Hi! This is Adriana, the beekeeper from South Mountain Bees.
This has been the strangest gardening season ever. For once, it started early. We had such a mild winter that tree sprouts and bulb shoots were up a few weeks early. The bees were booming and ready to swarm before we were even thinking of swarm season.
Remember the clean air from the stay at home during the pandemic and the beautiful blue skies of early spring? I remember taking this picture, and my daughter asking what filter I used. "None.", I replied. We couldn't believe how blue the sky was.
All that got us out of the house, and ready to garden early on. Even people who had never gardened before ventured into growing food, planting natives, and just the fun of playing outdoors and watching plants grow.
We had a good deal of chasing after uninvited garden guests. I came really close to quitting gardening. I know one has to find pleasure in the process (I haven't reached that zen state yet!), but not being able to harvest anything, and seeing even small seedlings munched to the ground was discouraging and upsetting. I was just feeding an endless supply of critters that kept inviting their friends and relations over.
A family of groundhogs even built a den in the lot behind our garden. Kids there's plenty of food here! you could imagine mama-groundhog telling her young. We finally installed a solar powered electric fence to keep groundhogs out of the garden in a humane and sustainable way, and that was a game changer. They were by far the most destructive visitors, and soon after we installed the fence, they vacated their new den.
Unfortunately, the squirrels figured out a way to bypass the electric wire pretty quickly. So far the squirrels and chipmunks are winning the tomato battle. Sigh.
Let me tell you a bit about this lip balm. It is made with my own blend of beeswax, oils, vitamin E, and essential oils. In February 2016, I submitted it to the New Jersey Beekeepers Association Honey Show, and the judges really liked it. It ranked not only first in the Lip Balm Category, but best in the Cosmetics Division, which included creams, lotions, soaps and lip balm.
Together with honey and soaps, it remains one of our most popular products, from the way it looks to the way it feels and how long it lasts, if you haven't tried it yet, you will fall in love with this lip balm, and I'm sure it will make you a happier gardener.