Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us on Sasserfrass Hill!

One of my favorite songs by John Lennon is "Happy Christmas"
"So, this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun.... " Well, we have done a lot, and things have been very interesting on Sasserfrass Hill, it has been a incredible, crazy productive year, and it flew by at the speed of light. It has been a year of great transition.
After being laid off from my job of twenty years as a video producer, I was in shock and really frightened as to what the future may hold. But like they say... God doesn't close a door without opening a window.... I do believe that, and we started the year with great wonder and anticipation. I hoped for a great adventure and I got that and much more.
I love spending time in my yards. I put in stacked stone flower beds. It was hard, back breaking work, but the results were very gratifying.

We doubled the number of hives from five to ten. We captured five swarms this spring. We gave each hive it's own beautiful pastel color. Sometimes it seems, the bees think they are on rainbow row in Charleston.
We had a bumper crop of honey as well. We harvested over 250 pounds. Mr. Charlie's guidance and advice made the harvesting process much easier and very productive. His experience is invaluable and his skill in the bee yard is exceptional. We call him a bee whisperer.... He truly is.

We have continued with our Bee Venom Therapy. Helping anyone with aliments from Arthritis to Multiple Sclerosis. Mr. Charlie has also made BVT look easy and almost painless.

We also whipped up some incredible lotion bars and lip balms. Made with all natural exotic butters, beeswax and botanical oils. We have some delicious essential oils, that smell delightful and fresh.
We made votive and tea light candles of pure beeswax. Which emit negative ions that actually clean the air and burn longer and brighter than other candles.

Sarah and Erika helped with all our computer needs. They helped with design and packaging, and also helped get our web site up and running. Check out when you have a chance.

Mr Charlie's wife has been battling cancer this year and he has devoted himself to her care. We wish her . . . Bright Blessings.

The big highlight this fall was one of my photographs making the cover of Bee Culture. Which is a national beekeeping magazine. It all happened rather quickly. We asked if they accepted freelance photography in September and we made the cover in October. I was stoked and as proud as I could bee to see a SasserFrass Hill girl on the cover.

I also joined a couple of garden clubs and met several master gardeners. Generous knowledgeable women that gave me many plants and are going to help get my yard "bee friendly" with lots of perennials the bees can feast on all year.

It has been a busy and rewarding year. I count my blessing everyday. I thank God for my health, family and friends. I want to thank everyone that believed in me and helped me make Sasserfrass Hill a great place to be this year. We are planning to add more hives in the spring, and with a little luck and lots of hard work we expect to have even a better year in 2010.
We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Let's hope it's a good one without any fear. (Don't forget to pray for all our troops in Afghanistan.)
Bee Merry,
Ms Deb

Monday, November 30, 2009

SasserFrass Hill Get Ready for Winter!

Today is the last day of November. Only thirty days till we issue in another new year. This year has zipped pasted at light speed.

I have been feeding my bees 1 x 1 sugar water for several weeks. They are drinking it up as fast as they can. They have polished off 100 pounds of sugar so far and I will feed them another 50 pounds this week and see how their food stores measures up.

I will insulate the hives on SasserFrass Hill when the temperature drop. I want to save my girls as much energy as possible. Each little cell of honey can figuratively be compared to a miniature barrel of oil or a few sticks of firewood. Each bee consumes honey, metabolizes it (burns it) at the cellular level and produces heat and muscular energy. Each individual bee's heat is contributed to the cluster and communal heat is produced.

We have had many blessings this year. One of our biggest is Mr. Charlie, guiding us and sharing his thirty years of beekeeping experience. He tirelessly helps everyone with our bees, he answer's all our questions and makes you feel everything is going to be alright.

We Thank you GOD for all our Many Blessing. We are grateful.
Bee Well my tiny friends.
Ms Deb

Today is the last day of November. Only 30 days left till the new year. This year has passed very quickly for me. Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm has taken lots of my time and energy. I have enjoyed working in my yards. Building stone beds borders and planting lots of perennials. I have met several master Gardeners who are willing to help me get my yard planted with flowers and plants that are bee friendly all seasons of the year.

