Friday, February 14, 2014

Calgary Top Bar Hive

I saw some nice TBH plans today that are available for free download. According to the plan's author,
The Calgary Top Bar Hive is a variation of the traditional Kenyan top bar hive, built for the requirements of a Northern climate. It is made with extra-thick wood for better insulation, and has extra capacity to allow population growth and the storage of honey surplus. The extra size will also help reduce swarming, and the accompanying explanations to neighbors.
The CTBH features a screened IPM bottom board, and is partitionable for the purpose of running a two-queen colony, queen rearing, or hiving a swarm. It is also interoperable with Langstroth equipment, and can be expanded using Langstroth honey supers.
Here is a link if you'd like to check out these plans:

Also, note that the file is rather lengthy, so it may take some time to download.


Propolis Toothpaste

When I was a tiny tot, I started suffering from horrible canker sores. These got progressively worse going into adulthood until I discovered a secret. My toothpaste was a major culprit behind the constant breakouts. More specifically, it was the sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) foaming agent that caused me so much pain.

I discovered this about 6 years ago when my dentist switched me to a special paste for remineralizing teeth. It was crazy expensive, but it did the job. It also reduced my canker sore outbreaks from 3 weeks out of the month to about 10 days.

Recently, my mom told me that she'd started using a propolis toothpaste and loved it. Intrigued, I read the ingredients list, but it contained the dreaded SLS, so I had to pass.

However, propolis' antibacterial/antiviral properties are supposed to do great things for one's oral health, so I decided to search for other propolis-based toothpastes. I found one without SLS on Amazon. It's manufactured by a company called by Holocuren.

Ingredients include:

  • Brazilian Propolis
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Natural Vegetable Glycerin
  • Sorbitol, Hydrated Silica
  • Calcium Glycerophosphate
  • Cellulose
  • Essential Oils of Eucalyptus, Sweet Fennel, Spearmint, Cinnamon, Peppermint

So far, I have to say that I'm loving it! The essential oils give it a zippy flavor, and my teeth feel very clean afterward. Of course, my tongue is also slightly numb for a little while after brushing (the propolis, and cinnamon oil, too, I think, are natural analgesics). The best part is that I didn't even get a single canker sore this past month.

My DH is considering trying it out, but I've asked him to be careful since I've read that propolis can cause adverse reactions in people who have bee-sting allergies.

While my new toothpaste is on the pricey side (about $11-$12 per tube), it's about half the cost (per ounce) as the brand I had been using. In any case, I used to be in complete agony for about a week to ten days every month. $11 every few months or so seems a small price to pay for total relief.