Monday, November 28, 2011

Author Patricia Lanza visits Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm

Greetings Everyone,

We have had such a warm fall. I still have zinnias blooming and my Cherokee Rose is full of beautiful pink flowers. My sweet bees are so happy the weather is still warm and they are bringing in pollens for protein and the camellias are blooming providing nectar and all is right with their world.

Last week Sasserfrass Hill had a very special visitor. Patricia Lanza, Author of Lasagna Gardening which is a book on a new layering system for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding! She was wonderful and I enjoyed her so much. She shared information on things I should do to take another step on my journey. She made me feel I was ready to move to bigger venues to reach more people with my message to help save the bees.

She encouraged me to publish some of my photographs in magazines. She reinforced my resolve to continue my quest and I needed her encouragement.

Thank you Pat. I am so happy I met you and I hope to see you again soon.

I checked several hives on Friday, the bees were doing great and are going into the winter with lots of honey. I hope I will come out of the winter with strong hives and healthy bees.

I am getting my Christmas decoration out of the attic this week and will start decorating Sasserfrass Hill for another wonderful holiday.

Eat more local honey.

Bee Well,

Ms Deb

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Augusta Magazine came for a photo shoot

Greetings from Sasserfrass Hill,

We have been blessed with some beautiful fall days this week. It was 74 degrees today. I fed the bees Honey -B-Healthy with some antibiotics and it was a feeding frenzy. I want my bees to go into the winter strong and healthy.

I worked in my yards all day Monday and Tuesday morning, raking, bagging and blowing tons of leaves into the garden. I mulched them with my tractor mower in hopes it will help add organic matter to my hard clay soil. I watered flowers, dead headed plants, and used the blower on the drive way, carport, patio and the bee shed porch. I made flower arrangements and got dressed and ready for Laurie and Chris of Augusta Magazine, to come in the afternoon and take some photos of me in the bee yard. I am not very photogenic, and I hope the photo they choose will not make me look like a deer in head lights.

I will be in the January - February issue on the very last page of the magazine, called the "Last Word". It has a photo and they ask you five questions. I thought they would be questions about the bees, but there were only a couple of bees questions. I asked Laurie if the magazine could do an article on the bees in the spring. Laurie said she would love too and she would see what she could do.

We are making lotion bars this afternoon. We have several orders we need to deliver by the end of the week. Amaretto and Lemongrass are the flavors of the week.

Mama has been busy putting labels on the lotion bar tins, labeling honey and cleaning wax. She is a busy bee and we appreciate all she does on Sasserfrass Hill.

Eat more local raw honey everyone. It will help build up your immune system and keep you healthy this winter.

Bee Well,

P.S. I don't know why the spacing is so crazzzy... It looks fine when I type it but when it goes to publish it put about five spaces between each paragraph....????

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall is in the Air on Sasserfrass Hill

Hello Everyone,

We are as busy as bees on Sasserfrass Hill this fall. We are enjoying the cooler temperatures and so are the bees. This summer heat was brutal and many plants dried up before giving a drop of nectar to the bees. We hoping for an abundance of hardy fall plants.

We have several Garden Clubs coming to see the bees and we have really been working hard to make the yards worthy of the attention. It is a little intimidating to have master gardeners come and see my yard since I am not a master gardener or have I had a lot of time to get beds and plants put into place.

I am also speaking to several garden clubs this month. I spoke to the West Lake Garden Club on Tuesday and after the meeting a Girl Scout leader ask me to come speak to her girls about the importance of my tiny pollinators.

I am going to Lake Forest Elementary, they have a Garden Club for kids and I am very excited to talk to these little gardeners on Tuesday. I am speaking to the Lunchbox Series in Aiken on the 17 th and will have lots of photos and honey to sell.

I am also participating in the Quest Fall Holiday Festival the first weekend in November. So as you can see we are really as busy as bees. When I have a spare moment I am making lotion bars and lip balm to get enough to carry me through October.

I have several special orders of lotion bars and even sent an order off to Miami. Florida last week. My Niece Rhonda is in Guam and ordered honey, lotion bars and lip balm for her friends as gifts. Her friend Sadie enjoyed them enough to order more.

