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Archives: January - February 2010


February 26th 2010

We ended up with 12 to 14 inches of snow. I started clean up at 6:30 AM and didn't finish up until 12:00 PM...even though I did most of the work with the plow on the truck and my 4-wheeler my back is hurting this afternoon and I even have one of those cool snow shovels with the crooked handle that is supposed to make it easier...just getting old I guess.

We loaded the van today with nearly 7000 lbs. of stuff that will be delivered next week to the western PA, OH and MI areas. Hopefully the roads will be all cleaned up before our driver, Archie, heads out next week.

We sold an extractor today...it seems a little out of season for that but I'm guessing it was purchased with tax return money.

I hope everyone enjoys this weekend, my family will be sledding and tubing for sure...just hope no one breaks anything!

You Might be a Redneck if...you can steer your truck with your stomach.

February 25th 2010

The snow is falling and it looks like we are going to get quite a bit overnight. I have the plow all ready to go and I moved the van inside the warehouse, where we can load it to head out to the Ohio area next week without having to deal with the snow.

Package bees sales are really starting to pick up as are sales of our observation hives, we have sold 3 observations hives this week alone - 2 we will be delivering next week and the 3rd got shipped out today via U.P.S.

I'll be shoveling and plowing in the morning so I plan on increasing my bee pollen intake at breakfast...hopefully it will get me a little extra energy!

Get out the snowmobiles - this is the first real snow storm we have had this winter.

You Might be a Redneck if...Any of your daughters are older than your wife.

February 23rd 2010

It was a good thing that I worked some on Sunday, as Monday was indeed a busy day! I started at 7:30am and didn't even get any kind of a break until 5:30pm. To say I was starving when I got home is really an understatement. Today has been a little bit slower but I'm still busy.

We did even get an inch of snow last night and I'm thankful for that.

I've been working on orders to be delivered next week to the Ohio area. I even sold an observation hive to a children's museum in Michigan today.

You Might be a Redneck if...Bank tellers put their hands up as soon as you walk in.

February 21st 2010

I'm working a little bit today since Bill is on vacation this next week. I figured it would be a lot easier getting some orders done without having the phones ringing and/or customers coming in.

Our DSL was off yesterday so I knew I would have quite a few orders waiting for me today and I did and I'm happy to see them!

The sun has been out all day and there are even a few bees flying around. I expect that very soon the queens will start laying eggs again. Once the queen starts laying, the bees consumption of honey will double as they not only have to feed the developing larvae but they have to eat more to maintain the proper temperature within the hive to raise brood. I suggest that every week that you start checking your hives for weight to make sure the bees have enough feed and if necessary put a sugar block on the hive and maybe even a Bee-Pro Patty as a pollen substitute. This is the time of year when the most hives are lost due to starvation.

February 18th 2010

Had to plow snow this morning and now the sun is out and it's melting away pretty fast. The sun is getting higher in the sky and I am loving how warm it feels! Spring is just around the corner now!

Getting ready for my lecture tomorrow in Canton, PA. I will be giving a PowerPoint presentation about the honeybees in the elementary school there. My wife is going to ride along with me so I'm sure it will be a lot of fun.

Bill will be taking a few days off this next week so I will be here on Monday by myself, Mondays are usually the busiest day of the week...that should be fun.

February 17th 2010

We bottled Alfalfa this morning, not that many jars though because we filled a secondary tank to make a batch of crystallized honey later this week. We will add a 5 gallon pail of honey, that is already crystallized, to the tank to speed up the crystallization of the entire tank. When we pack it, we have to use a pump to get the honey out of the tank and into the jars.

I have been sending a lot of emails today to our package bee customers with their proposed ship dates. As of now the package bees will start shipping the first week in April - we are hoping for good weather and that things stay on schedule. Last year because of poor weather shipments were delayed as much as two weeks.

You Might be a Redneck if...starting your truck requires a decent slope and a lot of luck.

February 16th 2010

I am still recovering from my cold but I am feeling much better then I was last week.

Today we bottled some Buckwheat honey and as I type this I am printing the lot numbers on the nutrition labels and Bill is bringing the honey over from the Honey House with the fort lift. We will start labeling the jars this afternoon. At some point it sure would be nice to have a machine label the jars but for the foreseeable future we will continue doing it by hand.

