultivars bloom in additional colors. You don’t have to deadhead them (remove the dead flowers) because they’ll dry up and drop off on their own while more bloom.
A gardening tip: did you know that polka dot begonias and many other plants are stimulated to bloom when they are slightly rootbound? However, you don’t want your plants to become too rootbound because it uses up the soil’s nutrients.
Pruning & Transplanting
Pruning is part of Begonia maculata care. To stimulate bushy growth instead of tall, leggy growth, prune at least twice a year. Although you’ll commonly hear the term “pinching” or “pinching back,” don’t pinch anything.
Use sharp shears sterilized by dipping in isopropyl alcohol. The growing cane tips secrete a hormone that suppresses branching growth, so nipping top tips will redirect the growing energy to the side branches. You can remove old, unhealthy leaves at the same time you prune.
Repotting every spring before bloom time is another part of Begonia maculata care to prevent the soil from becoming depleted. Unlike the great outdoors where beneficial worms, bacteria, and other critters thrive in the soil, the environment inside pots and urns is very limited without the normal influxes in an outdoor ecological system.
If you can’t repot, at least refresh with new soil and amendments. While a much larger pot will encourage your begonia to grow larger, it will delay flowering because its growing efforts are directed to the root system.
Begonia maculata Propagation: How to Make Babies
Now you can learn how to grow more begonias. These plants are easy to propagate. Not only can you divide overgrown plants when you’re repotting them, but you can also start new plants from stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, and seeds.
Stem cuttings in water: With a sterilized knife or pair of shears, cut a piece of healthy stem a few inches long at a 45-degree angle to create more cut surface. Remove the bottom few leaves. The cut stem surface produces rooting hormones so you don’t need to do anything more than place the cutting in a small container of water. Provide good light and change the water every 3-5 days.
Stem cuttings in soil: Dip the end of the cutting in powdered root hormone. Using a chopstick or similar tool, make a hole in the potting soil so you won’t damage the cutting when you insert it into the soil. Press the soil around the stem to eliminate air pockets. Water thoroughly. Put a plastic bag over the top of the container to make a mini-greenhouse, opening it every few days.
Begonia maculata Care: Cuttings And Seeds
Leaf cuttings: Although slower to produce than stem cuttings, one leaf can generate several tiny new plants. Cut a healthy leaf from your begonia. On the underside, make slashes along the main large veins.
Fasten or pin the leaf underside down onto a bed of firm, moist potting soil. Use a plastic bag over the container to conserve moisture. When the new plants have erupted from the slashed areas, gently remove and repot them.
Begonia maculata seeds: The seeds are tiny and fragile. Use a tray filled with sterile potting soil formulated for seed planting to prevent fungal diseases. Mix the seeds with a neutral material such as sawdust or clean sand and gently scatter the seed mixture over the sterile seed starting medium.
This method spreads them more evenly. Gently press them into the soil with your fingers or a piece of cardboard but don’t cover them. They will need 4-6 weeks to germinate and grow before transplanting.
Best Plant Buddies
Choose plants with similar needs: humid air and bright indirect light. To arrange a pleasing design in a container, select a tall plant or two and surround it with bushier mid-level plants. Complete the design with cascading foliage and flowers growing over the edges of the container (often called “spillers”).
Your color palette can use contrasting or related colors, whatever is most pleasing to you. Unlike paintings, plants grow at different rates so your creation will change over time. Go to a reputable plant nursery and get recommendations from the staff. You’ll have so much fun! Good companion plants for Begonia maculata in urns or in groupings include these:
Begonias: Other begonias
Caladium: Big leaves in a variety of white, pink, red, and green color combinations
Coleus: Bushy easy-care foliage in many colors
Creeping jenny (moneywort): Long, low-growing stems with round leaves
Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’): Low and bushy with heart-shaped green and silver leaves
Indoors & Outdoors
Unless you live in a tropical location, you’ll have much more control over your houseplants’ environment indoors. You can also move them around easily. Constant monitoring is necessary because containers dry out more quickly than garden beds. You may have fewer pests indoors.
Begonia maculata is hardy outdoors in USDA Zone 10. In garden beds, your plants will have access to all the benefits of the rich natural soil ecology. You can put your potted babies outdoors during the warm season and move them back inside when the weather turns cold. Once outdoors, though, plants are available to all kinds of changes in the environment including other critters and changeable conditions.
Troubleshooting: Pests, Pestilence, Poor Nutrition, & Other Problems
Preventing problems is usually easier than dealing with problems. Even the best Begonia maculata care can’t prevent all difficulties. Here are a few of the most common challenges to begonia health: Pests: Mealybugs are white scale-type insects that secret sticky patches of protective white wax.
Although they suck on the sap of their host plants, they’re more unsightly than dangerous. Whiteflies, their cousins, technically aren’t flies even though they resemble them. They cluster underneath leaves and suck on plant juices. Spray these pests off with water or a mild solution of water, neem oil, and liquid dish soap. You can also wipe them off with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.
Pestilence: Most of the diseases that affect Begonia maculata plants are fungal or bacterial colonies thriving due to overwatering or overly high humidity. Powdery mildew, botrytis, bacterial leaf spot, and root rot are the most common. Adjusting the environmental conditions where they flourish is the best way to prevent them.
Poor nutrition: Although fertilizing as recommended is helpful, begonias aren’t heavy feeders. Using the right potting soil mixture and repotting annually will ensure that your plants are well-nourished.
Other problems: Signs of underwatering include crispy dry brown patches on leaves, leaf loss, and failure to flower. Related signs of faded leaf spots, yellowing, or scorching might indicate too much direct sun.
