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Posts Tagged ‘comb honey’

July bee class

Hello there! Guess what we added to the calendar since we are actually doing more work around the Bee Ranch now? A new class date for Introduction to Beekeeping. Our next class will be Saturday, July 18 in case you are interested. Here’s link for more information as well as to register. We have some seats still available and hope you can join us! Click here for class info.

In other wonderful news – pollen, pollen, and more pollen. WOW! We are loving how the pollen looks AND tastes this year. Subtly sweet and soft to the touch. Due to the hot weather, we aren’t shipping it out but if you would like some, do stop by the Bee Ranch one Wednesday or Saturday (9-12pm).

Pollen is amazing this season!

And in case you would prefer honey – it’s coming! We have started a slow harvest due to rainy spells and high levels of moisture in the honey. What we have harvested, we like. A lot. And we can’t wait to host a few honey tasting events to share it with you all!

Harvest time at the Bee Ranch

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2013 Mesquite comb honey

Above photo: Every time I see comb like this, I simply want to glob a big fat piece of it into my mouth. Yuuuum.

Ever feel like there’s so much going on that you don’t even know which way to turn. And then the next thing you know, it’s bed time. And then you the alarm goes off and you are at it again. LOL that’s us right about now. We still try and make time here and there to just sit or to visit with friends or to go hunting down historical STUFF…but it’s a crazy time for GBR and most other beekeepers are in the same boat, we’re sure. It’s harvest and dividing time so that’s what we’re all about. The weird spring turned weird summer means it’s totally different from last year, when EVERYTHING was pulled at the same time and we killed ourselves trying to extract before the honey went bad on us. This year it’s more like a little here is ready and then maybe a little somewhere else might be ready. Crazy year for sure.

Okay, here are some of the highlights as of late:
1. We got more queens in, this time from Ebert out in Iowa. Mark’s already used six of them.
2. With dividing of hives in progress, he now has 30 new hives, quite a few in our backyard awaiting queen introductions.
3. Went to the Marriott yard today in SA and pulled a few supers. Sponsored hives are looking pretty good and I got some shots of the activities in order to send out an update to our sponsors.
4. We’re still working on getting the word out about the Southtown Farmers & Ranchers Market down at the Bluestar Art Complex (Saturdays 9-1p) so help us out if you can. Sonia and Danny are working it for us and doing a GREAT job. Sure appreciate them!
5. Belinda’s rejoined us and we’re happy to have her help and her smile back.

Here’s the second queen bank Mark built for the 20 Ebert queens. They came in plastic cages.

New queen bank for the 14 Ebert queens left, 6 introduced.

Finally, I wanted to just tell you about how happy I have been to put all the blazing heat to good use out here in Texas! 🙂 It’s in the 3-digits these days and the sun is hot enough to fry eggs on the ground. Really. I saw a little egg drop from above onto our pavement and though it was not of the eat-me-with-a-biscuit quality or quantity, it was cooked. Poor baby birdy. Anyway, a friend of ours (hi Pete!) asked me about decrystalizing a bottle of honey he had gotten a while ago. I explained the typical hot water in a pan technique and then I said, you know what – just go set it on a table outside for a couple of days and it’ll do the trick. I have had our various crystalized jars out there (Remember my cabinet full of honey? Some of it had crystalized and while I like it, it’s hard to get the honey out of the plastic squeeze bottles.) and most of them have been successfully decrystalized now. Free. Easy. Pretty fast. Done. And so am I. Goodnight, friends.

Solar heating

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Mark shows Patti how to extract honey

So, today was PACKED but I’m not going to bed until I write about it. So hold on. First we kicked off the day with class – our last class before we take a summer break so that we don’t have another you-attended-class-on-the-hottest-day-certificate class like last year. 🙂 We love our students but we just think a break during Texas summers is a great idea. Those bee suits do get hot. With a small class, we get to do different and more things…like let the students try their hands at uncapping honey frames. Very fun and nothing beats seeing exactly how the honey comes out of the frame and finally into a jar.

Camaran & his bee tat

At the end of class we had visits from other beekeeping pals and new beekeeping friends. Want to learn more about Camaran and his awesome bee tattoo? Be sure to check back later this week because I want to devote an entire post to our friends and specifically Perez Beekeeping, which is run by Camaran and his wife Angelica from San Antonio. After the visitors left, we grabbed a quick PBH sandwich and booked on over to the new house we hope to purchase very soon. Had to meet with the inspector, owner and realtor. Thumbs up so far. We’ll keep you posted.

Felicia of the Seguin Gazette visited us to talk extraction

After the house visit, we booked back to the Bee Ranch for our next appointment of the day – a visit from Felicia of the Seguin Gazette. She is doing a story on GBR and the extraction process. We had a lot of fun showing her how things work and then took her through the honey-tasting. Story should run this week. We’ll share when it does.

Check out the samples…so yummy.

Honey tasting time

[Personal aside: Mark just found ENTER THE DRAGON on TV. I hope I can finish this before getting totally distracted by Bruce Lee.]

We wrapped up honey work for the day by filling up jars of comb honey for the JW Marriott crew – my gosh the bees made an awesome Bexar County Wildflower honey this year. We talked about it and agreed it’s almost as smooth as the Mesquite from here. That’s pretty great in my opinion (since it’s my favorite). Here’s to an even bigger crop next year!

JW Marriott Comb Honey Jars

And then we wrapped up our wonderful day with Blizzards from Dairy Queen (DQ). I would share a picture but both of the ones I snapped were not that useable and I didn’t get the affect I was going for and I couldn’t get them right with apps. Suffice it to say we were very happy with our treat and our day. Thanks, everyone, for your usual love and support. We love what we do but we love y’all even more. Tomorrow we do mostly non-bee work. Tell you more later.

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot – we have BIG news about what we’ll be doing every Saturday starting next week. 🙂 Teaser for tomorrow’s post. I promise.

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