Sweet Sophia March Newsletter

Spring has sprung...finally!

February came and went and I failed to get a newsletter out.  I will blame it on leap year…and we have been busier than a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  We were, however, able to get our second book published (YAY!).  In Sweet Sophia’s second adventure, she meets Florence Nightingale in 19thCentury London.  Florence teaches Sophia about the medicinal properties of honey and how she set up the first school for nurses.  We have received some great reviews about these books, both from kids and parents.  In Sweet Sophia’s next adventure, she will travel all the way back to ancient Egypt and meet Cleopatra.

Bee Fact– For the first 21 days of a female bees life, she is a nurse. 

We also were able to place some of our merchandise into a local store!  If you are ever traveling along I66 near Front Royal, stop by the Apple House in Linden, VA.  I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having an empty belly, because the food is amazing! 

Subscription service trial – We are trying out a new app on our website that allows for subscriptions.  By subscribing to any product, you save 10%. By pre-paying for your subscription, you save 15%.  Never run out of honey, soap, lotion, or lip balm again! 

Zika Virus Update – I have been using our all natural and homemade bug balm, and I have been putting it on my family since we first started making it.  No one in my family has contracted the Zika virus, West Nile virus, or Malaria.  Coincidence? Perhaps; but, I am willing to put my trust in our products!  Spring is here, the mosquitos will be out soon…just say in. 

What are the bees doing?

All winter the bees stay in a cluster and shiver, keeping the hive at 93 degrees.  This takes a lot of energy, so having plenty of stores going into the winter is critical to keeping the ladies alive.  So now that it’s getting warmer what is going in in the hives? 

The warmer weather triggers the queen to start laying eggs.  The workers that are in the hive with her are very old, and will stay alive only long enough to help get the new generation on their feet (so to speak).  The drones (male bees) were all kicked out in the fall, so the queen will lay unfertilized eggs that will become drones.  As the trees and flowers begin to blossom, the foragers are bringing in pollen and nectar.  The colonies are rapidly expanding; this is the time of year for swarming.

Swarming is how bees reproduce and multiply. It’s completely natural.  Swarming bees are quite docile and just looking for a home.  If you or someone you know see a large swarm of honeybees, please call your local bee club.  Beekeepers love to catch swarms and give them new homes!!  This is especially true if you live in the Northern Virginia region…call me or the Swarm Team at Prince William Regional Beekeepers Association!!

New Products

Face Cream – This all-natural face cream keeps your skin soft and moisturized without any harsh chemicals. This face cream, which can also double as an eye cream, is rich in antioxidants and contains ingredients known to help repair damaged skin and reduce scars and fine lines. All of the ingredients are soothing and work well to hydrate the skin.

Sumatra Sunset Soap – We ran a contest on Facebook to come up with a name for our newest soap. Thanks for all of the entries.  Many of the names were focused on Colombia and frankly made me nervous. The last thing I need is the DEA kicking in my door looking for the Medellin Madness or Bogota Bliss.  In the end, we settled on Sumatra Sunset.  

This soap is colored with oil infused in annatto seeds, and it has finely ground coffee to help exfoliate.  The scent is very earthy with a background of cedar and redwood. 

Craft Fairs –  It’s that time of year!  We will be at a few craft fairs this spring and summer.  We kicked off the season at the Gar-Field High School Spring Craft Expo.   Look for us at the following venues in April:

April 16th – Manassas Live Well Festival 
April 30th – Fairfax Springfest @ the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center

New Stuff – As usual, we have been experimenting with new products, including an all-natural sunscreen, healing ointment, and a product for nursing mothers we are calling Bu-Bee butter..use your imagination.  

As always, we want to thank all of our customers for your support to our little business and to local beekeepers.  It is an amazing feeling to make things from scratch that others value enough to come back for more!  

John & Elsa (and Sweet Sophia of course!)