Let's say we're all bees. Each and every one of us is buzzing about-
buzz buzz buzz.
The honey that we make is our lives. Experience has taught me two things...


...and LIFE is only as yummy as you make it!

Are YOU a Killer Bee?

bee my guest?

bee my guest?
Howdy Beezers! I'm excited to share something new with you... Over the upcoming months, most of the content you'll be seeing here will be from special guest contibutors! This is sure to add a new texture to this thing we've been weaving over the years. I know that many of my readers (yes, you!) are writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. PLEASE feel free to contact me if there's something you'd like to contribute! I'd be most honored to pollinate... send me a note: m.mckinley@rocketmail.com

please be seated

May 27, 2010

12 TO 40: It's A Selfabration!

...and you're invited!

May 26, 2010


In the 17 months since I launched this blog, I have published 243 postings to the World Wide Web, and have rarely stepped away from posting weekly. Quite frankly, I need a little break! More importantly, I have a special assignment that needs my immediate attention...

In 3 weeks I'm being flown to Los Angeles. I'll be building foundations for new homes for Cassandra McShepard, and Stacey Abillie... ON TELEVISION! Why write a blog when you can host a show, right?! This is what we've been working so hard toward for over a year now, and this is a HUGE and exciting step on the path! Well, before we can get there, I need to be here. And focused. For me right now, there is absolutely NOTHING more important then having their press kits finished and polished to a brilliant shine!

Ever made an electronic press kit? Neither have I. Last Spring and Summer we filmed extensive footage for  The Killer Bees EPK, but we shelved the concept for the 4-Host TV show [ at least for now ], before I ever started putting the pieces together. Now in just a couple of weeks, I must have two of them finished. Joe has been kind enough to install some new, more sophisticated software for editing them on my computer, but there's going to be a learning curve for sure. I start on Memorial Day...wish me luck!

I should be back with some fresh content just before I leave for L.A.
In the meantime, pollinate us to your friends, and keep The Bees buzzing!
Peace, Michael


Next week is the SEASON 3 FINALE of Cassandra McShepard's THIS IS WHAT I KNOW SO FAR. Where did 3 months go? As the Admin for her Youtube channel, I have to admit I've been kind of saving this week's installment for towards the end... of all the clips we filmed, it's my favorite.Well, so far....


A little teaser for the up-coming June edition of  STACEY'S HOT DISH, a continuation of his series Cooking For The Single Man....

May 25, 2010


One of the most rewarding things about "working" this blog, is that that I've met some amazing people through the blogosphere. Since BEES and HONEY are used metaphorically around here, I find it most interesting that the universe continues to send me new friends who are teaching me so much about the magical world of REAL bees...

Enter Seth Machak. A honey of a guy, who actually is a magician. He also happens to be a beekeeper, and a bee-charmer for sure. I recently spied his post on Facebook, chronicling  his candle making endeavors, and asked  him if he wouldn't mind sharing it with all of you here. He was kind enough to oblige.

MPM: Speaking of magic,  how did Seth discover the magic of bees?

SM: A very close friend of mine and I went to a VERY small county fair about an hour from where I live... in the midst of deep fried cheese cake, chili bread bowls, cotton candy, candied apples, deep fried Oreo cookies and funnel cakes, we noticed a small booth with an "Observation Hive" -one hive frame encased in Plexiglas [You are able to see the inter workings of the hive, queen and her subjects]. It caught my attention! 

After an hour of bombarding the poor booth attendee with questions upon questions, he finally gave me a pamphlet and told me to sign up for the county bee keeping association. The classes didn't start for a few months, so it gave me time to do some research on bee keeping . My friend and I finally decided to give in, and paid $50 to try it out! We went to bi-weekly classes for a number of months. When "graduation" time came. I KNEW whole-heartedly that keeping bees was going to be my new hobby... Little did I know it would be a lifestyle!
After starting with 2 hives, I couldn't get enough. It was like mother natures crack., and I was hooked. The smell, the sound, the way "my girls" would dance in the air. It's magical. Did you know  that EVERY honey bee you see on a flower is a girl? They are the workers, they are the foragers, they do ALL the work- while the boys (drones) just sit back, eat, maybe have sex with the queen and die... Not a bad life I suppose! 

MPM: Tell me about your apiary. Wait, why don't you explain what an apiary is!