It's snowing here today but we only expect to get a couple of inches.

I'm starting to get cabin fever and I'm sure the poor bees are also.

My wife and I plan on starting our garden seeds tonight. I sure hope we get an early spring so we can get them out before they grow too big.

You Might be a Redneck if...neighbors call to say they've found your husband in their yard.

February 12th 2010

Well I've finally made it back...this last weekend I started coming down with something and it continually got worse as the days went by. I didn't come to work on Tuesday or Wednesday and only worked long enough on Thursday to get the plowing done after our snow storm. I'm finally feeling well enough to be here today. By far the worst chest cold I've ever had...I didn't go to the doctors but relied on honey and propolis to get me through it. I slept for 10 hours last night and feel much better today although I am still coughing a little bit.

While I was gone not all that much was happening...February is typically our slowest month of the year so I guess this is the best time for me to get sick.

We only got 4 or 5 inches of snow, we have been very lucky this year - all the big snow storms have gone either south or north of us.

Even the package bee orders are coming in slower this year although I expect things to pick up as soon as the weather gets a little warmer and the beekeepers get out to check their hives. I certainly hope, for everyone, that there isn't as much winter kill this year.

February 5th 2010

We had a load of Tulip Poplar honey come in today but that really didn't take too long to unload. I spent most of my day preparing to upgrade our computer system and network - I hope to have it all done tomorrow. We also loaded the delivery van for next weeks run to the New York City area.

We have been lucky this year and haven't had all that much snow and it looks like our luck continues - we aren't supposed to get any of the big Pennsylvania storm tomorrow. My condolences to all those that are going to be shoveling and plowing this weekend!

You Might be a Redneck if...Your dog bathes with you.

February 3rd 2010

It's been a very busy day and I still haven't gotten caught up. We bottled a tank of Clover honey this morning - a lot of jars - we did 600 - 12 oz. honey bears alone plus other jars and unfortunately Bill had a doctors appointment this morning, however the good news is that my wife was able to come down and help us out and I'm so glad she did as the phones kept on ringing the entire time we were bottling. If she hadn't been here there would have been only 2 people trying to bottle all that honey...thanks Cheryl!

I did print a few thousand labels off today for customers and ship them but I have a bunch left to too. I received my new label printing software today and I would like to get it installed and working. The old software wouldn't work with Windows 7 and I have been waiting 2 months to get this new program and I would like to give it a try so I will probably be staying late to get it installed and tested. It has been a hassle having to switch between two computers to print labels.

We have missed out on all the snow happening around us, we can still see the grass in the lawn but I talked to a customer in Virginia that has 8 inches on the ground. I predict that we will get our big snow storm some time in mid-March.

You Might be a Redneck if...all of your hobbies break the law.

February 2nd 2010

I have made it back from my "vacation" and I put the word in quotes simply because I spent my entire week working on different projects. I got bored on my first day off and just had to do something - so I carpeted the stairs to our basement, then carpeted the basement floor, finished all the trim work in the basement, replaced the faucet in the kitchen and changed the tires on the 4-wheeler. My wife and I did manage to find time to go out to lunch once last week. Overall it was a week filled with a lot of work...however we had fun so that's what counts.

There was a large pile of papers on my desk when I came in this morning and I have been trying to whittle it down all day...however it seems to be growing. I have a ton of label orders to work on, emails to answer, package bee ship dates to send, things to order and the list goes on and on.

It's been busy today for every one so I haven't had time to catch up with everyone else to see what's been happening around here while I was absent...maybe tomorrow.

You Might be a Redneck if...You've ever been injured playing Ping-Pong.

January 23rd 2010

Today is my last day here before my vacation - I'll be back February 2nd. I wish I could say that we were heading off to a tropical beach somewhere but because the kids have school  - we are just planning to have a nice week to lounge around, do a little shopping, watch some movies, eat out and just have fun.

