Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fabulous Fall on Sasserfrass Hill

With temperatures cooling down it is nice to be able to go outside and enjoy the weather. I thought I was going to die with a heat stroke several times this summer, especially when I was dressed out working in the hives.

September was busy and full of wonderful experiences.

We had a Brownie/Daisey troop come over for a field trip to learn about the bees. It was fun and they bought honey, lip balm and lotion bars.

We brought half of the sixteen hives home from the country. The bees were starving. We were surprised to find they didn't have enough food, they had to eat a lot of their fall stores. So we brought them home to feed and started their fall medicines.

We took the last of our fall honey off all our hives and our girls produced wonderful honey full of personality and color.

We have been printing and designing labels for all our products.

We are excited about getting a logo designed by Lynn Forbes. She will do a wonderful job and I can't wait to see what she comes up with.
We had several speaking engagements at garden clubs and church groups.

We are hoping for a mild winter. I had several hive freeze last winter when our temperatures dropped into the teen for several long cold weeks. I hope my girls will be strong and healthy going into my third winter.

I hope everyone has a fabulous fall.
Bee Well,
Ms Deb

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Buzzzzzy August on Sasserfrass Hill

The temperatures are cooling off a bit. Fall is only a few week away... Can you believe this year is slipping away ....
We have had a very busy August.
Mr. Charlie and I were speakers at the Clark Hill Beekeepers meeting this month. The meeting was at the Columbia County Library. It was exciting and we met several people that are serious about getting bees in the spring.

We took bees from a house down the street. Wayne came over and said he had bees coming and going from the second story eve of their house. He cut a big hole in the living room sheet rock .We got all the comb out of the ceiling, but lots of bees went down inside the walls. We vacuumed a lot out of the house and put the bees into a hive. They swarmed into a nearby tree. We cut the limb and put them back into the hive as it started to rain. We rubber banded the brood into frames. When we went back to get them the next day they had swarmed again. So I am not sure what happened or why they refused to come back home.

I was on Channel 6 new noon show on August 19th talking about National Honey Bee Awareness Day. I had a delightful time and Mary Morrison was very sweet... and she bought honey.

Mr. Charlie and I also went down to the Saturday Market downtown Augusta on August 21st for National Honey Bee Day. Several other beekeepers came out and talked to people about the bees and how we all can help them survive. We sold our honey, stamped little hands with bees, we had honey for tastings and photos and posters for viewing. The observation hive was a big hit. People were very interested and asked lots of really good questions. It was a very good day. But it was way too hot. The heat index was 101 degrees..... too hot to enjoy.!!

Valerie, from the County Extension office came over and helped me make up the card that will go into the golf package. She had everything for embossing and stamping the cards. She really made them look professional and I was so impressed with what she accomplished.

I made lotion bars all day Wednesday, August 25th. for the golf package. I labeled them all day Thursday and had everything packaged and labeled for pick up on Friday morning.
Pat was happy with the 65 jars of honey, 65 lotion bars and the 65 lip balms. She said they wanted something different to give away to the golfers. I hope everyone likes our all natural products.
Mr. Charlie had his 75th birthday on the 28th. His kids threw him a big party. Lots of his family and friends came. It was a nice time had by all.

I met some organic growers. We were talking and they may be able to help me get a grant to buy a HD High speed, digital camera for making bee documentaries. I will be attending a organic growers meeting in September. I am hopeful we will be funded soon.

Mr. Charlie and I went down to Waynesboro and started getting bees from a tree. I asked why they wanted the bees out of the tree? They said "The renters were afraid of the bees." We went back and checked on the bees the next day, we had to do a little more caulking. Hopefully they will like the hive we put out for them, and we will get another strong colony.

The very last day of August was my birthday. We went over to North Augusta and brought seven of the hives home to Mr. Charlies bee yard. They were starving. Not to mention....Lots and lots of Small Hive Beetles.... I have added hive beetles to my short list .... roaches, mosquito, sand fleas and hive beetles....Creatures I hate!!

We did several extraction this month. We did not get the honey we did last year. Not enough rain at the right time I guess. The girls are working hard but the nectar flow was short.