SM: Webster unabridged dictionary says and Apiary is a place where bees are kept; a collection of beehives. My apiary, now, has a collection of 3 hives... as of now I have a total of 45,000 honey bees. As well, established hives can have up to 300,000 members!

One colony lives in a hive. A hive consists of many different parts. First is the bottom board. Then comes the deep supers, or brood boxes. There should be two of them. What those boxes are/do are ALL for the bees themselves. They are empty boxes with no top or bottom, and contain 10 frames. A frame is basically a wooden rectangle with a thin sheet of bees wax in the middle of it. This sheet gives the girls a good foundation to "draw out", AKA build it up with comb. It's actually very interesting. The bees will drink nectar which then somehow gets all processed inside of the them. When ready, it becomes wax scales that form from the undersides of the workers. When these wax suits of armor start coming out, the girls with nibble it off , mix it with some enzymes in their mouths, and then spit it out on the foundation, making a perfectly symmetrical six sided wax cell. All cells, from all hives from all around the world, are ALL THE EXACT SAME SIZE!

When the workers have "drawn out" on all ten frames in the bottom brood box , the queen is  then ready to lay her eggs, and the workers will fill some cells with pollen and nectar. This will be food for the hive during the winter. When almost all the bottom brood box is drawn out, it is time to add another brood box on top of that. After some time the two brood boxes will be all drawn out , and full of brood (food and larva), You add a queen excluder next. 

The queen excluder is pretty self explanatory. It is a wire grate that you put on top of the top brood box, and it allows only the worker bees to get through. The queens fat ass is too big to get through the grate on top of the excluder, so you add a "honey -super, or "short -super." The point of the queen excluder and the short super, is so only the workers can go into the short super and make HONEY... The queen, who can't get through, will be unable to lay eggs there. You've probably guessed the honey in the short supers is the honey you will extract and then sell, give away , or eat yourself! I mean, who would want honey if it had little babees in it, right?

MPM: Any advice for someone who's got the itch start their own apiary?

SM: Anyone who is interested in starting their own hive, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE read http://www.planbeebook.com/ ... One of the greatest bee keeping information sources of ALL TIME! Also, contact your local honey bee association. They will be able to tell you about classes and workshops in your area.

MPM: The handmade candles you recently crafted are too cool for school...

SM: Making my own candles 101... Last season I lost 2 of my hives dues to malnutrition and black bear attacks! So, in all of this tragedy, I had 2 established hives worth of wax. Just a few days ago I ripped out all the wax from the frames, rolled the wax and bee parts into a ball, wrapped them in nylons.

Next, you tie them off, and throw them into a pot of boiling water (not over 140 degrees because the wax will change color and smell different). The bees wax will melt and seep threw the nylon leaving the sediment (bee parts and larva and other gross stuff!) Bee keepers call this "slumgum".

Remove the nylon and let the water cool. The "rendered" wax will rise to the top and cool. Take that hardened wax and melt it again in a double boiler (keeping in mind the temperature) and re-melt it. When melted pour the liquefied wax into the molds or container which should already have wicks in the center (wicks can be purchased at any local craft store). 

 When the wax hardens you will have yourself the PERFECT candle.
If you don't have an apiary to get extra wax, you can contact a local beekeeper and buy wax from them or purchase bees wax from a local craft store.

MPM: Any chance I can get you to sell them to me wholesale, for my shop?

SM:  I do NOT sell any of the honey, lip balm, or candles that I produce from the honey bee by-product. I usually give them away as gifts or something. One day I showed my residents ( I am an activities coordinator for an assisted living facility by day ) how to make their own chap stick... They loved it! We spent hours harvesting wax, rendering it, and turning it into our own little lip-skin saver!

MPM: And that, Seth Machak, is what makes you a Killer Bee. Keep on pollinating brother!

May 22, 2010


May 21, 2010

Blog Discovery: THE STYLE FILES

With daily posts, large, eye-catching pictures and no fear of fashion, the style files is a site that will please fashion experts and newbies alike. The author, Danielle de Lange searches the globe for style finds in order to unearth the best of “design and (life) style”. Danielle is not afraid to tell readers about her personal experiences with her own home remodeling (her kitchen and living rooms are both in the early stages of a total redecoration), her online business that sells home accents and furniture, or her adventures as a design consultant. Her self-professed design style is “basic and modern with clean lines,” and she believes that every space can be simple, warm and unique.