I have been feeding my bees sugar water 1 x 1 and the are busy drinking it up as fast as they can. We have had very mind fall with temperatures only in the high thirties a few nights. I still have morning glories blooming and even tiny yellow blooms on my tomato plants.

I hope my girls will make it through our second winter together. I will wrap the hives with a nice insulation when temperture drop. I want to help the girls save as much energy as possible. Each bee consumes honey, metabolizes it, at the cellular level and produces heat and muscular energy. Each individual bee's heat is contributed to the cluster and communal heat is produced.

I am going to fed my bees and hope for the best.

Charlotte, my niece, said I have the luckest bees in the world.... just to be on SasserFrass Hill...I hope my ten hives come out of winter feeling the same.

Bee Well my tiny friends.
Ms Deb

Monday, November 9, 2009

Things are well on Sasserfrass Hill

Our family had a great weekend. Justin flew in from Hawaii for a visit. He will be deployed to Afghanistan in a few weeks. So, say a little prayer for him and all his comrades fighting for our freedom. Mama cooked a feast and we had lots of hugs, laughs and fellowship.

The ladies Vikki teaches with gave her a Grandmother shower. It was at Dee Trevor's house. Everyone brought a dish and a drink. It was so much fun. But the icing on the cake was Olivia's first family outing. It was exciting. Most of the family had not met her yet. She was so sweet and let everyone get some baby sugar. She is an adorable baby.

The bees are doing great also. All is well on Sasserfrass Hill. We are working to get some lotion bars and beeswax candles ready for the holiday season.

I will post an update soon.
Bee Well,
Ms Deb

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lotion Bars, Candles, lip Balm ....Ohooo My!

Happy Halloween Everyone.!!!

It was a beautiful day with lots of blue sky and white puffy clouds. I worked in my yards all day. Then it turned gray and rainy.

I have only had two trick or treaters tonight. I have never had very many kids because the street is not well lit, and the houses are far apart.

I closed on my house nine years ago today. I can hardly believe it has been that long. . . . Time flies....

I am working on lotion bars and pure beeswax candles. I got lots of new exotic oils and yummy butters. I hope to make several new batches of lotion bars next week.

The bees are eating from the feeders and still bringing in pollen. All seems to be going well at this time.

I got lots of plants and cuttings from Carol Finch, a master gardener this week. She gave me some perennials I hope the girls will like. The spring will tell. I am going to meet some other master gardeners in the next week or so for more ideas how to make Sasserfrass Hill more bee friendly.

Bee Spooky,
Ms Deb

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Beautiful Fall Day for Bee Venom Therapy

October 23, 2009 is a beautiful fall day with sunshine peeping in and out of the clouds. The bees are flying and the yellow jackets are on the prowl. I got stung by a yellow jacket yesterday while I was cleaning the feeders. The yellow jackets will not live through the winter but they are eating as much protein (bees) as possible now. They are lurking outside the hive looking for the sick and weak bees. When people say they got stung by a bee, usually they got stung by a bad old yellow jacket.

Today we had two new Bee Venom Therapy patients. Natalie is 84 years old and as cute as a button. She and her daughter came to try to get relief from arthritis. They had gone to the chiropractor and had physical therapy and wanted to try BVT as a complimentary treatment. I hope they get great relief from their arthritis pain. I was happy they were open minded and willing to try something new.

Erika came over also, she is suffering from MS, and has had a lot of relief from her aches and pains. Sarah came by to help with the web site. We are getting our products ready to post in time for Christmas. We hope to have lots of stocking stuffers to choose from.

We got a new baby girl in our family yesterday. Olivia was born at 5:58am and weighed 7lbs. 1oz
Vicky and Reese (my nephew) are doing fine. Vikki and Laurice and proud grandparents for the first time. They are over the moon for this little girl. We welcome her into the family.

I am off to Sam's to buy another 50 pounds of sugar... I will feed the girls for a while till they get plenty of food stored up for the winter.