We put a mite treatment in the hives a couple of weeks ago and I need to check them one more time before it gets too cold. This year is flying by a light speed... I am trying to keep up.

Mama came over and helped me with a garden club and home school group last week. She is so nice and friendly, I think people buy more because she is so sweet.

I put a "Buy Local Honey!" sign on my car and have sold lots of honey from people inquiring about the sign.

Another one of my photographs was accepted by Bee Culture Magazine as a cover shot. I am very excited and hope to see my "girl" on the cover very soon.

God has bless us and we feel the need to give back and try to be a part in saving our tiny pollinators.

Thanks to everyone that has supported us and had faith in us. We are having a wonderful and thrilling time at Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm.

Come see us and Eat more Honey.

Ms Deb

Monday, August 29, 2011

Time for Fall Chores on Sasserfrass Hill

September is only a few days away and it is time to do your fall chores in the bee yard.

A friend of mine, Jane Waldrop is interested in getting bees. She asked if she could help me check some of the hives. She wants hands on experience so when she does get bees she will feel a little more comfortable. You can read all the books you can find on bees but the real test comes when you open the hive and have thousand of stinging insects in your face. Even with a veil it is a bit intimidating. We went through several hives and all was well.

We got to the peach hive and I knew things were not right. I had been watching it for days. I had hurt my back the week before so I could not check it as I should have. I kept thinking it would be O.K. until I my back was feeling better....but no. Those nasty wax moths moved in and had started to tunnel through he frames. They are such nasty pests. They can only make themselves at home if the hive is weak. I was sad to see all the damage. I put the frames into the freezer (I have a frig in the garage just for freezing frames). I felt better
knowing I was killing those awful pests, larva and the eggs.

The peach hive had no queen, no brood, (babies) and only a handful of bees. so I decided to combine them with another small hive. I put a sheet of newspaper on top of the green hive and put the peach hive on top. I poked several slits in the newspaper, so the bees could smell each other and get familiar with the queens pheromones. The next day I went out to check and the bees had eaten the paper away and was throwing it out the front of the hive. Everyone seemed to be happy. I successfully combined two weak hives. I was happy the technique had worked.

It will be fall before you know it. I also treated my bees with a new mite treatment called HopGuard. It is made from hops and is an all natural product. I am hopeful the Hopguard will work and the bees will go into the winter free from the awful parasite mites and have a pest free winter.

God Bless my bees...and all the tiny pollinators of the world.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Swarm goes into nuc

Late Sunday afternoon I looked into the bee yard and saw the sky full of bees. They were gathering on the fence just behind the hives. I went out and took some photos and video and thought I would let them stay till the next day since it was late and already getting dark.

It has been too hot to go into the hives and pull queen cells. When you don't pull the queen cells out this is what happens. But with 110 heat index the thought of putting on a bee suit is too much for me to endure.

The next day I got a nuc, (a small five frame hive) with four empty frames and a frame of honey. I started scooping from the fence. I would put mu hands onto the frames and the bees would just crawl off my gloves into the hive. I had scooped about half the swarm into the nuc, looking for the queen with every handful. I never saw her... but all of a sudden I heard a loud buzzing and all the bees took flight. The ones on the fence left and the bees in the nuc started pouring out as well. I was sad to see them go but I wished the love and light. I took a few photos of them in the top of the pecan tree.

I had an appointment and when I returned home they had left the tree. I took the nuc and put it on the the feeding table I have in my bee yard. I saw some bees but I thought it must bee the other hives robbing the frame of honey. I did not put the top on the hive because I wanted them to have easy access to the honey. Several days passed before I looked at the hive. I thought the robbers should have had time to clean the frame. When I looked into the hive to my amazement they bees were building cone on the empty frames. My girls had not flown the coop but had gone into the nuc. I was so excited... but also I am not sure what I need to do to move the bees to a new location. They can not stay on my feeding table.

I am going to my bee meeting tonight and I will ask several of the more experienced bee keepers what they would do.

The bees are amazing little creatures. I am so happy they did not leave Sasserfrass Hill but decided to stay. We bee happy.!!!

