Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sweet Summer Solstice Follow-up

Last week I had been checking the weather forecast for Friday the 19th every day. By Wednesday it started looking like we might be OK but when Friday rolled around, it looked like we would get rain. Since we didn't have a rain date, I was pretty sure the turnout would be low.

More people signed up in advance this year than ever before and although I don't have the actual attendance number, more people came out for the Solstice at the apiary than we have ever seen. We were very happy to see so many people take a chance on the weather to come out and support us.

And of course, it rained. And the wind blew. We had several canopies set up, weighted and strapped to each other and when they started to lift off the ground we all scrambled to clear off the tables and take them down. With 2 protected canopies left, and some space inside our storage container, a sizable crowd remained. Still eating and drinking and having a great time while they held on to the canopy struts, just in case. Did I mention everyone was soaked?

Before we knew it, the storm and rain cleared off. We could see the sun setting over the trees to the west. The wind was replaced with a cool slight breeze.

The potluck dishes were wonderful as was the Salmon from Plitt Seafood. The extra tables we set up were nearly full. The wine and Goose Island beer certainly helped keep everybody calm.

The only thing that didn't work out so well was the raffle. Plenty of people bought tickets but with all the excitement over the weather, we never got around to picking the winning numbers.
We'll do that this week and call the winners. I'll post the results when we do.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sweet Summer Solstice - June 19, 2009

For the past two years Slow Food Chicago has sponsored a Summer Solstice potluck fundraiser for us at the apiary. It will be happening this year on June 19th and should be the best one yet. Only $15 per person ($10 for Co-op and Slow Food members). Bring a dish to share and a chair to sit on. We'll also be holding a raffle with great prizes including a private tour of the City Hall rooftop garden and beehives, a dinner for 2 at Brasserie Jo, a Joe Breezer Itzy folding bicycle, organic/biodynamic wine from Candid wines and more. Reservations are required. Find out more here - Slow Food Chicago

The Sweet Summer Solstice event is part of our effort to raise $10,000.00 to begin raising our own honey bee queens.
Every beekeeper loses a portion of their hives each year and must replace those bees with ones purchased from Southern or Western beekeepers who have a longer beekeeping season. We don't believe it is a sustainable way to continue in beekeeping.

We want to reduce our dependence on this supply by raising our own queens. Doing this will allow us to reduce the yearly expense of buying package bees and allow us to derive extra income from sale of queens and nucleus hives to other local beekeepers. The start-up costs and labor for this are considerable so we are trying to raise the $10,000.00 to get the program up and running.

If everyone who sees this donated just $5.00, we would be well on our way to our goal.