I’d like to introduce Akash Arcuri born October 4th, 2013 at 1:54 AM.
He’s keeping us busy so the blog may not be updated as frequently as in the past, but the plan is still to start over in the spring with a new hive and hope for better luck in 2014. We are finally getting rain in the Austin area which I hope will spark an amazing year for wildflowers starting next March. I already see Bluebonnet seedlings starting to emerge from the ground after these rounds of heavy rains so maybe it is a sign of good things to come.
Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to a special tasting event to try out the new ice cream Round Rock Honey will be producing. The ice cream will be called Bees Freeze and will use liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze the ice cream base right before your eyes. It is an impressive setup even before the liquid nitrogen is turned on.
Here are the tanks of liquid nitrogen.
The real show is when the ice cream is being made. Here is their in-house chef Aimee Chauveron and Konrad making up a batch.
A close up of the process.
They made vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate that evening for tasting. It wasn’t all fun and games as we filled out data sheets for each flavor around texture, color, and taste as they continue to tweak their recipes leading up to the official launch. I like the fact they are using grass fed milk from Full Quiver Dairy and of course, they are using their own honey as a sweetener. I was a little skeptical at first since I’ve used honey in making my own homemade ice cream at home and sometimes the honey will overpower the other flavors. However, they have managed to strike the right balance so the honey compliments the other flavors instead of overwhelming them.
They will be making their debut at the Cedar Park Farmers Market on August 31st and Mueller Farmers Market on September 1st. If you are in the area, I would highly recommend checking them out.
I really meant to get this going when Flat Stanley visited our hives a few months ago, but better late than never I say.
Since Gitanjali took so much time drawing out Flat Stanley as a beekeeper, it seems like a shame not to send him around the globe. So if anyone is interested in hosting Flat Stanley at their own hive, please leave a comment and we can exchange address information. If you are interested, I’d only ask for the following things:
Be willing to have a blog post with some pictures of Flat Stanley at your hive with some interesting facts about beekeeping in your state or country.
If you don’t have a blog, send me some photos and a little write up which I’ll post to my blog
Be willing to mail Flat Stanley on to the next beekeeper
Flat Stanley is looking forward to visiting all of you.
Flat Stanley arrived courtesy of my niece Riya shortly after the holidays. Part of the instructions suggested “dressing” him to reflect either the season we were in or an activity he performed.
We took these instructions to heart and got Flat Stanley all suited up and ready to do a hive inspection complete with cowboy boots since we are in Texas after all.
We had a nice break from the cold weather this past week. It was perfect for a quick peek into the hive I requeened with the Hawaiian queen at the end of October 2012. The hope was the hive was still full of bees with plenty of honey to make it through spring. It would also be a plus if they didn’t try and kill me.
To calm the bees before the inspection, Flat Stanley first smoked the hive.
After smoking, we opened up the hive and started inspecting frames in the top most super. All 8 frames were all mostly drawn out combs of honey.
The next two supers after that were still all honey as well. The bees were also calm and only started getting a little annoyed towards the very end of the inspection. I didn’t go any further into hive because it was late in the day and the temps were starting to go down. If we have another warm weekend this week, I’ll do another inspection and go straight to the 2nd super now that I know the top three are all honey. I’ll hopefully see some activity of brood meaning the queen from Hawaii was accepted.
Fashion forward beekeepers are wearing these cute little numbers around the apiary. Who says you can’t look good while inspecting a hive?
Speaking of cute, Knives 2.0 produces the most beautiful friendly bees I have ever come across.
Today I put a bee escape on both hives at Baab-Brock farms in preparation for a honey harvest tomorrow. I plan on also pulling honey out of the Sunshine Community Garden the following weekend. If my hives are any indication, the recent rains have kicked off another strong nectar flow and the girls are taking advantage of it.
Mikaila Ulmer will be participating again on National Lemonade Day at the Hope Farmers Market this Sunday May 6th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. She won “Most Creative Lemonade” in 2011, and I’m sure she is hoping for another strong showing this year.
She makes home-made, freshly-squeezed lemonade with Texas wildflower honey & flaxseed inspired by a recipe found in her great-grandmother Helen’s vintage 1940s-era cookbook. She even donates 20% of her profits to the Texas Beekeepers Association.
I didn’t make it out to her stand last year, but I’m not going to miss it this year.
I may be seriously dating myself with this reference, but after Konrad picked up Large Marge’s hive from Baab-Brock farms, he had one more “hive” pickup for the evening.
A vacant home in North Austin had a suspected hive in an old large trunk. Upon arriving, the trunk was indeed occupied by bees.
Here is the trunk loaded up to be taken away. You can see Marge’s hive in the back.
Finally, here is a closeup of the trunk.
The question is, what else is in the trunk?? It’s a great mystery with only a few clues. From a hole in the bottom and a broken seam in the front, all that can be seen are an old bag of marbles, a few plastic toy figurines, some booklets (comics?), and some military medals.
Round Rock Honey will host a special trunk opening and bee transfer (into one of their new cedar hives) from 5:30-7:00pm on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 14. If you would like to sign up for this rare event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission is $19 and includes a free Round Rock Honey lip balm. Attendance will be capped at 35 persons. If you have already signed up for the long-term beekeeping class, you can attend for free.
I”m not sure if I’ll be able to make it up there after work this week, but I thought it was a pretty fun idea and wanted to share it on my blog.