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Archives: May - June 2010


June 29th 2010

Bill is on vacation this week...so to say I am busy is an understatement of epic proportions!

My wife and I worked on Saturday and Sunday cutting comb honey to get ready for the onslaught of orders for a product that has not been available for some time. We got over 700 cut combs done and many cases of chunk honey, but I'm sure we will be doing it all again very soon.

Today has been a day of just trying to keep up with orders in-between the phone calls and walk in customers. I even had one person stop for some bee stings and I was lucky enough not to get stung this time.

More of the same tomorrow I'm sure...I may come back down after dinner and work for awhile...maybe.

June 24th 2010

The comb honey arrived this morning. We weren't able to get as much as we usually do so it didn't quite fill up the van. We unloaded 60 supers directly in the honey house and the rest went out to the cool room. Bonnie is working on packing some cut comb and chunk honey right now as I type this. I have put the comb honey products back up on the website to be ordered.

I continue to print customized labels on a daily basis, however today I have been making up some new labels for our comb honey products. I also shipped some queens out and had someone stop in for a few bee stings, he got 4 stings...and I got 1...yeah feels good - as James Brown would say.

June 23rd 2010

It has been a perfect "bee day"...warm and humid. When we are uncomfortable because of the heat and humidity - the bees are thriving! The warm humid weather really gets the nectar following. I was able to get into the queen bank this afternoon with no smoker or veil on and they didn't bother me at all.

Bill is out checking all of the hives he had requeened...hopefully they all took!

We received some honey samples from one of our producers today via U.P.S. and I have to say that it is some of the best honey I've had. I'm hoping that we are able to pick some of it up soon and resell it.

We also got some bee pollen delivered this afternoon. I need to open up the boxes and inspect the pollen before we store it in cardboard drums in our "cold" room. We get pollen in from beekeepers all over the place but most of it is from right here in Pennsylvania.

Archie is on the way home with the load of comb honey and should be in sometime tomorrow.

I added another chapter from my grandfather's book to the Hot Topics section.

June 22nd 2010

Sorry I skipped a few days there...got really busy!

We bottled honey this morning and I only had a few hundred labels to print...I'm finally getting caught up.

Today I have been working on changing prices on all of our comb honey products. Archie is on the way to pick up a load of cut comb honey for us. Our southern producer said it has been the poorest year he has ever had and we are only getting 100 supers...which won't last long! Because of the shortage of comb honey, the prices have gone up and we are following suit on all of our comb honey related products. I will take some pictures when it comes in...well if I am here...I have to take my daughter to Lock Haven University on Friday for a tour, she may want to attend there after she graduates next year.

June 17th 2010

Very cool out today, around lunch time it was only 57 F outside.

The new van made it back from its first road trip and already has 1600 miles on it. Next week it will be heading south to pick up some comb honey...lots of miles on that trip.

We got 10 drums of light honey in today. It is just a nice light honey with no specific flavor, so it will blend nicely with almost anything.

I have been printing labels on and off all day...no surprise there. I'm waiting on approvals to print the last couple of thousand labels. I always make up samples and email them to the customer for approval before printing them.

I read the following the other day that I thought was interesting: Bees figure largely in folklore although these days people are mostly uninterested in the old stories of how bees are an important part of our society. The Egyptian Sun God Ra was supposed to create bees and humans from his tears. In the Scottish Highlands you could go and ask the bees what the Druids knew, because the bees knew everything. In rural districts all over the world, the old custom of "telling the bees" persisted when there was a death in the family or someone left home. In Ireland, the bees also told secrets or advised on new projects. In ancient European folklore, bees were regarded as messengers to the gods, and the custom of "telling the bees" might have been a remnant of the idea of keeping the gods advised of human affairs. Country folk had a deep respect for bees, recognizing that without them there would be no life as no flower would be pollinated to create seed for life to continue. The respect for bees continued for thousands of years, and as recently as the death of George V1 of England it was reported that beekeepers went, scarf on head for respect to inform the bees of his death, because "telling the bees" was the most important act of all. So don't forget to talk to your bees!