Bee Well,
Ms Deb

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Girls cleaning up the harvested supers

Believe it or not it is the middle of October. I can not believe how this year has buzzed by.

Mr Charlie and I went through all the hives last week. All were strong but the Peach hive. Mr Charlie said they may have swarmed while I was not looking.

He brought a nuc over ( A nuc is a small hive with only five frames.) It is half the space for them to keep warm as the temperatures fall. I hope the peach girls will prosper. With so few sisters to keep themselves warm it may be tough.

The Girls...the Worker bees, will kick the drones out of the hive during the fall and winter. The drones contribute nothing to the hive. They don't even collect their own nectar...They make several flights each day looking for a virgin queen. Which odds are NOT good they will ever be successful.

Sarah and Erika are coming over on Thursday. We are going to update the website and put up some product photos.

The year is buzzing away at light speed....... So the Girls and I will hold on tight.... it's going to be a fun filled fall.

Bee Well,
Ms Deb

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hello Everyone,

We have had a prosperous spring and summer at Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm. We have moved into fall will a bountiful harvest. We extracted our last three honey supers last week and got almost 50 pounds.

We had a lot of fun and talked to many many people at Mule Day up in Washington, Georgia on Saturday. The weather was calling for 50% rain but it was a perfect day with lots of sunshine.

We are giving our girls their fall medicine to treat for mites and Honey B Healthy, a Feeding Stimulant with Essential Oils... ..... ...... it Helps Your Hives to Thrive!
We will treat for hive beetles and wax moths also.

I am going into the fall with 10 healthy hives. I hope I come out of winter with the same number.

We are going to add about 30 more hives this spring. We need more honey to meet the demands of the local market. Thanks to everyone who purchased honey and lotion bars from us. We hope to have lots more products in the near future like pure beeswax candles, soaps, lip balms, lotions and lots more.
We are Grateful. I am Blessed.!!!!
Bee Well,
Ms Deb

Thursday, September 24, 2009

We have a Cover Girl on SasserFrass Hill

Some of you may know already... But I will tell you again.
A few weeks ago I took a spoonful of honey and went into my bee yard. I chased bees around until I got one of the girls to stop for a taste.

I started taking photos, lots and lots of photos... I downloaded them into my computer. I had one that caught my eye so I decided to send it over to Kim Flottum, the editor of Bee Culture magazine.

I ask if they accepted freelance photography, adding, jokingly, that I'd always wanted to be on the cover of the Rolling Stone…(an old 70s song by Dr Hook)… . If not The Rolling Stone, I would love to make the cover of Bee Culture magazine.

He emailed back saying "Nice photo"…. But for the cover the image need more headroom for the title and a more vertical shot. If I could take a shot that good, with the format he needed maybe even Rolling Stone would want it.
Soooooo… I went back into PhotoShop. I re-cropped the shot; I even added the magazine title and sent it back and ask…what about this?
He answered; can you have it back to me by tomorrow? I want to use it on the October cover. I was so excited! This October? was my response. I had no idea in just a few week I would see a Sasserfrass Hill girl on the cover of a National magazine !

He gave me the format he needed. I got the photo to him in a few hours. The production coordinator- Kathy Summers emailed and said my photo had made their deadline and would defiantly be on the October 2009 cover of Bee Culture.
So keep your eye out for the Sasserfrass Hill cover girl making her debut on the cover of October issue of Bee Culture magazine.

Check out my mock up of the cover....I also believe in positive affirmations....

Bee Well,

Ms. Deb

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sasserfrass Hill Cover Girl

I can hardly bee-lieve it, I sent in a photograph of one of my girls drinking honey from a spoon to Bee Culture magazine. They are a national Bee Keepers publication. They are going to use my photograph for the cover of their magazine in October 2009. I am beyond stoked.!!!