Treat your houseplants like pets because they are, they are living beings. Check them frequently for abnormal signs. Review their care needs. Isolate them if necessary to prevent contagious problems from spreading. They will thank you later.
How to Buy Polka Dot Begonias
The polka dot begonia will thank you with 2-3 years of dramatic beauty when you give it the right Begonia maculata care. To start out with a healthy plant, choose a reliable source with a good reputation and knowledgeable, responsive staff.
You can order online, but if you need to return the plant, transactions can be time-consuming. But buying from a local nursery, you not only support businesses in your community, but you can visually inspect the plant yourself.
Are the leaves clean and healthy? Are there signs of new growth? Is the soil free of mineral crust, mold, and crawling, flying creatures? Is the pot severely rootbound? Does the nursery have a refund policy? Some people like to put new plants into temporary isolation to prevent passing any contagious problem on to other plants in the home.
FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions about Begonia Maculata
How Do You Pronounce Begonia maculata?
Since Latin is no longer a commonly spoken language, and since there were several pronunciation differences during the language’s evolution, people say the name of this plant in slightly different ways. This clip demonstrates the most common American pronunciation.
Do Bees Like Polka Dot Begonias?
Not so much. They have almost no nectar. What’s more, bees prefer blue, purple, and yellow flowers. You can learn more about the kinds of flowers bees like best by reading our post here. Begonia maculata care means checking your indoor and outdoor plants every day for evidence of multi-legged invaders.
If Polka Dot Begonias Have No Nectar, Why Should I Put Them In My Garden?
Because they’re pretty. You may want to put them outside but keep them in their urns instead of planting them in the ground. Other types of smaller begonias make attractive bedding plants as annuals just for the warm season. Polka dot begonias provide nectar for the human soul. To find out how to help butterflies and other pollinators with better nectar-producing flowers, check out our Happy Tails article here.
Are Begonia maculata Plants Toxic?
The fibrous roots are the most toxic. The juices of the entire plant contain microscopic needle-like crystals of calcium oxalate that eventually break down into oxalic acid. Chewing causes burning and swelling in the animal’s mouth, soon followed by nausea, vomiting, and even kidney damage. Although some begonia flowers are edible, don’t risk your pets’ health by reading a misleading article.
Polka Dot Begonias: Final Thoughts
Are you under stress? It’s been scientifically demonstrated that the amygdala, a part of the brain related to the emotional system, responds to gentle round shapes. Having a polka dot begonia in your home might contribute to your mental health by helping release your inner sense of play and fun because you feel safe. In fact, many cultures believe that polka dots bring good luck, wealth, and prosperity. Providing Begonia maculata care to your big polka dot baby might be just the thing to help turn your life around.
Can dogs eat beets? Which kind of beets are you asking about? Red beets? Golden beets? Sugar beets? We’re going to answer all those questions as well as many others. What’s more, we’re going to leave you singing — wait and see!
Are Beets Good for Dogs?
In the wild, the wolf ancestors of dogs were not pure carnivores. Not only did they feed on the different kinds of prey they caught, but they took advantage of other available nutrition sources such as eggs, insects, fish, vomit, and poop. In addition, they also ate their prey’s stomach contents containing plant material.
We’ve all seen our dogs eat grasses as well as a variety of vegetables and fruits. Beets are just one of many veggies that make an excellent canine dietary supplement when prepared correctly. Moreover, others include carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and squash such as zucchini. Check out our Tips for Happy Tails often because we post new articles on pet nutrition all the time!
What’s the Best Food for Dogs?
If you’re one of those people always reading food labels, good! That’s important. However, you need to know how to read between the lines to understand what “beef dinner” or “meat meal” or “complete and balanced” really means. Labels present as well as hide a lot of information because they’re composed by marketing experts, not nutritionists.
One way to ensure that your dog gets the best food possible is to make it yourself using the right balance of fresh, organic ingredients. Have you ever made pancakes from scratch? Even if you haven’t, you know from common sense that you don’t add eight crocodile eggs to a half cup of flour, and you don’t fry the batter in WD-40 oil. The ingredients have to be digestible and in the right proportion. So it is with natural dog food.
An increasingly popular way of providing pets with delicious and healthful meals is with the BARF diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. When you know the basics of canine nutrition, you know exactly what ingredients will do more than meet the bare minimum legal requirements the way most commercial foods are formulated.
They will make your beloved buddy feel good all the time. About your question “Can dogs eat beets?” — just keep reading to find out why the answer is YES.
How Do Beets Improve Dogs’ Health? Benefits of Beetroot For Dogs
Whenever dog lovers ask a question like “Can dogs eat beets?”, they show how much they care. As you can see below, beets contain a wealth of nourishment as well as many other micronutrients not listed:
Beta-carotene: Precursor to Vitamin A aiding in skin and coat health as well as eyes, immune system, and mucus membranes
Betalains and other anti-oxidants: Appear to have therapeutic benefits for oxidative stress and inflammation
Fiber: Needed for digestion, blood sugar stabilization, fat metabolism, and a sensation of satisfaction after eating
Iron: Needed to form blood and aid in energy metabolism
Magnesium: Needed for enzyme and hormone function, cell membranes, and formation of bones and teeth
Manganese: Needed for enzyme function, nerve function, and bone development
Nitrates: Plant-sourced nitrates promote blood vessel health and lower blood pressure
Potassium: Needed for nerve function, enzyme function, and blood chemistry
Vitamin A: Needed for growth, vision, and immune function
Vitamin B9 (folate): Needed for protein synthesis and metabolism and hemoglobin function
Vitamin B12: Needed for enzyme function, white blood cells, appetite
Vitamin C: Did you know that dogs don’t need a source of vitamin C because their bodies manufacture it?