I recently found out that the headmasters name (Dumbledore) in the popular Harry Potter books and movies is actually an old English name for a bee. Even the word flower can be traced back to ancient Greek meaning flow of nectar and nectar means "drink of the gods". I continue to be amazed at how intertwined the bees are in our history!

June 16th 2010

It has been a windy, cloudy day here and even though it has looked like it is going to rain - it hasn't.

Honey was bottled this morning again...however I didn't participate as I was busy printing labels. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of my label printing...I only have a few more thousand to print!

I only had to get 1 single queen out of the queen bank today, but we have already gotten in orders for quite a few to be shipped tomorrow. We only ship queens on Thursday if they will be delivered the following day...we don't like seeing them sit over the weekend in the back of some truck in the sun.

You Might be a Redneck if...you've inflated a pool, a bed, and a doll in the same day.

June 15th 2010

I started my morning giving a lecture about bees in Mansfield, PA. When I returned from the lecture I helped bottle a tank of Alfalfa honey and by the time we finished up it was lunch time. When I got back from lunch Bill had picked up the queens that we had been waiting for. They were shipped next day air from the west coast and we had to get them ready to be shipped right back out today. Below is a picture of how they arrived. When they show up there are no attendant bees in the cages with the queens. I had to sit down and put 7 worker bees in each cage and some of the queens needed to be marked or clip and marked. I did get stung a few times but only because they don't like being grabbed by the wings and I don't blame them! After we got the orders done I put the rest of the queens in to the "queen bank" for later withdrawal. After all that I went back to printing labels!

You Might be a Redneck if...your garbage man is confused about what goes and what stays.

June 11th 2010

Oh boy what fun...more label printing for me! That is all I have been doing all day and I still am not done...I didn't realize how many orders I actually had waiting to be done.

Bill finished up checking the hives today, but I haven't had a chance to ask him about how they are doing. When he got back he had to leave to pick up the new delivery van at the Chevy dealer.

4:00 PM - Bill got back with the new van and I did ask him about the bees. The van looks just like our old one...before it was smashed. He said the bees are doing ok but that he saw more queen problems then he expected to. We have been hearing this from other beekeepers also. Hopefully we can get it turned around before the late summer/fall honey flow.

June 10th 2010

It has been a long day...it's 9:00 PM and I'm still here...uggg!

I started my morning bottling honey. Most of the honey I put into 5 gallon pails. Below are pictures of the honey running into the pail.

I did bottle some jars for a custom order and since it was early in the morning the sun was shining though the window and I took a picture of a jar of honey...it looks yummy! For anyone trying to sell honey; if you backlight honey on the store shelf - "they will come" or should I say "it will sell"!

The reason I am here so late is because I got the new label printer in today and I am trying to get some labels done. I have thousands of labels to print to be shipped all over the country. Hope to get caught up before the weekend...wish me luck!

June 9th 2010

Been raining all day long. We bottled a 2200 lbs. of Tupelo honey this morning all into jars...my poor hand is has a lid shaped mark on it.

We got a call from our southern comb honey producer and we will be getting some comb honey from him at the end of the month, however he said that this has been the poorest production year he has ever had and that we are only going to get a fraction of what we normally buy from him. Comb honey prices are going to be going up for sure.

We have more honey to bottle tomorrow and then I will be working on printing labels for days and days if my printer shows up like its suppose to.

You Might be a Redneck if...your fly is undone in your wedding photos.

June 8th 2010

Bill has been out checking the hives today while I have been busy doing U.P.S. orders, answering phones and getting ready for tomorrow's big Tupelo honey run.

We still haven't settled with the insurance company yet concerning the accident and we are really needing the new van. I have never seen insurance companies drag their feet before like this, it has been almost a month now.

It is much cooler today and there isn't much besides the white dutch clover for the bees to work on and it is supposed to rain tomorrow so they won't be getting much done.

June 5th 2010

We have been unusually busy the last couple of days. Yesterday we bottled more honey and then I ended up giving 3 back to back tours.

Today I have been getting queens out of the queen bank for customers, answering phones and giving tours.

I just got a call from the Williamsport Post Office to let us know that some package bees were just dropped off there for us. I don't know if we will be able to go down and get them today or not...I would rather see them picked up today, than have them sitting there over the weekend. I couldn't get a hold of my father and there is no way I can go down today...we have things planned for the entire day once I get home.

