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Archive for the ‘honey’ Category

Beekeeping activities May 2013

Hello there and where did the week go? Anybody know? It sure has flown by and Saturday is the kickoff to June. Lordy. Well, since I last wrote, we got a LOT of rain, in case you don’t follow us on Twitter and Facebook. 6.25 inches – from Friday to Sunday afternoon. Wow. It was crazy but terribly exciting! It may sound like we should be over the drought but we have a long way to go before we do that. And it may also sound like the bees should be making honey like crazy, right? I mean look around – the countryside and highways are packed with all sorts of late season wildflowers. Well…it’s just not that easy. It’s been such a wonky spring – up and down in temperatures. Rain. No rain. It warms up. Things bloom and then the bees get a honey flow going. Then bam, a cool front. Flowers stop blooming or drop off because it got too cold. The bees then don’t have flowers to sustain the honey flow. They stop making honey. So that’s been a pattern we saw repeated several times this spring and it’s taking a toll in honey production this year. Not sure how much we’ll get but it won’t be in the quantity we got last year, that’s for sure. We’ll keep you posted.

Once things started drying up a bit, Mark made his way around the different bee yards and there is a good honey flow at some yards and in some hives. Here’s a shot of a Deadman Creek yard, where eight out of eleven hives needed honey supers yesterday.

8 of 11 hives need honey supers at Deadman Creek - nice!

And I also wanted to share a picture of some white bee brush that should be in full bloom within the week, which should really spur the bees at Comanche Creek to get a honey flow going. This is a promising sign so Mark will be going back out there mid-week next week to see how they are doing. If you’ve never seen or smelled bee brush, then let me tell you it is one of the sweetest scents I’ve ever smelled and it can make you smile in delight no matter how bad your day has been up to that point. Really. It’s an amazing flower and yet one of the very smallest I’ve ever seen.

Comanche Creek May 29 visit - bee brush

In Honey House news – we actually received some plans this morning and Mark likes the proposal! Just last night we were talking about how slow things sometimes move and how you don’t always receive what you think you should get when you think you should get it. But I guess this whole thing is teaching us more patience. I thought I’d come a long ways but I guess I still have a ways to go in that department. At any rate, we got some things to look over and then we’ll decide what next. In the meantime, we did get water run to the Candle Shop (yay – no more sticky everywhere!) and if the honey production is as low as we think it will be, then it’s likely we may be able to extract in that tiny little space (this will make us appreciate the final HH even more than we thought possible when we extracted last year in the tiny space!). We’ll see how things shape up soon enough.

Honey House proposal

Finally, to the libray we go. Yesterday I made a lovely little gift basket for our friends at the Seguin Public Library. It’s going to be a raffle prize for the adult summer reading program so be sure you register starting Saturday! I will be since there are other great prizes in addition to our Bee Wrangler basket. Go by and tell them GBR sent ya. [Trivia: Did you know Mark and I met while we both worked as librarians? Really! And Mark was director at Seguin library for several years – good times.] Here are our friends at the library, Jacki and Silvia, receiving the Bee Wrangler I delivered. Hi, ladies! I hope you get LOTS of people to sign up to read, read, read!

Delivering a GBR basket for the Seguin Library adult summer reading program

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Sunflowers from Naegelin Farms

First off, let me just say that although it turned out to be the hottest days yet this spring (upper 90s and we felt it on the asphalt at markets), we really had a great time being back at both the Pearl and the Quarry markets. We sure miss our friends – both vendors and customers – when we are not at market! And how nice to know they missed us as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the love, everyone. I am also thrilled to once again restock our produce, meats and eggs and I even grabbed several beautiful sunflowers from our next door neighbor vendor, Naegelin Farms, for my mom’s prayer table. They are at the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market. These things make me so happy!

