Sunday, October 13, 2013

Last Harvest of the year!

My 85 year old mother, Marcella helped me harvest honey on Thursday, October 10, 2013.
We had a great time working together. We extracted 35 pounds of honey.  She is just getting into bees and she got six sting. She learned a valuable lesson about the importance of proper bee protection.

We had to get her some Benadryl  for the itchy skin. She is a real trooper. She never complained about her swollen and painful wrists. She is going to be a very good beekeeper.
Thanks for the help Mama. Great Job!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2013 is flying by at Lightspeed!

I had some time this afternoon and checked to see the last time I posted on my blog?. It was October of 2012. Almost a year ago. I was surprised at how much time had passed and how quickly. We have been busy this year. I helped with the Clark Hill and the Aiken's new Beekeeping classes. In February we spoke to garden clubs, caught swarms, made lotion bars and lip balms. In March Rick and I went to the spring South Carolina State meeting in Rock Hill, SC We had a warm winter and a cool wet spring. It was beautiful weather. The bees started swarming early. I had so many swarms and only caught a few. I had a swarm go to a neighbors yard and got sprayed with RAID! That was traumatic. We were a part of Earth Day at the Medical College of Georgia as an Educational vendor. We hosted Girl Scout troops, home school groups and Garden Clubs, that came to Sasserfrass Hill to see and learn about the bees and the plants that feed them. We bought lots of plants and I had lots of friends and Master Gardeners give me plants this spring to help feed the girls. We got three nuc, from Allen Johnson. Queens of queens of the "Woodcliff Girls". I helped lots of new Beekeepers with their bees this year. I had three new beekeepers all named Amy! It has been so much fun helping and teaching new people about bees and why we must save them. I took my Journeyman Level test and practical, and pasted. At Clemson, South Carolina State Summer meeting in July. My "Girls" took third place in the Black Jar honey competition (taste only). It was very nice to win a ribbon on my first try.! We have lots more speaking engagements on the calender. My 85 year old mother, Marcella, is a big help at our events and I appreciate her very much. I will try to post more ofter but . . . I may get too buzzzzzy and forget . . . Bee Well, Deborah
One of the Home School Groups that came to Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm for a visit.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall has arrived on Sasserfrass Hill

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.

Beautifully rain.

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.
Have a fabulous fall... Bee Happy.!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

We extracted 93 pounds of honey this week

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.
God Bless my tiny pollinators.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Things are buzzzzing on Sasserfrass Hill

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beautiful Rain and our First Harvest of the year on Sasserfrass Hill

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.

I am off to squish hive beetles.
Bee Well.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sacred Hearts Garden Festival

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.!!