The Sweet Life

Read about the daily life of a beekeeper by viewing our blog! Here, we comment on current topics, including questions asked by our customers (yes, please ask - if it is a good question, we will post about it!) We highly encourage customers and visitors to post comments!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last Minute Christmas Shipping

If you are still Christmas shopping - we have been noticing that Priority Mail from us to Maryland, Northern VA, Delaware, Southern PA, parts of New Jersey, and parts of West Virginia are mostly getting there next day. So you still have time to shop, pay something less than Express Mail, and still get it there in time... for Christmas.

NO PROMISES - we don't control the post office, and we need time to actually pack the order and get it in the mail.

If you live outside those areas - choose Express Mail. And please realize - we need time to be able to pack it up and get it to the PO!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review of Bee Folks Handcream

Diana Antal of Painted Lady Fingers just wrote a nice article praising our Lavender and Scottish Heather Handcreams.  Give it a read!

http://paintedladyfingers.blogspot.com/2009/11/apothecary-my-favorite-all-natural-hand.html

'Tis the Season

Just wanted to let everyone know - I am in the office by myself for Thanksgiving week.  If I don't return phone calls promptly, please forgive me! 

(Though when I'm in the office and not the warehouse, I will pick up the phone when it rings!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bee Folks at Ren Faire

It has been a long time since I have posted! Since being here last, I have found the joys of MySpace, then Twitter, then Facebook. (It seems like Facebook is so much easier to use than MySpace. Does anyone use it anymore?)

We have been to Pennsic, PA Renfaire, and MD Renfaire. Unsold merchandise is being returned from our booths, and now we need to find room for it all! Afterwards, a good thorough office cleaning.

We were swamped by Rosh Hashanna orders. (Many thanks to everyone who ordered from us - we will be much more prepared for next year!)

We have been through 660 pounds of Cotton Honey, and nearly a ton of Buckwheat Honey.

We have Echinacea Honey en route.

The website needs to be updated, I need to create emails for the email list, and start prepping for Black Friday, then Hannaka, then Christmas and Winter Holiday.

And somewhere, sometime, I will catch up on my sleep.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Looking for Workers at MD Renfaire

We are busy, busy, busy! Pennsic is coming up, then PA Renfaire right on its tail, then MD Renfaire a few weeks later. We are entering approximately four solid months of Faire, in one guise or another!

Which brings up todays topic: We are looking for three new people to join us at the Maryland Renaissance Faire this year. Must be mature, outgoing, and have own garb and transportation. Sales experience a plus, Renfaire experience a plus. Must be willing to work near bees, but you won't be asked to handle them (unless you really want to). We have a lot of kids at the booth, so applicant must be able to modify a sales pitch according to the age of the customer.

If you have to ask what I mean by garb, this is the wrong job for you.

I offer a base pay plus commission sales. I do direct deposit. Hours are part-days to start, and hours may grow longer as the season progresses.

If you are interested, review the products on our website, then send us a resume at lori@beefolks.com.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Bee Folks receives cease and desist letter from Hershey

My first thought was, 'We are big enough that Hershey noticed us?'

I mean, come on, it's not like I was trying to impinge on a trademark, or anything. Doesn't everyone recognize a large, tear-drop shape chocolate chip as a Kiss these days? Hasn't it entered the vernacular?

According to Hershey, it has not.

So, some intern (I'm assuming it was an intern, and not a high-priced attorney) was scouring the Internet for merchandise with the word 'kiss' in the title, and our little beeswax candles popped up. Mind you, we discontinued the candle a few years back, melted down the remainders last year, and simply overlooked it on the website since the candle section is horribly outdated. We never even wrapped it in foil or anything, it looked like a yellow candle. But this intern did not know and/or did not care, so we received a 'cease and desist' letter.

The nitty gritty is that we aren't fighting Hershey on this. The candle had already been discontinued, we never had an intention of violating a trademark, and Hershey is willing to settle this without lawyers. They essentially want them removed from the website and a promise not to do it again, and we are quite willing to accomodate that.

