Hello there! Greetings from a busy little Bee Ranch in the heart of Seguin. That picture was a shot I sent my sister when she asked me how things were going so far. I took the day off to help with the harvest because the honey cannot stay on the frames too long or else we’ll have some hive beetle and wax moth issues. So I worked the morning and some of the afternoon with a crew and then I had about thirty minutes before the next crew started to arrive. So I sort of enjoyed cleaning up quietly and going about preparing for the next group – mopping up the honey that drips everywhere, wiping down countertops (freezer, luckily I left the plastic tablecloth on it), organizing empty and full supers so there’s room for next load the guys were bringing in, scraping wax off the sieves, cleaning up the uncapping table and tools, avoiding getting stung. You know, the usual stuff.
I reason I wish I was an octopus is because there is so many things to do that I want to do, not just have to do, that I am constantly moving. Earlier, I posted a picture on FB wherein I was munching on a yummy peanut butter and honey sandwich once the afternoon arrived and the men were unloading the third trailer of honey supers. Well, my dear friend pointed out that I wasn’t even sitting down to eat. And you know what? It never even occurred to me I was standing at the window, looking off into LaLa Land. haha, I cracked up. What a crazy time. I remember I ate a piece of cold pizza in the truck while driving to New Braunfels to pick up a load of Huajilla and empty 5-gallon buckets in which we’ll store our honey until we need to bottle them. I remember because I snapped of picture for my sister. She and I are constantly communicating about what’s happening at GBR. I love how interested our families are about what we’re doing.
We are all tired and I can’t speak for the rest of the crew but I, for one, am having such a blast that I have decided I should take time off during next year’s harvest. I am so excited just thinking of all the small and big ways we might improve the process and experience. I’m sure you have guessed that I will likely focus on the creature comforts of it all. Assuming we are in a bigger space (home and business), here are some things that are on my mind:
- What will I feed the crew that will fill them up, be easy on me and not bust the bank?
- Where and how will I feed the crew? If you have been to the Bee Ranch, then you know we have a tiny but quaint home. Great for the two of us and Smokey; not so great for feeding many people who happen to be hot, tired, and very sticky. But at least they are sweet. 🙂 hmmm…and how will I remind them to take off sticky shoes/boots unless I’m there??
- What shifts should be developed so folks don’t get overheated and just worn out. I was going to say plumb tuckered out but then I realized I don’t know if it’s “plum” or “plumb” and I don’t want to leave this to look it up because that just makes writing not as fun. So instead you get my total thought here. 🙂 I write what I think. Thank goodness most people seem to not mind that.
- Orientation!!!!!! I love employee development. I have been involved with and have delivered employee dev. programs on and off for years and I love it. If you teach people how to do things and you explain why it’s important and you’re patient about it, it all really works out better. Case in point – labeling our bottles of honey. Seems like a small thing, right? We didn’t train someone who had worked with us in the past. They’ve seen and handled so many bottles, we’ve all lost count. But when I let go of that task and later went back to just gaze upon our gorgeous honey…I was so surprised to see inconsistent placement and in some cases, a totally sideways label. Lesson learned for us: do not assume labeling honey jars is so basic that it doesn’t warrant time spent training people of technique and expectations. We can apply this all over the place in our professional and personal lives. Anyway, training is a passion of mine so I’ll move on or else this will be even longer. Needless to say, my pet project will be the GBR Orientation Program Yet to Be Named Something Snazzy.
- Process flow – how can we design work space in our new home/business (hopefully) that will help make what we’re doing, and what we want to do, more efficient? It’s amazing we are doing this huge harvest in our sweet little Honey House but it’s a must. Once we survive this year, we’ve just got to get a bigger space. With hopefully continued good rains, we may have even more hives and more honey…well, we’ll just see what the future brings.
Gotta go…I’m pulling together leftovers and just thought I could make them all a bit of smoothie. I have tons more to share so I’ll keep you posted on things. Tomorrow Mark and David will extract and in the morning the Marriott chefs are coming to visit! Yay!! Oh, and Pearl Farmers Market is suppose to come inspect things soon also as part of our application to be a vendor. EEE!!