Category Archives: Beekeeping

A Honey of a Day

Honey Gifts for Everyone

Honey Gifts for Everyone

It was a day of sweetness and friends. A bee-utiful education combined with ice cream sundaes and honey. The opportunity to learn more about the environment we live in.

Jim (my husband) and Michelene (my daughter) officially launched their bee business last evening. They hosted their first Honey Party as “Beefuddled Farms,” a name Jim chose a few years ago when he entertained the idea of creating a business out of his hobby.

Michelene Share Her Bee Knowledge

Michelene Shares Her Bee Knowledge

Michelene joined Jim in his bee business almost from the beginning. They learned together what it takes to make a hive from frames and bees. The hard lessons, like losing bees over a very cold winter, have also been part of the education. They have perservered. Two years ago they had to replace almost every hive they had but they did it. They used their experience to manifest a greater success for their bees.

There was finally enough surplus honey to host this bee party. Everyone paid a small admission to come and the reward was a Beefuddled Farms honey sample. There was also ice cream sundaes with teddy graham cookies and honey. In celebration of this event I made homemade lotion from extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, our own beeswax and lavender oil. I sold nearly every jar.

Some Serious Spinning!

Some Serious Spinning!

I have to say I learned a few things I didn’t know about bees. If you spray your lawn with pesticides, you are not helping the bees (how did I not realize this?). Planting bee friendly flowers and even a vegetable garden gives the bees something to pollinate. I know this for a fact. The flowers in our yard and the vegetables in our garden are lush and healthy.

You have to follow your own local ordinaces if you’re thinking of having bees. If you can’t have them where you live, consider purchasing honey from your local farmer’s market. There is a big difference in taste from supermarket honey to local raw honey. Not only does it taste better, but you are giving yourself immunities to local pollen. Just remember, no raw honey for children under two years of age.

There should be a Beefuddled website up soon. For now, follow Jim and Michelene on their honey adventures on Instagram at @BeefuddledFarms. If you’re on Facebook they’re at Facebook.com/BeefuddledFarms.

Thank You for the Beautiful Weather

Thank You for the Beautiful Weather!

 

Jim Scrapes the Frames. The Screened In Area Kept Bees at Bay

Jim Scrapes the Frames. The Screened In Area Kept Bees at Bay.

 

Scraping the Comb. Photo by Kris Hughes

Scraping the Comb. Photo by Kris Hughes.

 

The Sweet Honey. Photo by Kris Hughes.

The Sweet Honey. Photo by Kris Hughes.

 

After the Scraping, This is the Honeycomb. Jim Melts this into Beeswax.

After the Scraping, This is the Honeycomb. Jim Melts this into Beeswax.

 

Lotion on the Left, Extra Honey in the Middle, Gifts on the Right.

Lotion on the Left, Extra Honey in the Middle, Gifts on the Right.

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.”
Henry David Thoreau

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Ah…..Summer!

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“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”  Ray Bradbury

There are flowers everywhere in my yard, and I am just loving it.

Our honeybees are pollinating the roses, larkspur, daisies, sweet peas, pansies, AND…there are green tomatoes in the garden! The tomato flowers are multiplying each day, as if by magic.

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Ah….summer…..

Yes, it is finally summer in Pennsylvania. The sun is up early, around 5:30am, making its presence known through the (supposedly) room darkening shades in my bedroom. I don’t mind one bit, being wakened by the morning light….

It’s as if summer beckons me to rise, get up, come, let Jordan out, and enjoy my morning cup of coffee in the back yard. I usually give in.

There is so much grace in summertime. Summer invites me to relax, unwind, rest and reflect. Also to make some plans for this fall (wink wink), which I am working on and will tell you about soon.

Here are some other summertime graces I’m in love with:

The birds are singing early in the morning, their chorus loud, clear and happy.

The grass is so lush and green and filled with clover.

Fifteen hours of daylight is almost sinful, decadent and oh so awesome.

DSC_0022The chickens are loving the warm weather, the freedom to move about and scratch the ground for delicious bugs.

I can hear dogs barking and kids playing while I open the windows to the evening’s cool breeze.

The lightning bugs are like tiny twinkle lights when they light up my field at night (blink blink blink).

Thank goodness it’s only June. Many more days of summertime grace to enjoy.

Thank you to my daughter Michelene for these beautiful photos!

Are you in summertime? If so, what graces are you enjoying?

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The Honey Party

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The day started out a bit overcast but before you knew it the sun was out in full and warming the day. As Jim prepared the yard with tables and chairs, I drizzled goat cheese with reserve honey and sprinkled it with chopped walnuts. Then I set plates, silverware, cups and drinks on the counter. The salads I had prepared were ready in the fridge, the guests were pulling up the driveway….

What I didn’t realize was the true number of people we had invited to our first Honey Party. In our excitement, Jim and I each kept inviting more and more guests, not really keeping track of how many we had invited! So when 4:15pm rolled around, the cars and guests and children began to arrive. More and more but oh well! How exciting!

DSC_0051First, Jim gathered the children around and gave a lesson on bees, honeycomb and honey. Then he donned his beekeeper outfit and along with our nephew Jake, pulled six frames from our two year old hive. Then the frames were carefully loaded into the spinner and the children each lined up for a turn at the crank.

Around and around the frames went. Soon there was honey dripping from the bottom of the spinner! It was the color of light sunshine and the taste was unbelievable. Sweet and mellow, it was the end result of the spring flowers the bees had been feasting on for the last couple of months.

DSC_0065As our guests munched on grilled hotdogs and lots of fun food contributions, the spinning went on for another hour or so. Finally the reward for all that cranking. Bowls of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with fresh honey, strawberries, whipped cream and little honey bear grahams were assembled on the outside picnic table. The kids licked their spoons and pronounced honey and ice cream their new favorite.

Best of all, my mom was present for this momentous occasion. She greeted old friends and even made a few new ones. Aunt Joy made a favorite dessert of mom’s that included pistachios and whipped cream. It was indeed a blessing to have mom participate in this wonderful day of love and friendship.

As Jim and I climbed wearily into bed that night, we remarked on what a beautiful day it had been. Many more people showed up than we expected but secretly, we loved this. The real show stoppers that day though were the bees themselves. Their honey was amazing.

Thanks to my daughter Michelene for the great pictures!

Liquid Gold!

Liquid Gold!

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