Ms Deb

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weather has been cooler and wetter

Last week we had two days of only 90 degrees, which was almost cool, com paired to the 110 degree heat index we had the week before. I worked in my yards. I planted some plants friends had given me. I cut my grass and my elderly neighbors grass. It was actually pleasant working outside.

I found a very small swarm of bees on my umbrella very late last Sunday evening. Experts say if it is a small swarm and you remove the queen, the worker bees will go back to the hive they came out of. I did find the queen and put her in a bug box along with several attendants. I have a friend that needs a queen. I think she will be a welcome addition to her hive. I hope she will be happy and live a very productive life across town.

My queen and her attendants have been in the bug box for a week now. I hope she will survive until my friend returns on Tuesday. Until then she is getting honey and water. I have never kept a queen for so long in a bug box. I am not sure how long you can keep a queen in a cage... We will see...

Good luck my tiny queen.

Ms Deb

Friday, July 8, 2011

We have had lots of rain

Today is July 8th and we have had more rain in the last few weeks than we have had all year. We were in a nine inch deficit until a few weeks ago. Afternoon showers has turned the grass green and the flowers are blooming again. We are very grateful.

Jennifer Berry from the University of Georgia Bee Lab, came down and spoke to our Clark Hill Bee Club. She said the forecast was for cooler and wetter July and August. At the time it had not rained in weeks and it was 101 degrees... I thought... from your lips to God's ears...I think he heard, because it has been raining since her predictions.

The bees have been festooning on the hives in the evenings. Which is equivalent to us sitting out on the porch trying to stay cool.

We are getting the old four frame, hand cranked extractor out and we will be extracting honey from some of our hives next week. The Augusta Chronicle Newspaper reported Luke Thompson called and want to bring a photographer out and do a story on extracting honey. It will be exciting and I am looking forward to seeing how much honey the girls on Sasserfrass Hill have produced so far this year. The girls work hard for the honey ... and I am sure it will be impressive to see the beautiful liquid gold pouring from the extractor.

We made a big batch of Lip Balm last week. We gave out over twenty samples. Everyone said they really liked them and think they are the best recipe so far. We also have to make a big batch of lotion bars and fill several orders. Hopefully we will be making lotion bars next week.

Things are buzzzy on Sasserfrass Hill so I will sign off and get to work.

Bee Well,

Ms Deb

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We checked six of our ten hives today

This morning Rick and I checked six of our hives. We put a queen cell into two separate hives on June 5th, and I am happy to report each has a new prolific queen. I was so happy to see my attempts at re queening was successful. All the hives were doing well and making honey.

I have several honey supers ready to be extracted. I guess I should be extracting this week.

I have an old Dadant stainless steel honey extractor. It was a gift from an old family friend whose husband had bees some thirty years ago. It is a four frame, hand crank model. I do fantasize about the twelve frame radial ...Mac Daddy model sometimes. . .but I am very grateful I have an old family heirloom.

It was really hot this morning with all of our protective gear on. We could only check six of the ten hives. With temperatures climbing to 98 degrees today, I was lucky to get six inspected.

We sell our honey at Wild Birds Unlimited on Washington Road, in Augusta, GA. I delivered the larger, pound and half jars of honey on Friday and they ask me to bring in some of my lotion bars and lip balm. Our products are made with all natural botanical oils, Shea, mango or cocoa butters and 100% pure beeswax. We use no chemicals, preservatives or petroleum in any of our products.

I will be happy and very fortunate if Wild Birds decides to carry Sasserfrass Hill lotion bars also.

The hot temperates are hard on us and our tiny pollinators. Make sure you drink plenty of water and keep a clean supply of water for the birds and the bees. They need our help and will appreciate our efforts.

Stay Cool,

Ms Deb

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's Hot, Hot, Hot on Sasserfrass Hill...

The weather forecast is 98 - 102 degrees every day this coming week. My hives are in the brutal afternoon sun. I put up the bees umbrella's this week... It has been so hot in the afternoon and evenings many of the bees sit out on their front porch.... much too hot to go inside. I am going to try to give them more shade with plantings and I want to use the bamboo from my backyard to build an arbor or pergola, some type of shade.
I have been doing a little research.
I hope to come up with an attrictive, inexpensive and clever way to give the bees a little afternoon shade.

