We have much to report: the 1st birthday of our youngest beekeeper, the opening of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, the arrival of July … but first, an announcement:

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We hope you’ll stop by and see us!  Please call Courtney at 406-544-2818 or email sales@glaciercountyhoney.com with any questions.

2014.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

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Winter and spring continue to battle it out in the heart of Many Glacier, but as I walked to Red Rock Falls yesterday with my husband, my three year old, my baby, my mom, my brother, and my dear friend, the brave Glacier lillies were thrusting their heads above the icy mud, always the first to add color to a still snow strewn landscape.  We also saw several munching moose – no big surprise in the Swiftcurrent Valley, but always a fun one, from a good distance.

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The falls themselves were thundering, and sobering in their icy power:

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And of course we enjoyed gazing at the incomparable mountains of Many Glacier, where we posed for a few family shots.  It’s never too early to think about the Christmas card, right?

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And how I love hiking with this bunch.

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What a difference a year makes – three miles was about a mile and a half too far for Maggie last summer, but it was just right this year, and she had a blast, as did we all.

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Howard was an excellent rider, too.  No hair pulling and screaming —- yet.

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He even napped:

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This Memorial Day weekend, we reveled, as always, in our freedom to start our businesses, make our own rules, and live our lives on an international border in peace.

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Thanks are certainly not enough to offer to the families of our veterans who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for our many freedoms, but we’ll say them, always, and remember.

2014.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

There were a few months of my pregnancy with Howard that I was literally unable to walk up a simple flight of stairs without resting.  Those were not good days for me.  Whether it was the IVIG or my severe anemia we don’t know, but each time I paused to breathe on the stairs to Maggie’s room, I thought about the mountains I had climbed in my pre-neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia existence and wondered if I would be able to do so again.

I haven’t reached a summit in the 12 weeks since Howard’s arrival, but I did carry him up to Iceberg Lake last week, and I felt just as joyful as I did the morning I first reached the top of Divide, in 2000.

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Thanks so much to my sweet friend Suzy for going with us.  Glacier, it’s good to be back!

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2013.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

How’s the honey crop?  Everywhere we go, especially in our painted bee trucks, people want to know.

Well.  We’ve had plenty of moisture, but we need some heat.  If we get some heat, oooh boy pretty honey crop!  All we can do is wait, and hope.

In the meantime, Travis has been putting his fancy new work phone to good use:

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Jackie, your bees say hi.

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Sweet clover foreground, alfalfa background – both excellent honey plants.

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First honey of the year, happy working bees.

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This is an old frame, so the comb and the honey look dark, but the close up of the bees is pretty cool, no?

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Neil, channeling Jackie Park-Burris.

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The bees have quite a view of Glacier National Park while they work.  Keep at it, girls!

2013.  Glacier County Honey Co.  Photo credits to Travis Looney.  All Rights Reserved.

As y’all know, Honeydew is a 2nd generation beekeeper.  In the 1970s, Honeydew’s dad, Bob Fullerton, started what eventually became Chief Mountain Honey Co., and as a result Honeydew grew up keeping bees, packing honey, and making beeswax candles.  Eventually, Honeydew worked for Chief Mountain Honey and started Chief Mountain Pollination.  When Honeydew and I were married, we founded our own company, Glacier County Honey Co., and Bob carried on with Chief Mountain Honey.

This spring, Bob decided to retire from the retail aspect of Chief Mountain Honey — though never from beekeeping! — and he passed the Chief Mountain retail torch to us.  We are so proud to offer honey under the label that Honeydew grew up with, a label that has enjoyed a 30+ year relationship with the folks who flock to Glacier National Park in the summertime and the folks who live here year round, too.

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Under the Chief Mountain Honey label, we offer 12oz honeybears, 1# squeeze skeps, 2.5# tubs, and 5# tubs.  All of these containers are available for purchase at www.glaciercountyhoney.com, along with our Glacier County Honey stix, 8oz, 1#, 3#, and 5# squeeze bottles, and 12# and 35# buckets.

Chief Mountain Honey is also available all over Glacier County and Glacier National Park.  Please look for our “new” label at Thronson’s in Babb; the Leaning Tree and Two Sisters near Babb; Johnson’s and Park Cafe in St. Mary; Faught’s, IGA, and Glacier Family Foods in Browning; Albertson’s in Cut Bank; Glacier Park Trading Post in East Glacier; and more!   A complete list of our retailers is available here.

Here’s to the next generation!

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2013.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

At long last, the road to Many Glacier is not only plowed but open!  As I mentioned in my latest post, last weekend I got the medical go ahead for four days near Babb, the longest I have been home since January.  To say I was thrilled is the understatement of the decade, and I was also protective of my time with Honeydew and Maggie Rose.  I didn’t even tell my best girlfriends in Glacier County that I was eastbound.  I know they understand.

Saturday morning brought sunshine and sparkle, so we headed for our favorite spot: Many Glacier.

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After our arrival, we wandered down to the water’s edge, and gazed at Mt. Gould and the Angel Wing.  You can’t see it from this picture, but I wonder about the snowpack in the Grinnell Glacier basin – the Salamander Glacier is already clearly defined, and I feel like it should still look like it’s merged with Grinnell.  Hmm.

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We continued our gawking, pausing to admire the Swiftcurrent complex and Mt. Wilbur/the Heavy Shield.  I love the Blackfeet name for Mt. Wilbur, and am bringing it back, people!

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The water is gushing out of Swiftcurrent, by the way.

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Of course, Maggie Rose wanted to climb all four flights of stairs at the hotel.  Celebrating my 33rd week of pregnancy, I passed on that particular adventure.

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“What do you want for Mother’s Day?” Honeydew asked me on the way home.  While I was laughing at this clear admission that he had no plan, I replied, “To see a moose, of course!”

And of course, not thirty seconds later, what did we see on the side of the road?

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Hi, buddy.  Those are some nice antlers you’re growing there.  Have a nice summer.  I’ll be back soon, with another baby who will love your backyard, too.

2013.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

As many of you know, in order to keep Baby Beekeeper #2 safe in utero, I’ve spent the vast majority of the past five months over the on west side of the Divide.  I’m grateful for the opportunity for exceptional health care for myself and our baby, even if occasionally snowed under by “why me?” thoughts.

Happily, the “why me” blues have been few as of late, between the stroke of July-like weather we’ve experienced on both sides of the Divide in the last few weeks, and the fact that this past weekend, my doctors gave me the go ahead for a four day sojourn at the Warehome!  It was longest I’ve been home with Honeydew and Maggie Rose since early January.

And it’s true: there’s no place like home.

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I like to think that the first semi load of bees, who arrived home from California on Sunday evening, feel the same way.

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The truck arrived unscathed!  And for a few nights we’ll sleep deeply again, unplagued by thoughts of 10 car pileups and other hazards of interstate commerce.  Until the next load is on the road, of course.

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The nets come off the trucks …

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And with these unseasonably warm temperatures, the bees are hanging out at their entrances and ready to fly!

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Honeydew unloads the pallets of bees from the semi via forklift.

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The bees will sit in the mega holding yard for a day or two, waiting to be dispersed all over Glacier County, and the borders of Canada and Glacier National Park.

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These hives ended up in our home yard, in the Big Field, just east of the Warehome.

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Aren’t they gorgeous?

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We have another 2 loads of bees to unload later this week, so the truck got right back on the road to California.  Safe travels to Tom, our driver, and our girls.

2013.  Glacier County Honey Co.  Some photo credits to Travis Looney.  All Rights Reserved.