January 22nd 2010

The truck load of glass got here this morning, but not without some issues...I showed up at 7:00 AM - no truck - around 7:55 AM in walked the driver to tell me that he was stuck on the ice in our lower driveway. I grabbed a bag of rock salt and headed down to where he was stuck...he was indeed spinning on some ice and the back of the trailer was blocking the road. We used an entire bag of rock salt under and in-front-of the tires. He was able to pull ahead enough to then back the truck back out into the road to head up to our upper driveway where there wasn't any ice. The driver did a good job getting the truck backed up to the truck dock nice and square and we proceeded to unload the pallets of glass jars. Now we have some inventory.

You Might be a Redneck if...You're the final owner of every car you buy. (I think this should have one more line...and if all the cars you have ever owned are still in your yard.)

January 21st 2010

We actually had sun shine all day long...but still chilly out. Bill finished sorting the honey supers today. It is so great to have that room back in the warehouse.

We were supposed to get a truck load of glass honey jars in this morning at 7:00 AM, so I showed up early - but apparently it was rescheduled and no one let us know...it will be here tomorrow morning instead at 7:00 AM...no sleeping in for me tomorrow either...zzzzzzzzzzzz...sorry dozed-off there.

My lecture in Wellsboro last night went really well, there were about 20 people and I spoke for over an hour. It was my first lecture of 2010 with many more to come I'm sure. My daughter went with me to help out and to see where the Wellsboro High School is, she has to go there to take her S.A.T. test.

Today is my youngest daughter's 6th birthday...I can't wait to get home and celebrate with her and the rest of the family.

Today I have been working on orders and servicing our delivery van for a it's big trip to Florida.

I will be taking next week off to spend some time with my wife before she goes back to work in February. We hope to go see a movie and out to dinner a couple of times and then sleep in late...YEAH! Of course I'm sure I will stop in here to see what's happening - it's hard for me to stay away for long.

You Might be a Redneck if...You've taught a class on how to keep goats from jumping on your car.

January 20th, 2010

It's another cool, dreary day out there.

Bill is out in the warehouse sorting extracted honey supers from last fall, so I have been working on orders and answering phones. Once he is done sorting out the frames that aren't good enough to go back into the hives the old wax foundations are removed, then the wood frame has to be scraped and new foundations installed, these refurbished frames will be used on the hives this season. The old foundations will not be thrown out, we will place them in our wax press where the beeswax will be melted and then strained through burlap bags into an old bath tub, the solids left in the burlap bags will then be pressed between steel plates, with a big screw, and all the remaining beeswax will be squeezed out. When it's all said and done we will have a large bath tub shaped piece of beeswax that can weigh as much as 200 lbs. We will trade that beeswax in on new foundation. Nothing is wasted in beekeeping!

January 19th, 2010

I had a busy weekend and am really happy to be back to work!

Been working on answering emails, printing labels, laying out shipped orders, packing wholesale orders and putting all the honey we bottled last week back into inventory...so I've had a busy day thus far.

I should have taken a picture of all the dead bees in the snow around our hives this weekend when it was a little warmer. The bees were out for a cleansing flight and it looks like a lot of the older bees never made it back. We always expect to see some of that however there was a lot of dead ones in the snow - hopefully they were just old bees.

You Might be a Redneck if...Both you and your wife wore ponytails on your wedding day.

January 15th, 2010

First thing this morning I got 2 calls from different parts of the country from beekeepers wanted to purchase rolls of #7 pollen trap wire, which of course I was more then happy to sell to them, but we haven't sold any in 6 months or more and to have 2 rolls go out on the same day seemed weird. I'm happy to get rid of it though...we have had it in stock for over 20 years.

It's a bit warmer here today and it feels good! Some bees were even out on a cleansing flight today...there's little yellow spots all over the snow - which is another reason why you shouldn't eat any yellow snow.

We loaded the delivery van with honey and some used bee equipment that will be heading out to western Pennsylvania and Ohio next week - it is a full load...which is just what we like to see!

January 14th, 2010

Today I have been working on packing some "raw" honey. We have some wholesale customers that want honey that has not been processed at all...which means to them - no heat applied and that has not been strained. In our opinion the only truly raw honey is comb honey - that said - we try to provide what the customer wants, therefore I took a drum of honey out of the warehouse to the honey house to bottle it. We have a special bottler that can pump the cold honey right out of the drum. Pictured below is the line that runs to the bottom of the drum up to the bottler and the bottler filling a 2 lb. jar. I can set the bottler to fill the jar and then stop however I find it easier to fill the jar manually. The honey coming up out of the drum is partially crystallized but that is what the customer likes. I bottled the entire drum into 1 lb., 2 lb. and 5 lb. jars that's over 650 lbs. altogether.

