The buzz

The Monthly newsletter from Second Story Honey

December bee update

Some weekend Winter days are so cold, wet and grim that the thought of having to leave the house is a non-starter. Why not stay curled up all day under a blanket on the sofa and make a meal from whatever we've got at home? Mrs. Mouse thinks the same thing when she is house-hunting in the Fall. 

A favorite Winter home for rodents is often a beehive. If the beekeeper doesn't secure the hive entrance in late Summer, as the temperatures fall and the days shorten, mice will seek out a nicely stocked hive and set up housekeeping. 

Sometimes the bees attack the interloper and repel them. But more often the bees can't attack because the temperatures are too cold. When it is cold the bees can't patrol the hive because they need to stay together in a cluster to keep warm. In these situations, the mouse moves right in.

Infrared image of a beehive in winter showing the position of the cluster of bees near the top of the hive and a rodent nest below inside the hive..

(c) Judith Stanton

Image showing a mouse guard installed on the front entrance of a beehive.

A mouse guard installed on the front of a hive. (c) Mann Lake

To keep the mice out, beekeepers install a mouse guard on the entrance of each hive. The holes in the guard are big enough for a single bee to pass through and keep pesky mice out!

Happily, each of the Second Story Honey hives are nice and secure from maurauding mice.   

If you have questions about the bees email me at

Recipe of the month: Honeycomb Candy

Holiday gift-giving made easy with homemade honeycomb candy - that is if you don't eat it all yourself!

Macro image showing the honeycomb like structure of this light, aromatic crunchy candy topped with flakey sea salt..


1 Tablespoon baking soda

1 Teaspoon finely grated ginger

1/4 Teaspoon ground ginger

1 1/2 Cups granulated sugar

1/4 Cup local honey

1/4 Teaspoon flakey sea salt

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and spray with non-stick cooking spray or use a non-stick baking mat. In a small bowl whisk together the baking soda, grated ginger and ground ginger. Set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, honey and 1/4 Cup of water. Heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking without stirring until the caramel is dark amber in color and reaches 300F on a candy thermometer, about 8-10 minutes. 

Immediately remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the baking soda-ginger mixture. The mixture will bubble up vigorously. Working quickly, pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Do not spread the mixture, it will settle itself as it cools. Sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside to cool completely. Break the candle into large pieces. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days. Also, try dipping in dark chocolate for an even more decadent experience.

Adapted from "Honey" (Short Stack Editions volume 8) by Rebekah Peppler.

Featured items

We've got lots of new candles of all shapes, sizes and colors available in our online shop. Come take a look!

Decorative glass votives in multiple designs containing 15-hour beeswax votive candles.

Decorative glass votives

Pillar candles (3 x 5") with carved scrolls in green, red and natural beeswax (other colors available).

Pillar candles with carved scrolls

Trio of evergreen tree candles in small, medium and large. Available in green, red, purple, sea glass and more.

Evergreen tree trio candles

Large and small wise owl candles in sea glass (other colors available).

Wise Owl candles

Where you'll find me this season

Saturday, December 7: Howard County Holiday Mart 
2400 MD-97, Cooksville, MD 21723

Everyday: online at

Howard County Holiday Mart, Saturday, December 7, 10am - 5pm

Holiday shipping dates


For your order to arrive in time for Chanukah please order by Monday, December 16.

For your order to arrive in time for Christmas please order by Friday, December 20.

Thanks so much for your support. You can opt-out of these newsletters at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link below.  That said, I hope you won't :)  

   Jan Day