But, I found some of the language in the letter amusing, so I decided to share a bit with you. (Trust me, there is very little amusing about the threat of being sued by a huge corporation like Hershey, but some of the language in the letter is amusing, given the size of our family business and the lack of popularity of the candles.)

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(excerpts from letter, all emphasis mine)

It has recently come to our attention that through your website, http://www.beefolks.com/, you are distributing products which incorporate the KISSES Trademark and Trade Dress. Specifically, you are selling conically shaped "Small Kiss Beeswax Candles" and "Twisted Kiss Beeswax Candles" that are nearly identical in appearance and confusingly similar to our client's famous KISSES brand chocolate.....

Use of the KISSES Trademark and Trade Dress by persons or entities not affiliated with Hershey can result in a liklihood of confusion for consumers and can dilute the value of and/or tarnish our client's rights. Therefore, your use of the term "Kiss" in connection with the conical shape of these particular candles constitutes an illegal infringement and dilution of our client's valuable intellectual property rights. Even if the public is not confused as to the source of the Infringing Merchandise, your use of the KISSES Trademark and Trade Dress in this manner undoubtedly will tarnish and dilute these assets.

Our client has several options to enforce its legal rights.....However, at this time, our client wishes to resolve this matter amicably without resorting to litigation.

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So, Milton, if you are reading this, please know that the candles have been removed from our website, and your apology is in the mail. Please let me know if I may be of more assistance.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Those Durn Little Bees

This spring has been full of adventure! We went into the winter with five hives, and came out with two. Considering I did not work them at all (something about bee-ing a wee, wee, wee bit pregnant), I figured that was pretty good.

We ordered 10 new packages of bees, to increase our stock for the spring honeyflow. They were supposed to arrive at the beginning of April. But in case you did not notice, the South received rain, and rain, and more rain, and high winds, then a bit of rain.... The long-anticipated arrival was pushed back not once, not twice, but three times!

In the meantime, one of my hives was about ready to swarm. We had so many bees in it, we split it into four new hives, allowing each to requeen. Unfortunately, we have had so much rain ourselves, two of the hives lost the queen when she went out on her mating flight in the middle of a rainstorm. There is a reason why bees aren't supposed to fly in the rain - raindrops are bigger than the bees are, and knock them right out of the sky! But her genetics told her to go on a mating flight, so fly she did.... So then we were up to three functioning hives.

We finally got the bees installed, and lost only one hive in the process. The queen had not been released yet, so we transferred her to one of our empty observation hives, along with a frame of brood from one of our established hives. They accepted her, giving us 12 functioning hives, plus one observation hive.

Then there are the hives that belong to the 12 year old. He is not allowed to keep hives on his property, due to housing association regulations. We allow him to keep them on our property, and he checks on them when he remembers. Being 12, he does not check on them as often as he should. The day he came over, we found it necessary to split that hive into three separate hives, allowing each one of those to requeen. That brings the apiary up to 15 hives, plus one observation hive.

Then the swarms started. For the life of me, I don't know where they are coming from (though maybe from the 12-year-old's hive - I don't check on those). They have not been nice, polite swarms, that hang out on a branch low enough for me to collect. No. The first swarm (lost when we installed the bees) flew away before we could prep a hive for them. The second and third swarms were about 60 feet up in the air, well beyond the reach of my equipment. The fourth swarm absconded from the observation hive, but were nice enough to land at face level so I could collect it. (My 3-year-old daughter loved playing with the low-lying bees on THAT one!) The fifth swarm landed about 20 feet up on the trunk of the tree, and we are attempting to coach them down as I write this. Their may be a sixth swarm already in the hive we are attempting to coax the fifth swarm into.

And this does not include the swarm we caught when we responded to a request to remove bees from a tree. (We are still looking for a tree stand so we can remove the remainder of the bees from the tree.)

We aren't out of empty hives yet, but we may soon be.

Anyhow, I need to go out and check on that potential new swarm, but I did want to provide an update here. Sunny days!