Mid summer update

To say i've been a busy bee this summer is an understatement.  The pike shop is sailing right along and busier than (hoped for) and expected.  We added 9 flavors of honey straws to our front shelf display and they seem to attract an almost constant stream of shoppers.  Our honey soaps and beeodorant are both new-ish additions to our body products line and have also been very well received!  We are blowing through honey almost as fast as we can bottle it, with two varieties from Eastern and Central Washington brought in to fill the shelves before our own western washington honey was ready.  We are almost completely sold out of 2014 sweet clover and the buttery thick moses lake wildflower.  We had no idea whether people would like them as much as we do, but they were a hit!  Buckwheat blossom is a little slow moving, and for reason.  Not everyone likes a blast that strong with their peppermint tea;)  we have enough buckwheat to last us awhile, so no fear of selling out of that one!

We started the lengthy process of extracting our proprietary honey last week, both from the city and from the farm.  Some of the hives that we just began from nucs this past april are already producing a ton of honey!  Alm hill top farm and our nooksack river apiaries were the two strongest locations out in the country, producing honey from blueberry blossoms, big leaf maple trees, dandelion, and a little field clover.  of course our superstar georgetown hives in seattle continue to pump out way-above-average springtime honey crops.  this year the georgetown urban bees made darker, amber hued honey, from blackberry blossom, black locust, big leaf maple, holly, laurel, and many other ditch wildflowers and landscaping plants!  olga assisted in extracting and was a natural at cutting comb and fitting the frames in to the tiny grooves inside the extractor.  She is the greatest helper because despite her small frame, she is strong, smart, capable, and quiet!  Sometimes we would find frames that had multiple color honey in them and it was so fun to taste each one before we mixed it all together!  Even little cole came out and lent a hand cutting a couple frames before the stray bees flying around freaked him out too bad;)All in all, we've extracted about 1000 lbs of honey so far this year.  To anyone besides a commercial beekeeper, that would seem like an insane amount of honey.  To us it's more than half as much as we are used to producing in a year, so we are hoping for a miracle with blackberry blossom and japanese knotweed still yet to come.  Many beekeepers are saying their summer crops will be significantly down this year, not for spring honey which saw no derth in nectar, but for traditional summer varieties like blackberry blossom and mountain fireweed.  Wildflowers need rain to produce heavy nectar flows, and we are in a drought year that has been blazing hot almost everyday since may.


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