Royal's Blog

Updated on: 08/31/2010

Ok this may not be an "official" blog, however I just thought it would "bee" cool to post up things that are happing here at Draper's every day. I may or may not have time to enter everyday but I will do my best to update this page.
Thanks for visiting and if you have any questions or comments feel free to email me.
Royal W. Draper


August 31st 2010

I have turned on the new blog page - please be patient with me and I figure it all out! I will be making all my new posts to that page - NEW BLOG.

August 27th 2010

We bottled a tank of Clover honey this morning.

I loaded the van with comb honey supers to go back to the producer in Georgia next week. We were hoping to pick up some drums of honey while we were down there but we aren't having much luck finding any...bummer. Archie will be picking up some Sourwood honey but that looks like all we will be getting for now...unless we find some before he heads home.

The bees at the home site are bringing in Goldenrod and I know this because I can smell it! I wish the internet had scratch and sniff!

I am working on installing WordPress on the website so people can comment on my blog page. I hope to have it up and running soon!

August 26th 2010

Today was a mixed bag of stuff...I printed over 3000 custom labels, tested the shrink band machine (which worked great), replaced a faucet, labeled some honey and normal every day stuff like answering emails and talking on the phone.

We are getting some sun this afternoon and the bees are out working and not here bugging us around the barn. It looks like the weather is going to "bee" perfect for the next few days. We should see a lot of honey coming in.

August 25th 2010

I worked on cutting comb honey most of today until this afternoon when U.P.S. delivered our automatic shrink band machine, it has been out in California being repaired for the last couple of weeks. We only sent the controls and the cutters out so I have had to reassemble everything and the fun part was that they made some changes that required me to make changes on the body of the machine. Tomorrow I will run the 12 cases of flavored honey we bottled yesterday through it to test it out.

Beekeeping Facts: German peasants were required to give their feudal lords a payment of honey and beeswax.

August 24th 2010

We bottled some flavored crystallized and flavored liquid honeys today. We did a few cases each of raspberry and blueberry. I love the smell in the packing room when we do the flavored honeys.

The rain we had over the weekend sure could help the fall honey production. The bees weren't around the building at all today which is a good sign there is nectar flowing.

Not much else to say right now...just been really busy.

August 21st 2010

I have been working on orders and fixing some issues that I found on the website. If anyone notices any problems with the website please let me know...because I'm sure I have missed some things. Having to upgrade to a new server is good and bad!

August 20th 2010

Ok I know it has been a few days since I posted anything...I have been really, really busy. I have been working on comb honey, printing labels and the biggest thing taking up my time is that I was notified by our website host that they wanted to move our website to a new, faster server. The thing that has been an issue is that they are no longer going to support Microsoft FrontPage which is what I was using to edit the website. I am having to learn new software and rewrite some code to get the bee-cam working again on the new server...which by the way you are on right now. I am hoping to be able to do some new and exciting things with the new web tools I have...however I'm sure it will take me some time to figure it all out.

The bees are flying around here this afternoon which means they are in-between honey flows. I checked the bamboo this morning and it is about ready to open. I expect the late Goldenrod and Asters to start blooming soon also, so the bees should have something to do soon.

August 13th 2010

It has been a day to work on some different projects.

Beekeeping Facts: Honeybees were introduced into North America in the early 1600’s on the east coast and wouldn’t reach the west coast until the 1850’s.

August 12th 2010

It has been a cloudy, humid day here but we haven't had much rain...as of yet.

We had a large tour group of around 50 girls, that are in the area camping, stop in for a tour. I hope they learned something about honeybees, enjoyed the honey samples and making the beeswax candles.

We just found out that we will indeed be getting some South Carolinian Sourwood honey in. We have had a lot of people waiting for this year's crop. We will be picking it up the week in September and should have it for sale the following week.

I thought that I should start posting some interesting bee facts when I come across them...so here's one: Nectar was assumed to fall from the skies until the early 1700’s.

I also added another chapter to my Grandfather's book in the hot topics section.

August 10th 2010

It sure is hot out today! We did get a little rain this morning, which was nice, but nowhere near enough to fix the drought conditions we are having. The bees have been working the Purple Loosestrife all weekend. I was watching them as I drove back and forth hauling wood down off the hill. Good to see that they have something to work on!

I spent today working in the warehouse...pre-counting supplies and cleaning up a little bit.

August 6th 2010

I printed some labels this morning, gave a couple of tours, talked on the phone and finally found some time to go take a few pictures. The top picture is of our home beesite and as you can see the end hive in the front row is doing very well and is starting to resemble a skyscraper. The bottom two images are of bees working on the Knapweed.