Scientists are actively exploring many aspects of beet nutrition, so keep your eyes peeled for updates on this exciting topic.
TIP: Add Organic Beetroot Powder To Your Dog’s Bowl
Organic Beetroot Powder – a human dose of beetroot powder is approximately 2-3 Teaspoons per day. This would equate to approx 1 Teaspoon per 35 pounds of weight. For smaller dogs, 1/2 Teaspoon per 15 pounds. And don’t forget beets are considered a “Superfood” so cats can have beets just as well. Typically cats weigh between 8-16 pounds, on average. They could have 1/4 teaspoon. *** Dogs or Cats with kidney stones should not consume due to naturally occurring nitrates.
How to Use Beets for Dog Allergies
Although scientists are discovering more and more about allergies and inflammation all the time, there’s still a lot to learn. Allergic reactions are the result of an overactive and misguided immune system. It appears that many allergic and inflammatory conditions result from continued exposure to toxins as well as a chronically imbalanced diet.
One of the best things you can do for your pets’ health is to learn about the benefits of organic, natural foods from clean sources and fed in the right proportions. If clean food is good for you, why wouldn’t it be good for your pets? Canines have different dietary requirements from humans, but clean is clean.
Can dogs eat beets as part of a clean BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet? Absolutely yes! Beets contain several nutrients that are very beneficial for skin and immune system health. Be sure to feed as recommended without overdoing it.
Are Beets Safe for Dogs?
Can dogs eat beets as much as they want? No. The liquid with canned beets has a high sodium content plus chemicals leached from the coatings used to line the cans. The skin of raw beets is tough and can cause choking or intestinal blockage. Being naturally acidic, beets can irritate the digestive tract of some dogs, causing vomiting or diarrhea.
Beets are high in oxalates which, when ingested in excess, can contribute to kidney stones. Oxalates also bind with calcium and iron, preventing their absorption. They can also aggravate gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and allergies. To minimize these issues, choose organic beets and be sure to wash them well and peel the roots.
Can Dogs Eat Beets Raw?
Cows chew their cud to make it more digestible, so you can make raw beets more digestible for your pooch by peeling and grating them and then pureeing or mashing them. If you want to lightly cook them, blanching and steaming will preserve the nutrients better than other methods.
Can Dogs Have Beet Juice?
Can dogs eat beets? By now you know the answer is definitely yes, but the answer about beet juice might surprise you. First, the red liquid sloshing around inside cans of beets is not beet juice — it’s mostly salty water dyed by the beets. It has very few nutrients but can contain BPA (bisphenol A) and other compounds found in polycarbonate plastics used for food containers and for lining metal cans.
Real beet juice is made from water and pureed beetroot. Since beets are higher in sugar than most vegetables, the juice is very sweet. Your dog is better off having beetroot mixed in food, and a big bowl of fresh water on the side. The juice can result in a sudden sugar spike for dogs with diabetes.
Can Dogs Eat Pickled Beets?
An occasional slice or pickle bit usually won’t cause a problem, but most pickles contain ingredients that aren’t good for your dogs. As a matter of fact, many pickling ingredients are contrary to our dogs’ health in large doses. You definitely want to avoid pickled snacks for pooches with kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, or weight problems. Here are the culprits:
Salt/sodium: Can raise blood pressure and aggravate certain medical conditions such as kidney and heart disease
Vinegar: Is acidic and can cause digestive upsets, bad for dogs with kidney disease
Sugar: Fattening, bad for dogs with diabetes, cardiac conditions, and obesity
Xylitol: Sugar substitute highly toxic to dogs
Myristicin in cinnamon and nutmeg: Toxic to dogs
Onion: Toxic to dogs
Garlic: Toxic to dogs if not given correctly
How To Prepare Beets For Dogs
Choose organically grown beets and use them at their freshest. Scrub them to remove unwanted residues and spray or rinse the greens thoroughly. Peel the skin from the beetroot. Store unused portions in the refrigerator or freeze.
BEETS FOR DOGS — A HEALTHY & TASTY DOG FOOD RECIPE
Chicken: 2lb./900 kg. chicken breasts Beets: 1 large or 2 small fresh beets, peeled Greens: Bag of mixed leafy greens Brown rice: 1 cup (250 ml) Yogurt: 1/2 cup
Bake the chicken breast at 350F about 20 minutes until the juices run clear.
Add beets and cook for about 30-35 minutes.
Cook rice and add an extra 1/2 cup water.
Add mixed leafy greens to rice mixture while cooking.
Add 2 inches of water into pot and bring to a boil.
Add beet to steaming basket and place in the steamer pot. Steam until tender, about 25 minutes.
Remove pot, let cool.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mash cooled beet until smooth.
Put oats into a blender or food processor and make into a flour consistency.
Mix beet, banana, and yogurt together.
Fold in flour and oats.
Form a dough ball and roll out on a flat, floured surface.
Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
Place shapes onto cookie sheets.
Back at 350 degrees for 11- 14 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool down at least 30 minutes.
Store in airtight container, but first don’t forget to share one or two with the dog.
NOTES: Roll dough out on parchment paper for easier clean-up. Place parchment paper on cooling rack before placing cookies on the rack Wear gloves to work with this dough unless you don’t mind pink hands.
Sour Cream Icing 1/4 cup sour cream 1 tsp honey 1 tsp cornstarch 1 tsp water 1-2 drops of leftover beet puree
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place beets in food processor or blender and process until pureed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer or wooden spoon, combine flour, baking powder, pureed beets, honey, and coconut oil. Mix until combined, taking care not to over-mix.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about ¼” thick. Using whatever cookie cutter you desire, cut out shapes from cookie dough. Place on prepared baking sheet about an inch apart.