We had a powerful storm Wednesday evening. Several huge old oaks fell and hit a transformer, the entire neighborhood lost electricity. Our power went out about 9pm Wednesday evening and did not come back on until 6am on Friday. I must admit, it was miserable Thursday night. Rick bought a generator and we had a few fans stirring the hot air around, it did help a little. It made me very grateful for air conditioning, ice cold water and all the modern conviences we take of granted.... I hate to admit it but I think I was a tiny bit whinny.... sorry but it was really was 85 degrees inside my house.

Rick and I are going to go through the hives, frame by frame, in the morning (weather permitting) to pull queen cells, check on the queen cells we put in on June 5th., and check to see if it is time to extract some honey.

We had rain three day in a row, the plants are singing and the grass looks green and happy. We are grateful.

Bee Well,

Ms Deb

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Checked and Pulled Queen Cells

Hello Everyone,

Rick and I went through all ten hives Saturday and pulled lots of queen cells. I would have had swarms next week if we had not done our chores. It is a lot of work, you must look carefully at every frame making sure you don't miss a single cell or you will be looking at your bees in the top of a tree. That amonts to a loss of lots of bees, honey and $$$$ !!!

We got a call today from a man saying he had honeybees in a tree in his yard. He said the bees have been in the tree for at least three years. I went over to check and saw a very gentle healthy colony of bees. I am going to do a trap out and try to bring these girls to Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm. What is a trap out you ask??? You place an adapted funnel over the opening of the tree, using wire and duct tape. You must make sure the bees can get out, but can not get back into the tree. The funnel has wire at the end of the spout, to prevent the bees from returning home with their pay loads, of nectar, pollen or water. I will place an empty hive full of frames just outside the tree. So all the forging bees can not return to the tree, so hopefully they will find the new hive an acceptable new home.

I must find a queen to put into the hive. Hopefully the bees will accepted her and she will become the new queen of the colony. It will take several weeks for this transfer to happen... I will be patient and wait and see.

It is nasty hot with no rain in sight. Plants are drying up faster than normal... I am worried what August will bring to hot dry Georgia . . . Keep your bird bath full of cool clean water for the birds and the bees. They will appreciate it.

In this photograph the bees are outside trying to stay cool. The temperature inside the hive is currently too hot for the girls to be comfortable.

Stay Cool,


Monday, May 16, 2011

The "Girls" are making Honey

We have been very busy at Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm. The "Girls" are hard at work coming and going all over the bee yard and beyond. We went through the hive with honey supers on Saturday, Rick helped me with the heavy lifting. The honey supers weights close to 80 pounds. They have capped off lots of the supers and I am waiting for them to finish each one.

We have gone over and checked several new beekeepers bees. It looks like everyone will have an excellent spring harvest.

We are as busy as the bees with speaking engagements, making lotion bars and lip balms, graduations, class reunions, plantings and spring chores.

We will post more later, look at the time ...where does time go???

Bee Well,

Ms Deb

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Sasserfrass Hill "Girls" make the 6pm News CH 12

We planted flowers, cut the grass, did the weed eating, cleaned the bee shed and we were all excited to see News Channel 12 pull up to shoot a news story on the bees of Sasserfrass Hill.

I met a cute, young reporter, Carter Coyle at the MCG 's Earth Day a couple of weeks ago, she ask ed if she could do a story on the bees. She called yesterday and came over today and did the story.

Carter was tough, she got a sting on the cheek while we were shooting the story. She was brave and had a great attitude. I apologized for the sting, but she said she expected at least one sting.

I was wishing for the girls to be extra gentle . . .

Carter said she would send the link as soon as she got the web story posted. I will pass it along as soon as I get it.

We had fun today.. and maybe someone will see the story and get some bees or at least plant some wildflowers. The "Girls" will appreciate it.

Bee Well,

Ms Deb

Thursday, April 28, 2011

We are all buzzing on Sasserfrass Hill

Happy Spring Everyone.!!!! We are having a Buzzzzy time on Sasserfrass Hill.