 

August 5th 2010

I'm finally back to work...my "vacation" turned into a huge remodeling project that I would rather not be doing...therefore I need a vacation from my vacation.

I have spent the entire day printing labels and will be doing the same tomorrow.

Bill finished checking our hives today and reported that they have made some ground on storing honey. Hopefully we will be extracting some this year!

July 31st 2010

I am working today because Bill is at the Troy Fair. It is truly a bee-utiful day here! I have been busy with customers and printing labels. Not much else to report since I have been on vacation and don't know what is going on around here...I'll find out on Tuesday for sure.

July 2nd 2010

Well it is 9:45 PM and I stopped in to see if there were any label orders...and they were...so here I am doing them. Which really is a good thing because I hate when I get back from vacation and there is a large stack of things that have to go out right away.

You Might be a Redneck if...a dentist tells you that both your teeth have cavities.

July 24th 2010

I will be on vacation next week. Hoping for a little cooler weather so I can get some things done outside.

July 23rd 2010

It is so humid out today - the bees are loving it but I'm not!

I printed a lot of labels this morning, packed some honeystix and this afternoon I serviced both of our delivery vans. Other than that it has been a slower day.

July 22nd 2010

Another busy day of working with comb honey...hopefully I got enough done so while I am gone next week on vacation they won't have to work on it. I did give a tour this afternoon to a very nice family from New Jersey.

There are quite a few things starting to bloom now in our area. I am seeing: Boneset, Joe Pie Weed, Knapweed and some of the early Goldenrod in bloom and the bees are working on all of the above. We hope the weather continues to be favorable for honey production!

July 21st 2010

It has been a busy day of cutting comb honey...the thing is that almost as fast as I could cut it - it was being sold. My wife came down to help me out today which made it more fun but my back still hurts from hunching over to cut the comb out of the frames.

We sold the first jar of Collin's honey today and as I type this at 6:20 PM I am awaiting the arrival of a tour group from Towanda, PA that I hope will buy some more of his honey after I let them taste it.

We shipped out a rather large order to Puerto Rico today via Priority Mail.

I have decided to take a little vacation time next week to get some things done at home and maybe even try to relax a little bit...unlikely though.

July 20th 2010

I had a busy weekend - Sunday was my birthday...thank you, thank you. I had a good time with the family and in the afternoon my son and I pulled honey off of his hive. This is the first honey he has collected and let me tell you it is some awesome honey!

Collin uncapped all the cells by hand.

Then he put them in our small extractor.

Honey running out of the extractor.

Bottling his first harvest.

He ended up with over 50 lbs. of honey and we put all of it into 1 lb. jars. It is so light that you can read the paper through the honey and it is very heavy bodied at only 16% moisture. The honey has a wonderful mild flavor and everyone that has had some just can't get enough of it, so I don't expect it to last very long - we are offering some for sale in the honey section if you want to try it.

July 16th 2010

I have been working on cutting and bottling chunk honey today. I'm didn't get as much done as I had hoped because I had to give 2 tours this morning. Both groups were a lot of fun and asked a lot of questions and very very interested which always makes giving the tour more fun for me.

July 15th 2010

We bottled honey this morning, I gave a tour, typed some wholesale honey orders and then printed labels the rest of the day.

After that rain we had the bees really started working on the white dutch clover again and I see that the knapweed is in bloom...things are looking good!

We are hoping to get some basswood honey soon!

The following is a link to the article featured on NETWORX.COM about homeowners and how they can promote bee populations: http://www.networx.com/article/bee-friendly-landscaping

July 14th 2010

My lecture this morning went really well. While I was gone everyone else bottled some Wildflower honey.

I have been printing labels like crazy since I got back, which goes to show that there is indeed honey being produced out there!

This website is for all of you lady beekeepers: www.HoneyBeeFarm.org

You Might be a Redneck if...you've asked a psychic about where the bass are biting.

July 13th 2010

We finally got some much needed rain.

We bottled a large tank of clover honey all in to jars today which took up most of the day...the time I had left I worked on printing labels.

I have talked to many beekeepers on the phone and it is looking like we are going to have a good honey year. Most of them are saying that they are pulling honey off the hives now and that there is a lot of it. That is great news and I hope our hives are doing as well. Our bee truck is out for repairs right now so we can't go out and check on our bees yet but we hope to have the truck back later this week or early next week.

I will be out of the office tomorrow morning. I have to head up to The Spencer Crest Nature Center to talk about the bees. I should be back after noon sometime.

You Might be a Redneck if...you can never bring yourself to throw away a tire.