You should see all the wonderful things you can buy at market – check out my Flickr set for examples. I told Mark starting in June, I will keep track of how much we spend each weekend at the markets. I want to see some numbers since I have been feeling as if my initial assessment may be inaccurate – that you spend more eating better when you buy at farmers market than if you buy at the usual grocery stores. I really think we’ve been spending less because what we do buy last a LOT longer than what we used to buy at stores. But I want collect real data on that. We both LOVE buying our vegetables, meats, eggs, plants/flowers and eats at market. It’s better quality products; it’s made by people we’ve met and have gotten to know; it’s not been “chemicalized” and is as fresh and real as you can get…it’s an amazingly reassuring feeling to know where things come from and to know the hands that brought it all to market. Anyway, I’ll let you know what I discover. All that to say this, if you haven’t tried the farmers markets yet, you should. Even if you aren’t there for us, you should check out the other products. I think you’ll like it. Here are just some of the wonderful things I look forward to preparing this week. Not included here are: fresh bread, tilapia, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, chicken, and eggs.

Some of the goodies from Pearl market today

And these beauties from Oak Hills Farm out of Poteet and at the Pearl Farmers Market:

Berries from Oak Hills Farm

AND…we introduced our newest honey at the Quarry market today to a very, very warm reception! I don’t have the numbers in front of me but informally, we both felt the Cenizo out-sold the Wildflower AND the Huajilla today. It’s really delightful – a blend of both flavors in my opinion. Not as flowery as the Wildflower Honey but more body than the Huajilla Honey. You’re going to have to taste it yourself soon and let us know what you think. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cenizo Blossom Honey at the Quarry Market now

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Honey making bees

The weather continues to be all crazy here in South Texas. This week we are nice and cool again but I’m not complaining! I just know those three digit days are coming any time now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just can’t believe it’s May and we are in the upper 70s…NICE. So nice. Okay, here’s a frame shot of some hardworking bees making some good-looking honey. It’s hard for them to keep the momentum going in honey production when the weather dips down into the 30s and 40s and then you add some rain to the mix. On the one hand, we do need the rain. On the other hand, when it rains, they can’t forage. Also, when it’s windy and chilly, they can’t forage. All of this slows them down so they can be in the midst of a honey flow and then bam, a cool front comes along and shuts down honey production for a bit. We’re not sure how much they will end up making this year but we’ll have a little bit of something and that something tastes pretty good already. I don’t see another abundant year in the making at this point. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

In other news, Mark was invited to check out some of the loveliest country around these parts – a property where two creeks converge. Is that cool or what and why do I have to miss that opportunity??? Boo! ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me show you the creeks – here’s Cibolo Creek:

Cibolo Creek

And here’s Martinez Creek:

Martinez Creek

At one point, both creeks come together and then it’s known as Cibolo Creek. So cool and lovely! I so want to explore that area. Mark said it was just ablaze with cacti and wildflowers – Indian Blanket, Horsemint, and others. A real feast. That, along with the great water sources will make for a great bee yard location. I believe he said it was over 200 acres the bees would have access to if we establish a yard there. The problem will be identifying available bees to move. Good problem to have I suppose. We’ll let you know if we move forward with this location. I hope we do so I can see it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Edited Honey bee on Queen Anne's Lace

Meanwhile, back at the Bee Ranch…today we walked out back with the Smokester during lunch in order to enjoy the wildflowers we have in bloom. Nice to see the bees working things a bit. That’s a bee on the Queen Anne’s Lace. They seem to like that as much as the Indian Blanket. Saw a bit of Horsemint starting to bud out here and that’s nice; they love the Horsemint and it makes a great honey flavor. Really enjoyed being out there together. Even with crazy cat, who stuck close to the beekeeper (probably in case the Rattler was near).

My kitty & my honey bee

We swung to the left field and I just was floored by the buffet of flowers the bees had – look at that field! It was so pretty! If it wasn’t for all the critters and possible Rattler, I’d love to run through there and soak it all in. But instead, I will just shoot pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s where the Honey House is suppose to sit. It’s sort of nice that the delay in obtaining the land actually meant that we get to see this field like it is this year. Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

Future Honey House Field

Finally, I want to say that it was a little like Christmas here today during lunch hour. A box came. A new gadget was inside. Any guesses?

