October Newsletter: Honeybee Democracy, Fall Farmers Markets Update, Video of Our New Apiary
What We Can Learn from Honeybee Democracy: Although the hive has a queen, do not be fooled they are a democracy. Did you know that bees vote?! When a hive swarms, the remaining bees stay behind in the original hive box preparing for the coming of their new queen. The portion of the hive that leaves takes the old queen and usually lands on a nearby branch. They buzz very loudly to make sure everyone lands in one place. Once everyone is one spot, the scout bees act like realtors leaving the swarm to find a new permanent home. The scout bees return to the swarm to report and recruit other scout bees to check out the locations they selected as options for a new home site. If the swarm agrees that a new home cannot be found they will swarm .5 mile to a new spot and the process repeats itself. At the new swarm location, the scout bees will narrow down the potential homes. They will not only recruit scout bees but other bees to check out the location options. The bees vote and they move on to their forever home! You might ask, “What if they don’t agree on a new location? What happens next?” If an agreement cannot be made the hive will start to build comb and make the branch their new home. When this happens, it is usually not a good thing for the hive’s future. Staying on the branch leaves the hive vulnerable to predators and the elements. Two things usually happen; both predators and weather will slowly pick away at the hive until there is nothing left of the hive. The other thing that happens is the weight of the combs or wind/rain will cause the hive’s comb to fall from the branch to their demise. The hive that voted to move into a tree hollow or an abandoned bbq pit has a much better chance of the survival of the present hive and future generations. You may ask, “What does honeybee democracy have to do us?” Register to vote and bee sure to vote. Although there is rarely a perfect fit, vote for the candidate that better fits your beliefs and goals. Not to vote is a decision in itself, that like the hive can leave us vulnerable and can effect future generations.
(Left: A recent swarm in a tree establishing comb. Center and right: Due to resent storms the hive fell to its demise the center photo combs were filled with bee larva. Had they selected a better home the larva could have been the next generation of honey bees.)
We are Starting at Philippi Creek Farmers Market October 7th!
One of the region’s best markets, the Philippi Farmhouse Market, will begin its new season from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at its usual spot at Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The farmers market will be following the CDC guidelines by having multiple hand sanitization stations, vendors spaced out, and everyone encouraged to wear facemasks. The market features over 50 vendors from LOCAL growers and producers. What really makes this market shine is that The Philippi Farmhouse Market require that vendors be the producers and growers of their goods and products. It is the market's mission to promote local agriculture.
An ugly truth of some farmer markets, is that some allow venders to sell products/goods not produced/grown by the vendors. We have seen personal friends that WERE farmers, leave farming because it was too hard to compete with the prices of resale vendors at markets. Resale vendors are those that purchase the produce that large grocery stores rejected at a cheap price and reselling them at farmers market across the country. Customers get warm and fuzzy that they are getting produce from a farmers market, but they are being fooled if they fail to look closely or ask questions...like "Is your company doing the farming/ beekeeping?" "What is your process?" I promise you will not offend the vendor with these questions. Those that are the growers welcome these questions and will not become defensive. It allows for appreciation on the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that it took sometimes to bring our very best to you the consumer. Unfortunately, those that are not in the "know" are really getting grocery store rejects that will go bad sooner. As the old sayings go, "You get what you pay for" and "If its too good to be true it probably is" The true farmers and beekeeper crops may cost more but it will last much longer and is much healthier for you. In the long run a much better investment.
This is not the case with the Philippi Farm House Market. Not only are the vendors true producers, but local to the Suncoast. By supporting local Suncoast producers you are supporting the local Suncoast economy as well. The market features live music, locally grown fruits and vegetables, including local USDA certified organic produce and hydroponics. There will be plants, herbs, hanging baskets, shrubs and cut flowers for sale along with a wide variety of locally baked goods, delicious barbeque, plenty of food and beverage vendors and of course all your favorite Sarasota Honey Company products!
Update on The Market at Lakewood Ranch: We have had A LOT of our customers asking about the Market at
Lakewood Ranch. We are please to learn that market will be starting in November. However, to keep it safe for everyone and to follow CDC guidelines they will most likely be having to cut back on vendors some. We can only assume this was a tough decision for the market to make but the responsible choice. Sarasota Honey Company has submitted our information to the market. We have pledged our commitment to the market for its full duration and willing to do whatever is needed to ensure its success! We hope that we are selected to remain at the market. We love our LWR customers, your loyalty has truly help make it possible for a small business like us to remain and for that we are grateful to you and all our customers! We are crossing our fingers we will see you on Sundays to save you a trip to our store on University Parkway. If selected, we promise special deals at the market to celebrate!!! Bee sure to follow us on facebook for the most up-to-date information.
Check Out our New Apiary at Bee Ridge Presbyterian: We are pleased to announce we have a new apiary at Bee Ridge Presbyterian church located at 4826 Mcintosh Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233. About a year ago, Bee Ridge Presbyterian church expressed an interest in our host a hive program. We put together an outline of what was needed to make it possible to have bees at their location and came to an agreement. What followed completely knock the socks off everyone at Sarasota Honey Company! They put in a pollinator friendly garden with flowers native to Florida, put on a Honey Bee Festival, built an amazing honey bee enclosure, built/decorated all the beehives for the bees, and provided a special service to bless the hives. We delivered our baby beehives to their new home last month and they are thriving. Check out the Youtube video below of Alma installing the hives in our new apiary at Bee Ridge Presbyterian Church! Please be sure to subscribe and share our channel!