Tag Archives: bee

Honey and Buzzing at Bee Things in Swellendam (2019-09-27) Photo Gallery | Shopping 30 JAN 2020

If you are rather fond of honey and happen to ‘bee’ in Swellendam, then it might just be worth your while to buzz across the main street to the brightly hued, honeybee-themed, hard to miss Bee Things shop.

As it stands, Bee Things is part of the Ubusi Beekeeping company which rose out of founder Jaco Wolfaardt’s beekeeping hobby that first morphed into JW’s Beekeeping Honey & Equipment, before finally emerging as this full scale commercial beekeeping operation that provides beekeeping, mentorship, supplies, and most important to me and you as a consumer, honey direct to the public.

Currently there are four Bee Things shops in operation, in Swellendam, George, Mosselbay and Barrydale, and these stores provide both an awareness and retail avenue for Ubusi’s honey and wax as well as for an assortment of bee-related products from 3rd party producers.

The end result? An amazing little shop experience that is crammed with the most exotic collection of honey (with some of it even on tap!), honey products, and locally manufactured hand crafted items, as well as a plethora of information about the beekeeping industry and practices, and of course bees themselves.

There is also a hive with honey bees on show (great for the kids), and this particular store in Swellendam (the home base so to speak) also features an amazing wall of Jaco’s private collection of honey that he has collected from literally all over the world!

Visiting the Overberg Honey Co. in Stanford (2016-05-21) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 06 JUN 2016

Following our refreshing stroll among the boulders and sand of De Kelders in Gansbaai, Chantelle and I made our way back towards Stanford in order to continue our lovely Blue Gum Country Estate weekend away. However, as we entered the outskirts of the small heritage village of Stanford, a bright yellow signboard peaking out from the small industrial area caught our eye – and so we found ourselves pulling over and entering the bright yellow world of the Overberg Honey Co.

Established around 2011 by the young team of Daniel and Nadia Vorster, the thriving commercial honey producing Overberg Honey Co. pretty much maintains a presence only in Stanford, their business bolstered by their Overberg crop pollination service, something I had never actually thought about as being a commercial need before.

The Stanford shop doubles as the honey production house, bee information hub, and honey-related sales organ, and on the day that Chantelle and I visited, we were lead about by the most amazing Stanford local who was minding the shop for the weekend. This charming lady (a former teacher who now works with autistic children during the week) was a bubbly fountain of knowledge, as she proudly had us taste all the exquisite different types of honey they produce (due to the different crops/vegetation they set their hives up around), as well as show us the ins and outs of their honey production business.

Just as the similar Simply Bee product shop that we visited in Hopefield last year, Overberg Honey Co. also has an observation hive setup so that you can get a closer look at the workings of bees in the hive, as well as a wealth of bee information in the form of posters, pamphlets, and books scattered about.

By the end of our extended visit, Chantelle fell in love with Boekenhout (Cape Beech) honey and we walked out with a jar of that, but had we known about their honey on tap service, we may very well have come out with a lot more honey than just that!

A charming little stop in Stanford indeed.

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Related Link: Overberg Honey Co.

Photos at Canettevallei Lavender (2015-09-27) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 11 OCT 2015

Chantelle spotted something very cool on Facebook a little while ago – a wine and lavender farm in Stellenbosch had put out the invite that if anyone wanted to, they were more than welcome to come through and take some photos in the farm’s lavender fields before they were to be harvested.

So, at the end of September, we rounded up the kids and convinced Damen and Michelle, and Evan and Natasha joined us on our little photographic adventure (with the promise of a braai to follow).

IMG_20150927_130044 craig lotter with kids in the lavender patch at canettevallei lavender farm

Canettevallei is a wine and lavender farm that lies tucked away in Stellenboschkloof, a quiet valley situated about 10 kilometers outside Stellenbosch.

In 2005 the owners decided to plant lavender in front of their house on the farm, which then led to a lavender business, which in turn influenced the decision to plant a further three hectares of lavender.

