We are having a buzzzzy fall on Sasserfrass Hill. We are checking each hive to make sure they will make it through the winter, or at least give them the best chance we can. The fall plants are blooming, Swamp Sunflowers, Asters, Golden Rod, Ragweed, Sasanquas,Tea Olives to name a few.The wonderful rain we have gotten has been a God send, providing lots of pollens and nectar for the bees.
We must check and make sure the bees have enough honey to eat all winter long. If they have no honey we must feed them sugar water. We must also check for Verroa mites, a nasty little parasite that loves to suck their blood. Mites are one of the biggest problem bees face.
We checked Michael Hagen's bees. They are doing very well. Michael is a first year beekeeper and is very excited about his new hobby.
We were happy to help Ye Sun check her bees and get them ready for fall.
We split two of Cliff's hives and they are doing great.
We have been blessed with lots of rain this summer and fall. We have had many beautiful rainbows.
Jay had a beetle problem. We went through his hives and killed hundreds of hive beetles. I think we saved his hives.
Janice and Ken at Wild Birds Unlimited gave me this adorable bee for my garden. They sell Sasserfrass Hill honey in their Martinez store.
I took my journeyman classes over in Lexington, SC. They told me yesterday that I passed the test with a 85. I was so happy I passed. I was ready to make arrangements to retest in January. I am happy to be a journeyman level beekeeper.
We extracted 93 pounds of honey from two honey supers this week. The lime green hive and the pumpkin hive were ready. I had to bring the frames in a few at a time. They were so heavy I could not pick them up. I put the frames on the butcher block Island. Unfortunately, I put them on the end and the weight was too uneven and tipped over. I had to rush to extract the honey that was oozing all all over the floor.
When you open the tap on the extractor it is wonderful to see the results of my girls hard work.
A little worker bee makes less than 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her entire life. They work so hard. They work themselves to death. That is why they only live six weeks in the spring and summer.
We are happy to report we are very busy on Sasserfrass Hill this month. We have been checking hives, extracting honey, installing queen cells, cleaning hives and replacing frames. We are checking our bees all around the area. We took a ride to Screven County to check the Woodcliff Girls, while we were in Sylvania we checked Mike Hagen's bees. We checked Cliff's bees and helped him extract his honey. He had five gallons of honey from two eight frame supers. We checked Mary Louise's two hives and her bees are thriving. We went over to Roy Road to check the bees at Tom's and added another honey super to each.
Mr Gene gave us a big bag of his new wax capping's. One of my favorite things to do is process fresh wax. It took two days to process all the wax. It looked and smelled Divine after it was cleaned. My entire house smell sweet and yummy for days. It has been exceptionally hot and dry in the C.S.R.A. We did get a short shower last night and I could hear the trees and plants singing in the rain. The nectar flow is almost over. But the lack of rain will hasten the process even faster. We are in a nine inch rain deficit and hope for several more afternoon showers to keep our plants alive. The bees will eat the stored honey if they don't have access to fresh nectar.
I bought a new wooden beetle trap, that attaches to the front of the hive. I am painting it with several coats of primer. I need more green paint so I can finish up and get it on the hive. I hope to catch lots of nasty little hive beetles. I will let you know how the trap works.
I hope you are staying cool... it is going to be a hot one!! Bee Frosty, Ms Deb
It has been a hot spring this year. We got 1 1/2 inches of rain from hurricane Beryl last week. It sprinkled a little this morning and a front cooled things down to a comfortable 70 degrees. I was going to check my hives on Monday and again this morning but the rain changed my plans.
I should have honey ready for harvest. I hope to check tomorrow and if it is capped off I will bring the frames inside, extract it and put the super back on the hive by the afternoon.
Last week Mama helped me extracted one honey super. We got about 36 pounds of honey from ten frames.
This is one of the frames we extracted.
We hope for a big harvest this spring. I am excited to see if the girls have capped off the frames since I checked last week.
Liquid gold from the first harvest of the year.