I took lots and lots of photos before I got this shot.... but it turned out so beautiful..... I love it..
Bee Creative,
Ms Deb

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Spoonful of Honey

I have had lots of hive beetles in all my hives. It seems the lime and the blue hives have lots more than the rest. Thanks to Mr. Charlie's idea to use the plastic on top I have managed to kill beetles everyday. I can see how people lose hives to these awful pests. If I didn't check and kill them everyday they would surely over run and take my hives.
Sunday morning I got a spoonful of honey and took it into the bee yard. I chased bees around till I got one to taste it. She drank and drank till her little honey stomach was full and bulging. I took lots of photographs and finally got this one. I absolutely love it. You can see her little tongue slurping up the honey.
Things are going well on Sasserfrass Hill. We got a supply of Shea Butter, Jojoba oil, Cocoa Butter and lanolin in and we are making lotion bars this week. We will see how that goes.
Hope everyone has a great week.
Bee Well,
Ms Deb

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We extracted 112 pounds of Honey today!

We are buzzing along on Sasserfrass Hill. Today I extracted a super from the Blue, purple and pink hives. Mr. Charlie came by yesterday and helped me put the escape boards on. Rick took the three supers off late yesterday and blew out most of the bees. He put the supers into the trunk of my car so I could take over to Mr. Charlies Honey House to extract.
Mr. Charlie also confirmed I have no queen in the Aqua and Peach hives. The queens we got from Wilbanks Apiaries and installed on June 17, did not take!!!!! Not sure why???? We are going back down to Wilbanks in Claxton on Thursday and pick up four more queens. (Mr Charlie needs two also.) This will be the third queen for the Aqua hive and the second for the Peach. The Clipped and Marked queens cost $20 each. I thinks these hives may be costing me just to keep them. But that's O.K.

I had to wait for Rick to get home from work to help me get the two 5 gallon buckets out of my car. They are too heavy for me to pick up. I am proud to announce I extracted 112 pounds of honey today. I am very excited about another big harvest from the girls on Sasserfrass Hill.

Mama put another case of half pint jars into the dishwasher. I have sold more half pints than any other size this season. I will bottle today's honey on Friday morning. Just in time for the Brickyard Market in North Augusta, Friday afternoon from 4 - 8pm. This will be our fourth Friday at the Brickyard and we have really enjoyed being one of the vendors. If you have not been over to the Brickyard Market on Friday afternoon come by and see us and all the vendors. They sell fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, jams and jellies, jewelry, candles, wooden bowls and much more. Don't forget to pick up a few jars of liquid gold. Start eating your honey now to build up your immunities to help fight your fall allergies. Hope to see you soon.

Bee Well,
Ms Deb

Monday, August 3, 2009

August 3, 2009 Happy Birthday Julian

Today is Monday, August 3, 2009. Today is my youngest brother Julian's birthday. I called him today to wish him many blessings. We have had several nice showers on Sasserfrass Hill this past week. My grass is still green and my flowers are still blooming. The bees seem to be doing well. My peach hive is not bringing in pollen like I think it should. I may go into it this week and see if I can see any problems. I have been persistent at killing many hive beetles in all my hives. I wonder what other beekeepers do that don't kill them everyday. I can see how you could loose a hive to this pest. If I could sell hive beetles... I would be a wealthy woman.

Tonight is the monthly meeting of the Clark Hill Beekeepers. I hope we have a good turnout. I love to hear about other people bees and how they are doing. Thank you God for another beautiful day on Sasserfrass Hill.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Beautiful Day on Sasserfrass Hill

I have been going to the local flea market to sell honey on the weekends. I am going to try the Friday Brickyard Market in North Augusta this week. Mr Charlie and I are going to see if it will be worth our while to try this new venue.

I have sold almost half of my first 109 pound harvest. Mr Charlie has three times the honey and hives that I have, so he has a lot more to sell. We enjoy talking to people and educating them about the bees. We encourage anyone interested in keeping bees to jump in and help save this incredible creatures.
Bees are in trouble from loss of habit, starvation and all the chemicals we are pouring into the environment. It is really scary to think... what if the bees go away ? ..... What will happen to our food supply??? Every third bite you take is due to a bee. Did you know that? The only thing not pollinated by a bee is corn and wheat (They are wind pollinated). So if you like gruel you should be fine but if you like fruits and vegetables you are going to bee in big trouble. So.... Help protect the bees and remember to plant wildflowers and don't use chemicals in your yard.

