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Archives: November - December 2009

December 31st, 2009

It's snowing here this morning...wish we would of had this for Christmas!

I loaded our delivery van this morning, answered some emails and now I'm going home to get ready for partying tonight! It's a Blue Moon tonight - so everyone be careful!

We wish you all a Wonderful New Year! See you in 2010!

December 30th, 2009

I had a busy day...I cut the last of our comb honey up. I was able to pack 80 pieces of cut comb and 4 cases of chunk honey. That will be the end of the comb honey until next season. The earliest we will see more comb honey is if we can get some from Florida in the spring, if we don't get it then, we won't have any until August.

We have gotten in quite a few orders for package bees this week. We expect sales to speed up as we get in to the new year.

December 29th, 2009

I hope everyone had a Bee-utiful Christmas!

It's very cold here today - only 8 F this morning and the wind is really blowing.

I was looking at our observation hive with a customer and saw the queen laying eggs. The queen will sometimes do that, however the worker bees normally will cannibalize the developing larvae this time of year.

We got in our 61 drums of honey on a flat-bed truck Monday. It has all been lot numbered and is now sitting in the warehouse.

I have been working on transcribing my grandfather's book and hope to post up the first part of it next month.

December 23rd, 2009

You guessed it...still working on the inventory. I'm hoping to have it done tomorrow which would be fantastic...that way I don't have to think about it during Christmas vacation!

We did bottle some Clover honey this morning which means I can start counting the honey inventory now...yeah!

My spirits have been lifted by the beautiful sunshine outside today...although it would be nice to have a little fresh snow for Christmas.

One other note: We will only be working until 12:00 PM tomorrow the 24th. I will most likely not be posting anything until next week so I wish everyone a Blessed Christmas!

December 22nd, 2009

I'm still working on inventory - takes way too long! When I get done counting everything then I have to enter it all in the computer...don't think I'll be done until after Christmas.

61 drums of honey are now on their way to us from the Mid-West. We expect them to arrive next week sometime. I'm sure we will be bottling this honey like crazy as we get into the new year.

December 19th, 2009

It's been a busy day today. I have continued to work on the inventory in between phone calls and walk-in customers.

My grandfather had written a book called "You Can Gross a Million Dollars" back in the 1980's. We had lost our only copy of that book years ago, but fortunate for us, a local person that had a copy dropped it off to us last week. I think it would be interesting to post it up here on the blog. It will take me some time to get it all typed - I will start on it as soon as I get done with the inventory.

December 18th, 2009

We bottled some Alfalfa honey this morning. After we finished that I went back to working on doing inventory...fun...NOT!

We did talk with a beekeeper in the Midwest yesterday and we will be purchasing a tractor trailer load of honey from him. Which is great news for us since our local production was down this year.

I worked late last night on our computer problem - I expect to have everything updated and back online sometime this weekend.

December 17th, 2009

8:30 AM - Bill's surgery went well yesterday and in fact he is here at work today.

It is very cold and windy here today - only 19 degrees when I came in this morning.

2:00 PM - It figures! The coldest day this week and I have to be out in the warehouse doing inventory...burr!

December 15th, 2009

I had a crazy weekend - I had a computer crash so I worked all weekend on installing a new computer, in fact, I was up until 2:00 AM Saturday night...well Sunday morning. I figured that it would be easier install a new machine that way I would have more time to repair the old one. The new one came loaded with Window 7 and I have to say that I think they finally got it right - so far I really like what I'm seeing!

Bill will be having knee surgery tomorrow morning so he will not be available for at least a couple of days. I'll let everyone know how he did when I find out tomorrow.

December 11th, 2009

9:20 AM - It's very cold out this morning - was 9 degrees when I got up this morning.

I had to unload some empty glass jars and honey off of a tractor trailer first thing this morning - even the pallet jack didn't want to work in this cold!

When I came in where our observation hives are located this morning I could tell that the bees don't like the cold either. They have all started heading up and away from the entrance of the hive to stay warm.

December 10th, 2009

Been busy with all the stuff that has to get done before the new year gets here.

Today I have been working on packing Honeystixs. We also got a load of Alfalfa honey in this afternoon.

It is very cold and windy today but at least the sun is shining! Tonight temperatures are supposed to drop into the teens...good night to sleep by the woodstove.

We are still getting honey supers in from local beekeepers to extract. Some of it is too crystallized to spin out. The only thing we can do is send it back with the beekeepers or break out the combs and melt it down. It seems that we weren't the only ones behind on pulling honey this year!