A beekeeper and his gadgets - figuring out the pollen cleaner

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Mark at Williams-Sonoma

I want to thank my beekeeper for learning to be such a great sport about being in so many pictures! Someone’s got to represent us in front of the camera, right? We kicked off Saturday at the Pearl market and took off for Williams-Sonoma’s Artisans’ Market once Sonia and Jessica showed up to relieve us. The weekend markets and events are often our rewards for working all week – we enjoy interacting with customers and talking bees, candles and honey and even non-bee-related stuff on ocassion. ๐Ÿ™‚ We want to thank the staff of Williams-Sonoma at La Cantera. It was a lot of fun and they really took good care of us. We thoroughly enjoyed it and are happy we were included on the invited list.

In other news and development, we are pleased to share with you that Poteet Country Winery has now received their second batch of honey from us and are carrying Guadalupe County Wildflower and Frio County Huajilla at their store in Poteet. We have not had a chance to visit them yet but we are looking forward to it and of course will share some pictures with y’all. For now, you can find and support them at the Pearl Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, they’re just down the row from us!

One last thing – besides the fantastic produce we have access to at market, we also benefit from our friends using our honeys in different ways. Here’s a gift we received from our Sprinfield Farm friends – homemade chocolate syrup – YUM! It is so fun to learn what others use honey for in their lives and products.

Love gifts from friends

The list of recipes and uses continue to grow!
For wax: shoe polish, wax polish, artwork, iron work coating, scrubs, soaps, balms and salves, lubricant for sewers, quilters, and woodworkers.
For honey: Soaps, marinades, sauces, granola, facials, dog treats (for allergy relief!)

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Prepping display for Artisans' Market at Williams-Sonoma at the Shops at La Cantera

Hello friends! Hope everyone’s had a great week and hope our San Antonio friends are enjoying the cooler weather for all their Fiesta festivities. ๐Ÿ™‚ Fiesta is pretty much a week-long party in the city of SA for those of you who haven’t experienced one. It’s a lot of fun!

In market news, we have two events happening Saturday. Mark and I will kick off at the Pearl as usual but then Jessica and Sonia will take over for us so we can head over to The Shops at La Cantera from 12-4p. If you are in either areas, then we hope you’ll stop by to say hello. Earlier this week I did a dry-run of the display for the Williams-Sonoma event since we are limited to one 6-ft table but allowed to bring any of our products, including the ever popular specialty honeys, honey dippers and honey pots. Yep. Honey samples WILL be provided. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lovely honeycomb filling up with honey

Speaking of honey. Did you see that lovely frame up above? I shot that one while out at Comanche Creek with Mark on my day off – what a gorgeous place to visit and wow, are the bees doing great out there! They are making some light Huajilla Honey and we were thrilled to have Mark use up all the honey supers he took with him. I believe he said he could have used a few more. So it’s a good thing he is heading back out there today (minus me…boooo!) to check on things. Luckily (or not), we did not encounter Mr. Rattler as I’m now calling him – that big ole rattlesnake Stan and Mark saw last time they were out there together.

Okay, since many people seem to want to know what it’s like in a bee yard and some want to go with us and since we can’t accommodate all the requests, I thought I could at least shoot a video for y’all. This is at Comanche Creek #2 (remember we have two locations on that ranch) and the bees were flying beautifully that day. I was in full gear only because I was all over the place and right up on the entrances shooting pictures and videos and I didn’t want any stings slowing me down. Otherwise, most anyone else would have done fine with just a veil like Mark. The bees were just simply too busy foraging and making honey. What a lovely sight it was.

