There’s really not much down time in commercial beekeeping – although we’re done with pulling and extracting honey, we don’t sit around twiddling our thumbs until it’s time for pollination, shaking, splitting, and requeening.  There is wax to melt, equipment to build and repair, retail orders to bottle, candles to pour and package, industry meetings to attend, inventory to take, honey to deliver to landowners … the list seems endless at times.

But the waning sunlight does mean that we tend to quit closer to 5pm than to 9pm, and that means time to clean up the books, polish up the website, tend to the blog, and open the mail.  Our friend Marc Ankenbauer sent us a CD of awesome photographs he took during our 2nd Annual 4th of July Parade & Potluck, and we finally had a moment to sit down and review them — with absolute delight.

Marc is a neat guy, and one of those friends that keeps popping up in our lives.  I memorably ran into Marc on a remarkable September evening at the foot of Glenn’s Lake, years ago, riding out a soaking rain/snow storm under a tarp in a backcountry campground, playing cards and drinking whiskey with mutual friends.  But I didn’t know until Marc mailed us the fabulous CD of pictures that he is on a one man, ten years in the making, mission to be the first person to jump into every last one of Glacier National Park’s named lakes — there are 168 of these frigid, remote beauties, and Marc only has 12 to go!

Why in the world is Marc doing this?  Well, in addition to being an adventurer — a recent check of his blog reveals that he’s accepted winter employment in Antartica! — Marc is survivor of youth cancer, and has a heart of gold to boot.  He’s  raising money via his Glacier Explorer project to benefit Camp Mak-A-Dream, giving kids and young adults with cancer a medically supervised once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Montana wilderness.  That’s pretty darn cool.  He’s a little over half way to his goal, and you can donate, and check out his fun blog detailing his jumps, here.

Marc — above — took so many fabulous photographs of our 4th of July festivities that we’re going to devote several days to recapping the 4th – enjoy!  And remember, only eight months till July, and the next Parade – y’all should join us!

Glacier County Honey Co. decided to decorate the forklift basket, in hopes of finding bikini-ed gals along Duck Lake who wanted to dance in it.

You’ll have to check back tomorrow to find out if that mission was successful.

So happy to see Canadian-born, dual-citizenship-holding, Honeydew carrying THE flag around our parking lot!  What a great shot of him.

There was a lot of decorating in the hour leading up to the parade.  Here, Neil and Chuck got the approaching-senility-1987-Chevy-Cavalier looking snappy!

JC borrowed Chuck’s 4 wheeler, and it never looked finer.

Duck Lake, where we live just east of Babb, boasts a large number of Canadian residents, and their enthusiasm for our 4th of July Parade (held just after Canada Day on July 1), was refreshing and … adorable.

Once all the floats were decorated, and stocked …

and hitched to whatever was pulling them, if they were being pulled …

and all the last minute costume adjustments made …


it was time to crown Miss Duck Lake!  Maggie Rose took the honors for the 2nd year running.

Our awesome Canadian neighbors, the Shillidays, boast a former Mrs. Calgary in their ranks, and as Royalty we believe that she had the power to so crown Maggie Rose.  That’s Grandpa Shilliday’s rig, above.  So cool.

Quite a crowd gathered at Glacier County Honey World Headquarters in anticipation of the parade.

And when the parking lot was full, Brother Dear busted out his megaphone and got us moving in the right direction.

Once we had a horse and lady up front — that’s Miss Emily Williams, and her trusty steed, Bullet — we were ready to parade!

And away we went, heading south down West Shore Road … pictures of the parade itself to follow!

Marc, thank you.  These pictures are priceless.  If you’re lovin’ ‘em, maybe consider making a donation for Marc’s cause?  Here’s the link!

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.    All photo credits to Marc Ankenbauer.  All Rights Reserved.

Working for Glacier County Honey Co. is not your average employment.  We’ve got no place to put you and we’re going to ask you to work insane hours, 6-7 days per week, in the height of honey season, i.e. right now.  We’ve got one employee — California boy Keith — shacked up in our camper in front of the Warehome, and another — Virginia gentleman Neil — crashed out on the spare bed in our office, when there are a few hours to devote to anything other than working and playing in the Montana sunshine.

Since we’re all piled in on top of each other, working together, eating together, folding laundry together, arguing about Deadliest Catch together, and scraping stingers out of each other’s scalps, Honeydew and I try to hold a few employee appreciation days every summer.  They’re good for everyone’s morale, including ours.

Yesterday was Darling Brother-in-Law’s (DBIL) last night with us — he’s been up here for about 10 days, helping us pull honey, change brake pads, chicken fry elk steaks, and in general, doing what needs to be done.  Honeydew and I are both lucky to have such helpful, wonderful families.  At any rate, we wanted to give DBIL a big send off, and that turned into an Employee Appreciation Day.  We decided to waterski the canal, and enjoy Twistas and steaks at Two Sisters, our go-to favorite near Babb.

