Thursday, September 30, 2010

Old interest revived!


I first realized my interest in beekeeping while at Ortho Research Library and we did a hallway display on apiaries and the tools, clothing, books, etc. for the beekeeper.

Having spent quite a bit of time in the yard this year, I've been noticing the insect populations. I had my first close encounter with bees and pollination while I was taking closeup photos of my sunflowers. I noticed the flecks of pollen leaves beneath the object flower (so had to take a photo - at right). Then I noticed the bees and tried to get some closeups of them (really need to get a better camera for that).

This photo session of course led my mind to generating products for bee related themes. Thus, I began researching bees and beekeeping(again). I had a link to a supply store in Sebastopol, so I decided to take last weekend to devote to honey and bees.

Saturday I drove to Sebastopol to vist the store "BeeKind". It is quite interesting. The front is devoted to various types of honey in various size jars. Next is a small room with beeswax and items related to making candles. In back is a large room for beekeeping supplies (clothing, hives, extractors, etc.).

While talking with the staff, I was told about a free "beginning beekeeping" class for the next day. So ... I had to drive back on Sunday for this informative talk. (This was during our second big heat wave of 100+ temperatures - so I kept cool while in the air conditioned car and the auditorium had air conditioning also.)
Here is a video that was made of the speaker Doug Vincent setting up new hives.

I came home and continued my investigation as to what bee groups were on the internet, where local groups and suppliers are located, etc. I joined the forums at Of course, I began making more bee themed products for my store.

Here are the most recent products I have made:
T-shirt - Beekeepers do it for the honey shirt Bumper Sticker - Apiarists do itf or the hive bumpersticker

Monday, September 6, 2010


I love sunflowers. They are so interesting to watch growing in the garden. One can almost see the growth while watching, they grow so fast. I love the bright yellow flowers against the blue sky and the large green leaves just amaze me with their vitality.

This year I had an exceptionally large flower and was able to take photographs at several stages. For the first time, I saw bees pollinating the florets. I also happened to see the that pollen was so thick that it fell onto the underlying leaves when the bees flew away.

Now the growing cycle is coming to an end and harvest is just around the corner. What does one do with the seeds and plants?

Some easy how-to articles from eHow (there are many more interesting articles)
How to shell
How to toast
How to compost

Here is one of my products on Zazzle that I made from my recent photos.
Postcard - Sunflower! postcard

There are so many wonderful products with sunflowers at Zazzle. Here is a link to just the posters (can you locate mine?).