In other related news – we finally, officially own the property attached to our little Bee Ranch on the back side. WOO HOO! This means signing papers and checks and then a celebratory dinner where I didn’t have to cook (even though I do love to cook, that was nice). Of course, over dinner, we had the beginnings of a deep discussion that will continue I’m sure. What exactly do we want to do with that land? How will we build? How big or small will it be? What operations do we want it to support and how long might we want to do this? ๐Ÿ™‚ I told Mark I really want to retire at some point (and him too of course) and travel and see places we talk about – both here in the states and abroad. Heck, I can’t wait to get back to the Outer Banks in NC! Love that place. Anyway. We need to figure some things out before we break ground. But what a relief to have this really long, unexpectedly long process (almost) completed. Just waiting on other signatures and so on. We’ll update y’all on things as they develop but this bit of news is big for this project that laid dormant for so long. YAY!

Signing checks and papers - one step closer to a new honey house.

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Showing Contractor Ed the property soon to be ours

Took a little stroll out to the back part of the property this evening with Contractor Ed. We really like him and the ideas he had. Let’s hope things progress a little bit now. The update on the new Honey House is there’s no update on the HH. Amazingly, we are still waiting on paperwork from the seller. No one seems in a hurry whatsoever on this so I guess it’s a GREAT thing we have some options in terms of extraction locations come harvest time. We would, however, really like to have a HH in time for our annual fall open house – it would be really great to be able to give people a real tour of our little central honey hub! Keep your fingers crossed on that for us.

Besides that stuff, Mark’s been out in the bee yards even when he’s not feeling 100%, unlike me feeling 100% under the weather and crashing for a whole day and a half! Crazy. Anyway, luckily we are both feeling better this evening and the bees seem to be feeling just fine right now. Lately Mark’s been checking on the bees at Big Oaks, Elm Creek and Deadman Creek. They are all doing well and there is even a bit of a honey flow going on at Elm Creek. Here’s a picture of one of our very first bee yards we established here in Guadalupe County. Still one of my favorites.

Honey flow at Elm Creek Spring 2013

Here’s a not-so-welcoming site Mark received out at Deadman Creek bee yard today. Great, another potentially dangerous critter to add to this year’s growing list. We’ve not had problems with them in the past and this is actually the first we’ve seen on or near our hives so now we know to be watching our for them as well. Let’s see, that’s rattlesnakes, black widows, brown recluses, and scorpions. Let’s see what else we encounter as we continue working the bees. By the way, bees are looking good at Deadman Creek. The recent rain helps but we are hoping for more this Thursday when the forecast is predicting about a 60% chance of rain. Keep your fingers crossed.

Found him on a bee box. Took care of him with the hive tool.

Tonight I decided I had all the right ingredients to try a scrub recipe I’ve been wanting to make for quite some time. I love the lemony smell so I went with that one; plus it has honey in it so you can’t go wrong, right? It was very easy to make and took no time whatsoever. 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of honey. That’s it. I’ll let you know how I like it after I try it.

Honey & Lemon scrub making

I really love the yellow, spring look to it. If nothing else, it will certainly add color and a fresh scent to the bathroom. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ready to use homemade Honey & Lemon Scrub

Tomorrow’s agenda: Visit the Marriott Bee Yard and see how they’re doing. The four sponsored hives are there as well and so we’ll update our sponsors about their progress.

*Verdict on the scrub: I like it but next time I will reduce the amount of olive oil to 1/4 cup rather than 1/2. Love the texture, however.

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Small swarm

Since I am fielding calls quite frequently about bees swarming here and there, I thought I’d do a quick post on a few things that I have found interesting so far this week. First of all, a few words about swarms – they are not necessarily cause for alarm, folks! Bees are actually quite gentle in this state for several reasons. Simply put, they have no home at this point to defend and they are actually quite full of honey so who cares about stinging people. They’ve got to look for a home all while clustered around their queen to keep her safe. That’s right. She’s in the middle of all the bees you might see hanging from a tree, fence, building, air conditioning unit (yep, remember when Mark removed one a few years ago?) or some such place. Usually they will stay only a few days or until they find a new home. While most of the bees are clustered, some scout bees will venture about seeking the perfect space to make their home. Somewhere closed typically so that it’s easily defended. Anyhow, just wanted you to know this is happening right now so you know what it is and why you don’t need to panic. Next topic…