Bake cookies for 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a metal rack to cool completely.
Once cookies are cool, top with sour cream icing. You can either spread on with a spatula or pipe on with a pastry bag.
Sour Cream Icing Put sour cream, honey, cornstarch, and water in a small bowl and whisk together. Add in a little bit of beet puree or natural food coloring to give icing a pink tinge if desired.
NOTES: Keep a little bit of the beet puree to the side to use to color your icing. Feel free to use any type of flour and oil you want for these cookies. Mention @wearenotmartha and share a photo if you’ve made the recipe!
You should feed your dog beets from local organic sources because it supports your community, your country, and your planet. In fact, if you want to plant beets in your garden for your canine buddy and you to share, they’re not difficult to grow if you live in a cooler climate. Gardening is a great activity to enjoy together!
FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Beet Greens?
Like the beetroot, beet greens should be fed in moderation because they contain high levels of oxalates and nitrates. These two compounds work together to cause the same kind of kidney problems that beets can bring on if consumed in large amounts. They’re very nutritious for humans as well as dogs, but go easy.
Can Dogs Eat Beets Of Different Colors?
Red beets are the most nutritious for your canine buddy. While golden beets are high in antioxidants, they’re also a little higher in sugar. White beets are the sweetest, contributing over half of the domestic sugar production in the United States.
Are Beets Good For The Liver?
The liver is a busy organ in the body. It works 24/7 filtering every drop of blood to identify and detoxify harmful compounds but it has to be healthy to function. In addition, beets not only contribute iron but also a significant number of antioxidants to fight inflammation and oxidative stress.
Will Red Beets Make Dogs’ Pee and Poop Turn Pink Or Purple?
Compounds in red beets have been used for hundreds of years as a natural dye. Did you know that some Victorians used it to color their hair? It definitely can add an unusual but temporary pink or red tinge to your pooch’s pee and poop.
Can dogs eat beets? Now you know. And the more you know, the more power you have to change life for the better for you and your canine companions. From now on, maybe one of Sonny and Cher’s famous songs will remind you of the many health benefits of this beautiful vegetable and you won’t be able to stop yourself from singing, “And the beet goes on … and the beet goes on!”
Mariposa, Schmitter, Papillon; it doesn’t matter how you say it or in what language you say it, butterflies are just plain fascinating and beautiful. If you have watched these lovely creatures flit about out in the wild or in your yard at home, you have probably wondered a lot about them, such as, “What Do Butterflies Eat?”
How can you get more butterflies to come into your yard? How long do butterflies live? Where do butterflies sleep, or do they even sleep at all? These questions, and many others, are exactly what causes people to be so fascinated by these simple insects. You may even be pleasantly surprised and pleased by the answers to many of your butterfly questions.
What Do Butterflies Eat?
People watch butterflies land on flowers and plants. They assume that butterflies “eat” the plants or flowers. However, that’s not how eating and digestion work for the 17,500 different sub-species of butterflies in the world today.
When you are wondering “What do butterflies eat?”, you must first understand that butterflies do not have teeth or working mouthparts the way animals do. They are, after all, insects. Their mouthparts consist of a proboscis, which curls into a coil and sits resting under their heads when they are not trying to consume their meals. When they are ready to eat, the long, thin proboscis uncurls into a straight, stick-like siphon.
The butterfly uses these mouthparts to tap into a flower’s center, where nectar collects. The butterfly lives strictly on nectar alone as a food source, although some sub-species may also consume droplets of dew as a means of staying hydrated. (Dew is their water drink of choice.)
While butterflies prefer nectar, they are not entirely opposed to “tasting” anything sweet. They may land and use their proboscis to “taste” something like a blot of ice cream on the sidewalk, dripping sap or honey on a tree, or even the sugar syrup humans make to entice hummingbirds to a hummingbird feeder. However, the nutrition butterflies need is in the flowers they visit.
How Do Butterflies Taste? Their Remarkable Sensing Ability
To clarify, this is about how butterflies use their own sense of taste, not how butterflies themselves taste to humans, birds, or other predators. If you watch butterflies long enough, you might start to realize that butterflies will land on almost anything green or colorful, but they only seem to drink from certain flowers or plants.
For a long time, it was assumed that butterflies taste with their proboscis. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Yet some very observant scientists finally noticed that butterflies don’t always unfurl their proboscis on everything they land on. Still, a butterfly might walk around on a flower or plant for several minutes without seeming to drink or eat.
It could be that the butterfly is just taking a rest, but it is far more likely that it is tasting with its feet! You see, the butterfly has developed a very unique way to smell and taste things without eating them. It uses the receptors on its legs to first smell an object and then taste it.
In this way, the butterfly recognizes what is safe to eat because it has already smelled an object and tasted it just by landing on it. The butterfly can also tell if the flower is something it likes the taste of or has drank from before.
If by tasting and smelling something the butterfly realizes that it isn’t safe to consume or just tastes bad, it flies away. It preserves its own life and what precious little time it has on this planet by not eating something that is not good.
What Do Butterflies Eat in Winter When There Are No Flowers?
When you wonder about what do butterflies eat in winter, it’s simple. They don’t. Butterflies have very short lifespans and tend to live through the warmer months, breeding in late summer or early fall one last time, and then dying.
However, there are some species, like the beautiful orange and black monarch butterfly, that migrate to warmer climates. These migrating sub-species will find and consume nectar from more flowers in those climates. They may or may not survive the winter there before migrating north again.
Do Butterflies Eat Honey?