3:30 PM - I had to change 2 tires on our delivery van this afternoon. I wanted to get as many miles out of the old ones as I could before putting the new ones on and I have to say that we did pretty good - got 87,000 miles out of that set of tires.

December 8th, 2009

Update on Tom Smith...he did have a stroke but it wasn't disabling; he came home today and seems to be doing ok.

I have spent most of my day printing custom honey labels and answering emails. It's been a slow day as far as customers go - we only had one person all day long. We fortunately had plenty of shipped orders to do.

Looks like we have some severe weather heading our way tonight...hope we don't lose power; we have a tank full of honey warming up tonight so we can bottle it in the morning.

December 4th, 2009

It's not been a real good day - we are renting my grandfather's house to a very nice couple - Tom & Betty Smith - and this afternoon Tom had a stroke. He is in Saint Joseph's Hospital in Elmira, NY and we don't know yet what his condition is.

I have been working all over the place today. I started this morning packing up propolis powder and it is a very messy job. I have finally gotten smart and bought a respirator - the propolis powder is really hard on my lungs. Then I had to drive to Mansfield, PA to pick up 10 bulk cases of the plastic honey bee containers. Our U.P.S. driver called me to ask if we could pick up the cases in Mansfield, out of their trailer, because she didn't think that they would fit on the truck and boy was she right - the 10 cases filled our van full. After I unloaded the van - I changed the oil and did a general inspection of the van. Next week it will be heading to the Philadelphia and the surrounding area. I then packed up a bunch of our 17 flavor Honeystix packs.

Crazy Day!

December 3rd, 2009

Didn't get a chance to post yesterday. I was busy working on cut comb and chunk honey. I didn't even get home until 9:30 PM last night. The orders for comb honey have been coming in like crazy...I expect this is because there was very little comb honey produced...anywhere. The bad news is that because of all the sales we will be running out of comb honey ourselves very soon.

Believe it or not - it is warm enough out this morning that I have seen bees flying around in between the rain showers. I wonder if we will have snow for Christmas??? I don't like shoveling but it is nice to have a little snow for Christmas.

December 1st, 2009

Hope everyone had a Great Thanksgiving!

We just got in a load of used extracting and bottling equipment and I have been working on inventorying, taking pictures of and measuring all of the items. The equipment is in beautiful condition and some items have never been used. So if anyone out there is looking for some high quality equipment make sure you check it out. The items are posted on our Used Items page.

I feel bad for all the hunters out yesterday. The rain and wind sure makes it hard to enjoy hunting. I went out in the morning and put on a "drive" for my father...but he didn't get anything. Maybe we will get out later this week and try again.

November 25th, 2009

We have had a busy week. We finished cleaning up and painting and everything is looking good! I have had a couple of tours this week and we did bottle a tank of Orange Blossom honey.

I wrote a little Thanksgiving poem that I thought I would share:

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to get together,
to travel near or far through all kinds of weather.

To eat some turkey and stuffing and oh those pies,
even though we know it will add girth to our thighs.

Today you may think that you are svelte,
but after tomorrow you will have to loosen your belt!

By: Royal Draper

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21st, 2009

I have had plenty of customers and orders to pack up to be shipped to keep me busy today. I also put a second coat on that bad spot on the floor that I was working on yesterday.

Good Luck to everyone that we be hunting on Monday!

November 20th, 2009

I have been working on patching a bad spot on the concrete floor today as well as servicing the delivery van like I have to every week.

Not much else to report except it's my daughter's 17th birthday today and my 5 year old daughter lost her first tooth this morning. I've been practicing being the tooth fairy all day...lol!

November 19th, 2009

10:20 AM - We are still cleaning up this morning. We have our final honey production numbers for this year. Although not a bumper crop with all the rain we have had, we were happy with what we got...we averaged 65.3 lbs. of honey from each hive for a total of 14,300 lbs.

4:50 PM - I have been helping with the clean up today and we are nearly done now. It will be great to be finished before the holidays!

November 18th, 2009

The big clean up has begun! Although I did have to cut and package some cut comb honey today to fill orders. After I finished that I helped out on the clean up...I feel and look like a drowned rat. The humidity in that room is almost unbearable and I sure can't wear my glasses when I'm hosing. We have at least another day of clean up and then we will begin doing any repairs and or painting that is needed.

We should have our final production numbers ready by the end of the week.

The weather is still unbelievable nice and the bees were out once again, I even picked a dandelion today.

November 17th, 2009

Al is going to be finishing the extracting this afternoon...yeah! Tomorrow the clean up begins...although I need to work in the extracting room tomorrow cutting cut comb for orders, so Al will have to clean around me and then finish it up on Thursday. We will use thousands of gallons of hot water to clean up all the stickiness. It's a good thing I just purchased some new water proof boots!