Monday, July 13, 2009

North Augusta girls cross the mighty Savannah

CCD ?? I am still puzzled. My green hive disappeared. I really don't know what happened to it. It was a very strong hive. The bees could have swarmed while I was away, I am not sure , but I wish I knew. Rick and I took the entire green hive out of the bee yard. It had been robbed of all honey and most of the pollen and hive beetle larva had moved in. I put the frames into the freezer to kill all the bugs...

Mr Charlie had four hives at his sons house in North Augusta. A brush fire had killed all but one hive. He brought over one super with lots of brood to replaced my green hive. The North Augusta girls were hungry and feisty. He said I should feed them for a few weeks. I took them fresh sugar water and one of the pugnacious guards stung me on the finger. I guess no one told her of the old saying "don't sting the hand that feeds you". Mr Charlie has a queen cell he is going to transfer into this hive. We hope the new queen will make it a more gentle hive and we hope it will bounce back and become even stronger than before. To welcome the North Augusta girls to the Georgia side of the river, I mixed up a enormous supply of sugar water with Honey B Healthy feeding stimulant . . . Who's slogan is "Helps your Hives to Thrive! I will keep the feeders full and hope they love it here on Sasserfrass Hill and flourish.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Time is flying by. Only 182 days left till 2010. It is extremely hot and extremely dry. We have had no rain in two weeks. With little chance of any moisture for many more days. My girls are hot and a little cranky. Mr. Charlie and I went through the hives July 1 and I had three more hives with no queen and no brood. I am exasperated. We found one capped off queen cell in the pumpkin hive. Mr Charlie shook most of the bee off the frame and put the entire frame into the lime green hive that had no brood or queen. The green and the aqua hives are struggling and have no queens or brood again.
I have one giant sunflower. It is beautiful. It opened up fully yesterday. Some bug is munching down on the petals. All the bees seem to love it. I have taken a few great shots of this glowing beauty.
I am posting a few of my favorite shots.
Everyone at Sasserfrass Hill hopes you have a happy and safe 4th of July.
Bee Safe,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

First Honey Harvest of 2009

Good News Everyone!!!

We are over the moon on Sasserfrass Hill. Mr. Charlie and I extracted the first of my honey today. We put a bee escape screen on three hives yesterday. Mr. Charlie came over this morning at 10am. He picked up the three supers ( they are too heavy for me to pick up) and took them to his honey house. Mr. Charlie has a 9 frame power radial extractor and a air conditioned honey house. I have a four frame hand crank extractor and no air conditioning in my bee shed. So needless to say I was fortunate when he offered to let me use his well equipped facility.

I drove over to his house so he would not have to drive back across town. When I got to his honey house he had the supers unloaded and the hot knife plugged in. He asked if I would like him to do the honors or do it myself. Of course I was happy to watch a master work. He had all three supers uncapped and ready to return to the box they came from (The bees like to get there own frames back) in less than an hour. It would have taken me twice as long to get the job done.

I brought along three five gallon buckets or holding tanks as they are called in the catalogs to bring the honey from his extractor back to Sasserfrass Hill. I ended up with a little over 100 pounds of sweet golden honey. I had to replace eight queens this spring. I was afraid I may not have much honey to harvest this season. I was delighted with the quality and quantity of my honey.
I will let the honey sit in the holding tanks for a few days before putting it into jars. The bubbles will rise to the top. Mr. Charlie says.... You should skim it off and feed it back to the bees.

We are very grateful on Sasserfrass Hill tonight for all our many blessings and our bountiful harvest.

Thank you Mr. Charlie for making this harvest smooth and easy.

Bee Well and Stay Cool,

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Summer !