Have you ever tried to waterski behind a pickup down a canal?
Because, you know, when living on the border of Glacier National Park in late August, what else does one do after work?

Well, Keith — below — picked it up with no problem, and enjoyed the views of Glacier, to boot!

Honeydew popped off a cheeky wave as he zipped past the cheering section:

DBIL completed the triumphant triumvirate of skiiers:

Pseudo Sista, Brother Dear, Neil, Maggie Rose and I could not be persuaded to try it, but there’s always next time.

Thanks to everyone pulling honey, extracting honey, keeping babies, cooking burgers, and in general make harvest happen for us with enough time for the occasional foray down the canal … we appreciate you!

Not pictured: our awesome parents – Charlie & Nancy Stone; Bob Fullerton; Sarah Evitts – who’ve kept Maggie Rose happy all summer long so that we can work.  THANK YOU!

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

Greg, Courtney, and Maggie Rose Fullerton invite you to join them at Glacier County Honey World Headquarters, near Babb, Montana, on Saturday, August 11, 2012, to tour the Warehome, meet the bees, and fill your own Mason jar/honey pot/5 gallon bucket with the best honey you’ve never tasted!

We’ll weigh your container empty, and then we’ll weigh it again when it’s full – if you have under 20# of honey, you’ll pay $2.65/#.  If you have over 20# of honey, you’ll pay $2.45/#.  Limit 60# per person.  Cash or checks only, please.  And since we’ll be in the midst of harvesting honey, however much you take home with you will be about as fresh as it gets. Mmmm, mmmm, good!  Not to mention a screaming deal.

We use 55 gallon drums as our own “buckets.”

We’ll be open from 8am-5pm, so if you’re on way to Glacier National Park for a day of play, just stop by.  We’re an easy 30 minutes on Hwy 464 from Browning, or 15 minutes from St. Mary/Going to the Sun Road.  After you’ve filled your buckets, continue on another 20 minutes or so to Many Glacier or St. Mary for fun in the park!

Not into hiking and wildlife gawking?  Eating in the area is pretty great, too.  Grab a whiskey at Duck Lake Lodge, or maybe a refreshing Twista at Two Sisters, a burrito at Thronson’s, a piece of coconut cream pie at Park Cafe, or homemade soup at Johnson’s.

Like architecture?  Three of the Park’s historic lodges are located within an hour of World Headquarters: Glacier Park Lodge, Prince of Wales Hotel, and Many Glacier Hotel (home of The Best Porch in the World).  Stunning.  If you’d like to see what Courtney thinks is the prettiest building on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, go inside the Babb Bar Cattle Baron Supper Club in Babb and tour the beautiful history of the Blackfeet painted on the interior walls.

We know that the 49th parallel is far removed from most of you, but you all know it requires a yearly pilmigrage.  We hope you’ll make Glacier County Honey a part of your day, too.

Questions?  Email us: courtney (at) glaciercountyhoney (dot) com or call 406-544-2818.

Directions?  We are located at 71 W. Shore Rd, Duck Lake, just east of Babb, Montana.  Don’t rely on Mapquest, etc, to get you here.  On Hwy 464/Duck Lake Road, turn onto West Shore Road between mile markers 30 and 31.  West Shore Road is an umarked, but heavily used gravel road that has a stop sign for traffic entering 464.  Continue down this dirt road until you cross a cattle gate.  Take your first left past the cattle gate at the Glacier County Honey sign.  Welcome to World Headquarters!

And remember, cash or checks only, please!  We are not set up to take credit cards at World Headquarters.

We hope to see you and your buckets on August 11!

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

Announcement: we’ve extended the time to use the established customer discount code!  If you’ve got it, use it by midnight PST, Monday, December 5!  If you’ve lost it, email courtney@glaciercountyhoney.com

With the inconsistency of my late blogging, I’m surprised I have any readers left!  We are in the thick of the Holiday Rush, and I am loving it – I’ve been preparing for it all year, trying to add the right items and prepare the proper amount of stock.  It’s fun to see where I was right, and where I was wrong.

Thankfully, the start of the Holiday Rush coincides with The End of Hunting Season, which means that Honeydew is available and happy to hang out with the Maggles while I filter beeswax, tie raffia bows, and label honey.

Here are a few snapshots of what we’ve been up to around here lately … and hang in there in you’re a blog reader who enjoys actually reading … I’ll be back soon!

Maggie and Roy supervising me pouring candles.

Scrabble obsession continues, with Brother Dear and Honeydew.  Who knew “vapored” is a word?

Dressing Maggie up in her Frye boots for a birthday party.  I want a pair of Frye boots!