We did our Bee Venom Therapy on our regular clients. We had several new people come and see if they could be helped by the anti-inflammatory in the venom.... Time will tell.

August has been a great month for Sasserfrass Hill. We appreciate all our many blessings and all the people that has help, encouraged, cheered, reassured and supported us along the way.
Thank you all and Bee Well,
Ms. Deb

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

July brings lots of excitement to Sasserfrass Hill

July was a very busy month for Sasserfrass Hill. We continued to pull queen cells even when the temperatures reached into the 100's. When you are working in the heat you must be careful, but when you put on a bee jacket, veil and gloves... Hot!... does not even describe the feeling. Sometimes, I wondered if we would even live to tell the story.

We had another first on Sasserfrass Hill this month. We had a group of mostly home schooled kids come for a field trip to learn about the bees and how important they are to the environment.

They were very well behaved kids. Many parents came along and expressed interest in getting started with some beehives. They were very attentive and ask lots of great questions. If we got one kid interested in beekeeping, we feel it was a successful day. I had lots of help getting ready for the event from my Mom, who helped stuff the gift bags with lotion bars and lip balms. Catelyn, my niece stamped the bags with bees and helped us finish up the gift bags. On Tuesday I had even more help. My sister, Vikki sold our liquid gold. and gave the kids a spoon full of our tasty treat. My niece, Charlotte stamped bees on tiny hands and was helped Ms. Vik sell honey. Mr. Charlie had the kids captivated with his information and knowledge. It was a very positive experience and we were glad it went off without a hitch.

We have had several other groups express interest in scheduling some time to come see the bees for themselves.

Mr. Charlie and I are still helping the new beekeepers get through this hot summer and hopefully get their bees ready for the fall and winter. Now is a time many new beekeepers lose their bees. With Mr. Charlies guidance we hope to keep that from happening.

Mr Charlie has also tried something new this season. We are re-queening some of the hives. But instead of queens that are artificially inseminated, He put in new queens still in the cells. They will hatch and make their mating flight for herself here. We hope to have success with this test.

People are so kind and generous. I have had several people give me canning jars. I am grateful for the thought fullness and to be able to give new life to a old jar. I always recycle every chance I get.

We are thinking about the fall and all the chores we must do to get the bees ready for the fall. Keeping bees is a full time job for me now. I am happy I was able to turn my hobby into my business....Thanks to Mr. Charlie.
Happy Birthday Ben !!! Hope you have a wonderful, prosperous and healthy year !!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Record heat hits Sasserfrass Hill

It has been one of the hottest springs on record. The bees are working hard and I have put up the umbrellas over the hives to give a little relief from the blistering temperatures.. We have had our first harvests of the spring. Mr. Charlies bees, the country girls and my bees, are bringing in the nectar. We have had several extractions. We are bottling and labeling our jars of liquid gold. We have had several prosperous trips to the Augusta Saturday Market, and customers stop by to see the bees and pick up honey almost everyday.

I was invited to be the Photographer of Choice at Vintage Ooollee's shop as a part of the Summer Solstice Stroll, put on by the Augusta Downtown Merchant Assoc. for the month of June. I was in the shop on June 11th from 5pm - 9:30pm talking to people about my photos and telling anyone that would listen about the plight of the honey bee. I sold honey, lotion bars, lip balms. My sister, Vikki, along with Charlotte, April and lots of friends came by to view my photos and lend support. I sold several photos and had a great experience.
A old friend, from Virginia Beach, Sonya Anthony, came for a long weekend this month. We walked, talked, shopped and took lots of photos. We had a wonderful visit. We performed Bee Venom Therapy at my house so she could see how it was done and to meet some of my friends.

One of our most important jobs this time of year is pulling queen cells from all our hives. Putting on a veil and gloves is really hot buzz-iness. I can see why some people don't pull queen cells when the temperatures reach into the 100's, most people think it too hot to bother. But, Mr. Charlie is from the old school. "Just do it" seems to be his approach. Working his bees and doing whatever is necessary everyday no matter the weather.