Isn’t she adorable!? When Mark showed me this picture, he knew what my reaction would be – delight. He knows me. I was delighted for sure. She was covered in pollen! She must have rolled all around the flowers. lol They can be so silly and so much like children in my opinion. I love to hear about them and see what they are doing. If you can’t see the bee with pollen dust, look in the upper left quadrant of the photo and see if you can spot the one bee with wings that look mustardy. That’s her. ๐Ÿ™‚

That's a dusty girl

In other bee-related news, we got moves going on left and right. Yep, the bees are getting shuffled around. We don’t actually move our hives around too much but when conditions warrant it, it happens. This particular move below was several hives going from the Big Oaks nursery to the Gonzales bee yards. You know how we love the Gonzales honey so here’s hoping they have a great year. I just had some Gonzales Wildflower in my cup of coffee – oh my it was delish. I sometimes forget just how smooth that county honey is – not sure why but it doesn’t seem to crystalize as quickly either. Too bad we didn’t make a lot of it last honey season – this jar was in my reserve. It pays to know the beekeeper, eh? By the way, the ice you see helped keep the bees cool during the drive as it was in the mid-80s that day. We don’t want them overheating while sitting on the truck. They made it just fine.

Moving more hives

Tomorrow Mark and Stan will move more bees – this time from Runge to a new yard they will establish in…wait for it…wait…BIGFOOT!! Finally! I get to write about Bigfoot; got to love that name. Here’s the sign I snapped when we visited the first time –

Bigfoot, Texas

It had such a neat feeling to it. Can’t wait to see what honey is like there. The farm we will be on is amazing. Well, the owner and his crew are what make it amazing. I have a Frio County Farm Visit Flickr set (of course) in case you want to see what the area looks like. We loved it and we can’t wait to work the bees down there! And a word about why we’re moving the bees: There isn’t much for the bees to feed on right now in Runge and they are looking pretty sad. We need to move them somewhere they’ll have some food so they won’t starve to death. This is what you do. You watch and care for them and you help them when they need you, which may not be often but this is a prime example. Sometimes we have people call us and ask our opinion about their hives. Sometimes we can help, sometimes it’s too late. Sometimes something could have been done to help the bees if intervention came sooner. So, here’s some advice for our new beekeepers – get in your hives on a regular basis. If you don’t know exactly when to check on them, at least read this blog or other beekeeper blogs and do what they do. When they check hives, you check hives. When they feed, you feed. When they treat for mites, you treat for mites. ๐Ÿ™‚ One of the best ways to learn is to do. So open up those hives and keep an eye on your gals! And few guys.

Okay, I think that’s about it for now. Not bad for a mid-week post. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, I have candles to wrap for market. Lots of candles. Yay! OOOOOH! Forgot to tell y’all that we sold our first bucket o’ unrefined wax to a company that specializes in some very nice looking beauty care products. We’ll let you know how things progress. ALSO…we have signed on to be a participant at the Artisan’s Market being hosted by the La Cantera William-Sonoma! Exciting! More on that soon. It’ll be on a Saturday (April 27) from noon to 4:00 p.m. Can’t wait to share all the varieties of honey with folks and we hope to see as many of YOU ALL out there! That’d be awesome!

Okay, for real this time. Goodnight. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Black Brush in Frio County

Well, it’s been busy! Before we go to bed, I wanted to do a little update. First and foremost on my mind – we got 1.25″ of rain!!! It sounded like a train ran over our metal roof and it was loud like I have never heard it but it was awesome! I was so tired from work and then market and an evening event that I registered the thunderstorm, gave thanks for it and then went right on back to my slumber. Poor Mark apparently was up most of the night and then next thing you know – we were up at 5a for market. I don’t care what the sprung forward clock said, it sure FELT like it was 5a. Painful the first night especially when you are already beat. Anyway, we were happy for the market and then rain and the friends who joined us to help. We appreciate it all!