I am learning so much about my bees everyday. I have been speaking to Garden Clubs in the area. Encouraging everyone to stop using so many chemicals in the garden.

We all know the pollinators are in trouble. But, Why you ask???? Scientist blame one group of agricultural toxin-neonicotinoid pesticides as a major contributor to their rapid demise, and bee populations have recovered in four European countries that have banned these products.

Bayer still sells this deadly poison here in the United States. One of our goals on Sasserfrass Hill is to enlighten everyone and get this poison banned in the United States of America.We must convince our government not to heed the powerful chemical lobby, but to defend the bees and the country's food supply by calling for a national ban NOW!!!!! ... no time to waist.

Our best chance to save bees now is to push our government to join the ban, their action is critical and will have a ripple effect on the rest of the word.

This is not just about saving the bees , this is about survival. Silently, billion of bees are dying off and our entire food chain is in danger. Bees don't just make honey; they are a giant, humble workforce, pollinating 90% of the plants we grow.

Please join me, sign the emergency petition now, and send it on to everyone you know ...we must get the poison banned in our country.

Bee Safe... (did I mention the poison is put on your corn seed),


Saturday, March 26, 2011

New Packages of Bee Are Here!

It seems like we have been waiting a long time for our spring bees to come in ...and they are finally here. I am getting two - three pound packages of bees on Sunday. Orders for spring bees must be in place late in the fall. Wilbank Apiaries in Claxton, GA is the original home of these south Georgia girls. I hope they will like Augusta and Sasserfrass Hill.

I lost three colonies this cold winter, they froze in a cluster in the middle of the hive with honey all around. They were too small of a cluster and the temperatures went too low and stayed cold for too long time for them to generate the heat they needed to stay warm. I was very sad.

Lee Ann gave me six brand new frames with wax foundation. I have never use them before...I have always used plastic. I will see how the girls like them.

I am off to get everything ready for the new arrivals.

Bee Well,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring is here and the Bees are Happy!

I took some photos of Lee Ann Hagler's bees last week. They are extremely strong hives. Lee Ann is planning to split them and add two more. She has a beautiful garden and a perfect location for her "girls". She is panting two more hives. She bought a queen at the meeting on Tuesday and wants to get the queen in the hive by Friday. I plan to help her and take photos.

I have been planting flowers and shrubs this week. Betty, one of my oldest friends gave me some Zinnias, Marigolds and Mums seeds in the fall. I shared some with my mom and started planting seed all over Sasserfrass Hill. Caren and John Bricker gave me several Devil Tongue plants, the hummingbirds love them I hope the bees will too.

Mr. Charlie said I could buy two packages of bees from him. He is picking them up this week and will deliver them on Sunday. I lost three hives this winter and it will be good to get some new girls and have bees ready for the nectar flow.

I have a lot more plants to get in the ground....I had better get a move on.

Bee Well,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sasserfrass Hill talks to Garden Clubs

I had one of the best days ever in the history of Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm.
I spoke to the Suburban Garden Club this afternoon. They were outside under a big tent, the weather was a perfect 72 degrees, sun peeking in and out of the clouds. The ladies were gracious, attentive and engaging, asking good questions and enjoying some laughs at the drones expense.

I had a delightful time telling everyone about my "girls". The ladies loved my photos... They told me "I was the best speaker they had ever had and my photographs were worth of National Geographic!!!" They were oh so good for the ego.!!!

I told of the benefits of eating local raw honey and of my experiences mixing up lotion bars with all natural oils, exotic butters and my wholesome beeswax. I gave out small samples lotion bars, once they felt the luscious, nourishing oils... they adored and bought them.

One of the ladies ask if I would come to Brandon Wilde to speak in May. I was excited to excepted her invitation. I look forward to spreading the word about my tiny pollinators.

I went to my Soil Sisters Garden club meeting this morning. I got a registration form for the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs Spring luncheon held at the Augusta Country Club on March 31st. Pam Beck, a freelance garden writer, lecturer and photographer from North Carolina will be the speaker. I am looking forward to meeting lots of new gardeners and making lots of valuable contacts.

