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Posts Tagged ‘Frio County’

Bigfoot bee yard June 2015

Above: Littlefoot – a new bee yard established Spring 2015 in Frio County. The Mesquite tree in the background on the left was struck by lightning several weeks ago. Luckily, it did not fall towards the hives because that’s been one of the highest productivity yards this year so far!

It has been the strangest spring ever in many ways. We’ve had plentiful rain filling up empty stock tanks and raising lake levels and things are greener at the end of June than I’ve seen it in the twenty years I’ve lived here. What a spring. Over all the bees are doing well and honey making is happening in bits and pieces. While some yards are heavy with activity, other yards are doing next to nothing. That’s why we spread out our 170 hives…just in case. Below is a look at some gorgeous honey we are letting sit on the hives a little longer so the bees can continue drying it. Lots of moisture this year! We have pulled just a fraction of what the bees made and with the timing (if it is just right), Mark just told me at lunch there is a chance we may get some Mesquite Honey this year after many years of going without one of our all-time favorites – woo! hoo! Seriously, I love that honey for it smooth, smokiness. Let’s hope it happens after all.

Almost ready to harvest

So. The major shift in focus. What is it? Well, if you follow any of our other social media platforms, then you already know. This coming weekend is OUR LAST WEEKEND AT PEARL. Yep. This is a 2012 photo I snapped in September, just a few months after we had been accepted as a vendor at the Pearl Farmers Market. What an amazing and exciting and exhausting 35 months we have had! 🙂

New location for Pearl Farmers Market

With each year since we formally established GBR, the business has picked up and the opportunities have also. Last year when Mark was elected President of the Pearl Farmers Market Association, we had no idea the amount of time and energy it would take and what it would take out of us both. We planned on longer hours and some hard work but it has been more like what we planned for and then multiplied by 20. We have learned so much at market and have made so many friends amongst our fellow vendors as well as our customers, but the time had come to make a change. Not only are we physically exhausted doing both weekend markets on top of a very full 5-day work week, but we are just not as young as we were and the pace is insane but maybe that’s just us because that’s how we work. We give it our all. You know we lived and breathed bees and somewhere along the way, market out-weighed bees in terms of workload. There are so many projects we want to pursue but haven’t had time to carry out the work. There are so many exciting new products we want to roll out but there’s prototypes, testing, packaging, marketing – there hasn’t been enough hours for us to do any of that the way we want to so now we re-focus.

Improve the process for making our popular Creamed Honey. Done.

Ready for ordering and  purchase - yummy!!!!

Begin making the new beeswax products we’ve been meaning to try – like extra tall Bee-Day Candles. Done.

New at the Bee Ranch - extra tall Bee-Day candles

Brainstorm and plan out the next chapter of GBR – not just new classes and new products but also some down time for resting, returning to church and seeing more of our family members. Done.

Planning the next chapter

It feels good to take some steps to focus on what we want to do and where we want to do it. More of GBR at the Bee Ranch. We’ll still do occasional shows but the primary focus will be right here at the home we love so much and have spent so little time enjoying. We hope you stay with us and see what is next for us. One of the exciting goals I have for myself is a return to this beloved Bee Blog of ours that has been neglected like many other things we hold dear. Here’s to a new chapter! Or Version 2.0 as a friend put it.

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Today we drove about an hour and a half south to Frio County to visit with a friend from one of our bee classes. We got to go through and to places name Bigfoot and Kyote and Devine. Awesome names, right? I love exploring new places with Mark; it’s always an adventure. We went to talk bees with Mike and to get a tour of a big piece of property he has in the Devine area down in Frio County. There are a lot of bees and beekeepers down in that area and that means a lot of great honey. If you haven’t tried Huajilla from down there, then you are really missing out. Anyhow, Mike has a wonderful “side hobby/passion” he enjoys when he’s not working on his other gazillion projects…farming. 🙂 And boy, is his farming something else. We had a blast just seeing what he is currently growing down in Frio and what his plans are in future. Neither Mark nor I could get over how wonderful the heritage broccoli tasted straight off the stem. As you can tell the bees love it also. They were on it pretty good while we were there. The picture below is of one of the broccolis going to seed. It’s amazing to us that some people, and especially young folks, may not have ever seen where broccoli comes from (plant wise) so here’s a picture.

I also have some other great farm shots on Flickr if you’d like to see other vegetables we saw today. I didn’t want to make this post a photo collage but I could very easily. I love shooting vegetables. And sometimes I shoot other shots, too, for fun. So here’s one I liked from today – me and my beekeeper. Well, our shadows actually. Y’all have a great Sunday!

Me & the Beekeeper

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