Honey is essentially the digested pollen bees gather and deposit in a honeycomb. While it is very sweet, a butterfly is not likely to consume it on a regular basis, especially if there are plenty of flowers around.
However, you may be able to draw the attention of butterflies by placing some watered-down honey in a feeder outside your home. (You may also draw bees, wasps, and hornets, so be careful about where you place this honey-water feeder.)
Likewise, sweet tree sap of fruit trees or maple trees will draw the attention of butterflies. You may see them land and “taste” with their legs. You may even see them uncurl their proboscises for a “drink”. Yet, the standard food for almost all butterflies is the nectar in flowers and flowering shrubs or trees.
What Do Butterflies Eat in Terms of Flowers?
Like most people you are probably wondering, “What flowers do butterflies eat?”
The sweetest flowers draw the most attraction to butterflies. These flowers might be actual flowers, or they might be blossoms on a bush or tree. Butterflies really love cherry and apple trees, blueberry bushes, and tulip trees. They are partial to mint, honeysuckle, lavender, lilacs, and a few other fragrant flowering bushes.
As for flowers, butterflies love snapdragons, phlox, hollyhocks, cornflowers, daylilies, lupines and pansies. There are many other flowering plants and flowers you can plant to encourage these colorful and delicate creatures to visit your yard.
The best thing is that it is easy to combine colors and heights of these plants to create a continuous show all spring, summer, and early fall.
How Do Butterflies Mate?
It is rare to witness the mating of butterflies. They have made an art form of making love and creating life, and they have done it with more intent for survival than any other reason. This is because a long courtship sitting on a flower makes them perfect prey for anything that would eat a butterfly.
When you want to know “How do butterflies mate?”, it is quite the show. Male butterflies do a little dance to show off for nearby females. Interested females will step forward for a closer look. The males then release mating pheromones that get the females excited and ready to mate.
The male picks a willing female and they literally hook up butt end to butt end. Then they fly around for up to a full day (24 hours) like this to avoid being eaten while they mate.
During this flight of love, the male shoots a sperm packet into the end of the female. Then they finally separate. Most males will die off after courtship because their life cycles are complete. Females will live long enough to lay eggs anywhere where it is safe to lay eggs.
A Unique Amazing Fertilzation Process
As each egg leaves the female butterfly’s abdomen, it passes through the pocket of sperm left behind by the male. It is fertilized before it is ejected and stuck to a leaf or other surface. In a few days to just a couple of weeks, the eggs hatch and tiny caterpillars enter the world to begin the butterfly life cycle all over again.
Some eggs may overwinter with certain butterfly sub-species. When that happens, the eggs will not hatch until they feel the warmth of the sun and surrounding air. For this reason, you should leave any butterfly eggs you find outside alone. They will be alright eventually.
What Do Butterflies Eat When They Are Mating?
They might not eat at all. Considering that they are in flight for most of the sexual relationship, eating is not on their minds. Additionally, the male will not need much nourishment as most male butterflies die shortly after their mating ritual.
IF the mating pair decide to take a short flight break, they will land on a flower still conjoined at the ends of their abdomens.
Females may take a short meal or two during mating because it takes a lot to mate and then begin creating eggs. If you happen to witness a mating pair of butterflies still joined and on a flower or bush, leave them be. They are very busy trying to create hundreds more of themselves for you to enjoy next year.
What Do Butterflies Eat When They Are Caterpillars vs. Full Grown Butterflies?
When you think of caterpillars, you might imagine those fuzzy, wriggly, little worm-like bugs that you find on a lot of plants. Some are very pretty, some are very fuzzy, soft, or woolly, and some have amazing defense systems for warding off predators.
Caterpillars have voracious appetites. They can eat their way through entire fields of plants before finally entering the pupa/cocoon stage.
Caterpillars stay inside their cocoons to complete a total metamorphosis into butterflies. They lose their chubby, worm-like bodies and self-defense features and become tiny, delicate, winged creatures. Butterflies are as much adored by farmers as bees are for their important role in growing crops. That is because butterflies help pollinate crops their caterpillar selves once ate.
So when you consider “What do butterflies eat?” versus “What do caterpillars eat?”, it’s clear that the metamorphosis these creatures make also alters and impacts their diet. Instead of consuming plants, they end up drinking nectar and helping plants grow. It’s really quite an amazing circle of life for such a tiny insect.
What Do Butterflies Eat When They Are Raised as Part of a Butterfly Garden/Exhibit?
Several museums and public arboretums have chosen to keep and raise butterflies in an enclosure. These exhibits are really popular with children who can see butterflies and caterpillars up close.
Many of these butterflies are gently handled often so that people visiting arboretums, museums, and botanical gardens can actually hold butterflies and have butterflies land on them!
If you have never seen one of these exhibits, it’s a real treat. It might also spark the question about what the caretakers of these butterflies feed the little winged insects.
Usually, there’s a little water fountain or a misting appliance in the enclosure to provide water for the butterflies. Then little trays of brightly colored gravel with lots of honey water over the top are placed out for the butterflies to sip from. Many of these exhibits also include dozens of live flowers and flowering plants.
What Attracts Butterflies Into Your Yard?
Think bright colors. Think lovely perfumed breezes wafting through your open windows. If it’s beautiful, colorful, and smells divine to you, it’s exactly what will bring the butterflies to your yard.
It’s a lot of work tending that many flowers and flowering plants, but it’s worth it to see so many butterflies and colorful moths flutter around and pollinate your yard.
If you consult with a landscaper or a horticulturist, they will tell you exactly how to plant a garden that not only draws butterflies, but encourages them to mate and lay eggs for you. Then you will be able to watch the life cycle of these amazing little creatures for as long as your garden grows and blooms.