Today Canettevallei grows lavender using organic practices to develop unique, farm fresh lavender products for body, gifts and weddings, with their main product lines being lavender essential oil and lavender ‘rice’, the sweet-smelling dried flowers of the lavender plant.

IMG_20150927_123430 walking at canettevallei lavender farm

Despite the weather predictions for bad weather on the day, the morning weather was actually very great, and so we enjoyed an idyllic drive out to this very scenic area, meeting up with the Oosthuizens and Grangers there.

The kids enjoyed a stroll around some of the fields, and we even had two of the local farm dogs join us for the walk (though technically, I’m not entirely sure we were meant to be there – it was after all a Sunday, the lavender shop was closed, and the place seemed pretty deserted… other than the people sitting on their porch in the distance, enjoying a Sunday brunch and warily watching these strangers traipse all over their land!).

Oh, and I spotted a lone cow, chilling by itself under a tree by the small stream.

IMG_20150927_123655 cow at canettevallei lavender farm

But that’s not important.

The lavender field was as most things are in real life, smaller than what it appears in photos, but it was more than sufficient for us to take a multitude of cute pictures of all the kids in this beautiful swathe of purple.

(Also, amazingly, no bee stings were recorded, despite all the naturally attracted bees!)

IMG_20150927_125921 chantelle lotter in the lavender patch at canettevallei lavender farm

After lots and lots (and lots) of photos were taken, and everyone was a bit grumpy of having to pose for far too many shots, we exited the field, made our way back to the cars and headed home towards Gordon’s Bay – just in time as it turned out – because as we finished up, the clouds raced in and the rain started pouring.

Talk about perfect timing!

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The braai was good, the kids played together well, and lots of FIFA was played. Oh, and a decent amount of Southern Comfort (with Lime) and Jack Daniels disappeared in the process!

Related Link: Canettevallei Lavender

Drop like a Berry, Sting like a Bee My Life 26 JUL 2010

Well, that is certainly one way to check whether or not you are allergic to bee stings.

So I was happily striding back to the office after enjoying a refreshing lunch time gym break, when I felt something solid drop onto my head at a fair pace and with a little mini thud. My hair was still wet and so the foreign object didn’t bounce off as expected, rather staying lodged in my locks.

Now seeing as I had just passed underneath a big leafy tree, I assumed it to be a seed or flower or even a berry that had whacked me in the head, and so casually reached up to brush the offending clump of organic material off my crown, when I felt a sharp sting and had to withdraw my hand rather hastily – noticing a bright yellow tuft of matter attached to a stinger digging neatly (and rather pointedly) into my finger.

Yes, it had in fact been a disorientated bee that flew straight into my head and then decided to commit suicide in an effort to defend its new found territory when my gigantic hand came a knocking.

I didn’t spare much of a though for the bee, but that damn little stinger really makes the finger itch for a little bit, doesn’t it?

Well, like I told the guys back at the office, that certainly is one way of finding out whether or not you’re allergic to bee stings – after all, the last time I think I was stung must have been way back when I was still a teeny weeny kid! :)

Bee Movie My Reviews 19 JAN 2008

Bee MovieHold on to your honey!

Barry B. Benson is a bee who just graduated from college and is somewhat disillusioned with the rather bland, job-for-life career choice in making honey that he has before him. However, a naughty trip outside the hive leads to a rather exciting meeting with the very human Vanessa, a florist in New York City. Slowly he gets to know her and just when everything appears peachy, Barry makes a horrid discovery: humans are actually stealing and eating the bees’ honey!

So just what is a wronged bee to do in modern day America? Sue us for all our honey!

Bee Movie (a play on the term B-Movie) is the first motion-picture script to be written by comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who co-wrote it with Spike Feresten, Barry Marder, and Andy Robin. The cast and crew for the movie include quite a few veterans of Seinfeld’s long-running sitcom Seinfeld, including writer/producers Feresten and Robin, and actors Michael Richards (Cosmo Kramer), Patrick Warburton (David Puddy), and Larry Miller.

