It’s once again that time of year: time to order bee packages and full hives!
Each three-pound honeybee package is enough to start a new hive and includes approximately three frames of bees and a mated queen. Orders must be received by April 1, 2021. Packages must be pre-paid. All orders are final and nonrefundable. They will be available for pick-up in Potter Valley on April 11 and 12.
1-4 packages: $175 each
5+ packages: $150 each (only one contact person allowed)
1 complete hive: $450. Includes bees (we will install), two 10-frame boxes with frames (one deep and one shallow), top and bottom boards, an in-hive syrup feeder, and a hive tool.
Carson is available to deliver full hives and/or deliver and install packages for an extra fee. This includes either a 15-minute consultation/Q&A session or a 60-minute training including how and when to open your hive; how to find the queen; how to make sure the queen is laying eggs; how to identify larva vs. honey cells; how and when to check and treat for mites; and time for Q&A.
Ukiah, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley
Hopland, Willits, Upper Lake
If there’s enough interest, we will coordinate a coast day and price it based on total number of deliveries
Carson is available for private, on-site visits throughout the year and can work with you on:
How to do mite counts and apply mite treatment
How and when to feed syrup and pollen
How to extract honey from established hives (not first-year hives)
How and when to split healthy, established hives into two or more new hives
General training/hive troubleshooting/Q&A
Sessions vary in length depending on what is covered. The cost is $75/hour plus $1/mile traveled from central Ukiah.
Note that in 2022, assuming the worst of the pandemic is behind us, we plan to offer workshops throughout the year which will be arranged both inland and on the coast, depending on interest.
Everyone who places an order will receive package installation instructions and a disclaimer outlining our policies once the bees change hands. We will always try to do right by our customers, and we must also try to protect ourselves to the extent possible.
Carson is collaborating with the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op to teach a series on beekeeping. Join us for Part I on Wednesday, August 16 at 6 pm. In this first class, Carson will provide a general introduction to beekeeping with plenty of time for Q&A. Subsequent classes will deal with timely issues: the winter class will explain how to start and care for a new hive, and the spring and summer classes will cover pest management, hive nutrition, and honey extraction.
Carson and Bees was proud to participate in the 3rd Annual Farm to Table Benefit Dinner at Yokayo Ranch on June 13. Elizabeth partnered with Cerro Negro Strawberries and the Mendocino Grain Project to make strawberry shortcake (soaked in honey, of course). She was one of about two dozen chefs paired with local food producers, and the food was out of this world.
We are honored to announce that we are the proud recipients of a 2017 Good Farm Fund grant! We applied for and received funds to help us expand our business this year by buying new frames – this will enable us fill the empty boxes we own with bees to create new hives.
The Good Farm Fund, a project of North Coast Opportunities, is doing incredible work in the Lake and Mendocino County communities. They also throw excellent fundraiser dinners twice a year – once near Christmas and again in June – which are well worth attending.
You can learn more about the GFF here: http://www.goodfarmfund.org/
When I’m not helping Carson run the “family business,” I work as the Community Outreach Coordinator at North Coast Opportunities in Ukiah. This week Carson and I are tackling the CalFresh Challenge, in which participants must eat for only $5 per person, per day, for five days. Follow along with us via a daily journal about the experience, which you can find here: Calfresh Challenge Journal.
Today was the last day of the Redwood Valley Farmers Market. It was an excellent season that saw the market grow in spades (thanks in large part to our enthusiastic market manager Steph) and helped us connect with the community. We made great friends with other food producers (I’m looking at you, Black Dog Farm!) and found a new customer base that is just as enthusiastic about local, raw honey as we are (special shout out to Ronnie, who bought something from us every single week).
We’re already looking forward to next year’s market, which will start in June. Until then you can still get Carson and Bees honey from us directly, or at a few local spots (including Pizza Etc in Redwood Valley and Westside Renaissance Market in Ukiah).
If you don’t have any plans next Sunday, September 14, consider checking out a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Redwood Valley. It’s called “Let the Fur Fly,” and it’s a luncheon/fashion show being held at Barra of Mendocino Winery from 1-4 pm. Tickets are $25. In addition to lunch and a fun fashion show, you can also bid on a quart of Carson and Bees honey in the silent auction! We love giving to causes that are dear to our hearts, and we’re big animal lovers: our mascot Bee is a pound puppy herself. Rescued animals make the absolute best pets!
Carson grew up in 4-H and, among other activities, raised pigs. Attending the Redwood Empire fair in Ukiah this past weekend made us here at Carson and Bees reflect on the importance of 4-H, FFA, and other programs for children and young adults. It also brought home how critical a community is for instilling values and a good work ethic among those kids.
This blog post could have been written about our local fair, which makes my heart swell with pride and my eyes fill with tears (being the resident sap). It’s worth a read if, like us, you value these programs and the community’s support for them: “On Sunday my son sold his pig.”
We’d like to share a little-known-event with you: the kids’ farmers market, held every Tuesday in front of the Ukiah library on Perkins and Main from 12:00-1:30.
Last week, Carson and Bees bought homemade soap, freshly canned plum jam, a banana muffin, cherry tomatoes, and beeswax lip balm… all for $10! If we had more in our wallet we probably would have also picked up a charming owl necklace made by a particularly enterprising young woman. Also up for grabs: zucchini and other types of summer squash, sweet and hot peppers, cucumbers, and many other types of jam.
We’re particularly proud of two young men from the 4-F bee project. Carson couldn’t ask for a better group to lead! (Also, Elizabeth’s lips are loving the balm.)
Last night Carson and Bees went to the coast to volunteer at a very special dinner. Held at the incomparably sweet Caspar Community Center and hosted by Eat Mendocino, the dinner was a benefit for the Farmers Market EBT (food stamp) program on the coast. Most of the food was donated by local farmers and prepared with aplomb by two incredible chefs and their dedicated team of volunteers. Course after course of food sprang forth from the kitchen in a seemingly unending show of abundance. People were loading up to-go containers by the end of the night so they could continue the culinary experience on a less-full stomach the next day. Particularly popular was the pork and beef roulade stuffed with vegetables and topped with a tomato-plum-thyme sauce, pictured here:
Many bottles of wine poured in from area wineries to be sold at $5/glass, and the silent auction included a quart of our very special Carson and Bees 2014 early harvest honey. All told, the event raised more than $1,500 for the Fort Bragg and Mendocino Farmers Market match programs, which should be enough to get them through the rest of this year.