We bought jars and mama put them in the dishwasher, I ordered labels from Brushy Mountain on the 15th of May and I am still waiting for them to arrive....not very efficent turn around time, I will look for a better source.
We have been busy checking some of my bees in another bee yard. All seems well with them.
The Sacred Hearts Garden Festival was this weekend Friday, April 27 - Sunday, April 29th. Sasserfrass Hill bee Farm was invited to be a vendor. Mama worked with me on Friday and Betty Murry came up from Statesboro and helped me on Saturday and Sunday. We had a beautiful but HOT weekend.
I talked to lots of people about the bees and we sold honey, lotion bars and lip balm.
I was so happy to be vendor at the biggest Garden Festival in Augusta.
It was a blast.!!
We have had the warmest winter on record. Lots of warm days 80 degrees in February is scary. It makes me wonder what August will bring.???!! The bees are bringing in the pollen and nectar. My dogwoods, azaleas, Narcissus and Snowflakes are blooming and the tulips will be open in a few days. I bought $40 of bulbs last week and must get them in the ground. I have Dahlias, Gladiolus, and Jonquils to plant.
It has been very windy for the last few days, 15 to 25 mph winds are much to strong to open the hives. Other beekeepers have already pulled queen cells. I must check my hives but I have too wait until the weather is warm and not too windy.
I lost the pink and blue hives this winter. They both swarmed late in the season and were not able to build up their numbers before the cold set in. I put the empty hives into the freezer to kill and pest eggs that may be hiding inside. I hope to split a couple of my strong hives this spring. I will have a better idea after I get inside to check.
Rick and I went to the Georgia and South Carolina State Beekeepers meetings. We met lots of other beekeepers, bought supplies and listened to interesting speakers. Ted Dennard from Savannah Bee was my favorite. His business is making six figures every year. I hope to bee making money soon.??!!
I am off to the "Grow your Own" Fair at the Jewish Community Center. They will be selling chemical-free seedlings and experts to answer questions. I am sure to learn a lot.
I hope to buy plants the bees will like so they and we can have a delicious spring.
We all have been enjoying the mild temperatures this winter. We have only had about 40 chill hours. Which may not be good for the trees and bulbs that need cold to get them ready for spring. We also have lots of bad bugs that have not been killer by the cold.
The bees love the warm weather but they must thinking it should be cold now.?? The position of the sun is telling them we should be in a cluster, keeping the queen in the center and keeping warm by eating honey and vibrating their wings, which creates heat and keeps the cluster about 92 degrees.
I hope they will be okay with the warm weather and not freeze when the Mercury drops.
Bulbs have bloomed, trees are budding out, even azaleas are blooming, I just hope they don't all get killed when we do get the cold.
Thanks for Bee-lieving in Sasserfrass Hill, Thanks for Bee-lieving in me....
2011 was full of wonder and many incredible opportunities. I met interesting people and produced photographs of my sweet girls and told of their need, for us to get off the chemicals.
I learned so much in 2011. Thanks to every club, group and school that listened to our presentation, bought our honey and loved our lotion bars. We appreciate and Thank You.
December 2011 had very mild temperatures, our first freezing nights didn't come until January 2, 2012. The Farmer Almanic is calling for a mild and dry winter in Georgia. If you would like to help the bees, plant native drought tolerant plants the bees love such as echinacea, asters,and yarrow's.
Thanks to my sweet bees for all your hard work. I adore and appreciate the fruits of your labor. Thanks for sharing your bounty.
Thank you God for my Mother, Marcella. She had a stroke in July, she was in the hospital four days. She did not get the medication within three hours...that slowed her recovery. She is doing remarkably well. She is my number one fan. She washes my jars, labels, cleans wax and anything she can do to help. Thank you mama. I love you.
2012 will be a fantastic year for Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm. We expect even more blessings and opportunities.
The "Girls" and I plan to start our documentary, Our goal is to get the pesticide "Neonicatiod" off the market. Get it banned from our country NOW. It is poisoning every one's food supply.!!!
We hope every one's New Year is full of love, healthy and happiness!!