August Newsletter: Off Season Hours, Beekeeper Talks and Classes, Honey Report.
Happy Summer everyone! This summer has proven to be hot, humid, and sales have been low. We are aware it is common to experience a dip in sales during the off-season. Our hope is that during the off-season we are at minimum able to
“break-even”. However, this season the store has experienced a significant dip in sales. So much so, that we have determined that we will have to implement off-season hours. Starting this month, we will be closed on Tuesdays. The remainder of the week will remain at the same hours. Once the weekly seasonal markets resume in October, it is our desire to have the store open to the public on Tuesday once again.
Beekeeper Talks and Classes:
Although, we will be closed on Tuesday’s Alma does have a plan in mind. Presently, Alma is working on tweaking some beeswax craft experiences to be indoors instead of outdoors. Crafting with beeswax is filled with so many possibilities – you will never have time to complete them all. Some of the crafts she is working on are dipped candles and 100% beeswax luminaries. One of the most beautiful projects is learning how to make beeswax luminaries or lanterns.
Beeswax luminaries are a special, hand-dipped, 100% beeswax candle holder. They are designed with delicate, decorated with pressed flowers for an elegant addition
to any home. When lit up by a tea light candle, the beeswax globe warms just enough to add a wonderful honey aroma and cozy glow to any room. These unique handmade Beeswax Luminaries make the perfect gift for Thanksgiving, Christmas, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, or really any special occasion. Attendees will be able to create and design their very own luminary. Special considerations will be made for children.
Alma also intends to reach out to other local artisan crafters to possibly bring in other crafting experiences. We are pleased to welcome Dannelle of Drift Theory to offer resin classes. Attendees learn to make resin jewelry or sun caters with pieces of nature such as dried flowers, shells, honey and honey bees that Alma has found in the beeyard/ garden that have lived their life cycle. Our collaborations with Drift Theory have been very well received and book fairly quickly! You can click the button on this page to see our present schedule.
The thought of doing experiences on Tuesdays came about by suggestion from a customer. This way we can ensure better time management and guarantee income is being generated on a Tuesday rather than being in the red. If no-one is registered for a class, then we can dedicate more time to bees or production beyond the store.
Throughout this year we have had calls inquiring about our tours. Damage from Hurricane Ian and the summer heat are just some of the reasons that have delayed us in starting the tours again. Beekeeper Talks was of idea to bring people back to the store. Beekeeper Talks will be an opportunity for the public to learn about bees, taste local honey, and discuss bees and beekeeping. Beekeeper talks will be completely indoors, and people will need to register online. 50% of the price of registration will be returned to you via store credit. We have found that we have to charge a fee to ensure that people show up. We quickly learned this lesson when we were offering free registration to our past tour. People were registering and not showing up. We found ourselves turning away people that were showing up but not registered out of respect that those that did registered… hoping they were just running late. Beekeeper talks will be held two Saturdays a month at 4:30pm. Space is limited. Mini FYI: Our final Intro and Intermediate beekeeping seminars for the 2023 season will be held September 23rd and 30th. You can register by clicking the button below:
Honey and Bee Report:
We were blessed to have a harvest in May! The early summer honey turned out to be a very sweet and light honey. Absolutely delicious on chilled fruit or ice cream. As summer has progressed the bees are looking better but the honey harvest is seeing a bit of a struggle due to the lack of rain. No rain, no nectar, No Honey.
Although many flowers are blooming it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have nectar. Bees need water to make the wax needed to mark the honey ready for harvest. When the bees have successfully converted the nectar to honey they will seal the honey with a layer of beeswax. This is how the beekeeper knows that the honey is ready for harvest. If the honey is harvested before the bees seal the combs the honey will ferment and spoil. True honey will never spoil. Due to the lack of rain we are finding that our bees do not have the resources to create the wax needed to seal the combs. We are also seeing that bees are bringing in less nectar. We are considering feeding the bees honey water to help give them some of the resources they need to seal those combs without compromising quality. Honey storage is starting to get low again and the honey bank is currently empty. (Whenever we have a surplus of honey left for a season, the surplus is put in our honey bank) Many years of reserved honey was used to keep us in business in after the orange blossom flop of 2022/2023 and the fall harvest flop due to hurricane Ian. We may have to ration the honey at the markets again until the next harvest.
The bees also need water for drinking and to make beehive air conditioning. Water carrier bees are honey bees that during their life cycle have the job of collecting water for the hive. They bring the water back to the hive to give to the baby bees, teenager bees, the queen and her attendants. The water carrier bees will also work with the fanning bees to create beehive air conditioning. The fanning bees main job is to fan the nectar to draw out the moisture to convert it to honey. However, during times of extreme heat, the fanning bees and water carrier bees with create a mist to cool the hive to comfortable living conditions for everyone.
We have increased the water supply in all of our bee yards. We are noticing that the bees and overall wildlife are drinking up twice the amount of water. We are encouraging everyone to put out bird baths or containers with water in rocks or marbles. The rocks give a safe landing spot for them to land without the risk of drowning. Below are some ideas for a honey bee watering station. Thank you for doing this to help our precious little honey bees out!