Lastly, you should know it isn’t difficult to feed butterflies. It isn’t difficult to draw them to you. Butterflies are drawn by what they see and smell, so you could be wearing bright colors and smell like a naturally sweet perfume and they would land on you. Just be aware that if they do land on you, they are smelling and tasting you with their feet before deciding to take off for better-tasting flowers.
Can dogs eat olives? If you have canine companions, then you know that dogs can eat about anything they want. They make a habit of trying at every chance they get! Maybe what you’re really asking is, “Are olives okay snacks for dogs?” The short answer is yes.
You asked the right question by asking about snacks. Olives pack a lot of nutrition, as we’ll describe in a moment. They’re tasty and filling, too, so they give your pooch the feeling of being well-fed. We’ve got a few recipes for you to try, but first, let’s find out more about olives.
What’s Special About Olives?
Olives are so special that women have been named after this Mediterranean fruit for centuries. Even Popeye’s girlfriend Olive Oyl is named for them! People have been cultivating them in the Mediterranean for over 7,000 years, although remnants of olive pits with barley and fruit dating back 19,000 years have been discovered in Israel.
If dogs were with any of those people, then undoubtedly some dogs ate some olives. In ancient Greek mythology, the goddess Athena’s gift of olives to the god Poseidon was more valuable than the horse he implored to give her.
However, the olive not only represented food, but its precious oil meant medicine, perfume, and fuel for light and heat, ultimately representing wealth and power for mankind. And dogkind.
Can Dogs Have Olive Oil?
Positively yes! Olive oil has several health benefits you should know about. It contains “healthy fats” including omega-3 fatty acids and oleic acid as well as antioxidants including vitamin E, carotenoids, and polyphenols that support a healthy immune system.
The nutrients from a teaspoon for every 20 pounds of body weight twice daily will promote brain function, cardiac function, and healthy skin and coat. If your pooch has never had it before, consider checking with the veterinarian first and then starting slowly.
Using EVOO is best — Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You can also use olive oil as a skin moisturizer by mixing 5-10 drops in a cup of water and massaging it into your dog’s coat daily until it’s looking good, especially during cold or dry seasons. Continue thereafter as needed.
Can Dogs Eat Black Olives?
Olives are nutritious, especially black olives. Are black olives poisonous? No. Are black olives toxic to dogs? No. Be sure to remove the pit. The only problem with olives is that salt is used in the curing process, but we’ll tell you how to de-salt them in a moment.
Can Dogs Eat Kalamata Olives?
First, you might be wondering what a kalamata olive is. It’s a cultivar, or an olive type, from southern Greece, big and brown and meaty and very nutritious. It contains hydroxytyrosol, an antioxidant valued for its ability to regulate blood cholesterol levels.
Olives are like grapes in that climate makes a difference in the nutritional value and taste of the fruit. Yes, your dog can have kalamata olives as an occasional snack when you remove the pit, but be aware that they contain a large amount of sodium.
Can Dogs Eat Green Olives?
Yes, but green olives aren’t as nutritious as the black ones and they contain more sodium. Can dogs eat olives with pimentos? You’re really asking, “Can dogs eat pimentos?” The answer is yes! Check out our post on dogs eating bell peppers!
What’s important to remember is that many strongly flavored plants such as onions and garlic are poisonous to dogs, potentially causing digestive distress in small amounts and death in large amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Olives and Garlic?
Olives, yes, garlic NO.
How Many Olives Can Dogs Eat?
One. Two. Occasionally. Without the pit and without any stuffing except pimento.
Will Olive Pits Hurt My Dog?
YES. They’re sharp, hard, and indigestible. Depending on the size of your dog, the pit can lodge itself in the esophagus or intestinal tract, causing pain, damage, and/or blockage.
Can Dogs Have Olives from a Jar? Can Dogs Have Olives from a Can?
Yes, the olives are good, but the problem is in the liquid. The brine is full of sodium (the major component of salt). Dogs require much less sodium than humans; too much causes overload that can result in dehydration, high blood pressure, or fluid buildup, especially if your pet has heart, kidney, or liver problems.
You Can Take the Olive Out of the Brine but Can You Take the Brine Out of the Olive?
Can Dogs Eat Olives in Brine? The answer is YES after you unsalt them! Here is the general technique to desalinate (unsalt) your olives:
Drain and rinse olives.
Place in a bowl.
Cover with water.
Replace water hourly.
Repeat several times.
Taste for saltiness.
Store unused olives in olive oil (EVOO not necessary). When olives are gone, the oil can be used for cooking.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Olives? Can Dogs Eat Olives Off The Tree?
Yes, as long as the pit is removed. Raw olives are exceedingly bitter and your dog may not like the taste. If you have a small dog that likes them, slice them so they don’t get stuck.
Why Are Black Olives In Cans And Green Olives In Jars?
Black olives are ripe, and the canning process is meant to cook and sweeten them. Green olives are unripe and uncooked, so the packing process that retains their fresh flavor uses glass jars. Both curing methods use salt.
Where Are Unsalted Olives Sold?
The curing process to remove the natural bitterness of olives involves salt, vinegar, or lye. Internet research can provide current resources as well as information on purchasing raw olives.
What Happens If My Dog Has Too Much Sodium?
Although dietary intake of too much salt (sodium) is rare in healthy dogs, symptoms of salt poisoning can be serious in puppies, older dogs, pregnant females, and dogs with medical conditions. Contact the veterinarian if you suspect a problem.
Can Cats Have Olives?