It has continued to be unseasonably warm and we are all loving it! The only draw back is that there has been a lot of bee activity around the buildings...the bees smell the freshly extracted supers in the warehouse and are trying to get in to collect some free honey...can't say I blame them.

November 13th, 2009

It has been nice and sunny all day here and the bees are even flying around some.

I spent the majority of my day working on vehicles. I put new very aggressive tires on the truck...in preparation to do a lot of snow plowing this winter, I even put the plow hook up back on the truck. I'm hoping because I did all this work that we won't need it...but I have a feeling that we are going to have more then a little snow this winter. Archie got back today from making deliveries in the New York City area, so I got his van serviced. He picked up a pallet of empty 5 gallon pails which we unloaded and put up in the barn.

I am now working on getting the 2010 delivery schedules made up for all of our wholesale customers. It seems like I just did this...man this year went by fast!

November 12th, 2009

I worked in the office this morning, fixed an oil leak in our New Holland skid steer and then spent most of the afternoon cleaning up our bee truck. It's amazing how messy it gets in a year of working the bee hives. Not only is everything sticky, but because we can't help but get lots of bees in the truck with us after working the hives, there was a mountain of dead bees in every corner and so much bee poop on the windows that I had to use a razor blade to clean it all off...yuk!

Al has been extracting all day and I would guess that he will be finished extracting sometime next week.

The weather was beautiful today - sunny and not too cold...but cold enough that I didn't see a single bee flying around.

November 11th, 2009

We have been very busy the last few days. Today we finished pulling honey supers...finally! It was a beautiful day to do it and we are all happy that it is done. I remembered to take the camera with me so here are a few pictures.

This picture is one of the bee sites just as we got there. My son and I were in another vehicle parked by the road...Bill and Al were in the truck.

The picture below was taken before we pulled any supers off...obviously. You can see Al after he turned off the electric fence. Also notice the dump truck going by in the background...just up the road they are getting ready to drill for natural gas. We kind of like the fact that they are working up here as the road was nothing but a tractor trail before they started and now the road is nicer then most of the dirt roads around here. Must be they aren't afraid of the bees as they dropped off an entire load of plastic on rolls right next to the hives.

Pictured below from left to right - Bill Draper, Collin Draper and Allen Mast, of course I took the picture. We removed the extra honey from the hives and then medicated the hives.

Pictured below is the site all ready for the winter. We try to leave enough honey on the hives for them to get through an average winter. Some of the hives are only two boxes high and some are three high. The three high hives usually have a lot more bees and may be some what light weight in the bottom super.

Now we have to finish extracting and then pray that the bees survive the winter!

November 6th, 2009

We are now taking orders for Italian Package Bees and Queens for the spring of 2010. You can order by clicking here.

I have been working on vehicle maintenance this morning. Trying to get things ready for the upcoming winter and I have a feeling that it is going to be a long cold winter.

November 5th, 2009

Still not feeling all that great...but there is too much to get done to sit at home. Al continued extracting today while I worked on cut comb honey and chunk honey to fill orders. I'll bet that we will be sold out of comb honey by Christmas...not a good year for comb honey production!

November 4th, 2009

We didn't make it out today either. We had a load of Orange Blossom honey come in, plus 3 custom orders that we had to bottle honey for...not only that there is all kind of things going on that has taken people away form work so we are short handed. I helped bottle the honey this morning then I color graded the Orange Blossom honey, hosed the drums off, then stored it in the warehouse.

Al has been extracting the honey we brought in last week. It's really a good thing that we haven't brought in more honey because we were running out of room anyway in the honey house. Al has gotten enough done that we now have enough room to fit the rest of our supers in there...whenever we get to them.

I unfortunately have come down with something...I hesitate to call it the Swine Flu yet, but I did have a fever last night and one heck of a headache most of the day. My youngest daughter and my son both have it also. I believe that my daughter brought it home from Kindergarten because she has had it since last weekend. I have upped my propolis, zinc and Vitamin C intake so hopefully it doesn't last long...can't afford to be sick this time of year!

November 3rd, 2009

10:50 AM - We hope to get out and finish bringing in honey this week. So far today I have been working in the office on custom label orders and replying to email questions.

2:30 PM - Still working in the office. It doesn't look like we are going to get out to the bee yards today. Al has started extracting our own honey and so far it is all very light colored. I haven't tasted any yet...well I might as well go over and try some right now...O good stuff...just a nice blend of local honeys.

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