Getting ready for a new season (and a free RANT)
Originally published 1/20/2011
Three inches of snow on the ground, but I’ve been beesy. Cleaning frames, painting, so many little things that need to be done to keep these girls happy. I think I will get them off to an early start with some “brood builder”, which is mainly soybean powder. It stimulates them to start rearing new bees early. I already have a lot of orders for new bees in the spring, so in order to divide my hives and make new ones, I have to get them strong early. Brood builder does it.Getting low on bottled honey, looks like I will sell out by Spring. People are getting wise to the benefits of local honey.
Which brings me to my latest rant: There is a TREMENDOUS amount of honey being marketed around here as “LOCAL”, which comes from far, far away. I have seen people with drums of foreign honey who are claiming it is local! I don’t know what to do about it….talked to the manager of Whole Foods, the biggest health food store in town, and told him “you really don’t have any real local honey here”….and he just hung his head and said “I know”. And indeed, the labels in front of their honey don’t say it is local. They merely say “buy local”. Pretty sneaky though. I would sell there, but there are so many hoops to jump through, it’s not worth it…like for example, I need “product insurance”. In case someone chokes on a spoon of honey I guess. That’s about $1000 a year! (Oh well, I warned you, this is a rant.) And both health food stores won’t let me advertise…of course…it’s business, and all about the Money.
Here’s advice for someone who wants truly local products: go to the producer. Look at the hives. If he sells a lot, he better have a lot of hives! A typical hive in Oklahoma gives about 30 pounds per hive per year in this area. Do the math….if someone is selling tons of honey in numerous places, he better have hundreds of hives. Otherwise you can guess what is going on….banditry!!
OK. Rant completed. Golly, isn’t the snow pretty?