Cats can have olives if they choose to eat them, but they’re not very nutritious to the feline digestive system. What’s more, in addition to the high salt content, olives can cause an upset stomach. If the pit is consumed, it can block a small cat’s intestines.
Benefits of BARF
Before we share some delicious and nutritious dog treat recipes with you, we want to offer you information on the benefits of BARF. No, not about barfing, but about Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods. Many dog lovers are finding that their companions thrive when provided with a fresh, natural, unprocessed, balanced diet that includes the right amounts of the right nutrients.
You know that many pet food companies cut corners by adding artificial ingredients such as dyes and preservatives along with minimally digestible forms of processed leftover food sources. We know you love your dog and want what’s best.
Recipes for Treats to Use For Training And Bonding
2 cups of whole wheat flour (You can substitute a gluten-free blend or chickpea flour which works well in this recipe) 1 cup rolled oats ½ cup wheat germ *Optional if you are baking gluten-free 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ cup peanut butter – no additives, unsweetened (If you prefer not to use peanut products, you can substitute banana or pumpkin puree here) ⅓ cup McEvoy Ranch California Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 large eggs Water to bind the dough (chicken or beef stock can be used here, too, or substitute vegetable stock if your pal is a vegetarian)
Preheat oven to 300F.
Line a sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all dry ingredients: flour, oats, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and cinnamon. Combine all wet ingredients: peanut butter, olive oil and eggs.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Add water or stock as needed to form a thick dough that holds together but is not sticky.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead together.
Pat into a flat round or rectangle and roll approximately ¼ “ thick.
Cut into desired shapes and place on the parchment-lined sheet pan.
Gather scraps together, roll and cut again. (I have it on good authority that our little pals are just fine with the odd scraps as well as the perfectly cut shapes). Bake 40 to 60 minutes.
The biscuits will not color but you can touch-test them to see if they are firm. They will be nice and crunchy if they are firm to the touch when you pull them out of the oven. Cool and share. Tails will be wagging!
YIELD 2-3 DOZEN TREATS, DEPENDING ON COOKIE CUTTER SIZE
PREP TIME 20 minutes
COOK TIME 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME 50 minutes
INGREDIENTS 2 3/4 cups (372 grams) whole wheat flour 1 cup (75 grams) wheat germ 1/2 cup (43 grams) ground flax seed 3 large eggs (153 grams, weighed out of shell) 1/2 cup (106 grams) olive oil 1/2 cup (122 grams) unsweetened applesauce 1/2 cup (122 grams) pumpkin puree 1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey
In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and flax seed.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, olive oil, applesauce, pumpkin, and honey until smooth.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Form the dough into a disc.
On floured parchment paper, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thick.
Cut shapes with a cookie cutter and place them an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the treats are deep golden brown and very hard.
Cool completely on a rack before letting your pup enjoy.
Notes If the dough is sticky or hard to work with, refrigerate it for 30 minutes and/or knead in an extra tablespoon or two of flour.
At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.
INGREDIENTS 1 pound lean ground turkey 1/2 cup chopped carrots 1/2 cup peas 1/2 cup oats 2 eggs 3 hard-boiled eggs
Notes from HappyTails: If desired, add 2 rinsed, chopped black olives (preferably after desalinating)
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
In a bowl, mix together the lean ground turkey, chopped carrots, and peas.
Both are healthy for cats and dogs, giving them the nutrition they need for strong eyes and good digestion.
Add the oats and eggs. Mix until the loaf mixture comes together. Oats help your pet’s coat shine, and eggs offer extra protein. Lightly grease a loaf pan with olive oil and then add half the mixture to the pan.
Place the three hard-boiled eggs along the center of the loaf and then cover with the other half of the ground turkey mixture.
Pop in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Cut a half-inch slice from the cooled loaf and offer it to your pet. He’ll be woofing for seconds! If feeding a slice to your feline, it’s a good idea to chop it up before adding it to her feeding dish.
Yield Makes 12 servings Total Time 45 minutes
Can dogs eat olives? YES! And so should you! Together! Without the salt! See a few recipes below.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being): “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”
Any change in our pet’s behavior causes a reason for concern. For many of us, our pets define our sense of happiness, pleasure, and comfort. So, the sudden realization that our furry friends are in any kind of discomfort or distress causes our hearts to flutter. We consider if we need to go to the veterinarian.
Kennel cough is a respiratory infection caused by an infectious agent. Here we are going to show you what the common symptoms of this canine cough include and what the clinical signs look like. But most importantly, what you can do naturally to help your coughing dog and ways to prevent kennel cough.
What is Kennel Cough?
Often distinguished by a dry, hacking noise, almost like a choking sensation, this cough can be easily identified. In the medical community, the condition is referred to more formally as infectious tracheobronchitis. This respiratory disease is highly contagious and rapidly spreads among congregated dogs in any area. Like all respiratory infections, the causative organisms can be transferred from one canine to another in an instant.
Certain conditions such as canine distemper, canine respiratory coronavirus, pneumonia, whooping cough, and canine parainfluenza virus can predispose a dog to kennel cough resulting in a secondary bacterial infection. The method of spreading can easily be understood when compared to the ways the common cold is spread among humans-through the spreading of microscopic droplets. This occurs through contact with infected secretions through inhalation or direct contact with surfaces that have been contaminated.
Likewise, because infectious tracheobronchitis results in excessive coughing, infected dogs spread the disease through spreading air and saliva in the direction of other dogs within their vicinity. Additionally, the infection is known to live for days on objects such as toys and water dishes.
