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Posts Tagged ‘ranch’

Doing some pricing work for GBR

Hello everyone and greetings from the chilly but lovely Greensboro. We’re visiting with family here and having a great time and even getting some bee work done – the administrative part of work, that is. As I type, we have a focus group and some consulting going on to examine our pricing structure and to discuss the direction of our company. Each year, every company should regroup and see what adjustments need to be made in order to continue or change course. And if you only have two full time employees (and a cat), it’s critical that we optimize our energy and work. So while this task is challenging and time-consuming, it’s absolutely necessary and we are super excited about it! And we want to thank our friends and family members for all their support and help. That’s my sister Thuy sitting with Mark and working on our pricing model. She’s meticulous, sharp and all the other fine qualities an accountant should be. Plus she’s one of our biggest customers and her opinion and advice really mean a lot to us. Thanks for all your help, Thuy! We also want to give a big Texas shout-out to Granddad Ed. His input and perspective was very helpful and insightful as a small business owner, honey lover, potential future beekeeper and interested consumer-at-large. He and Thuy rock and we love ’em.

Now, on to something I’ve been wanting to tell you about but haven’t had time. Recently, we had a wonderful opportunity to visit a very cool ranch west of San Antonio in a place called D’Hanis, Texas. It all started when we met some very nice customers at the Pearl market. They picked up some honey (and liked it – yay!) and then talked with us about putting some bees on their ranch. That ranch is called the Comanche Creek Ranch and it’s a beautiful 3500-acre property with some areas for the longhorns and other areas for farming. Our tour guide was the energetic Mr. Anderson – he is amazing! When I first saw him coming out to meet us at the truck, you could not tell me he was 95 years old. 🙂 He was a wonderful host and I hope that I’m at least close to as energized and sharp as he is when I get to my 80s and 90s. Here he is opening up the gates to his ranch for our tour.

Mr. Anderson leads the way

And here we are sporting the gift caps, which came in handy as we jeeped around the ranch, looking for bee yard locations. What a lovely, lovely land Texas is (although it did take me several years to develop an appreciation of the different beauty here – just different from the NC beauty I grew up with)

Ready to roll on the ranch

After trekking around the property, spotting hogs, deer and armadillo in addition to bee sites, we were fed quite well by Mike –
Mike serves up fajitas

We did settle on two new sites and we anticipate moving 40-50 of our hives to the ranch next month – an early start for them to build up nice and strong so they can make us some good Huajilla honey. This is one of the locations we’ll prepare soon. That’s Joe, Mr. Anderson’s nephew, and he’s helping Mark find and prep sites for the bees.

Discussing hive location with Joe

You can see more of our visit with Mr. Anderson by viewing our Flickr photo set for Comanche Creek. We’ll keep you posted on things as we move forward with this new bee yard. We are thrilled to now have a presence in Medina County!

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Introductions 7 & bee box

What does that title mean, you ask? Well…this is a title that has been bestowed upon our little piece of paradise by a student after Cupid tagged her and a fellow student! So sweet! I loved that phrase and asked if I could share it with you all. We love meeting people – we have made so many wonderful new friends the past year as we launched our classes. And now we can say that our students also love meeting each other! 🙂 We wish our lovebirds the very best and we hope to get an update on how things go for them.

It’s a busy month for us. We’ve got every Saturday booked – which is a blessing but sometimes it does get us tired. 🙂 We had another wonderful class yesterday with fourteen students and since we are in the midst of hive growth and honey production, each class yields something new for students. When the opportunity presents itself, students have gotten to dip into the honey on a frame, lift supers filling up with honey to see how weighty it can be, find and squish a hive beetle (thank goodness those are not a problem this season so that’s only happened once). Lots of fun and I’m never sure what new thing I’ll photograph the students doing. The bees were flying great even though we were all in the way but no one got stung and that’s always a wonderful thing. I think we were in the hive for a good thirty minutes and the bees were as great as you could ask of them.

To see the full set of photos from class, check out the Flickr album I just finished loading.

Next weekend we have our advance topic class – How to Build Your Hives Up in the Spring. It’s our second time teaching it and we still have seats so if you’d like more information on it or to sign up, just drop us a line at info@gretchenbeeranch.com or you can call 830-305-7925. We would love to see you! I made a flyer for the class and it’s on Flickr if you’d like to see it.

It’s another busy week – my brother and his family are visiting from California so we’re thrilled they’ll be checking out the bees and our operation while they are here. Since Mark has daily checks to do at bee yards, they will have their pick of opportunities to see the beautiful Texas landscape currently still in bloom. We’ve also got another visit out to the Marriott to check bees and to also work on the honey display in the restaurant. We have some good ideas to make it an interesting experience for their customers and we’re excited about the opportunity.

Here is a shot of the wonderful Deadman Creek when we went to check on the bees there. This bee yard is on the Lazy U Ranch, which is a wonderful organic ranch – we are so glad to be there! They are making delicious honey out there and Mark will return there tomorrow to put another super on one of the strongest hives we have there. Hope you all enjoy your week!

Lazy U Ranch in spring 2012

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