September 2011

Last year, Glacier County Honey Co. exhibited at the NorthWest Honey Festival.  While we were showing off our gorgeous water white honey and golden beeswax, Mama — a former journalist — got to chatting with a friendly reporter covering the festival.  Long story short – being the lovely Southern lady she is, Mama invited said reporter to come on up to Babb and take a peek at our bees and the crazy life we lead on the 49th parallel.

Well, he — Cecil Hicks — took her up on the offer, and a few weeks after Maggie Rose and the bees joined us for the summer, Cecil came to write a leetle story about Glacier County Honey for the American Bee Journal.  Or, we thought it would be a leetle story.  As in possibly a quarter of a side bar, waaaaayyyy towards the back.

Imagine our surprise when we went to the post office this week.


Guess who is insufferable this week?

Yep.  That husband of mine has been a mighty fine pain in the rear for the last day or so.

I kid.  We’re all getting a pretty large kick out having him — and the Green Bay Packers supers Darling Summer Help 2010 painted us as a parting “gift” — on the cover of what we consider the premier beekeeping publication.

I look blonde.  Weird.

Anyway.  The article is far more than we ever dreamed of.

And on it goes …

Not gonna lie, I’m liking watching the stats on our website and our blog shatter every record we ever set, and I’m really loving watching the orders pour into my in-box.

To all of our new readers: thank you so much for your support, and your many kind words on the article in the ABJ.  We appreciate you more than you know!

And to all of our old readers: thank you so much for being with us, through the beekeeping, the babies, and the babbling, every step of the way.  We hope you’re enjoying the ride as much as we are.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.


At the end of each extracting day in August and September, I combed the beeswax from my hair, scrubbed the honey off my knees, and promised myself a season’s end treat: a new phone.

Season ended, and I waffled about the decision.  I’ve been a Blackberry girl forever, and it’s been the trick for monitoring Glacier County Honey orders and business correspondence.

But for the last two summers, our Darling Summer Help have been in possession of iPhones.  Once I saw the quality of pictures that these gizmos take, I was fascinated.  Near-daily-blogging is much more enjoyable for me — and, I imagine, y’all — with a constant supply of new pictures.  Added to the iPhone’s quality-picture-taking ability: fabulously easy blogging apps, a Magic 8 Ball for assisting with life’s tougher decisions, and Words with Friends (i.e. Scrabble).

So I done got me one.  And I really do think they’re equal to the hype.

My favorite camera app thus far is Instagram, which adds filters to your photos.

Example A: I Instagram-ed the cover of this month’s American Bee Journal, which features Glacier County Honey Co!   More on that tomorrow.

What do y’all know about the iPhone that I should?

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.


is glorious …

See the colors changing on Glacier’s slopes?

And the September-cerulean skies?

Ah. May the fall into winter be a long one.

2011. Glacier County Honey Co. All Rights Reserved.

With a new baby and an extra semi of bees, we didn’t wax too much about our darling 2011 Summer Help, Keith and Chase, but now that summer is over, we want to thank them once more for their cheerful dispositions and unflinching work efforts.

We get a lot of inquiries each year about employment, and although I always tell potential employees that beekeeping is not as romantic as presented in The Secret Life of Bees, that in addition to being unable to escape from us (our employees live in camper trailers in front of the Warehome), there will be many days requiring work in the dark hours before dawn and after dusk, that some days the stings will make their heads throb, that they’ll be so tired of being sticky by the end of it they’ll swear off even eating honey, and that the wind will blow so hard they’ll feel the grooves forming on their faces, somehow, we end up with summer help anyway.  And thank goodness.

Enjoy your Glacier County Honey Co. Carhartts, boys.  Thanks so much for all your hard work this summer.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.








As y’all know, we are done with the stickiest part of our year, and will spend the upcoming weeks preparing the bees for their California journey. In between the two tasks, we snuck in a little fun.

Look what Honeydew’s buddy Dustin can do with his bow.




This is a seven point, but these pretty antlers don’t do justice to the girth of this elk, who had at least an inch of fat on him and likely weighed 700-800 pounds.

Good work, Dustin!

And now … time to start gathering bees.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.


Brother Dear is our guest blogger today.

As Courtney beautifully explained, yesterday was Howard’s birthday.   I usually try to make September 19th a day of celebration.  Granted it is  generally a pretty melancholy celebration, but I like to do something outdoors, up high, where I and so many others feel closest to him.  Darling Summer Help 2011, Howard’s good friend Chase, and I set out on the 18th to climb Napi Point for Howard, where perhaps the most iconic photo of my brother was taken just as the sun set over the Canadian Rockies.  We got pounded by a cold rain and very limited visibility, and decided turn back in hopes of better weather and steadier footing on Monday, despite Chase’s imminent departure that same day.  Unfortunately, Howard’s 27th birthday brought fog, a thunder-and-lightning storm, a snow storm….and finally blue skies just -I imagine- as Chase was making the final leg of his trip towards Missoula. When the sun finally emerged, the mountains looked incredible, bigger than ever, and of course covered in snow.  This is the next day, when a thousand or so feet of white dust had already melted off.

Sorry, I neglected to get a photo mid-snow, gotta see it for yourself!  Anyways, yesterday’s snow and this morning’s extremely hard frost (a good quarter inch of ice in the wheelbarrow outside the pumphouse) reminded me that perhaps the Glacier County growing season has reached its end.  So after spending the day clearing fence lines and fixing the woodshed (it is AMAZING what a forklift can prop up to be braced!)  I grabbed a homebrew and decided to work on the almost-final Hillhouse harvest of 2011.

I know.  You southern folks are probably laughing.   But you know what?  It just SNOWED here, so I’m gonna take what I can get.  The photo shows rhubarb, potatoes, tomatoes, shallots, onions, and chard.  We’ve still got  some greens and a row of potatoes (surprisingly unscathed by the frost) in the ground and warm temps and sunshine in line for the next  week!


This was a pretty crazy season for gardening, what with Maggie Rose’s arrival and some other wild happenings, but it never seems to be “normal” here or anywhere, does it?  Next year we’ll get it all figured out and  maybe my corn will grow over 30 inches high, my hops will flourish, and Courtney and  Honeydew will put on a broccoli-growing clinic!

It may be the end of the one season, but it’s just the start of another one.  Best of luck to the boys in hunting camp.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

For weeks after Howard’s death, I knew how many hours I’d been without him.  For months, I could tell you the exact number of days.  For years, I referred to his death the way the parents of small children refer to their ages, in months and not years.  And that made sense, as the amount of change contained in such a period of 12 months is far more intense than in a “normal” year, whatever “normal” may be.

This morning is Howard’s birthday.

I laid in bed for a few minutes this morning, and did not know how many hours, days, or months I’d been without him.  Seven years, I thought.  Does that really mean that Howard would be 27 today?  I tried to do the math in my head, clumsily subtracting 1984 from 2011 sans calculator, which, if you know me, you know was difficult for me in more ways than one.

I determined that it was, indeed, Howard’s 27th birthday, and wallowed in the sheets for a moment, letting tears slide across my face.

And while most of the tears were for Howard, some of the tears were for myself, that I no longer knew the hours, days, months, or his age.  There is some joy in not knowing, but there is fear, too.

Fear of not honoring his memory properly, of not making him part of Maggie’s life, of not celebrating his joie de vivre, his enthusiasm, and his easy love for others.


And so this morning, I am thinking of Howard on his 27th birthday.  Oh, how I wonder who you’d be today.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

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