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Sunset at Home

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I find your honey?
    My honey is available at these small, nice-people-owned, local businesses. Please support them as you can. They make our community better--and I would say that even if they didn't sell my stuff. You can also order directly from me. Send me a note, and I'd be happy to help you out.
  • My honey crystallized. Is it still good?
    Yes! Crystallization is a completely natural process that all honey will undergo eventually. Some honey crystallizes very rapidly, some very slowly. It is still perfectly edible in its crystallized form. If you would like to remove the crystals, you have a couple of options: (1) Put the glass jar in a pan of water on the stove, heat it gently (c. 140°), and stir until the crystals dissolve. Or... (2) On a hot day, put your glass jar on the dashboard of your car for a couple of hours. The heat of the Mississippi sun will decrystalize the honey. (Don't try this with plastic jars. I learned that one the hard way.)
  • Do you ship?
    By and large, no. If you live in a faraway land and really, really, really would like to try some of my products, then send me a note. We might be able to work something out.
  • Do you deliver?
    I can deliver to anyone in Hattiesburg. Delivery is free, but I prefer a $15 minimum order. (That's two jars of honey. Totally worth it.) In my non-beekeeping life, I teach at USM to support the bee habit. I'd be happy to offer free campus delivery with no minimum.
  • What do you sell besides honey?
    I sell handcrafted soap, lip balm, and 100% beeswax candles. I also offer gift bags for holidays, hostess gifts, and all-around good cheer.
  • Do you sell bees?
    Yes, I sell five-frame nucleus colonies (nucs) of Italian bees. Each comes with a new queen, eggs, brood, and honey. They are available for pickup around the beginning of April (weather permitting). But please place your orders as soon as you can. They are in limited supply, so the early bird gets the bee. Send me a note if you are interested.
  • Do you sell honey wedding or party favors?
    Yes! I offer whimsical little 2 oz. honey bears and hex-sided glass jars with customized labels. Please send me a note for details.
  • I'd like to sell honey as a fundraiser for my organization. Is that possible?
    Of course! Whether you belong to a charity, church, synagogue, traveling sports team, sorority, or a fraternity, selling local honey would be a great way to raise money using a delicious, natural product. Send me a message, and we can work out a plan.
  • I'd like to sell your honey at my local business. How can we make that happen?
    That's a great idea! I love working with local business owners to celebrate food and natural products from our area. Message me about wholesale options.
  • Do you sell honey in bulk?
    I have one-gallon jugs and five-gallon buckets available in limited quantities. Send me a note for pricing.
  • What's that white stuff on my candle?
    Candles made with 100% beeswax will eventually develop a white substance called "bloom." This is perfectly natural, and, indeed, it is a sign of a high-quality, pure-beeswax candle. It is completely harmless. If you prefer to remove the bloom, you can do so by rubbing it with your hand or a warm, soft cloth. You can also remove it with a hair dryer.
  • Where is your honey produced?
    All of my hives are located year-round within 10 miles of my home in Hattiesburg, MS.
  • How long have you been a beekeeper?
    I started in Spring 2016 with about 2 1/2 hives. Then, things got out of hand. Now, I have many more than 2 1/2. In fact, there are too many. Would you like one or three? I'll make you a sweet deal.
  • Do you ever get stung?
    Yes. Occupational hazard.
  • Does it hurt?
  • Always?
    Yes. But after a couple of stings, the reactions are less spectacular. No swelling, rashes, itchiness. Just an initial jolt, some PG-13 exclamations, and then it's back to beesness.
  • Why do you like to work with bees?
    Honey bees never cease to amaze. There is always more to learn about their peculiar ways. Plus, they do important things for our planet, and I like playing some small, largely insignificant role in their mission. They also give me an excuse to extract myself from the madness of (im?)polite society, get some fresh air, and marvel at nature in action. It's a hobby that lends itself to social distancing.
  • Ahhhh! A swarm of bees landed on my mailbox? What should I do?
    RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!! OK, maybe not. Basically, you have two viable options. (1) Call a friendly neighborhood beekeeper to capture it for you. He or she will shake it into a box, take it away, and give it a new home. (Everybody loves free bees, right?) or (2) just leave it alone. It will go away in a day or so. Here's the thing: A swarm is a group of homeless bees in search of a new place to live. You'll start to see more of them in the early spring when their colonies get really big, and it gets too crowded in their original home. As a general rule, honey bees are defensive, not aggressive. That is, they sting when they think you are a threat to their home. Since swarms don't have a permanent residence yet, they have no reason to sting you. So, bottom line: don't be afraid. Stand next to it, and get a couple of good pictures for Instagram.* Your friends will think you're nuts, and you'll get a good story out of it. Then, call a beekeeper to take it away. Free bees are always welcome. *Of course, I'm speaking of typical swarms. Exercise caution and consult your health care professional before standing next to atypical ones.
  • Ahhhh! I have a swarm of bees living in my wall. Can you help?
    Unfortunately, I do not do cut-outs. Send me a note, and I can refer you to other competent professionals who have the tools for the job.
  • I would like to learn more about bees and beekeeping. Where should I start?
    Find a local bee club, and attend the meetings. You will meet a fascinating cast of characters, all of whom love to talk about bees. It's a great way to learn the tricks for your area. If you are serious about wanting to learn, then you should find a mentor--someone who can answer all your questions and show you the ropes. As you might imagine, getting information from the internet is a blessing and a curse. Make friends with an experienced, local beekeeper.There is no substitute for experience. There are many other print resources I can recommend. Drop me a note, and I can send you some handouts. If you would like to be included on the mailing list for the Pine Belt Beekeepers Association, send me your email address; and I'll add you. If you have any specific questions, don't hesitate to ask!
  • I would like to become a beekeeper. Where can I get bees?
    I sell nucleus colonies (nucs) in the spring. (See the link above.) The optimal time to start a hive in south Mississippi is April or May. You will have the greatest chance of success since there will be abundant resources to help the bees grow. It's not impossible to start at other times of the year, but your odds of success go down dramatically.
  • Can I come and meet the bees?
    Yes, I'd be happy to introduce you to the bees. I have had visitors between the ages of 2 and 80+. A good time was had by one and all. There is something magical about tasting honey right out of the hive. It's an experience you won't forget.
  • Do you teach beekeeping classes for students?
    I don't teach full-blown beekeeping classes, per se; but I have offered sessions about the importance of bees to a variety of audiences. I've also hosted school groups at one of my apiaries. If you are interested, let me know. Update: During the dark days of the pandemic, the Pine Belt Beekeepers Association hosted an online course for beginners. You can find the sessions here:
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