Secondly, things are really starting to come out – from leafs to buds to blooms. The top picture is of Black Brush Mark saw while visiting the Youngbloods down in Frio County. Todd says the bees don’t go to this even though you’d think they would, right? I’ve never seen a plant such as this – bursting with blooms. Wish I could have show my mom all these blooms coming out now. She would have enjoyed it as she has an incredible green thumb. Now here’s another shot I loved because I want to see it in full bloom and to see the fruit would be fun – the Wild Persimmon! I have a fondness for Persimmons as it is so these hold a special appeal to my heart.

Wild Persimmon

So pretty! That was in Frio County as well and I can’t wait to see if we get any in our own bees yards. With so many scattered across several counties, I’m hoping we’ll have a chance to see them so I can photograph some of them for myself. I love doing that. Next post, I will post some of the shots I snapped at Comanche Creek of blooms we are uncertain of so that perhaps you all can help identify them. ๐Ÿ™‚

For the coming week, we have a lot going on. In a nutshell and just so you know what’s going on with the bee part of our world, Mark’s schedule is about to get real tight again. It’s the feeding, nurturing and checking of the bees time of year. We have to make sure the bees are as ready as possible for things that are about to burst. We need them out there foraging as much as possible but in the meantime, he’ll spend a good part of this week feeding the bees and treating for mites. We have been happy with the state of the bees and we are encouraged about the coming honey season, especially with the rain we just received. It was widespread and long enough a storm cell to cover most all of our dozen or so bee yards. Just have to wait and see how it plays out. Just like farming sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Even our nucs are doing well with their adjustment to Texas. We have them all pretty much spoken for and we look forward to our class and pick-up day on the 23rd of this month. It’s always exciting!

Later in the week, we prep for our markets as usual. We have a new employee we are training. Jessica (Or Little Jess as we affectionately nicknamed her – she’s shorty than I am. It’s true.) is our newest addition to the team since Lan will be leaving us soon. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Won’t think about that right now. I realized we need to introduce y’all to our growing team (if somewhat fluctuating) so I will snap some shots of Stan, Jessica and Allison so you can say hi if you visit us at markets and other events. We don’t have a formal training program so a lot of what they learn is on-the-job. Hopefully they’ll not think we’re too crazy and will stay with us a looooooooong time. lol Seriously, though, we couldn’t do what we do (without really killing ourselves) if it wasn’t for our dear family and friends. They all really are amazing and we are blessed they believe in what we are doing enough to want to help us when they can.

Y’all have a great week ahead and enjoy the weather – it’s suppose to be a pretty week, warming up as we progress towards Friday. Yep. We keep up pretty well with forecasts since bee work is kicking into full gear. Good thing they have apps for weather tracking. Okay, goodnight. Sleep tight.

OOOH! PS – forgot to mention I am learning to be a candle-maker! ๐Ÿ™‚ Mark is going to be too busy with bee work for candle making so I offered to take over. We’ll let you know how it goes. hehe

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Major Peรฑa in Afghanistan with GBR honey

I don’t think there’s ever a time when I don’t tear up when I hear our national anthem. Ever. I came to America with my family in ’75 when Saigon fell to the communist regime. We love America. I wouldn’t be the person I am if I wasn’t here. I try and thank soldiers, active and veterans, for the service they have given on behalf of our great country. And if I’m lucky enough to meet Vietnam veterans, it’s even more special to me because of all they went through in Vietnam and then when they returned home. I want them to know that they made a difference and that they helped provide me with so many opportunities in life – many I probably wouldn’t have had if I was still in Vietnam. So here’s a chance for me to thank another soldier and for me and Mark to feel great about being a small part of making his day.