Kennel Cough Symptoms
An animal with infectious tracheobronchitis will display signs and symptoms that will require prompt attention. It typically takes between 4 to 10 days for the symptoms to appear in dogs. Promptly calling your conscientious veterinarian is crucial if you suspect Kennel Cough; the symptoms are relatively similar to more serious diseases such as Canine Influenza or Distemper.
Some common kennel cough symptoms of the disease include:
Persistent, strong cough often with a “honking-like” sound
Abnormally wet or runny nose
Loss of appetite
A dog having a mild form of the kennel cough infection may only present with a non-mucus producing cough, and they may still retain their energy and usual personality. However, animals with more advanced forms of the disease are likely to have a change in overall demeanor and present with some or all of the additional signs and symptoms mentioned.
As pet owners, we are responsible for identifying changes in our animals even if they are the slightest changes. Promptly identifying issues with our pets will stop the increase of intensity of an infection, and will stop the spread of a highly transmissible condition such as this one.
Natural Treatments and Prevention
So, your dog has infectious tracheobronchitis. Now what, you shall ask?
First of all, make every effort not to irritate your dog’s respiratory passages any more than they already are irritated. Strong smelling cleaning chemicals, perfumes, odiferous dryer sheets, smoke, anything with a strong odor is likely to create more discomfort for your best friend. Be mindful of what is in their environment. Dogs and most animals have such a keen sense of smell that strong odors are magnified significantly.
Although there is a medication out there for the treatment of almost everything, it is important to start with identifying what our dog’s lifestyle is like. Is he or she overall healthy?
Natural kennel cough treatment can include:
1) Herbal products. Most food markets and pet food supply stores have these.
2) Honey. Not only does honey soothe the throat, but it also contains disinfectant properties that fight infection. It acts as an antibacterial agent that reduces inflammation.
3) Coconut Oil. These supplements fight bacteria, microbes, fungus, parasites, and other types of infection. It can be considered an all-around infection-fighting agent. Adding a teaspoon per 10 pounds (with a gradual increase in dose) and double the dose given if an infection has occurred.
4) Honey with Coconut Oil. Both natural ingredients work together well. Both infection eliminators can work together to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Better yet-Both taste great!
Next, we identify some of the most critical aspects of an overall healthy dog-their diet, condition of their immune system, and environment.
The significance of a proper diet is surely not to go unnoticed. Not only will our pups stay healthy, but they will also be less likely to catch diseases. Dogs need consistently fed food; switching back and forth is not suitable for their body. Diet is the foundation of health for our 4-legged critters. Keeping a balanced diet is essential to make sure they reach their nutritional requirements.
Dogs are omnivorous animals and require a combination of meat and vegetables in their diet. The best diet you can feed your dog is a specie specific diet. Dogs in the wild eat other animals, raw not cooked food and they eat the bones, the cartilage, and in particular the organs and glands. A premium raw food diet provides the true nutrition needed for building a strong immune system. Hence, the natural resistance to disease and illness.
Immune System Health
The immune system is our body’s initial line of defense against illnesses and pathogens of all kinds. Similar to that of a person, the immune system of animals is important to keep healthy.
More importantly, for any immunocompromised animal, they should be kept away from large groups of animals. They also will require their own equipment and supplies, such as toys, bowls, and bedding, especially when exposed to a dog-populated area. Some of the ways to help our pets have a robust immune system within them include:
Specie specific raw diet
Proper essential nutrients, minerals, omega’s
Keep their weight within the recommended range
Regular exercise and oriented to the needs of specific breeds
Fresh, clean, filtered or spring water
Keeping stress at a minimum
The compromising of the dog’s respiratory tract is due to environmental exposure and stressors. For this reason, some of the everyday stressors can be due to travel, cold temperatures, living in or housed in crowded areas, pollutants such as cigarette smoke or dust, or circulating viruses of any kind. As with all pollutants and stressors, it is vital for overall health, and the health of specifically the respiratory tract, to avoid as much as possible.
Our animal’s lifestyle is also another important factor to consider when avoiding and preventing diseases like infectious tracheobronchitis.
In addition, one of the questions each owner faces is this: If I am not home, should I hire a pet sitter or take care of him or her or board at kennel or doggy daycare?
Well, as there are pros and cons to everything, this decision is just the same. Frequent exposure to other animals or regularly being in tighter vicinities with other dogs significantly increases the chances of exposure and spreading of disease and infection among the animals. No matter the precautions that are taken, transmission can happen.
An important point to consider is leaving your dog at home with a pet sitter, if possible. Being able to do this eliminates the likelihood of being exposed to transmittable infections. This way, each owner has greater control of what and who our pets are exposed to. Most animals/dogs would much rather be at home in their familiar surroundings with the comforting smells of mom or dad or there other buddies.
Boarding and doggy daycare can put enormous stress on an animal, and often goes completely unnoticed.
Additional factors to consider include the size of the area our dog has. Is he or she tightly in a cage beside another or free to run around?
Our Final Verdict
Each of us shares the goal of desiring fewer trips to the vet, and none if all possible. Taking precautions and keeping your pet at home is one way to give them their own space, away from other animals.
But, when all efforts fail and your pet has come down with the infective Kennel Cough Disease, early detection, and natural treatments is essential. Our furry friends will be on the road to recovery and will once again become the healthy pups they are!
Is canine adenovirus the same as kennel cough? It’s not the same but can be a cause of kennel cough
Is the infection caused by a bacterial infection? It is caused by the bordetella bacterium
Is nasal discharge one of the symptoms of an affected dog? Yes it can be one of the symptoms
Is a vaccinated dog more protected from respiratory disease? Not necessarily. Over vaccinated dogs have a weaker immune system which leads to more susceptibility. Proper nutrition through a specie specific diet and a strong immune system are the number one