A lady is coming to Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm on Thursday from Lexington, SC. She is writing a kids book on bees and beekeepers. She was given my contact information by one of the Midstate beekeepers I met last week. I am anxious to see all the possibilities this opportunity may bring.... I will let you know how that turns out.

I was on the phone with my sister and she said can you see the rainbow from your house? I grabbed my camera and ran outside... Suddenly the rain stopped and the sun broke through and out popped a beautiful rainbow...Wait ... a beautiful double rainbow. Thank you God!!!
I took all the plants out of my bee shed/greenhouse this afternoon before the rain started. They all were happy to get out and get some liquid sunshine. We are all ready to welcome the warm spring days.

I have had a long, busy as a bee, magical day.... Thank you God.!!! I am grateful. I am blessed.

Bee Bold... enough to trust your wings and fly.
Ms Deb

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I got a call from Mary Louise Hagler (a master Gardener and speaker) Monday afternoon, she said she was over booked for Tuesday and ask if I would speak to a garden club in her place.

I jumped at the opportunity. I love talking to women and telling them about my tiny pollinators and all the problems they are facing. I encourage everyone to stop using so many chemicals and plant wildflowers to help feed the all the pollinators bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Carol Finch gave me several plants on Monday afternoon. We had tea and a nice visit. She is always very generous with her plants and information on how to care for them. She has a beautiful yard. She is helping me choose plants for Sasserfrass Hill the bees will love. I came home and planted them. I can only hope they will grow half as well for me as they did her.

I am updating and adding more information to website. We are busy with our spring chores, feeding the bees and working in our bee yard. I am going to have a small garden this spring and hope it will flourish and be pollinated by those cute Sasserfrass Hill "girls."

I put plastic around the bee shed and made it into a little greenhouse this winter. It did the job and most of my plants over wintered without much trouble.

I am off to put in some weed block underneath the hives and start fighting the weeds early this year.
I hope my garden grows half as well as my hardy robust weeds.

Bee Well,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hives Inspire Competiton, Color and Creativity!

Last Tuesday I had a great time talking and presenting my photos at Mid State Beekeepers meeting in Lexington, SC. They truly loved the photographs and made me feel great with applauds and lots of compliments. It was the largest crowd I had ever talked with as of yet. I was told it was all new beekeepers but after I arrived I found out most of the members had been beekeepers far longer than I. Great!! I was almost intimidated....but I just took a deep breath, relaxed and began showing one beautiful photos after another, along with some colorful commentary.

The next day I got an email saying Mid State was inspired by my colorful hives and was throwing down the gauntlet...They would not be out done by their Georgia neighbor. They were looking for the "World most Beautiful Hives". They encouraged members to send in photos of their beautiful hives and try to out do Sasserfrass Hill, which will be hard to do, but I welcome the competition.

I have always loved my colorful bee yard and it was great to have lots of positive feedback from other beekeepers. My colorful hives inspiring a contest and competition is pretty cool!!!

Rick and I went to the North/South Carolina State Spring Beekeepers meeting in North Carolina this weekend. I took a couple of workshops on candle and ornament making. It was so much fun and very informative. Virginia Web is an excellent speaker, she gave lots of tips on marketing your bee products outside the hive. I am energized and ready to market Sasserfrass Hill this year.

The old saying, things happen for a true. I am not sure why we had the big shake up on Sasserfrass Hill last month, but, I am anxious to see what will happen next.....

Bee Creative,

Friday, February 25, 2011

February and temperature reach almost 80 degrees!

We have had some gorgeous weather the last few weeks in Augusta, Georgia. The sun is shinning and the bees are flying. Today is windy with gusts up to 25 mph. Bees antenna are very sensitive. They taste and smell, and the last segment on the antenna is like a wind sock and tells her wind speed and direction. Bee do not fly well in high winds. It can hurt their wings and blow her around and keep her from getting home safely.

I lost my pink hive a few weeks ago. It was doing very well going into the fall. It had about eight frames of honey. So, I think the girls froze during our last extended cold snap. It was sad to open the hive and see a entire (although small) hive dead. I took the frames and put in the freezer, in case, hive beetles or wax moths had lay ed eggs in any of the frames.