January 13th, 2010

We bottled some Tulip Poplar honey this morning and then I started on packing bee pollen.

We get pollen in from different sources throughout the season and depending on the flower the bees collected it from the colors vary. Pictured below are 3 different pollens that I blended together today and packed into 5 lb. and 1 lb. containers.

Orange colored pollen

Light yellow colored pollen

Darker colored pollen

A nice colored mix after blending

We store all the pollen in a climate controlled room before and after we pack it.

I blend the pollen just one scoop at a time this allows me to inspect it to make sure there isn't a detached bee leg or something in the pollen before packing it in containers.

This is not a good job for anyone with pollen allergies. I even find myself getting a little stuffy after working with the pollen.

Weighing a 5 lb. container of pollen

 

You Might be a Redneck if...you've survived for over a month on Froot Loops.

January 12th, 2010

It's still snowing here - starting to get really tired of seeing it every dang day...that said, my wife and I had a lot of fun on Sunday sled riding with the kids so at least the snow is good for something.

We bottled Alfalfa honey this morning.

The rest of the day I have spent my time answering the phone, replying to emails and printing labels.

You Might be a Redneck if...your New Year's hangover lasts longer than your resolution.

January 8th, 2010

We bottled some more Buckwheat honey this morning and then I spent a few hours plowing and shoveling snow...what fun - NOT! Still not done either - have snow to shovel when I get home...ughh!

We had 100 kilos of royal jelly and a truck load of cardboard boxes come in...so there's always something to do - even in the bad weather.

You Might be a Redneck if...the only time your home gets dusted is for fingerprints.

January 7th, 2010

Very cold out again today and we are expecting it to get colder over the weekend with a little bit of snow tomorrow.

We packed up and shipped a lot of jars of honey this morning...U.P.S. has to be loving us!

Our local maple syrup producer dropped off our order this morning...good maple syrup is sure getting expensive.

It won't be long we will be heading out to check our hives to see if they still have enough honey stores to get them through - if not we will be putting on some sugar blocks to help them out.

Al was out this week replacing the batteries that power our electric fences. Normally we would pull them off for the winter but we have seen a couple of black bears, out and about, and we even talked to one beekeeper that had a bear knock over some hives just recently so we just don't dare to leave the bees unprotected.

You Might be a Redneck if...You've held a business meeting at Chuck E. Cheese's.

January 6th, 2010

We bottled some Tupelo honey this morning. The Tupelo honey is one of my favorites and today's batch was particularly good.

I have been working on getting our wholesale price sheets and delivery schedules printed and sent out. Honey sales continue to be good - which we are very thankful for!

We have had snow flurries every day this week...just enough that I have to shovel the sidewalk but not enough to plow. I would rather have a couple of big snow storms and be done with it, then have just a little snow every dang day...it's worse then having to mow the grass!

You Might be a Redneck if...You own fourteen pets but have never been to the veterinarian.

January 5th, 2010

It's been very busy around here today. We bottled a tank a Buckwheat honey this morning. Then we got started on shipped orders and didn't get them done until around 3:30 this afternoon. We have also received quite a few package bee orders. It's GOOD to be busy!

I also have scheduled my first speaking engagement of the new year. I will be giving a lecture about the bees in Wellsboro, PA on the 20th for the Tiadaghton Audubon Society.

I posted the forward of my grandfather's book in our Hot Topics section if anyone is interested in reading it.

January 2nd, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I wasn't planning on working today however I just had to stop in to check on things and found an order on the fax machine that had to be put on the van before it leaves...so I got that done, answered some emails and printed some labels.

My mother-in-law gave me a Jeff Foxworthy daily calendar for Christmas...funny stuff. Thought I would share it with everyone: You might be a redneck if...you have every been hospitalized for a wedgie.

I'm going to head home to do something with the family...I'll be back on the 5th.


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