The weather has been perfect for the bees and the garden...rain at night sunny during the day!

June 3rd 2010

We have had some weird things going on...earlier this week the website was offline for an entire day and starting late yesterday afternoon we lost our email and it still isn't back yet. It is amazing to me how business like ours have become dependent on the internet and email. We like go into a panic when the email or website isn't working...it's kind of funny...but not!

I had to go and give a bee lecture this morning in Mansfield, PA. While I was gone everyone else bottled up some Orange Blossom honey.

This afternoon I have been working on honey orders.

I just checked our email and it looks like it is working...however it also looks like we lost any emails that were sent yesterday and today.

June 2nd 2010

All I have time to say is that it has been a very busy day!

June 1st 2010

It's been a very busy day...with the long weekend we had an extra days worth of website orders and it seems that people are needing a lot of queens! In just one day we have almost sold out.

I gave a tour to 60 Kindergarten kids this morning and then loaded our deliver van with honey orders and an observation hive, all to be delivered throughout the New England area. Speaking of deliver vans...I took the photo below of our van that was flipped over just a mile from home after traveling 14 hours from Georgia with a load of package bees.

We hope to have our new van in a week or so. It's a good thing that we have a second van to make our deliveries in.

On Saturday my son Collin and I collected a swarm, that really wasn't unusually at all, but what was was that while we were collecting the swarm we spotted a very small clump of bees only 5 feet away from the other swarm. I brushed them on to a frame and inspected the bees there I found a queen in the middle of what couldn't have been more then 50 bees. The little bunch of bees is what is called a secondary swarm, most likely from the same hive that the large swarm came from. I caught the queen, marked her and put her in a queen cage. I would guess that that queen was a virgin queen and because she needs to get out and get mated I had to find a spot for her a.s.a.p. Earlier in the day I inspecting some 5 frame nucs that we had onsite and I noticed that 1 of the 4 nucs was queenless...a perfect spot for our new little queen. I put her right in and I plan on checking on her tomorrow.

May 29th 2010

I had customers here first thing this morning to pick up 5 frame nucs. Altogether I sold 3 - 5 frames nucs today as well as 4 queens. I also sold a lot of woodenware today...I really wasn't expecting to have such a run on bees and bee supplies on a holiday weekend...I'm not complaining!

Hope you all have a bee-utiful Memorial Day and God bless our troops!

May 28th 2010

Bill finished up checking the hives today...so far everything is looking good. He will be going out next week to check and make sure the queens are out in all of the hives that he installed package bees in.

We got notification this morning that the last of the package bees have been shipped. Now we just have to hope that they survive the long holiday weekend.

I added the queens we received yesterday to our queen bank. I inspected every queen as I put her into the hive and they all look great - nice and plump!

We had a little rain shower this afternoon...didn't really amount to much but it did inspire me to get the rest of my corn planted. Now we just have to get the beans planted...then let the weeding begin!

You Might be a Redneck if...you and six of your neighbors split a cable bill.

May 27th 2010

More package bees arrive today as well as a box full of queen bees. There has been a demand for queen bees the last couple of weeks, we have gone through over 100 queens in that time.

I had a tour group this afternoon and since it was a small group, we did the presentation inside instead of outside...it was so much nicer! We did take a walk around outside but the heat didn't seem as bad because we hadn't been exposed to it the entire time.

Only 1 swarm call today and we didn't have a vehicle to go get it in at the time so I referred it to a friend and fellow beekeeper that had lost his hive over the winter and couldn't afford to get a package of bees this spring. Hope he was able to get it ok and that it does good this season!

Because of all the heat the kids have been hounding me to get the pool opened, so I got it turned on today during my lunch break. The kids love the pool...me not so much...to much work! I think the bees love the pool as much as the kids. My youngest daughter is always out to save every single bee that gets stuck in the water. Last year I think she got stung 2 or 3 times during her rescue missions. She is afraid that if she doesn't save them all there won't be any honey left...have to admit it sure it cute to watch!

