Category Archives: Campbell Honey

Plums. Man, have we got plums…

It’s that time of year again. Our two plum trees are ripening and fruit is beginning to drop (in addition to the walnuts the squirrels throw at us… but that’s another thread.)

Anyway, Steve and I had guitar practice yesterday and between songs you could hear, “thump”, “thump”, “thump” coming from the back fence / corner area. Yep, it was the plums dropping to the ground… kinda like a towel-covered base drum being hit (almost) in perfect time. After practice I headed out and picked them up… probably about 5 lbs in the bag (with another 5 lbs on the ground that we won’t keep).

If you’re a local, in the neighborhood and want some fresh plums, shoot me a note / gimmeacall and you’re welcome to have some. (This big bag is going to my barber and her shop but there will be another bag that will hit the ground today, so no worries.)

And squash… well, the squash have exploded, too, so if you like squash (we have 4 types), stay tuned.

As always, thanks for stopping by, be well and don’t forget to write when you get work.

One day, Two Beeks(!)

It’s Father’s Day here in America, so Happy Father’s Day to fathers everywhere 🙂

Joanne and I headed out on an amble-through-Campbell bike ride this morning (picture perfect weather, btw) and as we cruised down one road through the next, we came across a woman we’d met a year ago… working in her large garden, just as she had been a year ago when we met. Her name is Joanne. In addition to having one heck of a (working) garden, I recalled her husband as being a beekeeper. (A beek)

We stopped to chat for a few minutes and I was astounded to hear that this season he’s already harvested ~400 pounds. At 1 lb. per quart, that’s a lot of honey – and we’re not even half way through the season. As I peppered her with questions, she finally said, “I’m not the beekeeper, go ’round front and I’ll have him come out and talk with you.” And so she / he did.

Nice fella. Like most beeks I’ve met (not many, btw) he wasn’t exactly a fashion plate kinda dresser. In fact, I swear he had on the same sweats as the beek I met a few weeks back over in Saratoga.

Anyway, he came out and introduced himself: “Name’s Jim but everybody calls me Fuzzy”. Turns out (no surprise) he knows Mr. C. We spent about 15 minutes with me asking questions, him answering… probably the longest 15 minutes of his life 😉 He looked like he was starting to wilt a bit so we bid him adieu and pedaled to the next street over where, rumor had it, another beek lived.

One down, one to go.

I think I may have mentioned it in an earlier post, but I’ve come to the conclusion that beeks have a different perspective on flora and fauna and the relationship it plays in our lives. In days gone by, I thought it was important to remove / kill any / all weeds on our property. Ugly. Ruined our lawns. Made the property look crummy.

After becoming a beek, I began to look at weeds as food sources for our bees. Nectar and pollen are what our bees need and, don’tchaknow, weeds have some of both. And when they are converted in to honey that I eat, my allergies get reduced to non-issues – no drugs. no shots. no surgery. The just go away. (or should I say, after 38 years of terrible suffering from hayfever / allergies, I no longer have any symptoms. Could be our local honey. Could be the allergy gremlins just moved on to pimp somebody else – it’s your call as to which you believe.)

Where was I… oh yes, returning to our amble, as I turned the corner on the street where I thought the other beek lived, I looked for the front yard area that appeared unattended… dry grass (if any), weeds… you know, raggedy. And I went up, knocked on the door and asked if this was the house of the beek.

Lucky guess on my part, eh? 🙂

Turned out to be true. It was before noon and it was a Sunday, so she wasn’t exactly ready for unexpected company / drop-in visitors, so we chatted for a few moments (we have a friend in common) and said our good-byes.

Two beeks, nice bike ride and Father’s Day… doesn’t really get any better does it?

Sure it does: I cooked one of the Abalone I caught on Thursday for mid-day Supper. Herbed rice, brocoli and Ab… just like “back in the day”.

Two beeks, nice bike ride, Father’s Day and a wonderful Ab dinner… doesn’t really get any better does it?

Sometimes it does: Owen and Scott called today and we had good discussions about life and the challenges / rewards of being a good parent.

Just doesn’t get any better, does it?

No, I’m not sure it does.

As always, thanks for stopping by. Be well and don’t forget to write when you get work.


Doves, doves, doves…

You may remember last week when I posted some random pics that included our new baby doves? (

As they say, they grow up and leave so quickly… the following pics were taken of them in the time since that last post. (Click the pic to see full details)

Here they are in the birch over the patio on their first morning as fledglings – who knew they would fly in their first day?! I call this picture, “I’ve got your back” as they are sitting tight, next to each other, facing in opposite directions… likely to keep an eye open for predators (Coop, the vegetarian Cooper’s Hawk that lives in our neighborhood.)

Here they are on the ground, apparently warming themselves on the rocks. Over the next few days I would find them foraging in the bushes / plants for seeds, bugs, etc. No doubt they were trying to retain cover from Coop, too.

Don’t know where this one’s sibling was, but this one was keeping itself pretty warm and snuggly on the patio umbrella. As I went out to shoot the pics, I said in a low-key voice, “Keep your eyes open for Hawk – it’s always looking for food and you’re on the menu.” (No acknowledgment from the dove, btw.)