Tomorrow is the first official day of Summer. It is the hottest day of the year with temperatures racing near 104 degrees. It is going to be a super hot few days. I don't think we can expect anything but more hot smoldering days. The bees seem to take it in stride. I did put up their colorful umbrellas to help shade them from the scorching afternoon sun. I also put out some ice cream salt. Mr Charlie said....the salt will provide some of the minerals they made need in this heat.
Happy Birthday Sarah!!!! Hope you have a wonderful day and many many more!!!
Try to stay cool and we will do the same.

and the "Girls" on Sasserfrass Hill

Monday, June 15, 2009

Greetings Everyone,
With temperatures heating up well into the upper 90'ies, it has slowed the production on Sasserfrass Hill down a bit. I am trying to keep the plants watered. The tomatoes and peppers are producing very nicely. The wildflowers in the garden are beautiful and after being staked they are standing up and showing their faces. We have the intense Georgia afternoon sun with no shade to help with the broiling heat. I bought umbrellas last year to help shade my girls. With summer fast approaching I think it is time to put the umbrellas up over the hives again. (My neighbor says it looks like a roadside stand when the umbrella go up.)
We have had a bit of a setback. On Saturday Rick and I went through seven of the hives, to check for queen cells and to check for brood and pests. To our disappointment we found four MORE hives with NO brood. Four hive with NO babies and no Queen. Remember we had to put three queens and brood from Mr. Charlies hives in last week. To find we have four more queen less hive is a big set back to us on Sasserfrass Hill. This will slow honey production down to a crawl.
Mr Charlie ordered more queens and we are going to pick them up from Wilbanks Apiaries in Claxton on Wednesday. I hope these queens are strong good layers, so we can make it through the summer and get busy making honey for Sasserfrass Hill. I am learning many new things everyday about the bees. This is a hard lesson but, a part of beekeeping.

I will keep you posted on our progress.

Bee Cool,

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mr. Charlie (my mentor) and I went through my ten hives last week. We expected to be harvesting honey this week, but to my chagrin I will not be harvesting this week. We found three hives with no queens. I have no idea what happened to them. Yesterday Mr. Charlie brought frames over with queen cells and lots of brood. (babies) to replace a frame in all three hives. We are hoping the queen cell will emerge about the same time as the baby bees, so the queen will have bees to care of her and get the hives working and productive again.

When there is no queen in the hive the bees chill out and don't do much work. Spring is the most plentiful time of the year. They should be bringing in lots of pollen and nectar. This is a set back and I will miss out on lots of honey production, but as Mr. Charlie says... This is a learning experience and a part of beekeeping.

I met a fabulous lady, Carla Grayson a few weeks ago at a holistic fair. She linked my website onto her site. She is a renowned web designer and has an interesting and informative website. I am very grateful she added to her site. Check it out.

Mr. Charlie and I will go through my hives again soon to see how the queens are progressing. I hope we will be back in full production in just a few weeks.

Bee Well,

No Honey yet!

Mr. Charlie (my mentor) and I went through my hives last week. We were expecting to start harvesting honey this week, but to my chagrin I found I was not ready to harvest honey and even more disappointing was three of my hives did not have a queen. I am not sure what happened. The purple, green and aqua hives had no brood (babies) at all. Mr. Charlie came over yesterday and brought frames with queen cells and lots of brood from his hives. He replaced one of my frames with one of his, in each of the three queen less hives. We hope the brood will hatch around the same time as the queen, so they can take care of her and get the hive working and productive again.

The spring is the busiest time for the bees. This is down time for these three hives, when they should be working the hardest. When there is no queen the hive slows production instead of going like gang busters. This is disappointing but as Mr. Charlie says.... It is a learning experience and part of being a beekeeper.

Also I met a fabulous lady, Carla Grayson at the holistic fair a few weeks ago. She put our web site on her site (We are under the news letter portion of her site). She is a renowned web designer and has a creative and very interesting website.

I really appreciate her adding to her site. Check it out.