May 26th 2010

We got 20 packages of bees in today at the Mansfield Post Office - Bill is out installing them this afternoon. I have been working on honey orders, shipped orders and doing some pre-counting of bee supplies today. After work I have to head out to do a bee removal from a fallen tree, I will try to get some pictures.

The honey flow must be nearing its end...we have a lot of bees flying around the buildings today which indicates that there isn't anything else for them to work on. That should change soon...I see that the White Dutch Clover is starting to bloom now.

May 25th 2010

First thing this morning we had a bus load of kids stop in for a tour and man was it hot out! We did the beginning part of the tour outside where I talk about the bees ~ we were all getting pretty darn warm after just a few minutes. As I was talking about the bees I noticed a rather large snake slithering along the wall of the warehouse...not wanting any of the kids to freak out I thru one of the pictures I had on top of it and it turned around and went the other way. I don't think anyone saw it but me. After the tour left I found the snake and it's partner and took them out back and released them in the field. The one was about 3 feet long and the other about 2 feet, both were milk snakes.

Package bees are supposed to be all shipped this week and I sure hope that is the case. We have been taking a lot of "heat" from customers about the delays which of course we have no control over whatsoever. I know it is getting late in the season to receive package bees but the fact is you can't wait until The middle of April to order bees and then expect them to show up a week later. We normally start taking orders for package bees sometime in January and they are shipped on a first order first shipped basis. It will just be nice to be done with it.

Bill has been out every day working on the hives, making splits, checking queens, installing packages and doing all the things that need to be done. I don't envy him at all when it is this warm outside...having to put on a bee suit just makes it hotter and harder to get things done.

May 22nd 2010

Today has been busy with walk-in customers and I have had plenty of orders and other things to do. I have had 3 swarm calls come in today that I had to pass on because Bill is out with the bee truck and I have to take my daughter to a birthday party as soon as I get done here at 1:00. I gave the people phone numbers of beekeepers that I know are looking to collect swarms. I really hate to pass on free bees but sometimes it just doesn't fit into our schedule.

You Might be a Redneck if...everyone who knocks on your door regrets it.

May 21st 2010

We had a very large tour of over 120 kids today, half of them came this morning and then another bus load around noon. I started out giving them the basics about the bees and beekeeping outside in front of our loading dock. It was a beautiful day out...but honestly it was a bit too warm out there in the sun...the kids and I were getting baked!

After I finished with my talk we split the kids up into 3 groups; one went in to the warehouse where my son Collin talked with them and let them sample some honey right out of a 55 gallon drum, one went inside and made their own beeswax candles and had some honey treats that Bonnie made and the third I took to the honey house to talk about how we extract and pack the honey plus I let them try some Orange Blossom honey...then we switched groups and did it all again. In all we did everything 6 times, which has caused me to almost totally lose my voice.

The kids were very good and you can see their pictures here.

Bill is out today working on our own hives and I hope he is taking it easy in this heat...working bees is not an easy task.

May 20th 2010

The bees are loving the weather today! The amount of nectar coming in is amazing!

We got the load of glass jars in this morning, so I was able to get the custom order bottled. I installed some new stainless steel bottling values when I got finished and I can't wait to try them out. They are supposed to be no-drip values and I like that they are stainless steel...easier to clean up plus they look nicer than the old brass ones.

We also got a shipment of 70 queens in and then 20 of them went right back out.

I have been trying to get ready for our big tour of 2nd graders that will be here tomorrow morning. I am thankful that the weather is going to be nice...it isn't any fun when it is gloomy out!

Just a very busy day for everyone here!

May 19th 2010

The sun is back out and the bees and I are happy to see it! We were expecting a load of glass jars to show up this morning but apparently they rescheduled it without letting us know...it will be here tomorrow morning instead. We are out of 2 lb. glass jars and need them to fill some honey orders.

I stopped at the garage where our van is being stored until the Insurance Adjuster shows up and got some things out of it. Below are pictures of what's left of our van. The picture on the right is where the car hit, the impact flipped the van on it's side. It was a good van...poor thing.