I took this picture on Wed morning, through the screen in my office window. Here they are sitting on the fence, spending time together again… keeping one another company. As I stood up to take their picture, I said to them, “You be careful of the hawk” and I called Joanne in to see them. She left after a few moments and no more than 5 minutes later, damned if a Cooper’s Hawk didn’t drop out of the sky – wings flapping, legs / talons extended, trying to grab them – and darned near got one of them.

BAM! The one on the left managed to make it to the fir tree not 5 feet to the left, the one on the right flew through the citrus trees to the right. Hawk tried flapping it’s way in to the fir tree but got caught up in the jasmine, so turned around and stood its ground on the fence. I tried to shoo it away but it wasn’t about to leave two oh-so-close meals without a fight.

So I headed out of my office, around the house and (trying to get a picture of it for you), it spooked and flew off. I was sweating bullets about the babies until I saw them later in the day but reached the conclusion that it was Darwin / nature at work and they’d all have to figure it out for themselves. Right?

Yup. So, know what’s really funny? As I’m typing this on Thurs night, the two babies have just landed on the fence outside my office again and are watching me as I sit behind the display.

I’ve got more carving show pics to post and will do that over the weekend.

As always, thx for stopping by, be well and don’t forget to write when you get work.
btw, It occurred to me after I posted this (so I’ve come back to edit) that some might wonder why in the world I would care about a couple of baby doves, or the baby black squirrel who seems to have taken up residence here… or the hummingbirds, finches, etc.

Good question.

I care because their presence is good for the health and well being of our property and neighborhood. Birds eat lots of insects and seeds and “redistribute” them throughout the gardens / neighborhood where they improve the condition of the soil (also spreading weeds, no doubt, but I’ve already told you how I feel about weeds now that I’m a beekeeper 🙂 I also feel like their songs – the hummingbirds are unique (besides, they’re such characters) and the finches sound great, the cooing of the doves is relaxing and if you listen carefully enough, you can begin to hear different meanings in the sounds squirrels make as they chatter throughout the day.

So that’s why I care. (in case you care why I care 😉

Random pics…

Pandora supervising Joanne’s work on the Carousel Rooster.

Mom Finch. This is a female Red Headed House Finch who has made a nest in our (now) year-round wreath outside the kitchen. With her having set up house @ that place, it’s an awful lot like having an observation hive for bees – we can watch her / the babies (when they hatch) go through this phase of their lives. Very cool.

Our first-ever baby doves – these are in the eaves right outside our bedroom French doors. When the babies hatched, the mother took their shells and removed them from the nest to give them all more room and to make sure the shell / materials didn’t attract ants / other birds. They’ve been out of their shells since Memorial Day.

Ah, a pollen-laden worker bee making her way in to the hive. See the pollen on her legs? Pollen is held in “pollen baskets” and when she locates what she feels is the “right” cell, she’ll lower herself abdomen-first in to the cell, then push the pollen off with the same movements we would push off muddy boots as we sat in a chair.

The pollen is brought in as a source of protein for bee larvae and, in case you didn’t know but are interested, nectar is brought in as carbohydrates for the larvae, too. Nectar is stored in capped cells where the water portion will begin to evaporate through the porous cap, turning the nectar in to honey. When there is more nectar / honey than needed to feed the colony, the overage will be stored in extra supers (that I’ve placed on top of the hive) that will be harvested (um, stolen) by me later in the summer.).

Phew – if you’ve stayed with me this far, you’ve read enough that I am now pleased to dub thee Beginning Beekeeper!

Now, buzz off 🙂

Thx for stopping by, be well and dont’ forget to write when you get work (I’m off to clean carpets 🙁


Campbell Honey (dot com)

Given the current good health of our hives – both colonies are doing great, both queens are very productive, bees are going out “empty” and coming back laden with all sorts of pollen – bright red (neighbor’s bottle brush), neon orange (beats me), luscious gold and gorgeous bright yellow (lots of bright yellow weeds growing everywhere – not to mention tomato plants and sweet broom have lots of blooms on them) – I’ve installed the 2nd brood supers on both hives. I’ll check them for early comb and egg production tomorrow (Memorial Day). Once the 2nd brood supers begin filling with eggs, larvae and honey to feed the brood and worker bees, I’ll keep an eye on things and add the honey supers when appropriate.

Assuming we keep heading in the right direction, it looks like we’ll have a decent honey production this year. (I’ll be using medium supers – they’re only ~60 pounds each when full of honey vs 90 pounds for the deep supers). Although I wasn’t much of a “honey guy” (except the non-bee kind of honey :), I’ve come to appreciate the honey our colony made for us last year – very rich, full of pollen & proteins… helping me fight off most of this year’s allergy problems. That said, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise (something my mother used to say), we could well end up with 15-25 gallons of honey this year.

That’salottahoney! (I think I dated her somewhat smaller sister, Bit’o’Honey 😉

Anyway, there ain’t no way I’m going to put away – or give away – 25 gallons of honey, so it looks like we’ll make some of our honey available for purchase. I’ve always planned on doing “things” via TwoBigCats but – just in case – today I registered the domain for our Campbell-created Honey.

As always, thanks for stopping by, be well until next time and don’t forget to write when you get work.