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The Carolina Bee Company
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Mother Earth News Fair, Asheville, NC
It's THIS WEEKEND!
Come one! Come all! To one of our favorite events of them all!
http://www.motherearthnews.com/fair/north-carolina.aspx

This is the first year that Mother Earth News will be holding this event in Asheville (there is one in WA and one in PA -- at which we vend as well). Come visit Monica and her lovely assistant Jessica, as they peddle bee-made soaps, balms, candles, and more in beautiful Asheville North Carolina. Oh, and they can talk about bees all day long.

Come visit us and say hello!

#motherearthnews #menfair #asheville #fairs #festivals  
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Dirt Days... some photos.
Somehow our last posting got fouled up. So, here you go again. :)
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No one does insect photography like Alex Wild. This is such a tremendous inside look into a bumble bee hive. Wow.
 
Inside a laboratory colony of Bombus impatiens bumble bees at the University of Texas, a worker stands her ground. 
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We'll be there! The Mother Earth News Fairs are tremendous. Come if you can.

#MotherEarthNews   #OffGrid   #Sustainability   #agriculture  
 
Join us at our FAIR in Asheville, N.C., on April 12 and 13 for workshops, demos, renowned speakers and so much more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/fair/home.aspx
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Different topic than usual: Alternatives to Square!
Not to be confused with Squarespace.com (what our website and store runs on)... we're talking about Square from Squareup.com here.

What's the issue with Square? Namely integration. They kicked off the "anyone can accept a credit card" war out there with their ubiquitous dongle. Brilliant. Simple. And awesome. Kudos. But... competition has been heating up. And Square is circling the wagons in portability and integrate-ability.

What do we mean? It means that Square is taking a cue from Apple and has reduced its supportable footprint to specific hardware and specific platforms. Specifically... Apple products. It is dropping support for Android Tablets and reducing the scope of its support for Android devices (phones and whatnot). That's a problem if you live in the Google ecosystem. Which we do. And it is odd that Square took this approach because, well, Android simply is the hands-down leader, especially with phones. Then again, the designer of the Square dongle came from Apple, so maybe not so surprising, but still...

So we live in the world of Google. We bought a tablet specifically to use as a lightweight "register" of sorts. Square is deprecating this and wants to force us into the world of iPads-only. Fine for turnkey, but not for on-the-road / festival / fair circuit (which is what put Square on the map).

"Backoffice" Integration: Also a major issue. Square only works with Quickbooks. Yes, the market leader BY FAR. But if Square simply opened their APIs, other players could plug right in. No problem. Square is artificially suppressing access to its APIs when it need not do so. We don't understand why... unless, of course, Intuit did a deal with them, which is probably the case. Quickbooks/Intuit is also famously a "lock you in" kind of vendor.

So, as far as card readers go, our next alternative experiment will be with PayPal. They offer more support across Android systems and for backoffice stuff, they integrate with everyone. We'll let you  know how that goes.

Turnkey solutions (sit-on-table cash register): Square makes this bitchin' cash register system. Naturally, we understand that they trim down support costs to an iPad-based system. Fine... you have to reduce your support footprint. For "in your hands" we'd love it if they simple continued to support Android Tablets as if they were phones. Not hard. But for a desktop based system we've been looking around and Vend looks really interesting. Again, if you buy the turn-key solution, an iPad is under the covers (whatever; it's turnkey), but their larger support ecosystem seems to be "anything". Why? Because their software is browser-based, it appears and thus works with most systems. And Vend more comprehensive would work with our eCommerce and accounting software.

So, what are we going to do? We don't know yet. We are going to experiment with PayPal's dongle in the short term, but we are looking for a longer term solution that crosses all the boundaries and interfaces with more vendors. We want to reward open APIs. Vend looks interesting, but... we'll see.

Thanks for listening. We are just sharing some of what is going on behind the scenes here at the bee company. In the end, we didn't have any of these choices 5 years ago. Square busted the market wide open and we thank them for that. But we implore these vendors: Please don't try to lock us in. We don't like cages! :)

Have a nice day!

#SquareUp   #Square   #VendHQ   #Vend   #Xero   #Squarespace   #eCommerce   #Android   #GoogleEcosystem   #OpenStandards   #SMB  
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Hey! UPDATE!
Square just integrated with our non-Intuit-based accounting system today. Linked up and done!

Now if they only would support Android tablets we'd be happy. But this is a big step forward for them.
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Have them in circles
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Tupelo Honey Cafe, coming to Raleigh!
Can't wait!
Tupelo Honey Café, an Asheville-based restaurant that serves Southern-Applachia style fare, is opening a new location in Raleigh.
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A beekeeper friend asked me to help at a tasting event at Follow the Honey. For mead! After a time, I was not much help.