May 18th 2010

I had an interesting day last Saturday...late in the day we had a customer stop in and informed us that he saw a swarm hanging from a bush by our lower parking lot. I went down to look and sure enough there was a bunch of bees hanging in the bush. I went up to the bee yard to get the items I needed to hive the bees. I grabbed a bottom board off the stack and got a surprise - see picture below - 6 snakes all coiled up under the bottom board I picked up. I'm not afraid of snakes but it was still enough to make me jump back! The picture on the right is of the "swarm" however I have my doubts that it was actually a swarm. I say this because after I had gotten the empty hive under the swarm and after the very first shake of the limb the bees were all over me - not in a good way! I got stung at least 20 times and they chased me all the way up to the building. I have never had a swarm that acted like that and I now think that the may have been a collection of bees that escaped from the damaged packages from the accident...which would explain their "grumpy" behavior. I have to say that their stings seemed to hurt way more then normal...I even swelled up more then I normally do. I put on a bee suit and went back down to finish putting them in the hive and then Bill took them to another beesite later that evening.

This morning I had to go to Troy, PA to talk to some kids about honeybees. The rest of the day I have been answering the phones and sending emails.

You Might be a Redneck if...you mute the TV before breaking wind.

May 15th 2010

We have been busy today with customers. It will be nice to be finished with package bees...I'm tired.

The bees that swarmed from the observation hive yesterday all came back, so I decided to take out another frame of brood and bees. I removed all of the queen cells on the other frames and put in a new frame. Hopefully they will stay put until we get done with the school tours. The frame I removed was placed in our queen bank to boost up the number of bees in that hive.

May 14th 2010

We had quite the "incident" yesterday...Bill and I came into work just after 6:00am expecting our driver to show up anytime and then we got a "the call" from a neighbor, that is only 1 mile up the road, to tell us that our van was involved in an accident. Panic set in since the van was loaded with 270 packages of bees. We headed up the road to see what happened and it sure didn't look good when we showed up there...our van was on it's side and Archie was still stuck inside, Steve (a guy that went along for the ride) was able to get out and was walking around. The emergency services let us in and we started pulling the bees out of the back right away. Having the package bees on their side allows the syrup to run out, thus saturating the bees which ultimately can kill the bees. I'll just say that we suffered heavy losses...not only the bees but the van is totaled also. Archie and Steve are ok and that is what really matters.

Apparently another driver ran a stop sign hitting the front of our van, spinning it around, more then once I might add, the van then flipped over on it's side. We are hoping the insurance companies will cover not only the van but the bees we lost also.

Our observation hive is swarming right now. I was hoping to prevent it from swarming but when they get it in their mind that they want to swarm, it seems that there is little I can do to stop it. If you look between the frames you can see the queen cells that the bees are making. The one all the way to the top is almost sealed and will most likely be the first one to hatch.

 Above - the view of the observation hive inside.
Below - the view of the swarm in flight outside.

May 11th 2010

We got a hard frost last night...not sure how cold it actually got but it was 27 degrees around 12:00 am so I'm pretty sure it got lower then that by morning. Not good for some of the flowers that are blooming already. I just hope that it didn't adversely effect the black locust blossoms...however it's too early to tell yet. We sure could use some of that beautiful locust honey this spring.

Out of the 100 or so queens we got in last week all but 1 is now sold. We are expecting to get some more in sometime this week.

I bottled some Orange Blossom honey into gallon jugs this morning and managed to make a mess...I got honey all over my jeans and it's not easy to clean yourself off after that without taking a shower. It's a good thing we have hot water hoses here!

May 8th 2010

I've had a lot of customers today and even more phone calls, so I didn't get too many orders done...more to do on Monday.

The observation hive had just about drawn out all of the comb on new frame that I put in on Thursday afternoon...good job bees!

May 7th 2010

I spent most of my day at Synthes in Horseheads, NY. Today was their annual health fair for their employees and they had invited us to take part in it. I had done it a couple of years ago and had a lot of fun, but last year the fair fell on the same day that we had package bees coming in so I couldn't go. I took the observation hive, all the different honeys, some honeystix and hard candies for everyone to sample. Everyone thought the bees were interesting and had lots of questions. I certainly didn't get much of a break...which is good because it sure makes the time fly by.

You Might be a Redneck if...Every time there's a knock at your door, dogs bark, babies scream, and someone curses.

