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Issue 19

August 2022

Greetings Enchanted Nature Community

Welcome To The Enchanted Nature Newsletter

Let's Bee Enchanted

Honeybee,Honey, Bee

We've got a real sweet newsletter for you this month. National Honey Bee Day was on August 20th and beekeepers are harvesting honey from their hives. It's a perfect time to discuss bees. 

Let's take a moment to reflect on the amazing gift that honey is. There is an 8,000-year-old cave painting in Spain that depicts honey harvesting. Since then, and maybe before, honey has been used as food, for medicine, for producing alcohol, and for much more by cultures all over the world. The cave painting below, known as "The Man of Bicorp" is believed to have been painted by Epipaleolithic humans. While it is not believed that the culture "kept" bees, they did harvest honey from wild colonies.

The Man of Bicorp, Bees

Honey is in the fabric of human culture from foods, to mead (honey wine), to iconic storybook characters. It is even mentioned in the Bible, "Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body."-Proverbs 16:24.

Please support bees and your local economy by purchasing honey harvested from an apiary as local to you as possible. There is a big problem with imported honey that is being watered down with corn syrup, unrefined sugar, rice syrup, and other adulterants. This "honey" has been found to contain heavy metals and antibiotics, according to the US Department of Justice (this was found mostly in products imported from Asia).

We want to wish you all safe and enchanting adventures as we head into September.


We received some SENSATIONAL photos from our readers for this month's newsletter. 

Thank you to all who sent their pics!

Scarlet, Waxy, Cap, Hygrocybe,punicea

Rose Grant of Highland County, VA submitted a photo of this beautiful mushroom that we believe is called a Scarlet Waxy Cap (Hygrocybe punicea).

Green, Spored, Parasol,

Darrell Mahoney of Oklahoma City, OK submitted this pic of what we believe are Green Spored Parasol mushrooms (Chlorophyllum molybdites). The Green Spored Parasol is the most common poisonous mushroom in the United States.

Pat Spahn of Churchville, VA sent us this spectacular pic of a Bumble Bee in flight.

Bumble, bee

Phil Crilley of Mount Solon, VA submitted some excellent photos of a Beefsteak mushroom (Fistulina hepatica)

Fistulina, hepatica, beefsteak, mushroom
Fistulina, hepatica, beefsteak, mushroom, virginia

Fistulina hepatica has a "meaty" texture and exudes or "bleeds" a red liquid when it is cut, 

hence the common name Beefsteak.

Amanita muscaria, Fly Agaric

Gina Furtado of Winchester, VA shared this beautiful photograph of an Amanita muscaria, commonly called the Fly Agaric. This mushroom is fully matured. Notice the stunning shade of red leading into orange on the cap. The white warts on top make this a very easily identifiable mushroom. Thank you for sharing Gina!

Jack Wilson of West Augusta, VA provided some AMAZING microscopic pics of a Varroa Mite. This is one of the pests afflicting Honey Bees. Thank you for the sharing your SPECTACULAR photography Jack!

Varroa, Mite

MANY THANKS to all of you that make the newsletter better by sharing your pics!

Please continue sending us your pics and queries:   

You can also text your pics & questions to (540) 324-8778.


We met some wonderful folks this month

Black Bear Trashcan

It was wonderful spending the day with you all: 

Cathy (Happy Birthday), Jacob, Elijah, Tyler and Mike. 

We are very excited that the boys are all such avid nature enthusiasts!

We found a big patch of Jack O'lantern mushrooms growing.

Here we have some Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) blooms. Jewelweed is often used in herbal skin preparations for poison ivy/oak and eczema.

Jewelweed, Impatiens, capensis

Below is a Russula emetica, "The Sickener" surrounded by some beautiful lichen covered sticks.

Russula, emetica, Sickener

These Cardinal Flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) are an 


They are found along creeks in the forest.

Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis

The log in the background is covered with some beautiful Turkey Tail mushrooms (Trametes versicolor)

Turkey Tail Mushrooms, Trametes versicolor
Bottling Honey

Chris bottling some honey.

Bee A Honey

by Victoria Vacher


Merriam-Webster describes "Bee" as: any of numerous hymenopterous insects (superfamily Apoidea) that differ from the related wasps especially in the heavier hairier body and in having sucking as well as chewing mouthparts, that feed on pollen and nectar, and that store both and often also honey.

Since the beginning of time humans have valued and used honey for everything from food to medicine. Beekeeping is portrayed in prehistoric paintings. Traces of beeswax have been found in shards of pottery over 9000 years old. Honey was discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs and it was still edible! 

Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are not native to the United States. They were imported from Europe in the 1600's. The honeybee can now be found on every continent except Antarctica. Honeybees are essential to agriculture and in recent years scientists have declared the honeybee the most important living creature on earth. They are responsible for $15 billion dollars worth of crops each year. More than 130 fruits and vegetables rely on honeybees for pollination. Wild honeybees are  endangered and some predictions warn that if the honeybees go, so do humans!


•One teaspoon of honey is equal to the entire life’s work of 12 honeybees!

•Only female bees can sting you.

•The queen bee only stings when fighting for dominance against another queen. When a queen stings, she does not die like a worker bee because her stinger is not barbed.

•Honeybees are typically docile. They can only sting once. Therefore they would rather not sting as they die after and only do so when threatened to protect the colony.

•The honeybee stinger is sharp, hollow and barbed. It is structured in such a manner that the bee cannot pull the stinger out without self-amputating which rips a hole in its abdomen. A wasp or a bumblebee can sting repeatedly as their stingers are smooth.

•The sting of the honeybee is generally more painful as the blades on the stinger alternate scissoring into your flesh and releasing a cell-destroying toxin.

•The scent of honeybee venom released upon stinging signals a threat to the hive. Weirdly, it smells like bananas.

•Each hive contains some 60,000-worker bees, a few hundred male drones and a single female queen bee that is larger than the other bees.

•All honeybees have a job determined by genetics and their age. Jobs include: forager bees, janitor bees, guard bees, nurse bees, undertaker bees, etc...

•In the fall the drones (male bees) are blocked from entering the hive by the female guard bees and left to die. Their only function is to fertilize a queen and become unnecessary to overwinter in the hive.

•The honeybees that tend to the queen never turn their backs to her so one way to find the queen can be to look for a circle of bees all facing inward. the queen is also larger than worker bees.

• Forager bees do what beekeepers call a waggle dance to direct other gatherers to the location of a good source of pollen or nectar.

•The queen bee can choose the gender of the eggs she lays. Because the females do all the work, there are usually many more female eggs.

•Honeybees have a very short and laborious life anywhere from 5 weeks to 5 months depending on the season. Bees living in the hive over winter have the longest lives.

• An exciting new trend is happening in America right now. A push is on to make vast expanses of lawn into areas for habitat and pollination. Clover lawns are making a resurgence. This undertaking is good for our earth because increasing the number of nectar producing plants benefits pollinators. It also decreases the use of pesticides  and synthetic fertilizers that are necessary to maintain a "perfect lawn". This trend could go a long way toward reducing pollution and helping the planet heal.

So my fellow naturalists…

My counsel is to plant more flowers!

I totally agree with Claude Monet, “I must have flowers, always and always!”

Please be safe! 

Be kind to nature and one another.

Enchanted Nature News

Enchanted Nature Tours inc. is planning our next mushroom class. We will cover wild edible identification, toxic mushroom identification, cultivation, medicinal mushrooms, and cooking. If you are interested on being notified when we schedule the next class, please  contact us.

For those of you who can't get enough mushroom info, check out the weekly mushroom posting at

Give the gift of nature! We now offer gift certificates. They can be customized and emailed for any occasion. The gift certificates are available at our Trading Post


You're invited to enjoy an afternoon with us and we're sure that "Our Local Friends" would love to meet you too. These are small local businesses that we support and feel confident recommending. Keep an eye on the page, as we expect the list to grow.

Bee Kind

is this month's video theme

Bee Kind

The beehive looks like a crowded chaotic mess. Each of the bees has a job and work together to make sure the colony survives into the future. It would be nice if humans could all work together to ensure that life will continue and that the human condition would improve in the future. 

"For so work the honey bees, creatures that by a rule in nature teach the act of order to a peopled kingdom." 

~ William Shakespeare.



There are many proven health benefits to spending time in nature. It has also been proven that just looking at images of nature can provide multiple health benefits including: reducing depression, speeding healing, improving your immune system, preventing dementia, improving your mood, and increasing happiness. We end each newsletter with a short video of a natural scene. 

Hopefully the videos will provide you with some of the benefits listed above.

Findings reported in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, suggest that keeping a few snapshots of greenery around yourself might be beneficial. When participants viewed the natural images in the experiment, their stress levels lowered, thanks to the activation of their parasympathetic nervous system – which controls certain rest functions. "Viewing green scenes may thus be particularly effective in supporting relaxation and recovery after experiencing a stressful period and thereby could serve as an opportunity for micro-restorative experiences and a promising tool in preventing chronic stress and stress-related diseases." 

Please be sure to share this newsletter with your friends. 

Word of mouth is the best advertising.

Stay safe and enjoy nature

If you haven't taken the time to explore our website, please do.

There are a lot of free educational resources to enjoy

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