July 9th 2010

11:30 AM - This morning I took out both observation hives to remove frames of brood and clean them up. They both were packed wall to wall with bees and honey...it was a sticky job! I found the queen in the one hive right away, but I just couldn't find the queen in the second hive. I looked for quite awhile but she was hiding somewhere...I just hope I got her back in to the hive. I will be keeping my eye on that hive until I see her.

2:30 PM - An update on the observation hive...I found the queen! She was actually outside on the ground in front of the entrance. I had a lot of bees that collected on the side of the nuc box I was using and when I finished up I shook them off in front of the entrance. I was kind of worried that the queen might be in that bunch of bees so I went out to see if they were all making it back in to the hive and I noticed a small group of bees and upon further inspection I saw her. I scooped her up and painted a blue mark on her and then released her right in the pipe that leads to her hive...she ran right in. I have yet to see her in the hive yet but I am confidant that she is there somewhere.

July 8th 2010

Yesterday afternoon I painted all of our sidewalks and let me tell you...it was HOT out! The good thing about the heat is that the paint sure dried fast. We were able to walk on them this morning.

Today I have been changing the oil and servicing all our vehicles...once again it is hot out which makes the task that much harder.

The heat is starting to affect the Locust trees in our yard...the leafs are turning yellow and some are dropping. Our garden is doing great this year however we are having to spend a lot of time watering.

July 7th 2010

This morning I got a call from a fellow beekeeper who works at Corning Incorporated's Erwin, NY facility about a swarm of bees...I headed over and collected it. It wasn't as easy to collect as a swarm hanging on a branch because I sure can't shake a steel post to get the bees off. I ended up brushing the bees off into a nuc box. They are settling in now our behind the warehouse.

We have had two emails and this morning a phone call from Sam's Club, they are looking for a honey supplier. Must be they aren't happy with the foreign junk that they are currently selling. We told them that we are not interested in supplying them and the fact is we don't have a large enough inventory to supply them even if we wanted to. It is looking like honey is going to be in short supply everywhere this year.

July 6th 2010

Hope everyone had a great time celebrating our countries independence this last weekend!

This heat wave is not only hard on the people it is hard on the bees. Most of the natural water sources are starting to dry up around us and more and more bees are finding their way to my swimming pool. I don't mind sharing but it is hard to get into the water when there are hundreds of bees all around. Flowers that are out, are staring to dry up and have very little nectar left in them. The ground in the gardens is dry and so hot you can't keep you fingers in the dirt for very long. We need some rain badly!

We loaded the van this morning and I was afraid that with this heat that the comb honey in the van may melt...well the wax would melt which would make a big mess, so I moved the van into the garage to keep it out of the sun. Hopefully it will be ok.

We also got in 10 drums of honey that I have to color grade yet.

You Might be a Redneck if...you think a vegetarian is that dude who neutered your Rottweiler.

July 3rd 2010

My week alone is at its end and overall it went very well. Today I didn't have many walk-in customers so I was able to get some orders done. I packed up a observation hive to be shipped to Grenada and then worked on wholesale honey orders the rest of the day.

Hope everyone has a Great 4th of July!

You Might be a Redneck if...your 4th of July celebration ever started a brush fire.

July 2nd 2010

Another bee-utiful day here in Pennsylvania and the bees are all over the Sumac trees.

Today I was all alone here...I may be able to be 2 people but I sure can't be 4 people, it will be nice to have everyone back from vacation next week. I have been very busy with orders and customers. I even had one customer drive all the way from Ontario, Canada to pick up some used equipment and an observation hive. To the Coopers: it was great meeting and I hope you were able to make it back across the border without any problems!

You Might be a Redneck if...you've launched fireworks off a propane tank.

July 1st 2010

I was so busy yesterday that I never got a chance to post anything here. I had to be out of here at 5:00 PM yesterday because we saw a bear Tuesday night and seeing how my son's bees were sitting out unprotected, we headed to Mansfield to get some electric fence supplies. We finished tying bacon to the fence at 9:30 PM last night. I invite the bear to try some of our special bacon - it has a flavor that will make his fur stand on end!

So far today I have been working on shipped orders and printing labels, but it looks like I will have some time to work on wholesale orders this afternoon.

It was 45 F last night here - that's pretty cool for July, however the weekend it looking like perfect bee weather. The Basswood trees are in bloom a full 2 weeks early this year and we may be able to harvest some if the weather stays nice...fingers crossed!


Blog Archives:

May/June 2010

March/April 2010

January/February 2010

November/December 2009

September/October 2009

July/August 2009

May/June 2009

March/April 2009