The movie was is produced by DreamWorks Animation, fresh off their Shrek the Third outing, and is directed by Simon J. Smith and Steve Hickner. And for an animated movie, you couldn’t ask for a more star studded voice cast, featuring amongst others: Jerry Seinfeld, Ren’e Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Eddie Izzard, and Patrick Warburton.

The story of Bee Movie comes straight out of modern day American society: If you think you are being wronged, sue the pants off someone. However, try as they might, one can’t help but feel that it doesn’t really translate into much of a kiddy story, which is exactly one of the problems that I have with the movie. And viewed as adult entertainment, Bee Movie doesn’t have all that much to offer either unfortunately. There isn’t enough humour to make it perfect for adults to enjoy as was the case with the smash hit Shrek and Shrek 2, while the storyline and lack of cute character aren’t really enough to make it a smash hit with kids. Instead, Bee Movie kind of straddles the two demographics which is a huge problem for any movie that is trying to make a killing for itself.

The writing on Bee Movie is very Jerry Seinfeld style, from the puns to the general feel of the situations, and because Seinfeld himself voices the main character, you can’t help but sometimes feel that you are in fact watching an animated episode of Seinfeld (though maybe this isn’t such a bad thing for all those grieving Seinfeld fans out there). The pacing of the story is pretty quick and you almost feel rushed along as the movie hurtles from start to finish. Still, the situational comedy that you have come to expect from Mr Seinfeld is all there and you will be forced into a chuckle more than once. Of course, as with all movies aimed at kids, there is a message to be learned from this story, though I am not quite convinced that it is the most wonderful stories to be told. Telling someone to not do something for themselves and be an individual and rather fit in with the crowd and do things as they always have been done because that is how it is meant to be done is perhaps not the most motivational of messages out there. – :)

Still, although rushed, Bee story does tell a interesting story and manages to bring something new to the world of storytelling in animated movies, perhaps a lot like the atrociously bad Hoodwinked! did a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I really don’t see any kids falling in love with this one, young or old and I’m pretty sure that apart from Seinfeld diehards, there aren’t going to be too many adult fans either.

On the graphics side of things, Bee Movie certainly doesn’t disappoint. DreamWorks have done a good job in producing a fun, colourful and brightly lit world for the story to explore and in terms of the animation itself there certainly is nothing to complain about. The visuals lean towards a slightly cartoony look which fits the story and feel of the movie perfectly in my opinion. Of course, a person has to realise that these types of graphics are pretty much the norm nowadays with everyone doing it as well as the next guy, you can’t really base your film’s success on the graphics itself as earlier movies in the CGI genre have done.

In terms of voice acting talent though, Bee Movie can do no wrong. An absolutely stellar cast of stars lent their voices to this movie, and no one put a single foot wrong. Okay, you have to be a Seinfeld fan for his whiney voice not to get on your nerves, but apart from him everyone else was spectacular. Chris Rock and Eddie Izzard stuck out for me, but if there was one voice that stood out the most, it has to be good old Patrick Warburton, a man who has now become synonymous with all animated, loud-mouthed buffoons ever to grace out screens! Heck, if you want to talk celebrities, even Larry King played a caricature of himself in this movie!

The music for Bee Movie was composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams, this being his second animated movie composition, the first being his score for Over the Hedge. Nothing spectacular that blows your mind away, but it does the job and does it well. The soundtrack itself is also filled with a host of classics that will instantly put you in a good mood anyway.

All in all, Bee Movie isn’t a great movie or a movie that stands out of the crowd, but it certainly isn’t a bad movie and the fast pacing means that it holds your attention for its entire duration without ever feeling too long or boring. Cute, colourful graphics and two levels of humour means that both you and your kids can safely sit down and enjoy it, so in that respect it achieved exactly what is set out to do’ entertain you (and steal you hard earned bucks).

If you are looking for wholesome family fun, Bee Movie won’t lead you astray, but in my opinion this might be one better left to DVD rental night.

Bee Movie1 Bee Movie2 Bee Movie3
Related Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0389790/