Other Beekeepers


If you read our blog on our actual blog website, as opposed to subscribing and having our near-daily drivel delivered to your in-box (thank you for subscribing, by the way!), you may have noticed a new tab at the top of the home page titled “Announcements.”  I’m starting to announce our “free shipping” specials on this tab –  with a preorder, we are now delivering the best honey you’ve never tasted, and beautiful beeswax products too, to cities around Montana, such as Whitefish, Great Falls, Helena, and Missoula.  On the Announcements page, you’ll find out where we’ll be next.  I hope this helps our loyal Montana customers avoid shipping costs and get more bang for their honey buck!

Atlanta, maybe one day we’ll be able to add you, too.  Until then, we pledge to keep your shipping costs the same as ours.  If it costs me $10.95 to send it to you, it costs you $10.95, too – not $16.95 or any other inflated figure.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support of our honey company, and of honeybees.  As our beekeeping friend Valeri Severson always says, “honeybees are the backbone of agriculture.”  And agriculture is certainly the backbone of the world.

Courtney & Greg

One of our lovely ladies pollinating an almond blossom in Northern California, February 2010.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

Like I wrote earlier this month, I’m not sure I knew what “cute” really meant before incubating It’ll and receiving any number of darling gifts in anticipation of his/her arrival.  Example #24:

Precious honeybee slippers, perfect for protecting It’ll’s little footsies from Roy’s exuberant tongue and the warehome’s concrete floor.

I love the detail, which includes three different fabrics, one for the outer sole, one for the inner sole, and the of course the festive honeybees for the tops.

They’re handmade by Mountain Babes in Bozeman, Montana, and since my New Year’s Resolution is to purchase gifts only from other small business owners, I thought I’d pass along their information – maybe you would like to join me in my resolution!

Many thanks to our kind friend David Baumbauer over at Big Sky Bee for the thoughtful present.  David keeps a great blog with information about actual beekeeping in Western Montana, whereas I tend to get distracted from the technical nature of the subject and write paragraphs choked with adjectives and accolades for the environment in which we keep our honeybees – Glacier National Park’s eastern shadow.  But if David lived near Babb, he might, too.  Thanks, friend.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

Never a good idea.  The more of us, the less merry for everyone else.  And we love to travel in large groups.  As a result, dinner can be … challenging.

But I had a feeling that Yamato, the Japanese steakhouse on Galveston Island, might be the sort of place that could happily handle our collective appreciation for debauchery, cocktails, and seafood.

It all started out innocently enough.

Our group of about 20 took our seats and began discussing what to order, and who had been most/least entertaining at the conference earlier in the day.

But when the flat top was turned on and we were told to keep our hands away from it, our thin veneer of civility was cracked.  Honeydew, Jana, James, Jackie, and Penny immediately embarked on a contest to see who could hold their palm against the heat the longest.  Nevermind the fact, as Sober Sally pointed out, that our food was about to be prepared on this now rather unsanitary surface.

Kenny sampled the miso soup, and perfected his air pinkies.

And Dan showed us how catching shrimp tossed by the chef was done.

All in all, our debauchery level was steady at 6 on the 10 point scale.

Until someone got the bright idea to order a round of sake bombs.

If you’ve never had one, sake bombs are a demitasse cup of sake (Japanese rice wine) balanced on chopsticks over a rocks glass filled halfway with Sapporo (Japanese beer).  When taken in groups, everyone smacks their palms on table, causing the sake to fall into the Sapporo, and then everyone chugs it down.

By everyone, I am not including pregnant people, by the way.

Perfecto!

But of course, our group smacked the table with such ferocity that everything on the table, not just the sake cups, jumped.  I think only 2 glasses were broken as a result.

One of our favorite fearless leaders bore the brunt of this overzealousness without complaint.

And after dinner, we all hugged and promised to get together and harass other restaurant patrons at next year’s convention.  Miss y’all already, beekeepers.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

In beekeeping, we get by with a little help from our friends.  The warehouse is nearly done, but the multiple delays we experienced in getting our funding, and commencing construction predictably caused us to get really, really behind on what we are actually in business to do: harvest the best honey you never tasted!  Knowing this, consummate commercial beekeeper and dear friend Steve Park offered to send us one of his most competent sets of hands, Shane, to help us pull the last of our honey crop before the true cold sets in and the bees mightily protest our harvesting their extra honey stores.

As promised, Shane is a skilled honey puller and a very hard worker!  Added bonuses: he’s kind to beekeeper’s wives when they forget to add salt to the meatballs.  He’ll talk huntin’ with Honeydew from sunup to sundown, relieving the rest of us from that sometimes-tedious conversation.  And he really loves dogs.

They love him, too.

Thanks for helping us get by, Shane!

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co. All Rights Reserved.

Like any pair who’ve been together for a few years in the digital age, there are many, many pictures of Honeydew and I.  And before today, I would have been happy to see exactly four of them posted on the internets: the picture of us laying together in the hammock, the July day we decided it was love; the engagement photo Tom took of us the following December; the formal wedding shot Tom took of us the July after that; and the snap Brother Dear got of us on our way to a Christmas party, this past December.

This is not to say that I don’t treasure each and every shot of us sweating like pigs, sticking to each other during honey extracting season; dirt streaked, wind blown, and exhilarated on top of peaks in Glacier; and happy in our Saturday griminess.  I do.  But I find it odd enough to share this much of my life on the internets, and I would prefer to at least put my best face forward to … whomever it is that reads this blog.

Anyway, there are now five pictures of Honeydew and I that I approve of for the internets – here we are on our way to the Glacier County Honey Company end-of-pollination-queen-grafting-splitting-shaking-season Thank You Dinner:

Thanks to Sharon for proving that we really do shower, every now and again.  And especially thanks to the extended Park/Park-Burris/Libbee/Wooten/Stayer/Wooters families, for all the help, and love, this season.  We couldn’t do it without y’all, and even if we could, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

For the last couple of weeks, Honeydew has been grafting queens – honeybee queen cells can be produced by a beekeeper skilled in grafting larvae into artificial cell cups that mimic the natural size and form of the cups that the worker bees would naturally use to raise a new queen.

Honeydew made me an Easter basket this morning:

Basket full of queen cells – some will hatch within minutes, others within days, but all will hopefully hatch a vigorous, virgin queen in each one of the Glacier County Honey hives in the very near future.

Honeydew holding an individual queen cell.  He thinks they look like miniature Morel mushrooms, and I have to agree.

He’s been out “hiding” his “eggs” this morning … now the waiting game begins.  If the weather is good, the queens should hatch and mate this week – Honeydew will check to see if each queen is mated in about 2 weeks.  When I go down to California in a couple weeks to pick up Honeydew, Roy Rogers, the 1 ton and the 2 ton, I’m going on an intensive field trip centered on all things Queenly.  Very excited about that … but even more excited to get my husband back!

Happy Easter to you, if that’s your gig – happy spring to everyone!

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

David Baumbauer is a hobby beekeeper down in Bozeman, Montana, and he blogs at http://www.bigskybee.com.  He uses his site to keep beekeepers in the Northern Rockies in the loop on all things bees.  Today, he’s featuring Glacier County Honey!  Check it out here.

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

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