Bee Well,


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Harvest Time

It is almost time to pull my first honey of the season. 2009 has been a wonderful spring. With temperatures cooler than normal and lots of rain. The nectar and pollen flow has been plentiful. The bees have been very busy. Every trip the forging bees make yields lots of protein and carbohydrates.

Mr. Charlie is coming over tomorrow and we are going to check all the hives for queen cells again and see which hives need escape board (the bees can get out of the honey super but they can not get back in). We will be ready to harvest honey on Tuesday or Wednesday. I am anxious to see how much liquid gold my girls will produce this spring.

We met beekeepers Sue and Jim Gertis while on vacation last week. They were wonderful friendly people that told us a lot about how they keep bees. Their honey and beeswax was used on several recovering turtles at The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. They gave us a jar of their Jekyll Island honey and it is fabulous.
I will let you know how many pounds of honey we harvest.
Bee Well,

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

We have had a busy week on Sasserfrass Hill. We have been planting lots of plants and seeds. I planted more Black Eye Susan Vines, Hummingbird (Cypress) Vines and lots of multicolored morning Glory vines along all the fences in my yard and garden. We transplanted cuttings from April's Lady Banks Rose and pulled lots of weeds. (I am not using any chemicals on my lawn) We got about an inch of rain this week. Everything is lush and green and looks so nice. It will be hot and dry soon enough.....

April (my sister in law) and I rescued lots of Easter Lillie's from the dumpster.

We believe in recycling, reusing and reducing land fill waste. I must plant them in my garden next week. I will also share some of the bulbs with my sister.

I found lots and lots of ants in the Aqua Hive yesterday. The most I have ever had in a hive at one time. The ants were into the frames taking out the honey. This indicates a weak hive...A strong hive would keep them out. I hate killing ants but they CAN NOT be in my hives. It took almost all day ... I squished a million ants, wait an hour and go back and squish more. Today when I checked there were only a few ants in the hive.

Mr Charlie administered Bee Venom Therapy to our Multiple Sclerosis Patient today. She had about fifteen stings.

I have two nephews graduating from college in the morning. We are having a family get together at my brothers in Millen to celebrate their accomplishments in the afternoon. We will enjoy our family and friends. We will give thanks to God for blessing our family with these two fine young men, that I am sure will make the world a better place. We will also celebrate Mother's Day, while we are all together. All my siblings will be together. Our mother, has seven kids...she loves nothing more than having all her chicks in one place. She is a wonderful mother and my biggest fan.

Happy Mothers Day to mine and all mothers out there....I wonder if the bees think about their mother? The queen be can lay 1000 to 2000 eggs in a day. You thought you had a lot of kids to keep up with!!

We will be taking a break on Sasserfrass Hill for the weekend. We will look for and pull queen cells again on Monday, until then...
Bee Well,

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sasserfrass Hill adds a Stag !

Saturday I went to a local plant swap. It was buzzing with lots of plants and plant lovers. I loved to feel the energy put out by live plants. I did swap a few plants, but I bought more than I swapped. I got some very cool plants. My number one question to all the vendors.... "do the bees like it?" I got lots of plants my girls will enjoy. I also bought a big beautiful Stag Horn Fern.

I hung it in the pecan tree on the east side of my yard. It looks gorgeous!!! It gets morning light but not the brutal afternoon sun. It looks great with the peach and lime green hives.

The lime green hive I installed last Wednesday is looking good. I gave them another half gallon of food today.(sugar water) The peach hive is also thriving. She is a great little queen. (Pearl bought the paint and picked out the color. Thanks Again Pearl. I will give you a jar of honey from that hive in just a few weeks.) I painted another peach honey super today and I have it ready for next week. Mr Charlie says, we will have to add another honey super to the peach hive this week, when we go into each hive, pull every frame and check for queen cells and pests.

The girls are really taking advantage of the nectar flow. They are also bringing in legs full of pollen. Which means lots of protein for the baby brood. Did you know the bees mix pollen and honey together and feed it to the baby bees. They call it a bee bisquit or bee bread.... How cute is that????