I have been working in my yards. I have been raking leaves out of my beds and into the garden. I run over them with the lawn mower so I can use them for mulch. Bulbs are springing up and crocus are in full bloom, daffodils and tulips are waking up.

I made a big batch of Lotion Bars on Wednesday and Thursday. I had several orders for Amaretto Coffee, Honey Almond, Sweet Vanilla Cream and Clean Cotton. The lotion bars smell wonderful and are made with all natural oils and exotic butters. They are nourishing, soothing and moisturizing to chapped dry skin.

I have talked to three local Garden clubs and have several more scheduled for March. I take my photos and encourage everyone to plant wildflowers and help save the bees.

Sasserfrass Hill has undergone some changes in the last month. I hope these changes will make us stronger and better beekeepers.

I will be taking the bees out of the small nucleus hive and put them into a regular hive next week. I am anxious to see all the colors back in the bee yard.

I am speaking to new beekeepers at Mid state in Lexington, SC on Tuesday. I am getting my Power Point presentation with lots of photos ready to go. This will be the first time I have spoken to new beekeepers and I am excited and a little anxious.

Rick and I are going to the North Carolina/South Carolina State Beekeepers meeting on March 4th and 5th. up in Dallas, NC I hope to get some queens from a different source. To help keep my bees as diverse as possible.

I am off to feed my "girls" and clean up the bee yard.
Bee Well,
Ms Deb

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow, Ice, and Sleet hit Sasserfrass Hill

Last night about 11pm we got about two inches of snow. The winds blew up to 20pmh and it filled and closed all entrances to the bee hives. I went out early this afternoon and opened them up.

It was fun to be out in the snow but as the slush turns to will be a little tricky tonight. Schools and banks were closed today and have already been canceled for tomorrow also. It is big sheet of ice outside.

Bailey and I had lots of fun taking photos and walking through the snow. Rick and I rode around town checking out the icy situation. We must be patience until Wednesday when it warms up to 50 degrees... and the ice will be but a memory.

I went back out about 3pm and ice cycles were hanging off the hives... I hope my girls are strong enough to survive this frigid cold snap.

I am blessed...I have Stew Beef with lots of vegetables in the Crock is smelling good....only four more hours to wait....

Bee Warm,
Ms Deb

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy New Year !

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

201o was a very good year for Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm.

We had a year full of new adventures and we had lots of learning experiences. We extracted bees from steeples, ceilings, underneath porches, in trees and inside walls. We were successful in removing and rescuing most of the colonies and they are thriving.

We went into the fall and winter with strong well fed hives. We hope they can weather these cold nights, windy days and snow storms. If they survive we will have a great spring. We have already started to feed our girls, to make sure they don't starve.

This year we spoke to girl scout troops, home schooled kids, garden clubs, schools and church groups, about the plight of the bees and what we can all do to help. One of Sasserfrass Hills main goals is to help educated the public. We hope to raise awareness of the problems facing the all pollinators, such as pests, pesticides, loss of habitat, lack of food. We can all help by planting flowers, shrubs and trees rich in nectar and pollens.

One of my photographs was chosen for the Bee Culture magazine 2011 Beekeeping Calendar.
My photo was selected for the month of May.....the caption - "The Perfect Pastel Bee Yard."
This is my second year to make their calendar. I am honored. (I have always wanted to be a calendar girl!!!!)

Mr Charlie is continuing to perform Bee Venom Therapy with many new bee-livers. Our first patient, Erika, is continuing her weekly therapy and is doing well.

We plan to add twenty more hives this spring. So, while it is cold outside . . . we are assembling frames, painting hives and ordering more bee hardware.

We plan to sell nuc's and catch lots of swarms this spring. . . We already have several nuc's sold.

We are grateful for all our good fortune this year... 2010 blessed us with honey, health and blessings too numerous to mention. We expect 2011 will be even more eventful and exciting.

We hope you all have a wonderful, prosperous and healthy New Year!

Bee Well,
Ms. Deb