Best of luck this season!
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Get Up, Get Out, Get Dirty!
Dirt Days!  Tomorrow! Wake Forest, NC - 10am-3pm
http://www.dirtdays.com/

Spring has sprung! Winter's done! Spend some time in downtown Wake Forest as we celebrate a return to the out of doors.

Come visit us at our first event for the year: The first inaugural "Dirt Days" in Wake Forest, NC (just north of Raleigh, NC). A celebration of everything out-of-doors. It looks to be a beautiful day!

If you can't make Dirt Days, come visit us at one of our other scheduled events: http://www.carolinabees.com/contact/events/

See you there! #DirtDays   #wakeforestnc   #festivals2014  
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#FarmLogs -- "Farm App Harvests Big Data"
http://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/farm-app-harvests-big-data/
http://farmlogs.com/

"FarmLogs recently announced it had received $4 million in investor financing. Although the platform is only two years old, it is used by 5 percent of row farmers in the U.S. and across 130 countries."

Anyone use this for other than row crop management? Would love to here your experiences.

On at related note, we quite like #HiveTrackshttp://hivetracks.com/ - but I can envision a potential collaboration between the two.

#Farming   #Ranching #Beekeeping    #organicagriculture   #NaturallyGown   #Agriculture
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I've (this is Todd) have been playing with news readers recently. Flipboard is pretty good, but, I always felt boxed in -- and therefore didn't like to use it much. Google's Newsstand is a bit nicer and less constraining. The interface is nice. And finally, Feedly has a nice simple approach, and I quite like it as well. Feedly allows you to categorize things versus having everything automated, which is particularly nice. And... Feedly is mobile and desktop friendly (via Chrome and Firefox -- Feedly is pretty sweet!).

And then I got to thinking. Our Google+ page here is more or less our "newsletter / blog". One of the big downsides of Google+ is that it does not like to expose its newsfeeds as subscribable services. Neither Facebook, nor Google+ make this obvious because they want to force you to use their applications and webpages to view their content. They don't like other folks consuming that information.

Well, Facebook only makes it mildly difficult to generate an RSS or Atom feed. Google+ makes is much harder. But... for those of you who would like to add a few Google+ Pages to their news readers, I found an application that will do the translation for you. It's called Feed+. It works reasonably well. But to save you time, I have included a URL to this page's URL that will generate an Atom feed (much like an RSS syndication feed).

Google+ is our Blog. Plug this URL into your news reader on your phone or desktop and see what happens:
http://goo.gl/oQHbT9

Flipboard:
* gPlay: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=flipboard.app
Google Newsstand:
* gPlay: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.magazines
Feedly:
* gChromeStore: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/feedly-news-blogs-and-you/hipbfijinpcgfogaopmgehiegacbhmob
* gPlay: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.devhd.feedly
...
Feed+:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/feed%2B/eaiadkmgpppkonfodnepmoknpaphnlij
...

We can't see to figure out how to embed an RSS or Atom feed into a Squarespace page though. They don't seem to have a widget for it and using the script generated by Feedburner / Buzzboost doesn't seem to help.

Anyway. Readers, feed generation and more. We hope you enjoyed this bit of digression from our normal bee centered postings. :)
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I ended up going with Digg after Google Reader got the axe. The App is simple and clean. 
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Pollen grain on a butterfly wing
This butterfly is a Protographium agesilaus[1]

Beautiful!

You can see this image and many more like it at
https://secure.flickr.com/photos/13084997@N03/sets/72157622467961844/

Made aware of this via +MOTHER EARTH NEWS ...
https://plus.google.com/117857159180935916526/posts/crEHP9mLAB4

...
All images by Linden Gledhill
[1] Protographium agesilaus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protographium_agesilaus
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Contact Information
Map of the business location
237 Jason Way Youngsville, NC 27596
237 Jason WayUSNCYoungsville27596
(919) 728-0827carolinabees.com
FarmToday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Monday 8:00 am – 5:00 pmTuesday 8:00 am – 5:00 pmWednesday 8:00 am – 5:00 pmThursday 8:00 am – 5:00 pmFriday 8:00 am – 5:00 pmSaturday 8:00 am – 12:00 pmSunday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
At The Carolina Bee Company, we are All Things Bees:
  • Bees: Queens, Packages Nucleus Colonies
  • Services: Education, Speaking and Pollination Services
  • Chandlery: Soap, Candles and More!
  • Honey! Of course.
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Have them in circles
361 people
John Matthews's profile photo
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Teresa R's profile photo
Teresa R
reviewed a year ago
I've purchased many products from The Carolina Bee Company and have never been disappointed! The soaps are especially nice for anyone with troubled skin because they are all natural. The lip balm is fabulous too!