I also finished up the stacked stone in the beds in front of my house. It turned out very well. I really love the way it looks.

The weather is perfect now. God has kept the rain coming and the plants are plentiful. We will have a bountiful harvest this spring. Thank You God!!! We are very grateful for all our many blessings on Sasserfrass Hill.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Light Speed

Hello Everyone! It is the first day of May. This year is flying light speed.

I have been very busy on Sasserfrasshill. I have finished the stone work (stackstones in the beds and lamp post) in the front of my house. It turned out very good. I am happy with the results. David Mazul came by to check on a date for us to finish the flagstone at the end of the carport. It will look great when we finish that project. Then we may build a pergola. The hot afternoon sun really parches all the plants on the west side of the house. I am in need of more shade.

I have been planting flowers, vines and vegetables. The Bees have been busy collecting nectar, pollen and water. I have several very strong hives. Mr Charlie says...I will have honey in just a few weeks.

I installed a new package of Bees on Wednesday. I put them in a lime green hive on the east side of my house. I have two hives on the east side making a total of ten hives. The new bees seem to be doing great and learning the lay of the land.

I have a lot of seeds to plant.... but we need rain before I can plant.... I hope we get rain this weekend. Thank you God!!!.... in advance.

Before I forget.......Plant some wildflowers for the bees they will appreciate it.!
Hope to see you all soon.
Bee Well,

Friday, April 3, 2009

It has been raining for two days at Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farms. The bees get a little grump having to stay couped up in the hive for days at a time. Late in the afternoon the rain turned into a sprinkle and a few of the older girls were gathering pollen. I saw and took this gorgeous shot of one of my "girls" on my wisteria.
Bees are such hardworking little creatures. I think they can teach us a lot about working together at this critical time on the planet.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Into the Wild

I had another swarm Sunday morning around 11am. The swarm went back to the same neighbor who was less than thrilled to see them coming. It is a little scary to see the sky fill with thousands of stinging insects. This time I was not so lucky. The bees went high into their oak tree. It was a beautiful sunny morning, about 68 degrees. But inside the hive was a comfortable 90 degrees. The temperature dipped into the low 40' ties Sunday night and I worried if "the girls" would survive the cold. As the temperatures dropped I bet they were wondering... who's bright idea was this anyway.

Monday morning I checked on them and they seemed have weathered the cold with no causalities. I kept an eye on the bees all morning. I kept watching until about 2:30pm when I went into the bee shed to paint a hive and when I came out they were gone. I was very disappointed. I wanted to see which direction they went. I want to know where my "girls" are tonight. Are they safe? Are they warm enough? I guess I will have to have faith my "girls" are fine. Bees have been taking care of themselves for millions of years. But I have only been a beekeeper for a year....I have got to get use to them doing their own thing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Neighbor Finds Bees on Swing !

Tuesday morning I went to the dentist and upon my return found my purple hive was swarming again for the third time this season. This time they decided to visit my neighbor, who was less than excited about the social call. It was about 11:30 am, a beautiful day with temperatures in the 70'es. I ran in and grabbed my camera confident I could see where they settled. I was trusting they would not go to the top of an oak tree again. To my delight they chose Ms Billies swing and soon the arm of the swing was covered with bees.

I got my last painted (peach) hive body, sprayed the ten frames with sugar water, loaded it onto my red wagon and pulled it down into Bobby and Billies backyard. I maneuvered the hive as close to the bees as possible. I sprayed the bees with the sugar water. I could feel the vibration of their buzzing up my arm as I gently scooped them into the hive. I got an adrenal rush as I realized I was only inches way from thousand of stinging insects with no hive between us.

I was glad Rick came home for lunch, but he had no time for a sandwich. He put on his veil and helped me wrangle the girls. He took down one side of the swing and gave it one sharp whack...the bees fell into the hive.

I covered them with a sheet of plastic and put the lid on. I gently pulled them up the hill to my backyard and now we have a total of nine hive. I hope the bees on Sasserfrass Hill will stop swarming for a while, at least until I can get another hive put together and painted.