It’s Summer’s Time

Catching Up

Here we are at the start of 2017 – can you believe it? The year 2016 was an exciting – and a little bumpy – year for Bee Culture

We started a new quarterly magazine for absolute beginner beekeepers. It’s called BEEKeeping, Your First Three Years and it has been very well received. In fact we sold out of both Spring and Autumn issues. There are some Summer and Winter left, but hurry if you want to get them. It has been available on our web site and also on newsstands like Tractor Supply, Barnes & Noble and other local stores. Starting now, actually a few weeks ago you can now subscribe to BEEKeeping. You can order online or send us a check for $20 for a one year subscription of four issues.

We’re looking forward to the new year. There are lots of things ahead for our Bee Culture team. It’s going to be a busy year. But even though we’re short-handed – again – we’re up for the challenge. We have an amazing group here. 

You can subscribe to Bee Culture (print or digital), BEEKeeping (quarterly, print only for now) and CATCH THE BUZZ at http://www.beeculture.com. It’s easy to do. You can also order all of the books that we sell on our web page. And there is just lots of practical, helpful information on the website, also. So please take a few minutes and visit us there.

Kim, Jean and I will be at the joint meeting in Galveston in January. Jean is our advertising coordinator, so she’ll be visiting all of you that are exhibitors to introduce herself so you have a face with a name. We won’t have a booth ourselves but we’ll be roaming around so make sure you say hello. Hope to see bunches of you there. It should be a great meeting. Our biggest challenge will be getting out of Cleveland in January. Keep a good thought about the weather.

Each year right about now I talk about the Tri-County meeting in Wooster, Ohio. It’s the first Saturday in March which is the 4th this year. There will be a thousand people there so sign up early. Almost every bee supply dealer you’ve ever heard of will be there. It’s worth the trip. 

Bee Culture will be doing another Pollinator Day, probably some time in July right here on the grounds of the Root Candle Company. 

I mentioned our next October event would be Bee Culture’s Best. Well, we may have to change the date on that meeting. So stay tuned for more details. It’s difficult to get all of our writers together on the same weekend. But we’re still hoping to make that work with as many of them as we can.

We have several new books that will be published in 2017. We’re working hard and as fast as we can to get them done for you. So keep watching the pages of Bee Culture and our website.

The last two years things have been bumpy for us – our new subscription data base which was painful for all of us, changes in staff which is also always painful, and starting a new magazine. The data base has all the bugs worked out and is working smoothly now. We are still short-staffed, but the staff we have is amazing. They work hard and fast to take the best care of you that we can. We appreciate your loyalty and we appreciate your frustration when we don’t always answer the phone when you call and you have to leave a message. But some of us work other jobs and are here at some strange hours of the day sometimes. Please know that we will call you back and we will answer your emails just as soon as we can. We are all dancing as fast as we can.

On the home front we’re at 15 chickens now. We lost another one in early December. I’m never sure exactly what happens – acting fine one day and the next day hunkered down in the corner of the coop not interacting with anybody, the next day a little better again and the next day gone. 

The new part of the coop is finished and we are set up now to house new batches of chicks and ducklings and keep them safe and warm and I now have easy ways to separate any that need to be isolated. So come Spring we’ll be getting new young chicks and ducks. We’re not sure how many – don’t want to go too crazy.

This past weekend we had some wonderful Tomato & Basil soup – made from our own tomatoes and basil. It was delicious. And easy. That’s critical to me when it comes to cooking – it needs to be easy.

We have three huge Osage Orange trees on our property. These trees are very odd. Apparently the wood is valuable, but after that they’re kind of difficult. They have thorns that are about an inch and a half long and will pop a tire on your riding mower quicker than you can believe. I think I’m at four flat tires over three Summers. We try as hard as we can to get all the sticks picked up before I mow but always manage to miss some. They also have this very strange fruit you see in the photo. You can see how big it is – the size varies – you can’t eat this. I did try cutting one open one time just to see what it looked like inside – almost broke the knife. They’re kind of a milky white color, tough as leather. Rumor has it that if you put them in your basement it keeps the spiders away. Not sure about that.

Happy New Year. I hope you all have a peaceful Winter. And I hope we get to see many of you in our travels and things that we have going on in Bee Culture land.