The Sweetest All Natural Wildflower Honey To Be Found! “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.”― Henry David Thoreau


Santa Rosa plantation dates to the 17th century, though the plantation house in its current form dates to only 1840.   Santa Rosa has been home to bees and excellent honey since before the American Revolution.  For example, the will of Captain James Gee (1694-1760) filed at Prince George County Courthouse on February 16, 1760 lists among the Captain’s possessions “7 bees and hives.”  During the Civil War Santa Rosa plantation was very close to the siege line surrounding Petersburg but the house itself was not burnt down because the Federals used the house as a headquarters and a field hospital…the heart pine floorboards on the 3d floor are covered with many large blood stains from the wounded soldiers.  In 1864 the Union headquarters and hospital at Santa Rosa were overrun by Confederate cavalry on their way to rustle 5,000 Federal cattle that were corralled at Coggins point, cattle that were meant to feed the Union Army but instead were driven back to Petersburg by the rebels and ended up feeding the Confederate Army, prolonging the siege of Petersburg until 1865.



“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”-Maurice MaeterlinckThe Life of the Bee
The Fall Harvest is done!  


Santa Rosa Plantaion BeeFarm: Home to the OLDEST Living Pecan Tree in Virginai


The Ancient Pecan of Santa Rosa

Towering above Santa Rosa and visible for miles around, being twice the height of the surrounding trees and other vegetation, is the mighty Ancient Pecan.  Pecan trees are native to Prince George County and were cultivated by the Indians long before the English settlers arrived, but are still rather rare, since the abundant squirrels love to eat not only the Pecan nuts, but also devour the Pecan seedlings greedily. The trunk of the Ancient Pecan of Santa Rosa measures 24 feet in circumference.   The Ancient Pecan of Santa Rosa is at least 350 years old, arguably the oldest living Pecan tree in Virginia.  The long vertical scar on the east facing side of the tree, a scar possibly caused by a past lightning strike, has been the home of a colony of wild honey bees…could Pooh get his paw in there to scoop out the honey? 

“Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh


“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”-Maurice MaeterlinckThe Life of the Bee

Santa Rosa Plantation Wildflower Honey Farm

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Giant Drone Comb


Drone Comb Perspective  #1


Drone Comb Perspective #2


This large drone comb and container of burr comb on which the drone comb is leaning came out of one of our good honey producing hives. This weekend, we were able to remove all the queen cells from three hives before the hives started to swarm resulting in nine splits that we put into a queen castle and five deep nucs.  This drone comb is the result of a mistake we made last season, leaving too much space between the frames in a deep hive body so bees built out this drone comb in the excess space between the frames. 

Don't FORGET it is SWARM SEASON in our neck of the woods.  IF YOU NEED HELP REMOVING A HONEYBEE SWARM CALL US!

We are listed on the National Swarm Removal Website:  CLICK HERE



Saturday, April 23, 2016

SWARMS, SWARMS, SWARMS! HONEY BEE SWARMS




WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU FIND A SWARM ON YOUR PROPERTY?
  1. Immediately contact a local beekeeper to remove the swarm. FYI: Simple swarm removals will be a free service.
  2. Provide a description of the swarm to the beekeeper such as its location, how high off the ground, how large is it, how long the bees have been there, and confirmation that they are "honey bees"  
  3. DO NOT DISTURB THE SWARM. In general, honey bee swarms are docile but keep your distance to ensure your safety.
  4. Remove pets and all animals from the swarm site.
  5. Important: DO NOT spray the swarm with insecticide!
ONE SWARM SET UP RESIDENCE IN A CEMENT POT THAT WAS UPSIDE DOWN

The NEW HOME for the Bees who are now making Honey at Santa Rosa Honey Farm!



We are listed on the National Swarm Removal Website:  CLICK HERE





Sunday, April 17, 2016

Swarm Busters: Swarm Season Spring and Early Summer


Good or bad this is the season for BEES to SWARM.  We can be your Local SWARM BUSTERS!  BUT you need to call RIGHT AWAY before the swarm moves on or sets up residence in your barn or carport or tree, etc.  If we can do it safely we will.  The only cost will be we get the BEES to go to work at Santa Rosa Honey Farm making HONEY!  CALL (804) 928-0019 and we will get to work removing your swarm of BEES.  We caught two swarms on Sunday, April 17, 2016!  Around 9:30 am we saw the first smaller swarm of wild honey bees that was located about 2 feet off the ground  in the Leyland Cypress tree behind the strawberry patch which is only about 30 yards from our bee yard. The swarm was not from our hives since we checked each frame of our hives in mid-March and there were no queen cells present on any frame at that time and it takes 60 days for a queen bee to hatch. We quickly cut off the branch that the wild honey bee swarm was swarming on and placed it inside a  hive we set up for the purpose of giving this swarm a new home. We were excited to add this swarm to our bee yard since wild honey bees are very hardy and quite disease resistant.  Later in the day we saw another honey bee swarm in the Leyland Cypress tree right next to the cypress tree where the first swarm was swarming, this second swarm was much more massive than the first. This second swarm of wild honey bees was not so simple to reach since it was swarming on a branch about 20 feet off the ground. We set up a ladder and reached this swarm as well. The only mishap was that in her excitement Cynthia did not don her bee suit and as she was holding the ladder steady some bees from the swarm fell onto her head and stung her once .  We placed this honey bee swarm in a second hive that we had set up.  We are THE SWARM BUSTERS!






We are listed on the National Swarm Removal Website:  CLICK HERE


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Beekeeping Education: May 18, 2016 At St. Mark's Preschool, Petersburg, Virginia


Santa Rosa Honey Farm will be Educating the Children at St. Mark's Preschool in Petersburg, Virginia about the world of BEES and BEEKEEPING!  Thank you St. Mark's for allowing Santa Rosa Honey Farm to make young folks aware of the need for BEES and the ecological role the BEE plays in the world.










Tuesday, April 12, 2016

INSTALLATION OF OUR NEW HIVES: Step 4, 5 & 6


STEP 4 
Place Packages Down and Make SURE You Have All Tools For the INSTALLATION



STEP 5
Choose the First Packages to INSTALL and Make Sure you have an AUDIENCE (NOTICE OUR COW WATCHING)


STEP 6

TAKE PACKAGE TO NEW HIVE



WATCH FOR THE REST THE PROCESS IN OUR NEXT POST!

Currently, our own HONEY POT is low, but we expect to harvest some LIQUID GOLD in MAY! Please check back in just a few weeks and we will let you know when we have more HONEY available!  Our Spring Harvest is just around the corner.  

Have a HONEY of a DAY!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Installation of NEW BEES STEPS 1 & 2 & 3


STEP ONE: SET UP NEW HIVES




STEP TWO: PUT ON BEE SUITS



STEP THREE:  TAKE NEW PACKAGES DOWN TO HIVES



WATCH FOR THE REST THE PROCESS IN OUR NEXT POST!

Currently, our own HONEY POT is low, but we expect to harvest some LIQUID GOLD in MAY! Please check back in just a few weeks and we will let you know when we have more HONEY available!  Our Spring Harvest is just around the corner.  

Have a HONEY of a DAY!