Ready to process beeswax ornaments and candles.

Dressing Maggie up in her Buggy Boos Christmas shirt.

Shipping the very last load of honey.

Dressing Maggie up in her camouflage, to celebrate the End of Hunting Season!

Watching Brother Dear and Honeydew unload a set of snowmachines – we’ve got enough of the fluffy stuff to run ‘em, finally!

Playtime with Pseudo Sista.

Maggie Rose modeling her first — of many — snowsuit.

Duck Lake and Glacier National Park.  Take me home, country roads.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

When wearing my Honey-Bottler-and-Beeswax-Crafter-In-Chief Hat, I love making our 100% beeswax ornaments more than anything else.  How many of your ornaments are 100% natural and made from a renewable resource that smells like sunshine and honey?  Hmmm.  I thought so.

Early in the morning, in the quiet cool of what we call the Beeswax Room, I flip the switch on my portable burners, and set the golden wax to melting over a double boiler.  In an hour, the scent of summer fills the room, and I prepare the molds to receive ornaments for decorating, blocks for almost anything, and candles for lighting.

We offer a wide variety of ornaments, with more to come, but the ones that Don Grant, an artist and great friend of ours from Great Falls, recently crafted molds for, are my favorite ones of all.  While we’re not the only beekeepers who offer beeswax ornaments for sale, you can only find this particular set of eight ornaments at Glacier County Honey Co.  They’re significantly bigger than any other ornaments I’ve ever seen for sale, and I think they will be an incredible accent to your tree, chandelier, or topiary.

What do y’all think?

Tree.

Large grizzly bear track.

Small grizzly track.

Glacier National Park, with the Many Glacier and Going-to-the-Sun roads beautifully etched into the ornament.  Logan Pass is marked with a star.

Montana, with Glacier National Park marked with a star.

Montana, with Yellowstone National Park marked with a star.

Montana, with Babb marked with a star.  Dare I say these are one of a kind?  I’ve never seen a Babb ornament before!

And my favorite, a skep (old fashioned bee hive), proudly bearing the Glacier County Honey name.

Click over to www.glaciercountyhoney.com to get your orders in now – and if you enter EARLYBIRD in the comment box, I’ll refund you 10% of your total order.  And yes, that applies to anything you order, not just these new ornaments, as long as you have at least one Don Grant Collectible ornament in your order.  Offer ends at midnight mountain time, Wednesday, November 2, 2011.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

When I went to the Post Office on Monday, the lovely ladies who are filling in between the retirement of our old postmaster, darling neighbor Steve, and the eventual hiring of the new postmaster, were up to their necks in sheer chaos.  Though you might think that the Babb post office would be a sleepy, rural post office threatened by the deficit chopping block, you would be wrong.  Babb’s proximity to the border means that legions of Canadians keep post office boxes in Babb, to enjoy cheap shipping from Amazon.com and the like.  The Babb post office can be an insanely busy place, and Monday was no exception.

The credit card machine was down and the lovely ladies were trying to install and learn to run the new retail system, which I imagine everyone reading this blog has been used to for years, i.e. the computerized post office where all packages are scanned and you get an itemized receipt at the end of your exchange.  We have not had this until recently.  Anyway, pandemonium, and here I come staggering in the door with four 35# buckets of honey, along with three 12# buckets and about 15 boxes for Priority Flat Rate shipment.  I needed insurance, I needed delivery confirmation, I needed a roll of regular stamps, I needed postcard stamps, I needed a second window. Long story short: I was in there for about 45 minutes, as the line of Canadians snaked ever further out the door.

At the end of my visit, I headed for the door, and the sweet interim postmaster suddenly yelled out, “Honey lady, wait!  You’ve got a package.”  And so I once again returned to the head of the very long line of Canadians already irate with me for having such a prolonged, complicated transaction.  And the nice postmaster handed me a mysterious package, with a return address I did not recognize.

Returning to my car, I immediately began ripping into this package, and unearthed four of the most beautiful jars of hot pepper sauce I have ever seen.

Turns out, a blog reader who once was Brother Dear’s youth soccer coach, is a gourmand who puts up his own pepper sauce, and he read of my infatuation with the peppy condiment, and sent me a treat in the mail.

Kevin Reed, thank you so very much.  You made my day, along with reason #1,234,567 I love the internets.

Now, y’all better gitchu some pepper sauce, too.  But I bet it won’t be nearly as pretty – or tasty – as the sauce currently serving as the fall centerpiece for my dining room table!  Thanks again, Kevin!

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

A baby.

Near Babb.

Wearing only her diaper.

Have I mentioned how much I’m loving this summer weather?  After a winter highlighted (lowlighted?) by -40 temps and winds howling at 114MPH, I am soaking up every drop of warmth.  July, please don’t go.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

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