This is Major Peรฑa and he is stationed in Afghanistan. His mother-in-law, Ms. Medina, wrote to us and said that Major Peรฑa was so excited when he saw our jar of honey in the break-room. The label and honey gave him a touch of home when he read that it was Seguin, Texas. OMG! Did you just grab a tissue or your shirt sleeve? It’s okay if you did. When we first learned about this, I did tear up. I was so happy that we gave Major Peรฑa that little moment and a slice of home when he is so far away. The amazing part about all this is that the honey wasn’t even his – someone else had put it in the break-room and he saw it there. Can you believe that? What a small world it is. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mark and I are soooooo thankful that Ms. Medina shared this family story with us – thank you, Ms. Medina! We look forward to meeting you soon. And when Major Peรฑa comes home, we hope to have y’all visit for a special honey tasting. Until then, we will pray for him and his fellow soldiers to come home safely and soon and we thank you for your service to our country. You are all amazing!!!

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No off loading of honey is nice!

We had a great weekend that capped one of the most hectic and stressful weeks in a long time; hence the lack of blogging for so long (sorry). First things first – we closed on the old Bee Ranch! Woohoo! Now there’s funding for the new Honey House and so we continue the process of platting the land and preparing to build. As much as we loved our last home, we sure are glad that’s all done and over. Hope the new owners enjoy it as much as we did! That was Friday morning. Then in the afternoon we did our usual preparations for market except this time, we prepped for two. In addition to the Pearl that we enjoy so much, we did our first Sunday morning at the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market – had a GREAT time! We had as much fun as we do at the Pearl. As a matter of fact, several vendors from Pearl are also at the Quarry. And there’s always a parade of pooches. ๐Ÿ™‚ Our favorites are currently at the Pearl, especially the Great Danes. Check out Harley in the shot below. If we saddled her, I’m thinking Lan and I could each ride her around. lol big, sweet Harley. We’re learning lots about dogs and their owners.

Great Danes abound at the markets

Okay, so about the grits – mmmmm! I love grits and it’s hard to find great grits. That being said, I can get the Shrimp & Grits Crepe on Saturday (Thanks, CrepeLandia!) and then a Kiss My Grits on Sunday (Nice to meet you Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!). I am one happy girl.

Kiss My Grits

And that brings me to the A-Team. Stan is joining us on an-ongoing basis at the Quarry so I can have a bit of a break. He and Mark make a great team and Stan’s learning many aspects of our little bee biz and we sure appreciate his help! Plus he’s so much fun so y’all be sure to swing by either market and meet and get to know Stan. Welcome to the family Stan (and family!). ๐Ÿ™‚

Stan & Mark at market

And by break, I mean some time to tend to the home and things like groceries and so on. And though I still need things like breakfast juices and milk from the local HEB, we are really enjoying meeting and bartering with fellow vendors. The vegetables are amazing and now I have added handmade pastas, pestos and bread to the mix. What a wonderful life. What a pleasure to know who grew and made your food. It’s exactly what we want to do with our products and we’re happy people are so supportive and appreciative of our products and work with the bees. You can view more pictures on my Flickr page if you’d like.

In addition to all that, we have been trying to stuff as much “stuff” into the little brown candle shop at the new house and into the garage. Until we get the new HH built, things will be a bit crazy and spread out but at least it’s all at one house so that’s a much better situation – saves time since we don’t have to drive back and forth as we have been since September. We’re also developing new packaging, waiting on more candle molds (since Mark can’t keep up with demand between orders, walk-in customers and markets), filling orders, orders, orders, and planning for picking up more hives from East Texas…the usual stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚ Busy, busy. There’s definitely an increase in orders and we are very thankful! Speaking of which, before I leave you, I want to share with you, a look at our new labels we just got Saturday. We love them! Easy to peel and stick and they add a very nice finished touch to our packaging. Okay, off I go to gift wrap beeswax hearts and Saddle Bag gift boxes. If you need host/hostess, coworker or teacher gift for the holidays, we hope you’ll give us a call. Heck, if you just want a gift for yourself, give us a call. :-p See you later.

New labels

Here’s the Saddle Bag gift box – $18 a box. I’m happy to say all the ones I made for the trial run at Quarry Market were bought up by some happy customers who needed ready-to-go gifts. Happy they chose us to gift.

The newly invented Saddle Bag gift set

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