Blog Discovery: DECOR 8

This is a style blog all about creativity. Its founder, Holly Becker, is a traveling interior design consultant who tests the artistic waters in both the United States and Germany frequently. She will often post independent artists, designers and other creative types who have yet to be discovered. Holly discusses everything from interior design to trade shows and hosts contests and conversations to engage her large readership. The ultimate goal of Decor8 is to “inspire readers to live a more fulfilling, creative life,” and you’re sure to catch the creativity bug too when you visit.


May 20, 2010


Sometimes you just need a good, SILLY laugh...and anyone from my hometown of Santa Maria, California is gonna get a bellyache! In case you don't already know them, I present CHICO'S ANGELS...

To watch the rest of this episode, click READ MORE, just below!

May 15, 2010


I don't do politics on my blog. I'm not really doing politics at all these days. Here's why...

The easiest way to start a feud with anyone, is to mention  politics or religion. That's why mama said it wasn't smart to bring them up in polite conversation. However something creepy is going on,  because I can't help but feel that for many, politics has become a religion.

I don't care whether you lean left or right, you have to admit that we haven't been this divided since the civil war. The figure heads and pundits on both sides of this division are intent on smearing ANYBODY'S name or reputation in order to look good, and be poised to claim their rightful position as the people who were RIGHT. They freely disburse propaganda based on untruths that are then force-fed to their followers as the absolute truth, through all forms of media, 24/7.

The bottom line with all of this behavior, is that its ego-based. If your ego rules your consciousness, then YOU always have to be the one who is right. The ego seeks to elevate you to position of  superiority by making you better and smarter than everyone else. Those who don't agree with your position must be squelched or diminished, or barbecued. At any cost.

This new subculture of political fanaticism has polarized families, friends, a nation really, and hurled us back in time 200 years. I won't mention how its spiritually crippling us as a people. I for one am not interested in a religion that would do this to its people. When we eat a steady of diet of any one particular food, it messes with our bodies, because our nutrition is not balanced. When we lend our ears, hearts, and souls to a steady diet of  any ONE political agenda, we're bound to end up constipated.

Don't get me wrong. I still believe that fair is fair. If and when I feel the need to raise my voice to protest an injustice, I will. But I will do so with my conscience, and not my ego. For I have learned that little in life is black and white. So in the meantime, I will speak quietly with my voting record, and let you make all the racket you want. In other words, I'm not interested in debating Anne Coulter or Nancy Pelosi with you, I'd rather discuss how we can make positive change. Don't think we can do it? Then you're still drinking the Kool-Aid. Don't matter which flavor, if you're drinking it all the time.

Until we stop insisting that the collective "we've" has all the right answers, everyone is just going to keep getting it wrong. It's time to evolve, and remember that there's an evolution in revolution.

May 13, 2010


Be The Change by Gina Rene was my first musical treat of the year. I'm sharing it with you once again, because I'm still feeling it...


In case you haven't seen the rockets red glare, there's a "glamour revolution" going on...

You'd have to be living in a holler to have missed the glam trend that started swelling a few years back. Swift and sure, it has infiltrated every shelter publication and designer boutique, crushing 20 years of interior-doldrums  to smithereens on its crusade to reform a generation!

With its gutsy roots firmly planted in the HOLLYWOOD REGENCY movement, its funky and refined at the same time. Its a riot of innovation and color, and it PUSHES BOUNDARIES. Its a fresh take on what's classical and modern, and it is the most exciting thing to happen to interior design in decades.

Hardest hit by the cannon fire is the place where we spend 1/3 of our lives- the bedroom. The place where we retreat and rejuvenate, has found no limits for luxury. I'm absolutely cool with that.

Rage on style and beauty! Free the people!

Betsy Johnson, I freaking love you.

May 7, 2010


In addition to being a motivational speaker, jazz singer, clothing designer, radio talk show host [ soon a television talk show too! ], and a KILLER BEE, Cassandra McShepard is Spokesperson for The Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute. In this latest, and moving video from her vlog THIS IS WHAT I KNOW SO FAR, Cassandra remembers what her Mother taught her...


Buzz Out!

Buzz Out!