May 6th 2010

Today I have been my own and it has been crazy/busy and in fact I had to take the phones off the hook for a couple of hours just to be able to get some shipped orders done. I had 6 queens that had to be shipped out plus other honey and supply orders.

The observation hive going to Texas was picked up today by the shipping company.

I worked on our observation hive today...I just had to take the time to get it done because I will be taking the observation hive with me to give a presentation tomorrow morning and they were getting a little overcrowded and with that many bees in there the travel and display time can be extra stressful for them. I removed a frame of brood and the bees and added them to our queen bank hive that really needed a boost of bees anyway.

I also have been printing labels every chance I get.

It is after closing time already as I type this so I think I'm going to say...addio.

May 4th 2010

Today I packed up a custom observation hive that is going to be truck shipped to a Nature Center in Midland, Texas. The hive was made to fit directly in to the wall where a window would normally be. The side with the door will be on the outside of the building and will allow the person responsible for the bees to open the hive to work with the bees when they need to.

I am now working on printing labels. Last week I didn't really have many label orders to do however just today I have gotten in orders for over 3000 labels.

We received over 100 queens this morning and believe it or not...almost all of them have already been sold.

May 1st 2010

Package bee day is going great! It is beautiful out today and we have had a steady stream of beekeepers in all day and for once not everyone showed up all at one time. The package bees are holding up good even with the usually warm weather we are having. As of 1:15 PM we only have 41 packages left out of the 270 that we got in yesterday.

2:45 PM - We are down to 21 packages.

4:25 PM - We are down to 8 packages.

5:10 PM - We only had 5 packages left at the end of the day and only 1 no-show. Bill is installing the remaining packages in the home beesite right now. It was a busy, crazy day but we are very happy with how it went and we want to thank everyone that stopped in to get bees today for their patience and for your patronage. We hope you and your bees all have a Bee-utiful 2010!


Blog Archives:

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Home / Bee-Cam / Main Supplies Page / Woodenware / Foundation
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Click on the mail box to email us or call our toll free 800-233-4273

Content 2010 Draper's Super Bee Apiaries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Logos and Trade names are registered trademarks of their respective companies.

T
he statements on this web site have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

If you have any questions about this website you can contact me directly at: webmaster@draperbee.com
Thank You for coming to our site, and I hope that you enjoyed it!
Royal W. Draper

 

Home / Bee-Cam / Main Supplies Page / Woodenware / Foundation
Protective Gear & Equipment / Extracting Equipment / Misc. Supplies / Pest & Disease Controls
Containers / Custom Printed Labels / Observation Hives / Videos / Used Equipment
Beekeeping books / New Items Package Bees & Queens / Hot Topics / Beginners Kit /
Honeybee Products (honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, etc.)Jukebox /
Ordering
/ Questions and Comments / About Us / Links / Pictures / Games /

mail.gif (1311 bytes)

Click on the mail box to email us or call our toll free 800-233-4273

Content 2010 Draper's Super Bee Apiaries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Logos and Trade names are registered trademarks of their respective companies.

T
he statements on this web site have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

If you have any questions about this website you can contact me directly at: webmaster@draperbee.com
Thank You for coming to our site, and I hope that you enjoyed it!
Royal W. Draper

 

Home / Bee-Cam / Main Supplies Page / Woodenware / Foundation
Protective Gear & Equipment / Extracting Equipment / Misc. Supplies / Pest & Disease Controls
Containers / Custom Printed Labels / Observation Hives / Videos / Used Equipment
Beekeeping books / New Items Package Bees & Queens / Hot Topics / Beginners Kit /
Honeybee Products (honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, etc.)Jukebox /
Ordering
/ Questions and Comments / About Us / Links / Pictures / Games /

mail.gif (1311 bytes)

Click on the mail box to email us or call our toll free 800-233-4273

Content 2010 Draper's Super Bee Apiaries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Logos and Trade names are registered trademarks of their respective companies.

T
he statements on this web site have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

If you have any questions about this website you can contact me directly at: webmaster@draperbee.com
Thank You for coming to our site, and I hope that you enjoyed it!
Royal W. Draper