All ten hives are doing well on Sasserfrass Hill at this time. The Paine College and the Hephzibah girls are making honey and flourishing. The colony I won at the South Carolina State meeting in February are building up fast and will be ready for a honey super soon.

Mr. Charlie and I are working hard. We are pulling queen cells from over seventy hives every ten days, performing Bee Venom Therapy once a week for anyone that needs it, speaking to church groups, garden clubs and school. We have a group of home school elementary kids coming to visit Sasserfrass Hill and see our bees this month. We have several colonies we are removing from homes. We are helping new beekeepers harvest their honey, check their hives, and hopefully feel more comfortable with their new fascinating hobby. We helped Manuel, of Manuel's Bread Cafe, harvest his cut comb honey from four hives of his hives. I had only harvested from plastic frames. Wax frames take a totally different procedure. It was fun and I learned a lot.

My Mama is still my biggest fan. She has helped out by washing canning jars in the dishwasher and helping me label my honey. I had a group of friends and family, come over and help label my lip balms and lotion Bars.

It is a fun time to be a part of Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farms. We are growing and encountering new opportunities everyday. We are buzzzzy and grateful. We thank God for our health, happiness and honey and ALL our many blessings.!!!
Bee Well,
Ms Deb

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spring has Sprung on Sasserfrass Hill

Happy Spring Everyone!

This spring the bees have taken us in a new direction. On April 2nd we got a call about a colony of bees in the steeple of the Chapel at Paine College. Mr Charlie and I went over to check and see if we could remove them. We could not reach the bees from the inside of the steeple. The painter had a very large lift and took Mr. Charlie up and he was able to remove the enormous colony.
We brought the brood home and put them into a weak hive and they are thriving. It was very exciting and rewarding to save the bees. Paine College did not mind the bees living in the steeple and would not have disturbed them had it not been for the repair work that had to be done. They were happy to be a part of a successful rescue and removal.

We have performed several other removals this month and have several more to do. We are excited about our new adventure and hope to have plenty more bees to rescue.

Other than removals we are buzy keeping all our bees feed, checking for hive beetles every day, helping new beekeepers install their bees, catching swarms, pulling queen cells, making and selling nuc and we are still performing our Bee Venom Therapy once a week.

I am also working in my yards. I have wonderful friends who are master gardeners. They have generously shared lots of plants with me. I am trying to get them all planted so the bees will have lots of nectar. Michael is helping me with new beds and flagstone walkways. He has helped me with the digging (I have rock hard clay) pruning, and moving heavy things around my yard. He has saved me a lot of back pain.!!!

Sarah helped me get our price list together with photos. It looks great. When you have time check out our price list at sasserfrasshill.com.

We will have honey in about five weeks. The girls are working hard and we are hoping for a bountiful harvest.
Remember... Eat lots of local honey... It will help your allergies.!!
Bee Well,
Ms Deb

Official Pricing Guide

We have great news out here on Sasserfrass Hill! Our offical pricing list is posted both here on this blog entry and on our website sasserfrasshill.com. If you have any questions please contact us! Look forward to a new blog entry soon!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

February Snow on SasserFrass Hill

Hello Everyone,
Here in Augusta we had our first snow of 2010... actually, the first snow in many years on February 12th.
We got about six inches on SasserFrass Hill. It was the most gorgeous snow. Powder, it was light and fluffy with no ice sticking to the roads. It melted the next day but, gave everyone a chance to build snowmen, snow angles and lots of snowball fights all over town. It was just lovely.

We are very excited about the Sacred Hearts Garden Festival coming up April 23rd, 24th and 25th. I will be speaking at two Columbia County Gardens. "Bee Friendly Gardens" is the topic. I will share my photographs and have handout of native shrubs, trees and perennials.
I will sell Honey, Lotion Bars and Lip Balm and I hope to have some pure Beeswax Candles ready to sell also.

Hopefully it will warm up soon and the bees can come out, and welcome a warm spring with lots of flowers full of nectar and pollens.
The girls are getting restless and ready for spring... and frankly, so am I.
Bee Well,